Believing that the needs of beleaguered Christian communities in turbulent times would be best met by resourcing the life of Jesus, Mark wrote a Gospel that was at once plain and subtle, fast-paced and yet profound. He clarified the essence of being a follower of Jesus, so that these communities might differentiate the essential from the trivial and be fortified in their testimony to the one, true Gospel. In his important new commentary Kim Huat Tan expounds the artistry of Mark in achieving all this in its original setting, by focusing on the larger picture of themes and thrusts, paragraphs and plot, but without dodging important issues of interpretation. Following in the footsteps of his Gospel, Mark attempts to bridge the horizons between then and now, and show how it is still a powerful resource for being a disciple of Jesus today.
The Beginning of the Gospel (1:1-13)
Fusing the Horizons
The Gospel in Galilee: The Mighty Acts of the Messiah (1:14-8:21)
Excursus: Was Jesus Incensed or Compassionate?
Excursus: The Pharisees
Fusing the Horizons: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
Excursus: The Location of the Story
Excursus: Discrepancies Over What is Allowed
Excursus: Mark and Josephus on John the Baptist
Fusing the Horizons: Paltry Resources and a Needy World
Excursus: Food and the Tradition of the Elders
Excursus on “Corban”
Fusing the Horizons: Divine Integrity and the Abrogation of the Purity Code
On the Road to Jerusalem: The Gospel and the Suffering Messiah (8:22-10:52)
Excursus: The Place of Jesus’ Transfiguration
Excursus: Elijah must first come
Fusing the Horizons: Prayer and the Disciples’ Failure
Excursus: Jewish Attitudes Towards Divorce
Fusing the Horizons: Marriage, Social Inequality, and Wealth
Excursus: The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 and Mark 10:45
Excursus: The Son of David
The Climax of the Gospel: The Messiah and Jerusalem (11:1-16:8)
Excursus: Problems of the Parable
Excursus: The Appropriation of Psalm 118:22-23
Excursus: The Chronology of the Last Supper in the Four Gospels
Excursus: The Passover Meal
Excursus: Caiaphas the High Priest
Excursus: Pontius Pilate
Excursus: Mark and John on the Hour of Crucifixion
Fusing the Horizons: Mark’s Achievement
A Sketch of Mark’s Theology
Ancient Sources Index
Modern Authors Index
Endorsements and Reviews
Clear and accessible, engaged with relevant scholarship, wise and balanced in judgments, offering both analysis of the text of Mark and cogent suggestions about continuing meaning for today, this new commentary is recommended, especially for busy ministers and students.
Larry W. Hurtado, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, University of Edinburgh
Tan has produced an exceptionally fine and delightfully written commentary on the Gospel of Mark, which will be appreciated by a wide range of readers, from seasoned interpreters of Mark to new students of the Gospel. This is one of the most helpful and reliable commentaries on Mark’s Gospel presently available.
Edward Adams, Professor of New Testament Studies, King’s College London
This commentary on Mark is exceptionally informative, incisive and inviting. Tan tackles exegetical issues with razor-sharp precision, engages with critical scholarship judiciously, and articulates the meaning of the Gospel with crystal clarity. A master teacher, he makes Mark’s text alive, its social and symbolic worlds transparent, and its urgent messages hard to miss. … A major contribution, indeed.
John Yieh, Molly Laird Downs Chair Professor of New Testament, Virginia Theological Seminary
Tan packs a huge amount into this well-written and accessible commentary … He discusses key critical issues knowledgeably, fairly and accessibly and explains the text with admirable lucidity … this is a first-rate, up-to-date commentary suitable for students [and] for pastors and with insights for scholars.
David Wenham, in Journal for the Study of The New Testament: Booklist 2017, Vol 39, No 5
This commentary on Mark will benefit readers taking a serious interest in Mark’s gospel. Those searching for insights for a sermon or a paper and those reading each word from cover to cover will find a rewarding resource here. Tan’s offering makes a valuable addition to any theological library.
Craig Stephans, in Theological Book Review, Vol 28, No 1