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Mark: A Commentary (Hermeneia: a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible) Hardcover – November 1, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Adela Yarbro Collins's remarkably learned and thorough introduction to and exposition of Mark's Gospel deserves a prominent place in every serious theological library. It provides us solid information not only about Markan studies but also about the Jewish and Greco-Roman world in which that Gospel took shape. It is a great achievement, the product of many years of dedicated research. --Daniel J. Harrington, Weston Jesuit School of Theology

Adela Collins's long-awaited commentary on the Gospel of Mark fulfills and even surpasses the highest expectations. It demonstrates the scholarly expertise and sound critical judgment we have come to expect from this expert on Jewish apocalyptic and Greco-Roman literary culture. This book will now be the definitive resource for historical-critical reading of the Gospel of Mark. --Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School

Adela Collins's long-awaited commentary on the Gospel of Mark fulfills and even surpasses the highest expectations. It demonstrates the scholarly expertise and sound critical judgment we have come to expect from this expert on Jewish apocalyptic and Greco-Roman literary culture. This book will now be the definitive resource for historical-critical reading of the Gospel of Mark. --Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School

About the Author

Adela Yarbro Collins is Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. She has written numerous books on ancient Judaism and Christianity.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 2nd Printing edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800660781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800660789
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Lowry on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I wanted to go beyond my single-volume Bible commentaries and find a volume just on Mark, I was disappointed with the ones I found. They were interpretative at a "high" level, by which I mean jumping to conclusions about what a passage meant -- good stuff if you're trying to write a sermon, I suppose. Not so much if you're a philosophy/lit/law student like me, turning to my first serious study of a book of the Bible.

If you want a commentary that will address textual issues and go stark raving overboard on the historical and intertextual context of every verse of Mark, THIS IS IT. 100 pages of introduction and 700 pages of erudite commentary with abundant citations to the scholarly literature. I'd been going crazy trying to figure out when the Jews started proselyte baptism. Not attested before the 2d century A.D., says Prof. Collins. And so on.

If there's a flaw, it may be that she sometimes misses the more interpretive points in her attention to text and history. For instance, she seems to skip the interesting question of whether anyone but Jesus sees the Holy Spirit descend and hears God's voice when Jesus is baptized. But that is nitpicking. This is a great investment, and if the Hermeneia series is all this good (which I hear they are), they are very good indeed.
2 Comments 29 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
An exceptional commentary and easily one of the most comprehensive assessments ever written on the book of Mark.

PROS:
-Collins does a masterful job of incorporating relevant biblical and extra-biblical manuscripts into her observations. Her willingness to create thought provoking conversation in place of dogmatic conclusions is what sets her apart from other quality commentaries on Mark. Her observations are of the highest quality and, for the most part, are presented without an observable bias.
-An especially noteworthy addition to body of work done on Mark is Collins' technical contribution, which consistently reveals unifying elements in a book that is too often presented as a somewhat hastily assembled "proto-Gospel". If it accomplishes nothing else, Collins' work unarguably exposes the deliberate construction of this Gospel that allows it to stand on equal footing with its synoptic companions.
- With very few exceptions, Collins' 800-page magnum opus provides the most comprehensive commentary on the Gospel of Mark and not a page is wasted. The writing is clear, concise, and communicates complex ideas with ease. Given its considerably technical bent and breadth of historical references, it is quite possibly the most accessible commentary of its kind.

CONS:
- Collins avoids many of the numerological concerns presented by the Gospel of Mark (e.g. - 40 days in the desert (1:13), 12 years of sickness (5:25) and the 12 year-old (5:42), 5-loaves-2-fish and 12 baskets full (6:38-43), 3 days and 7 loaves and 7 baskets full (8:1-8), 6 days later (9:2), etc.). For a pre-enlightenment and hyper-numerologically sensitive culture, these numbers would likely have held great significance and lent themselves to further legitimizing the messianic ministry of Jesus.
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Comment 9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Am I allowed to say that?
I just have so much admiration for her. I hope I can say that. It's not for any reason I say that except for what I learn when I read her, and especially this one book.
Any time I have some question on the New Testament, I immediately try to find any sort of cross-reference to Mark so I can get some kind of angle on it from her.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A thoroughly researched work by a leading scholar. Outstanding addition to the Hermeneia series.
Very helpful for the intelligent Bible student of any age who wishes to dig deeper than the briefer
commentaries available.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent exegetical commentary on Mark.
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