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Mark as Story Second Edition Paperback – March 1, 1999

11 customer reviews

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Paperback, March 1, 1999
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Editorial Reviews


"Any doubts about the maturation of a 'literary' approach to the New Testament Gospels, or its usefulness, ought to be dispelled by this brief but fruitful study. . . . The authors manage to derive insights from analysis of the text's rhetoric, its temporal and spatial frames, its plot and characters while writing a study that can be sued in any contemporary classroom." -- ---William G. Doty Interpretation

From the Back Cover

"The first edition of Mark as Story was a groundbreaking text showing teachers and students how to read Mark as a narrative. The second edition, which adds Joanna Dewey to the authorial team, makes a good book even better. Substantial revisions improve and update the text. Insights from recent scholarship are incorporated while maintaining the focus on Mark as story. An Afterword on the ethics of reading has been added. Of special note for classroom use is their English translation of Mark. It allows those who do not read Greek to gain a sense of the style of the original. Two new appendices with exercises for students are also valuable." ---Janice Capel Anderson University of Idaho

"In paying meticulous attention to Mark's compositional devices and rhetorical effects, [the authors] have taken a major step toward comprehending the Gospel as an artistic creation. This highly readable book significantly enhances our enjoyment of the Gospel as story." ---Werner H. Kelber Rice University

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: FORTRESS PRESS; 2 edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800631609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800631604
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By The BPR Reference Guide on January 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have a confession to make. Mark was probably my least favorite of the Gospels. It seemed so disjointed at times. The author seemed to race from one event to the other, with seemingly little connection between events or tales. His descriptions and details seemed scant, with the other Gospels filling in the blanks. And there lies part of my problem in trying to figure the book of Mark out - my reliance on the other Gospels to help me interpret it, instead of reading Mark as though I was hearing everything about the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah for the first time.
The authors of "Mark as Story" try to impress upon the reader the importance of understanding Mark on its own terms as a narrative. They offer four guidelines in this approach: (1) read Mark as a story rather than history, (2) read Mark independently from the other Gospels, (3) avoid reading modern cultural assumptions into the story, and (4) avoid reading modern theologies about Jesus back into Mark's story. With these guidelines in mind, the authors discuss the various elements of Mark, known in biblical studies as "narrative criticism" where tone, style, setting, plot, characters, etc. are analyzed. Sound like a college course in Literature? Perhaps. And thus this particular book may not be to everyone's liking. As for me, I can truly say that I have a much greater appreciation for the Gospel of Mark having read it as a work of literature in its own right. - Ronni
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most churches teach "the gospels" as if they were one story told by someone named Matthew Mark Luke John. So it's very hard to read any one gospel as if for the first time. They all wind up sounding like random collections of sayings and miracles by Jesus leading up to Good Friday and Easter. What Rhoads and Michie do is to treat the Gospel of Mark as a work of literature in its own right, apart from anything else we know or think we know about Jesus. They examine Mark's rhetoric, settings, plot, and characters to see how he tells the story. In the process, they enable us to experience Mark's gospel in a completely fresh way. Now I'm waiting for them to do the same thing for Matthew, Luke, and John--especially John.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hayes on April 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first edition of this book was co-written by only David Rhoads (a professor of religion) and Donald Michie (a professor of English). They make a winning combination, showing very effectively that the Gospel of Mark is a wonderfully composed short story, using very thoughtful literary means to convey the theological message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I highly recommend the book for any who wish to discover a new and fruitful way to study Mark. The lessons learned about the Bible as a piece of literature are invaluable.

This second addition differs from the first by having a third author, Johanna Dewey (a New Testament scholar), whose effect on the book is to transform it into a book for New Testament scholars. This loss is substantial while the gain is minimal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. Zehr on March 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found this book as a great help for researching my sermons for Mark. It is very resourseful. It really explains the Gospel in terms that are very understandable. The book has given me a new understanding and new meanings. I found the patterns of movement on Jesus' journey, which begins at the Jordan River. It is a book that is easy to follow.The book also shows how the plot was arranged and where it was going.I really like how the author gives the analysis of the characters in Mark's story. In conclusion he asks the reader how it affects them. I think that one would have a good resourse in their library if they purchased this book. I am a Lay Supply Pastor. this is a book that was recommeded for our study during this Easter Season.
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Mark as Story is an introduction to the art of reading the gospel of Mark as narrative. Within this framework are several key elements that help the reader understand the unfolding of this gospel. The narrator is the one through whose eyes the events take place. The narrator in this gospel is omniscient; that is he is privy to information that the persons there at that time would not have known (such as people’s thoughts and motivations). The setting in which the Mark takes place provides another part of the literary framework. Seeing several of the elements that contribute to the setting in Jesus time help us to better understand what this gospel would have meant to a 1st century reader. The political and cultural setting as well as the geography of where things happen is prominent as well. Reading Mark as a story also brings us to seeing and understanding the plot which the author sees as: Jesus establishing the rule of God in the face of obstacles and opposition. The last piece of the framework for reading Mark as narrative is to grasp the characters in the gospel and the intended reader. The characters are divided into two groups: Jesus and everyone else. The authorities, disciples and other people are all in the ‘everyone else’ category; these all have differing interactions with Jesus. The intended reader is the one who sees through the eyes of the narrator—this is us.
Being able to understand the mechanics of how a narrative is written and what components go into it are very helpful in grasping the nuance that exists in the different gospel accounts. I found the focus on elements that make up the framework of narrative to be helpful tools in understanding why Mark included what he did and what intended effect it was to have.
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