Christal, Jonas D. “Disciples and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark ”, Boston College, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/2473.
After studying the Gospel of Mark mostly from a historical approach, focusing on the world behind the text, scholars have turned more recently to the text as it is available for us today, taking into consideration the development of the Gospel narrative, how the story is told, and making use of literary theories to unlock the message of the Gospel. This approach, however, usually ends up with a strikingly negative view of the disciples who fail to understand Jesus and abandon him during his arrest, trial, and death. Is the author’s view of the disciples hopelessly negative? How is the reader/listener expected to respond to the challenges posed by Mark’s Gospel regarding discipleship? This thesis argues that, by presenting two contrasting responses to Jesus’ call to discipleship, namely the rich man’s and the disciples’, Mark gives the reader/listener a rather positive image of discipleship in 10:17-31, juxtaposing it to an overall negative view of the disciples developed in much of the narrative, and stresses renunciation of possessions as an essential requirement for true discipleship.