chapter  1
24 Pages

Rewriting a Paradigmatic Apostolic Portrayal

The Figure of Peter in the Gospel of Mark

This chapter examines the character of Peter in Mark and a special attention is given to the rhetorical function of the portrayal. New Testament scholarship on Peter is for a long time closely connected to an interest in Paul. It is well attested, Paul's 'biography of reversal' was developed further in later Christian literature such as Ephesians, Colossians and the Pastorals. Mark's picture of Peter is notoriously complicated and there is no scholarly consensus about it. The reappraisal of Mark's portrayal of the figure of Peter by literary critics has even led some scholars to claim that Mark displays a positive interest in Peter. In 1 Corinthians Paul mainly reproduced what he had learned about Peter either from the tradition or from 'Chloe's people'. For just as Paul exploited the figure of Peter in order to make some important points about himself, so Mark may have used Paul's self-portrayal to make some important points about Peter.