The Narrative Shape of Mark
In my essay “The Women, the Tomb, and the Climax of Mark” (manuscript of the published version on the “Essays, etc” page of this site), one of the cited studies that has not been sufficiently noticed is an essay by the Canadian scholar Philip G. Davis (University of Prince Edward Island): Philip G. Davis, “Christology, Discipleship, and Self-Understanding in the Gospel of Mark,” in Self-Definition and Self-Discovery in Early Christianity: A Study in Shifting Horizons, Essays in Appreciation of Ben F. Meyer From His Former Students, ed. David J. Hawkin and Tom
Robinson (”Studies in Bible and Early Christianity,” 26; Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990), 101-19.
Davis’ intriguing observation (so far as I know, he was the first to make it) was that what may look like Markan “omissions” actually are deliberate, and for the author’s purpose of making the Jesus-story a blueprint for the intended Christian readers. Here’s a key quote:
“Indeed, it is striking that many of the most notable Markan ‘omissions’ involve matters which are not susceptible of imitation, including the virginal conception and the pre-eschatological resurrection. Mark’s whole story of Jesus can be read as a blueprint for the Christian life: It begins with baptism, proceeds with the vigorous pursuit of ministry in the face of temptation and opposition, and culminates in suffering and death oriented towards an as-yet unseen vindication.” (p. 109)
I think it fits the Markan data nicely, and is what I think scientists mean by referring to an “elegant” hypothesis.