Synopsis: Mark's Gospel is much maligned for its redundancy and stylistic sloppiness. But is this indignity justified? The answer to this question hangs not only on the genre of this work but also on the life setting of its target audience. Rather than unwitting slip-ups of an inept writer, Mark's narrative repetitions and temporal dislocations are better understood as rhetorical strategies for a didactive oral performance. There is "method" to Mark's "madness," and the method maps his meaning. In recent decades, some scholars have become enamored with what they see as a generic affinity between Mark's Gospel and fictive literature, particularly ancient romance novels. Could this be the "method" behind Mark's madness? This book offers readers an exciting and profitable journey into two story worlds that likely share a common historical-cultural setting: Mark's "Gospel" and Chariton's "passion of love." Analyzing these works from the vantage point of narrative sequence, Starner identifies two contrasting worldviews: for Chariton, the world is controlled by the goddess Aphrodite who serves as a powerbroker distributing political, economic, and sociological power to agents who use that power for self-serving ends; for Mark, the world is governed by an All-Powerful God who, shockingly, operates from a posture of powerlessness, inviting (not coercing) humans to accept his lordship and urging them to adopt the self-sacrificial, service-oriented program of living that finds its quintessential expression in the historical Jesus of the Gospels. Endorsements: "This book offers an intriguing study of some notable narrative techniques in Mark's Gospel. In contrast to modern speculations of how Mark should have written, Starner's observations are grounded in ancient narration patterns. While noting parallels with Chariton's style, Starner is also careful to highlight some distinctive elements in Mark's account." --Craig Keener Professor of New Testament Palmer Theological Seminary "It is sometimes said that the Gospel of Mark is a clumsy concatenation of stories, thrown together willy-nilly. In Kingdom of Power, Power of Kingdom Rob Starner offers an alternative take: Mark uses the apparent disruptions in sequence, repetitions, and gaps in information to leverage the responses of his readers. Starner's argument is crisp, compelling, and critically important--a must read for anyone who wishes to understand both Mark and the current state of literary scholarship in biblical studies. Mark, like Starner, is anything but clumsy." --Jerry Camery-Hoggatt Professor of New Testament and Narrative Theology Vanguard University Author Biography: Rob Starner is Professor of Greek and New Testament at Southwestern AG University in Waxahachie, Texas.