7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2011
This book shows how Mark frames his gospel around Isaiah and specifically Isaiah's new Exodus theme. This is an important work and needs to be read by scholars and serious students of the gospel of Mark. One cannot read this book and come away without a fresh perspective on Mark and what Jesus himself was intending by his words and actions. Watt's takes seriously Mark's use of the OT and the context of all quotes and allusions. His reasoning is spot on and therefore his conclusions should all be taken seriously. There is much here, but some of the things Watts deals with are the servant songs in relation to Jesus, of course the exodus theme, Jesus healings and their link to Isaiah 35, and how the cleansing of the temple is thematic of Isaiah. Comparisons are made between Isaiah 6:9f and Mark 4:12 in order to bring out more fully the parable of the sower. Also, the Beelzebul controversy is expounded upon in light of Isaiah.
Watt's deals very well with the so called "way" section of Mark. This section is shown to be bracketed off by the healing of the blind man that at first sees men "as tall as trees" and the healing of Bartimaeus. Sandwiched in between is the way section of Mark that deals with the disciples continued inability to grasp who Jesus really is. The climax of this section is the confession of Peter that Jesus is "the Messiah, the son of the living God." In short the entirety of Mark is taken up in light of Isaiah.
A note of caution would be that this book is not written for a lay audience and would be difficult to read without knowing Greek and Hebrew. Watt's assumes his audience knows German and French as well and will at times write a couple of sentences in German without providing an English translation of this. The book would have been more accessible to others if he would have done so. That aside this is and excellent work.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
The book helps explain difficult problems in the Gospel of Mark through an Isanic framework. Watts book is significant because it comes to the important conclusion that the gospels, especially the Gospel of Mark, needs to be seen from an OT perspective and not from a Hellenistic perspective. After reading Joel Marcus' book, "The Way of the Lord," I would have to say that it is by far the superior of the two. Marcus deals succiently with the material and deals with more issues that Watts does.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2014
First of all, the service and shipping were great--got the material before the expected date and all items checked out as advertised.
The book itself is a great scholastic work connecting segments from Isaiah and Malachi to Mark's account of Jesus. For the intermediate and advanced student of Biblical Studies, it provides a fascinating connectivity between the Testaments. Chapters 1 and 2 while important information are somewhat tedious in the discussion of Markan scholarship. But after that the reader gets a wealth of information and connections on the New Exodus theme.
Glad I purchased it!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2014
I knew Rikki back in Australia when we were part of the Assembly of God Youth.
Lost track of him over the years then heard that he was in England doing his Phd, and thought WOW I
would not have ever guessed I would hear that. But back in those days building an academic framework for our lives was not in
the picture of most of us, and a lot of speakers we heard would say 'I thank God I am not a Theologian', which really ticked me off, but then what would I know I left school when I was fourteen to support my mother and brothers.
So over the years thanks to the internet I have read some material written by Rik and have loved the way he speaks and writes. This work is of that same essence and approaching scripture differently than others, not for the sake of being different but to bring more cohesion to the Inspired Word of God and showing us how everything is connected.
An excellent addition to any good students library, because being a good student is the foundation to being an excellent teacher. The problem with many of today's teachers is that they stopped being a good student because they thought that they have arrived, and simply ended up being lost in a maze of knowledge and their own self importance.
John D. McDonald