More Information
ISBN: 9781783684304
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 14
Publication Date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 252
Language: English

Jesus’s Identification with the Marginalized and the Liminal

The Messianic Identity in Mark


The first-century Judaic understanding of the identity and nature of the Messiah has been a much-debated topic among biblical scholars and preachers alike. So too has the messianic identity and nature of Jesus himself. Bekele Deboch informs these debates with fresh evidence outside the traditional scriptural references to miracles, and supernatural identifications by demons and God himself, as well as earthly identification by human beings. With thorough narrative criticism and analysis of contemporaneous literature, this book brings insightful new conclusions that transform our understanding of the biblical messianic identity revealed in the person of Jesus.Jesus not only self-identified with the marginalized and liminal but also experienced extreme marginality himself, to the point of shameful death on a tree. Jesus’ church around the world has the responsibility to herald his messianic identity and salvation to the marginalized of today. Bekele Deboch has followed Christ’s example of walking with the marginalized and makes here a powerful case for the church to do the same.

Author Bios

Bekele Deboch Anshiso

BEKELE DEBOCH ANSHISO is an evangelist in his home country of Ethiopia where he returned to after he earned his PhD from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Dr Deboch is also a part time lecturer of New Testament Studies at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to his PhD studies, he spent 25 years planting churches and doing evangelism in northern Ethiopia before studying at Spurgeon’s College, London, UK, and then teaching at Evangelical Theological College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bekele and his wife have three children.


Deboch engages many of the most perennially challenging issues in the interpretation of Mark’s gospel. He brings fresh insight to Mark’s presentation of the divine messianic identity of Jesus. The book holds many unexpected delights on Mark’s unexpected Messiah.

Steven M. Bryan, PhD
Professor of New Testament,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Bekele Deboch Anshiso’s close reading of Mark’s gospel highlights Jesus’s messianic identity as his self-identification with marginalized and liminal people. With careful attention, Anshiso shows how Jesus’s extreme self-marginalization and identification with liminals informs his own identity, and the identity of his followers, past and present.

Jeremy Punt, DTh
Professor of New Testament,
Stellenbosch University

Bekele Deboch is a remarkable person, deeply touched by God, and used by him to spread the message of Jesus among some of the poorest elements of Ethiopian society. I warmly commend this study about Jesus and the marginalized in the Gospel of Mark.

David Seccombe, PhD
Author and Speaker
Research Fellow,
George Whitefield College, South Africa

