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The Gospel of Mark (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) Paperback – November 1, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This well-written book fills a very important niche in our appreciation of the Gospels. Healy combines literary sensitivity with theological vigor, resulting in a reading of Mark that puts a compelling face on the message of this Gospel."--Gary Anderson, University of Notre Dame

"Mary Healy skillfully and insightfully moves her readers to plumb the spiritual depths of Mark's Gospel. I have found her commentary a boon in homily preparation. If the other volumes in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture live up to the high standard that Healy has attained, Catholic Christians will be enriched and grateful."--Robert J. Karris, OFM, The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University

Praise for the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

"Coinciding with the Bishops' Synod on 'The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,' this seventeen-volume commentary on the New Testament represents a much-needed approach, based on good scholarship but not overloaded with it. The frequent references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church help us to read Holy Scripture with a vivid sense of the Living Tradition of the Church."--Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna

"This series richly provides what has for so long been lacking among contemporary scriptural commentaries. Its goal is to assist Catholic preachers and teachers, lay and ordained, in their ministry of the word. Moreover, it offers ordinary Catholics a scriptural resource that will enhance their understanding of God's word and thereby deepen their faith. Thus these commentaries, nourished on the faith of the Church and guided by scholarly wisdom, are both exegetically sound and spiritually nourishing."--Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM Cap, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

"The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is a landmark achievement in theological interpretation of Scripture in and for the Church. Everything about it is inviting and edifying, from the format, photos, background notes, and cross-references to the rich exposition of the text, quotations from the Church's living tradition, and reflections for contemporary life. It is a wonderful gift to the Catholic Church and a model for the rest of us. Highly recommended for all!"--Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore

About the Author

Mary Healy (S.T.D., Pontifical Gregorian University) is associate professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. She is the author of Men and Women Are from Eden and coeditor of several books on biblical interpretation.
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Product Details

  • Series: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; First Edition edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801035864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801035869
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As described in the Editors' Preface, "The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture aims to serve the ministry of the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church." For the Church in America, this series of commentary is both relevant and timely. As lay persons take on more active roles within the life of the Church, the need for accessible sources of catechesis is great. It has been my experience that the commentaries available are either simplistic or highly scholarly. What is needed are documents that help us understand what the original authors meant, what the Church has taught regarding these scriptures, and what it means in the living Church today.

The Catholic Commentary is deigned to do just this. For me, it is in the design of the commentaries that most effectively communicates. First, the biblical text is grouped based on subject. For example, Mark 10:13-16 is grouped and labeled as "The Blessing of the Children." Immediately following the text, the authors present a List of References which includes Catechism paragraphs, and other Scriptural cross references relative to the grouped subject. This is very helpful since both scripture and Tradition are referenced in one convenient location grouped around a biblical theme. This alone is worth the price of the book for those of us who want to understand the teachings of the Catholic Church in light of Holy Scripture.

To further illuminate the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, the authors have designed their manuscript to include "sidebars". These sidebars insert brief articles relative to topics in their commentary section. These articles are titled either Biblical Background or Living Tradition.
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Format: Paperback
This commentary is much more than an academic commentary. The references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church; its succinct 'reflection and application' paragraphs; its cross referencing with the OT and NT, give a variety of opportunities for greater reflection. The Biblical Background boxes are invaluable for understanding the Sitz in Leben, the cultural background of the time, and the quotations from the Fathers of the Church entitled 'Living Tradition' provides continuity of teaching throughout the ages. There is so much more, anyone can read it and grow in faith. And it's still academic.
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Format: Paperback
I've read a couple of bible commentaries and flipped through several more, trying to find one that is comprehensive and informative. However, most end up simply restating the biblical text in different words with little insight provided.

Healy's commentary on the Gospel of Mark is, I am happy to say, extremely informative, going far beyond the text at hand and connecting that particular text to the context of the history of the times, as well as to other provisions of scripture, both Old and New Testaments. The difficulty in reading any book of the Bible is that, 2000 years later, we inevitably read it in isolation, rather than from the perspective of the times. As such, things often go right over our head. What would have been obvious to a Second Century reader is not even thought relevant by us today. Healy gives us that much-needed context, throwing light on aspects of the Gospel that we otherwise do not see.

(For example, I did not realize, simply from reading the Gospel itself, how much time Jesus spent in territories that were either Gentile or mixed. I did not realize that He had carried His ministry into present-day Jordan and up near if not into Syria.)

On another note, if you are familiar with their writings, you will definitely see the influence of John Paul II and Benedict on Healy.

I hope that the rest of the series is as good, although I am disappointed that they will apparently take a while to be published.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book in my parish's Bible study group when we spent about 10 weeks on the Gospel of Mark. It is a co-ed group of adults ranging in age from early 40's to early 80's. Overall, the reaction was quite positive and it was refreshing to find a Catholic commentary that was both scholarly and readable. I asked the group to rate the commentary and 15 of the members filled out my rating form. A theme running through the comments of those who rated the book was that it was easy to read and that Mary Healy made Mark's gospel easier to understand. A couple of people thought the commentary was too repetitive. One person thought the commentary's treatment of the exorcisms performed by Jesus was troubling because the book kept emphasizing that demons are real and gave the impression that each of the exorcisms in the gospel involved a person who was truly possessed by the devil. Two of the people who rated the book complained about the quality of the production, pointing out that the material printed in the grey boxes was extremely difficult to read. Several members of the group were grateful that the author of the commentary consistently tried to help readers see how the gospel might be applied in our daily lives.
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I had the pleasure of conducting a 17 week Bible study of Mark (intro and then one chapter per week) in my parish using this book as the primary text. All participants purchased and used the book as well. In preparing to facilitate the lessons, I gathered together many other commentaries on Mark. My approach was to ask questions of the scripture text for the week before reading any commentaries. Then, beginning with Healy, I would search the commentaries for answers. What impressed me most was the breadth of the scholarship and the insight Healy brings. It was not often that she didn't address a question that I proposed. Then, when I would check other commentaries I would often find that she took the finest scholarship from these other sources as well as her own insights and combine them in such a way as to bring out the best from each in a coherent and understandable way. I am not a Biblical scholar but I think I've become a pretty careful reader of scripture. Yet she often catches things that, even after careful reading, I hadn't considered, thus deepening my appreciation for the Biblical text and Healy's scholarship.

In addition, references after each scripture passage to the OT and NT and the gospel parallels are a great addition to help the student come to a better appreciation of the content and unity of the Bible. CCC references assist in aiding understanding on how applicable verses fit in doctrinally to the Catholic Church. Sidebars, pictures, suggested resources, and an index of pastoral topics all add to the usefulness of the volume. A Discussion Guide available on the CCSS website was well-received as a way to spur group discussion. Sporadic "Reflection and Application" sections in the book could also be used for discussion.

I can't recommend this book highly enough as a work of top flight scholarship that could be of use to those with advanced degrees yet is very accessible to any educated and engaged reader.
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