Stephen O'Leary's theory of apocalyptic rhetoric proves helpful for understanding Mark's intentions for the apocalyptic motifs employed in his Gospel. The details of the discourse in Mark 13 ought not be correlated with specific historical events but should be understood as rhetorical ornaments that underscore watchfulness and wakefulness. O'Leary's comic framework of apocalyptic rhetoric provides new exegetical insight into how Mark uses apocalyptic topoi to jolt an audience that had grown complacent. Mark's apocalyptic components serve the Gospel's broader theological agenda, to profile a God for whom there is an open horizon for dramatic future action.
The Journal of Biblical Literature (JBL) is a quarterly periodical that promotes critical and academic biblical scholarship. Bringing the highest level of technical expertise to bear on the canon, cognate literature, and the historical matrix of the Bible, JBL has stood at the center of communication among biblical scholars in North America for the past 125 years. A lengthy book review section monitors both European and American publishing. The articles and reviews published by JBL reflect the range of methods, models, and interests used and pursued by working sections, groups, and seminars of the Society of Biblical Literature.
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