Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MrsDrPoe: The Gospel According to Mark

For this week's Reading Review, I present to you part of The Pillar New Testament Commentary, "The Gospel According to Mark" by James R. Edwards:

As I mentioned several weeks ago, Mr. Poe adopted the book of Mark; this commentary was given to him indirectly by our friend Mr. Ellis to start his Mark library.  Since we have recently found ourselves in several studies on this gospel, I thought it would be in my best interest to read this commentary as well.  (If you're considering adopting Mark, this is definitely a reference book you should add to your library.)

Although you could probably guess from the length of this commentary, it is very detailed and contains a plethora of information from a wide variety of sources.  Mr. Edwards has done quite a bit of research and provides essentially a very comprehensive verse-by-verse investigation of this gospel.  Also to his credit, the book is very well organized, and the footnotes contain a wealth of additional information related to the commentary.

Mr. Edwards draws the reader's attention to the themes and unique literary devices Mark employed in his gospel, such as the "sandwich" where a story is placed in a story to help draw connections between them.  One of my favorite topics discussed in the commentary is the way Mark contrasts faith and fear and shows us what true faith in God should look like.

While I have not extensively researched the available material on the topic of Mark's gospel, there are a few comments made in the book that appear to be contrary to scripture, such as those on repentance in reference to Mark 2.  While commentaries are often helpful in increasing our understanding of the scriptures, they should never replace the Bible itself; thus, as always, I would advise you to read this book with an open Bible, testing every comment made against the whole Word of God.


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