Just a quick update. An article I wrote for the Journal of the Jesus Movement in Its Jewish Setting was recently published. The article concerns Mark’s use of Latinisms and the location of its geographic setting. JJMJS is an open-access journal, so it can be found online free here: http://www.jjmjs.org/
Loanwords or Code-Switching? Latin Transliteration and the Setting of Mark’s Composition
The composition of Mark’s Gospel is variously located in metropolitan Rome, Syria, and Palestine, with nothing close to a consensus emerging. This article takes up one particular line of argumentation for Markan provenance and provides it a clearer methodological and theoretical apparatus, namely the issue of Latin transliteration. Some commentators note that the prevalence of Latin suggests a Roman context, while others contend that Markan vocabulary is consistent with the Roman East. This article examines the distinctive ways in which Latin was transliterated in the aforementioned regions in epigraphs, papyri, and literary texts. Comparative work will indicate that Mark’s use of transliterated Latin verges on incompatible with pre-War Palestine, is quite dissimilar for the city of Rome, but overlaps in significant ways with that of Syria and post-War Palestine. Though this argument is not conclusive about Markan origins in its own right, it may clarify the utility of the argument from Latinisms for future discussions.