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Who is Elijah in the Gospel of Mark?
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:38 authored by Nathanael Smith
Elijah is the most frequently mentioned figure from Hebrew scriptures in the Gospel of Mark -- yet, despite Elijah's unusual prominence, relatively little has been written on the matter. In Mark's Gospel, Jesus is popularly associated with Elijah redivivus, Elijah himself appears at Jesus' transfiguration, and in a discourse with the disciples Jesus strongly implies that Elijah has already come in the person of John the Baptist. Furthermore, both John and Jesus show various literary similarities to the 'historical' and eschatological Elijah. This paper will argue that whilst the identity of Mark's Elijah is not consistently maintained, Mark has subsumed his presentation of Elijah under an eschatological framework, found elsewhere in contemporary Jewish thought -- the appearance of Elijah signals to Mark's readership the imminence of the Day of the Lord, and therefore, the end of the world.