Was John the Baptist raised from the dead? The Origins of Mark 6:14-29

Nathanael Vette, Will Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the vox populi of Mark 6:14-16 (cf. 8:28), we find the puzzling claim that some believed Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. The presentation of John in the Gospel is similar to Jesus: Mark depicts John as a prophetic figure who is arrested, executed, buried by his disciples, and—according to some—raised from the dead. This paper reviews scholarship on the question of whether the tradition concerning John's resurrection—as well as the tradition concerning his death to which it is prefixed (6:17-29)—originated outside of the early Christian community. We examine the possibility that sects or individuals in the ancient world believed John had indeed been raised from the dead—as well as figures supposedly connected to John (Dositheus, Simon Magus). We conclude on the basis of internal evidence from the Gospel that the report in 6:14-16 likely originated in a Christian context. At the same time, it may also provide a glimpse into first-century CE attitudes concerning the resurrection from the dead.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-354
JournalThe Biblical Annals
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Gospel of Mark
  • Resurrection
  • John the Baptist
  • Historical Jesus
  • Second Temple Judaism
  • Samaritan Studies


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