Have You Never Read ... ?: Jesus as Interpreter of Scripture in Mark's Gospel

2013, 33 pp
These explorations have been prompted by a process in Mennonite Church Canada called Being a Faithful Church – a process of discernment about a series of vital matters facing our church and our world. Since 2009 there has been a particular focus on how we understand Scripture to function in the life of the church, and in our discernment about important (and often controversial) issues. Congregations and individuals have been invited to give feedback and share experiences and perspectives on how we understand Scripture to function.

This invitation got me thinking – how did Jesus interpret Scripture, and understand Scripture to function? Knowing that John Howard Yoder’s study of “the politics of Jesus” has been so important and impactful in our Mennonite community (and beyond), I wondered what a sustained look at “the hermeneutics of Jesus” might reveal, and whether this might also be important and helpful for us in the midst of our own processes.

With that in mind, I embarked on a project of re-reading the Gospels, paying specific attention to how Jesus is portrayed as an interpreter of Scripture. A small group of fellow explorers accompanied me closely on this journey. Together we explored dozens of passages that depict Jesus engaging Scripture and interacting with different conversation partners about complex issues of the day.

As we immersed ourselves in these explorations, we noticed that certain dynamics and characteristics are repeated over and over again and we have become convinced that there is much that we could learn by paying attention to these dynamics.

This booklet highlights four representative passages from Mark’s Gospel. While this is clearly a small sample, it is enough to enable us to make some meaningful observations about how Jesus is portrayed as interpreter of Scripture.

For Parts 2-4 in the "Reading the Bible with Jesus" series, please contact Bryan directly.

(4 sessions)

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