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Chapter 1
    1. Introduction
      1. 1.1. State of the Problem and the Research Question
      2. 1.2. Preliminary Studies Already Undertaken on Messiahship
      3. 1.3. Concluding Summary to the Previous Studies on the Subject
      4. 1.4. The Nature of the Research and Research Hypothesis
      5. 1.5. Research Procedure and Methodology
      6. 1.6. Defining and Explaining the Terms “Margin” or “Marginality” and “Liminal” or “Liminality”
        1. 1.6.1. Margin or Marginality
        2. 1.6.2. Liminal or Liminality
      7. 1.7. Social Status of Individuals and Groups of People in Mark’s Gospel
        1. 1.7.1. Jesus and the Elite
        2. 1.7.2. Jesus and Retainers
        3. 1.7.3. Jesus and the Common People
        4. 1.7.4. Jesus and the Poor
        5. 1.7.5. Jesus and the Outcasts
      8. 1.8. Conclusion
  4. Chapter 2
    1. Jesus and the Marginalized and the Liminal in Mark
      1. 2.1. The Spread of Jesus’s Popularity
        1. 2.1.1. Introduction
        2. 2.1.2. Literary Context
        3. 2.1.3. Jesus Changes His Venue to Teach and to Heal People
        4. 2.1.4. Jesus Heals Many/All
        5. 2.1.5. Jesus’s Real Identity Was Recognized and Declared
      2. 2.2. Jesus Exorcises the Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1–20)
        1. 2.2.1. Introduction
        2. 2.2.2. Literary Context
        3. 2.2.3. Jesus Comes to the Demon-Possessed Man in the Gentile Region
        4. 2.2.4. Demoniac Recognized and Proclaimed Jesus’s Divine Identity
        5. 2.2.5. The News of Jesus Spreads in the Whole Area
        6. 2.2.6. Jesus Sends the Ex-Demoniac to Bear Witness among Gentiles
        7. 2.2.7. Conclusion
      3. 2.3. Jesus and the Blind Beggar (Mark 10:46–52)
        1. 2.3.1. Introduction
        2. 2.3.2. Literary Context
        3. 2.3.3. Jesus Comes to the Blind Beggar at Jericho (Mark 10:46–52)
        4. 2.3.4. A Blind Beggar Addresses Jesus, in His Royal Messianic Title
        5. 2.3.5. A Blind Beggar Receives Sight and Follows Jesus
        6. 2.3.6. Conclusion
      4. 2.4. The Death of Jesus, the Son of God (Mark 15:33–41)
        1. 2.4.1. Introduction
        2. 2.4.2. Literary Context
        3. 2.4.3. The Reasons for Jesus’s Abandonment and Death
        4. 2.4.4. Irony in Mark’s Narrative
        5. 2.4.5. Death of Jesus, the Son of God in Mark’s Narrative
        6. 2.4.6. Jesus and the Women
        7. 2.4.7. At the Conclusion of Mark’s Crucifixion Narrative, Who Are These Women?
        8. 2.4.8. Conclusion
      5. 2.5. Chapter Conclusion
  5. Chapter 3
    1. The Messianic Identity in Mark’s Gospel
      1. 3.1. Introduction
      2. 3.2. The Messiah
        1. 3.2.1. Definition and Introduction
        2. 3.2.2. The Messiah and the Messianic Hope and Expectations in the Old Testament
        3. 3.2.3. The Messianic Idea in Judaism
        4. 3.2.4. The Messianic Hope and Expectation in the Gospels
        5. 3.2.5. Conclusion
      3. 3.3. The Son of David
        1. 3.3.1. Introduction
        2. 3.3.2. Jesus the Son of David (Mark 10:47–48)
        3. 3.3.3. Is Jesus Son of David or Lord of David? (Mark 12:35–37)
        4. 3.3.4. Conclusion
      4. 3.4. The Son of God
        1. 3.4.1. Introduction
        2. 3.4.2. Meaning of the Title “Son of God”
        3. 3.4.3. Divine Man – θeῖoV ἀnήr – Theos Aner
        4. 3.4.4. “Son of God” in the Gospels
        5. 3.4.5. Jesus as the Son
        6. 3.4.6. God as Abba as Father
        7. 3.4.7. The Revelation of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel
        8. 3.4.8. Conclusion
      5. 3.5. The Son of Man
        1. 3.5.1. Introduction
        2. 3.5.2. The Background of “Son of Man”
      6. 3.6. Chapter Conclusion
  6. Chapter 4
    1. Jesus’s Marginality and Liminality
      1. 4.1. Introduction
      2. 4.2. Jesus’s Voluntarily Marginalization as Galilean Jew
        1. 4.2.1. Jesus the Galilean Jew
        2. 4.2.2. Jesus and Galilee
        3. 4.2.3. The Significance of Jesus’s Galilean Identity
        4. 4.2.4. “Galilee of the Gentiles”
        5. 4.2.5. Jesus of Nazareth
      3. 4.3. Jesus’s Marginalized Occupation
      4. 4.4. Jesus Became Marginalized as Regards His Unique Style of Teaching
      5. 4.5. Who Made Him Marginalized and Liminal?
      6. 4.6. The Purpose of Jesus’s Liminality and Marginalized Death
      7. 4.7. Conclusion
  7. Chapter 5
    1. Conclusion
      1. 5.1. Unified Work of Mark’s Narrative
      2. 5.2. Jesus’s Self-Identification with the Marginalized and Liminal
      3. 5.3. Jesus’s Unique Death and the Revelation of Divine Identity
  8. Bibliography

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