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Understanding the Unforgivable Sin: A Study of Mark 3:20-35


Understanding the Unforgivable Sin: A Study of Mark 3:20-35

Plunkett, Matthew (2013) Understanding the Unforgivable Sin: A Study of Mark 3:20-35. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The unforgivable sin—blasphemy against the Holy Spirit—is the subject of debate, curiosity, and even fear for many. Many scholars and theologians have tackled the subject, yet there is no definite interpretation shared by a majority. This thesis focuses on Mark 3:20-35 in an attempt to gain the best possible understanding of the ambiguous sin in question. While several methodologies are used to varying degrees, this thesis focuses on the biblical passage from a narrative-critical perspective. With all aspects of the story being taken into consideration, a few important conclusions are drawn. First and foremost, the unforgivable sin can be defined as intentionally sabotaging the work of God by calling it Satanic. Secondly, while Jesus mentions such a sin because of the scribes from Jerusalem, one cannot conclude that they are guilty of the sin; Jesus’ words may have been a warning. Thirdly, Jesus’ family is clearly depicted as an opponent of Jesus. Finally, if indeed the scribes are in danger of committing an unpardonable sin, so are Jesus’ mother, brothers, and sisters, since their actions are similar to those of the scribes. The importance of such conclusions is significant is both academic and religious circles.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Theological Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Plunkett, Matthew
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Theological Studies
Date:27 February 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gagne, Andre
ID Code:976982
Deposited On:25 Jan 2016 17:39
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43
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