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Loaves and Fishes: The Function of the Feeding Stories in the Gospel of Mark
Robert M. Fowler
Publication Date
September 2006


“This study of the feeding of the five thousand in Mark 6:30–44 and the feeding of the four thousand in Mark 8:1–10 is representative of the relatively recent practice in NT scholarship of supplementing redaction criticism with literary criticism. Fowler’s redaction-critical study challenges the prevailing view that the two feeding stories are a doublet in the sense of traditional variants. He seeks to show that the feeding of the five thousand is a Marcan composition, that the feeding of the four thousand preserves a pre-Marcan tradition, and that Mark 8:1–10 was the source and model for Mark 6:30–44. In his literary-critical study he claims that doublets are devices of Marcan composition (the intention of the author) and communication (the effect on the reader) and that the doublet in Mark 6:30–44 and Mark 8:1–10 was designed by Mark for the sake of deliberate irony.”
— Susan Marie Praeder, Journal of Biblical Literature

“This study of the two feeding stories in Mark 6 and 8 makes an important contribution to the emerging study of the Gospels as narrative. … The major contribution of this book is the integration of the methods of contemporary literary criticism with tradition-history methods. It is an excellent introduction to the detailed study of the Gospels as narrative.”
— Thomas E. Boomershine, Interpretation