The Theological and Philosophical Significance of the Markan Account of Miracles

Faith and Philosophy 15 (3):298-323 (1998)
Abstract
This paper combines both an exegetical and philosophical approach to the treatment of miracles in the Markan gospel. Using key insights developed by biblical scholars bearing on the problem of Mark’s treatment of miracles as a basis, I conclude that for the author of Mark, miracles are effects, and as such, signs and symbols of what occurs in the moral and spiritual order. I argue that Mark connects miracles with faith in Jesus, a faith qualified through a grasp of the proper exercise of human power in the kingdom of God. The last section of the paper explores the ontological conditions for the possibility of miracles as they are portrayed in this gospel; there I argue that the best candidate for a theory that squares with Mark’s understanding of miracle is a different one from that found in the contemporary philosophical literature on miracles
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