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TAIT Michael

Jesus the divine bridegroom in Mark 2:18-22.

2010, pp. 400.


This book examines the pericope Mark 2:18-22 with special reference to the Christological implications, in the final form of Mark’s text, of Jesus’ reference to himself as ‘Bridegroom’. After introductory material, the context of the pericope is examined from a literary and theological standpoint, concluding that it occupies a position of both structural significance and theological importance. The background to the nuptial imagery used by Jesus/Mark is looked at in the Old Testament and other Jewish literature, where the figure is seen to be used exclusively of Yahweh, never of the Messiah, usually with a hint of disruption. A survey of the New Testament, apart from Mark, reveals that the Bridegroom image has been transferred to Jesus, not with a suggestion that it is part of his Messianic identity but rather in contexts of the highest Christology. Against all this background, a detailed exegesis of the pericope, concludes that Mark too presents his readers with a divine figure, though one who is destined to be ‘taken away’.

Tait Michael, gained his first doctorate at the University of Oxford in 1975 on the history of the Brigittines of Syon Abbey. After a career in schoolteaching, for thirteen years of which he was a headmaster, he completed his SSL at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome) in 2005 and his doctorate in biblical studies at the University of Manchester in 2008.