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The Messianic Sacred, Not Secret:
The Son as a Hidden Name in the Gospel of Mark

Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye

Presented at

The 2020 Temple on Mount Zion Conference

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sponsored by The Interpreter Foundation and Brigham Young University College of Humanities


The “Messianic Secret” theory proposes that Jesus Christ forbids demons and followers from revealing who he is for an enigmatic reason. While the findings of the original theory have largely been abandoned, the idea of secrecy motifs in Mark has endured. Mark’s use of the “Son” may be an interpretive key for understanding some of Mark’s enigmatic secrecy motifs. The Gospel of Mark casts the “Son” as a sacred and identifying title for Jesus Christ, which he receives at baptism, keeps hidden from the profane, and ultimately reveals at the cross, symbolized by the rending of the temple veil. This name is used as a device to highlight the ironic recognition of demons, the misunderstanding of the disciples, and the ultimate access humanity has to Jesus Christ’s salvific identity.



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