Book Reviews

The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark

I K Story Longwood, FL 2004-11-02

The author, an emeritus professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, traces Mark’s presentation of Jesus as the Servant of Jehovah. The index notes thirty-eight references to Jesus as Servant and twenty references to Him as the Suffering Servant. However, the author frequently states that while Jesus’ servanthood emphasizes His humanity, He is also deity, the Son of God.

The Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus’ ministry to the Twelve, training and teaching them to be able to proclaim the message of redemption to be accomplished by His death and resurrection. Referred to more than forty times in Mark, the disciples became the focus of His teaching/training ministry.

While not an exposition of the Greek text, the light that the original text casts on the interpretation of any passage is presented. Almost every page has insight of this kind, which will be appreciated by any reader. The author has the unique ability to take what seem to be disconnected incidents and to relate them together to the theme Mark is portraying.

The conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities is clearly traced, so that one comes to understand the animosity that led to His death. The author places emphasis on Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of God, which he views as present. But because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, the ultimate manifestation of God’s kingdom awaits the Second Advent. (The author does not relate the kingdom of God to the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:16 or Psalm 89.)

A careful student will be enriched by thinking through the Gospel of Mark with the help of this work. It is highly recommended for its insight into the Scriptures and into the person and work of Christ.

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