Original Research - Special Collection: Graham Duncan Dedication

Witnesses to the truth: Mark’s point of view

Deven K. MacDonald, Ernest Van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3350 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3350 | © 2016 Deven K. MacDonald, Ernest Van Eck | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 February 2016 | Published: 12 August 2016

About the author(s)

Deven K. MacDonald, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ernest Van Eck, Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


This article presents a narratological reading of the Gospel of Mark with special attention given to the role, function and rhetorical impact of point of view. It is argued that through the use of ‘witnesses’ ranging from the omniscient narrator, to the character God, to the Old Testament Scriptures, the author of Mark presents a point of view that his implied reader would find difficult to counter. In addition to this, the article demonstrates that the motifs of allegiance, misunderstanding and opposition in the Second Gospel are almost entirely confined to the adoption or rejection of the point of view being advocated for by the author of Mark. In the end, it is shown that only in the death of Jesus on the cross and the subsequent ‘centurion’s confession’ are the motifs resolved and is the point of view of Mark accepted by a human character.


Mark; narrative point of view; Son of God; narratology


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