Well, at long last, it’s out. Honor Among Christians is my take on the so-called “messianic secret” in Mark. I’m trying to answer the question, “How would ancient Mediterranean people have heard these stories in Mark in which Jesus attempts to conceal his deeds and identity?”
In 1901 William Wrede wrote a book that we call in English The Messianic Secret. Since that time, the language of “secrecy” has done a lot of heavy lifting in Markan scholarship. Ancient people, however, understood secrecy rather differently than we do. They also understood issues such as fame, power, great deeds, and prestige differently than we do. More specifically, such issues were governed by the values of honor and shame. My goal in this book is to examine the passages associated with the messianic secret in light of these ancient Mediterranean values.