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The Gospel of Mark (The New International Greek Testament Commentary) Hardcover – February 7, 2002
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About the Author
R. T. France (1938-2012) was Hon. Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Wales, Bangor. His other books include
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Top Customer Reviews
A couple of examples. He take the two-stage healing in 8:22-26 as a bridge passage, linking both what came before and what followed and sees this unique story as referencing the disciples inability to clearly "see" who Jesus is. In discussing the ending he takes the view that 16:8 isn't likely to be the real end of the text. While ending at 16:8 excites us moderns due to its existential, open, daring character, he thinks it very unlikely that Mark or his culture would see it that way. He thinks the real ending has likely been lost and 16:9-20 was written later to replace what was lost. While he defends what is a minority view, his discussion of the topic is sober, presents other points of view fairly and he definitely has reasons for his view.
That is typical of the entire commentary. Albert Lukaszewki in a review for SBL called the book a "model of tempered scholarship." I agree. Even if you disagree with a specific conclusion, you will find much to appreciate in his careful, reasonable, and intellectually honest presentation.
He covered everything in his Introduction to the Gospel of Mark that you would expect in a major commentary. He was at his best when he discussed the structure of the book. His seeing this gospel as “drama in three acts”, as well as other possibilities of the design of Mark, was riveting. He really opened up several wonderful lines of thought for me on this Gospel.
You will appreciate as well his discussion of Christology in Mark. His discussion of subthemes like discipleship, the Kingdom of God, secrecy, and eschatology were all well done. He paid keen attention to geography as well. I particularly loved his brevity on the Synoptic Problem followed by this conclusion: “In the light of that situation, I do not need a solution to the Synoptic Problem.”
The commentary proper also lived up to expectations. There was depth and insight tied to succinctness throughout. He kept the more obscure information in the textual notes at the end of each section of commentary.
This is an important commentary on the Gospel of Mark that every serious Bible student will need on his or her shelves. I warmly recommend it.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
As far as the greek goes, you need a good command of the alphabet and pronunciation. It would help to understand verb forms and tenses, but you can get by without that knowledge. I read the commentary with an indexed Greek new testament and I had no problems following the text. Actually, I felt like I was reaching closer into Mark's mind, and also in a way into that of Jesus, by reading and studying the Greek.