. . . [O]ne recent line of research has involved tracing much in Mark to the influence of the Greek epics of Homer. Dennis MacDonald is the primary proponent of this view, and his argument has been that the gospel of Mark was written as a conscious and deliberate imitation of the stories in the Homeric epics. The goal was to give readers a familiar context to discover the superiority of Christ and Christianity over pagan gods and beliefs . . . MacDonald argues that Mark’s tales about Jesus are explicit imitations of Homeric tales about characters like Odysseus, Circe, Polyphemus, Aeolus, Achilles, and Agamemnon and his wife, Clytemnestra. Read more . . .