"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Mark 8:27 - 9:8 Commentary
by Robert Beck
The first half of Mark’s story takes place in Galilee, with Jesus restoring the health of individuals and village communities.
This mission climaxes with Peter recognizing Jesus as Messiah. From this moment the narrative shifts its attention from the provinces to the capital, from effects to origins, from symptoms to causes (Mark 8:29).
Lifted beyond the mundane
Shortly after Mark’s narrative turns its attention toward Jerusalem, Jesus takes three of his disciples up a tall mountain, where he is transfigured. The atmosphere is rarified, and the three disciples are awe-stricken. This experience of the transcendent brings them into contact with the ultimate meaning of the story in which they find themselves. The sacred mountain associated with Moses and Elijah called to mind, as the two famous figures encounter Jesus on the summit.
Jewish tradition knew of famous figures who were taken in heaven without dying. The Bible mentions Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). And although Moses’ death is reported there (Deuteronomy 34:5-6), the Jewish philosopher Philo and historian Josephus record ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 397: Transfiguration
February 23, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Feb. 23, 2020, (Transfiguration) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.