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Comparison of Exegesis: Matt 14:22-23 and Mark 6:45-52 Essay (Critical Writing)

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The differences between the passages and their reflection on the theologies

The differences between the Matthew and Mark’s accounts of Jesus’ walking on water can be found at all the levels of the two passages. Firstly, on the structural level, the passage from the Gospels of Matthew is far more detailed, whereas the passage written by Mark is not so rich in terms of rhetorical details, and is more simplistic. Speaking of language style used by the authors, Matthew´s account of Jesus is more formal and solemn, he writes: “after he [Jesus] dismissed the crowds, he went up to the mountain by himself to pray” (Matthew 14:22-23 NRSV) (Throckmorton, 1992, p. 91). Meanwhile, Mark tends to use more informal language patterns: “After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray” (Mark 6:45-52 NRSV) (Throckmorton, 1992, p. 91).

However, the divergences are found not only in the manner in which Matthew and Mark present their accounts. More importance seems to be contained in the details concerning encounter between Jesus and his disciples when he walked towards them on water. Firstly, in different theologies, there is a slight difference in the disciples’ reactions. The authors agree on the fact that the disciples “for they all saw him and were terrified” (Mark 6:45-52 NRSV) (Throckmorton, 1992, p. 91). After that, in Mark’s account, as soon as Jesus spoke to them, they believed it that was him and were relieved. Unlike that, in the Gospels of Matthew, the disciples, took Jesus for a ghost and were more suspicious about the wonder they saw.

Furthermore, Matthew’s account contains the description of how the disciples wanted to make sure that they saw Jesus himself, so Jesus asked Peter to walk towards him on water, and the apostle was able to do it for as long as he had faith in his master (Matthew 14:22-23 NRSV) (Throckmorton, 1992).

Three significant differences between the two Gospels that relate to the wider themes and purposes of each theology

There are a few most representative examples of how textual differences contribute to developing different ideas in both theologies. Firstly, Matthew uses more solemn and glum style of narration; secondly, Matthew adds the scene of Peter walking on water and Jesus saving him; thirdly, Mark concentrates on the light side of describing Jesus’ deeds as wonders.

The different purposes, pursuit by the authors, lead to the variations between the two passages on the stylistic level. For instance, in the passage from the Gospels of Matthew, the author expands on much more lucid facets of the story, including the scene of Jesus asking Peter to walk towards him on the water (Matthew 14:22-23 NRSV) (Throckmorton, 1992). These details for Matthew are means to relate to the image from the Old Testament and to emphasize the role of Jesus as a messiah, focusing on the theme of the importance of faith; whereas Mark does not focus attention on this aspect as much. The third difference is that Mark focuses on introducing the figure of Jesus as someone who does wonders and noble deeds because it correlates more to the Roman culture of heroism.

One of the factors affecting the narrative the most here is variations between Roman and Jewish cultural traditions and the authors’ background. The passage from the Gospels of Mark is written by a Roman and for the Roman readers, and is more utilitarian, which is why it portraits Jesus’ miracles and deeds, whereas Matthew tries to preserve the tradition of the Old Testament for the Jewish audience.

References

Throckmorton, B. (1992). Gospel parallels. Nashville, United States: T. Nelson.

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IvyPanda. "Comparison of Exegesis: Matt 14:22-23 and Mark 6:45-52." February 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comparison-of-exegesis-matt-1422-23-and-mark-645-52/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Comparison of Exegesis: Matt 14:22-23 and Mark 6:45-52." February 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comparison-of-exegesis-matt-1422-23-and-mark-645-52/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Comparison of Exegesis: Matt 14:22-23 and Mark 6:45-52'. 5 February.

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