chapter  2
THE LIFE OF AESOP AND THE HERO CULT PARADIGM IN THE GOSPEL TRADITION
Pages 28

As we saw in the previous chapter, the origin of the gospel genre must be sought in both analogical and derivational models. Partial analogies to the gospels can be found in many genres, from novels to parables to apocalypses, but the closest analog is the popular, novelistic biography that is related to the cult of the hero. On the derivational side, the gospel also appears to have developed from the Jewish ideal of the suffering righteous person, influenced as well by the growth of the Christian kerygma, or proclamation of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the conflictual nature of the controversy stories. In this chapter we shall examine this conclusion more closely, to see how these seemingly disparate influences might have coalesced quite naturally in the Gospels of Mark and John.