Mark has been at the center of debate about the nature of the Gospels and their relationships to one another. The history of Markan scholarship therefore offers a good overview of basic issues in the study of the Gospels. It also provides an orientation to different perspectives on the basic introductory questions: who wrote the Gospel, when, where, and why? Mark highlights Markan themes and makes numerous cross-references between related passages. The Gospel, moreover, remains one of the pillars of the Christian faith and tradition, one that is endlessly fascinating, inspiring, and pivotal for our understanding of Jesus.
This is a large book in many respects. It is large in conception — it includes a large fund of relevant material drawn from ancient primary sources as well as more modern secondary sources. It is large in scope — it covers the message of Mark from its meaning in its own time to the way modern interpreters can go about making that message their own. It is large in execution — it begins with an introduction that is an excellent survey of Markan scholarship, and contains a multitude of side-bars that provide helpful cultural, geographic, and theological information. It is, in sum, an excellent commentary on the first Gospel that will richly reward the careful reader: preacher, scholar, and student alike.
— Paul J. Achtemeier
Union Theological Seminary and
Presbyterian School of Christian Education
Alan Culpepper brings to the task of reading Mark his considerable skills, honed in his pioneering work on John, a Gospel of dramatic qualities second only to Mark. The skills and insights he developed in his literary-critical work are fully utilised in this sophisticated and sensitive reading of the narrative of Mark. Culpepper focuses on the text of Mark, its meaning, literary patterns and themes, and probes the text to reveal what Mark is saying and why it is expressed as it is. In this way he illuminates the meaning of Mark as a whole while providing a detailed and convincing treatment of all the details. In doing this he draws on a deep appreciation of the tradition underlying Mark and the tradition of interpretation down to our time. The commentary builds on Culpepper’s incisive analysis of the text and the insights arising from imaginative illumination critically assessed. All of this is harnessed to nurture the life of discipleship in our world today.
— John Painter
St. Mark’s National Theological Centre
Charles Sturt University
When it comes to literary or narratological analysis of the Gospels, Alan Culpepper has few peers and no masters. Here in his Gospel of Mark commentary we find the ripe fruit of that sort of literary reading of a Gospel. Eloquently written, fully in touch with the latest scholarship on Mark, and unfailingly fair to various points of view, Professor Culpepper is a sure guide through the complexities of our earliest Gospel.
The usual helpful sidebars and supplementary resources on the CD-ROM also help make this a very helpful tool for pastors and teachers who want accessible and useable material for their teaching and sermonic preparation. Highly recommended.
— Ben Witherington, III
Asbury Theological Seminary
Alan Culpepper's commentary on Mark is creative, innovative, and user-friendly. In short, it is outstanding. It belongs in the library of every pastor, student, and scholar. I recommend it highly.
— Craig A. Evans
Acadia Divinity College
Alan Culpepper reads Mark with an eye for the literary sophistication and for the theological meaning of the text. This volume, with its helpful "connections" comments will be welcome in the library of every preacher and teacher of the Bible.
— Sharyn Dowd
Author, Reading Mark
Alan Culpepper’s offering on Mark is a major contribution to the estimable Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary. Here we benefit from the author's recognized gifts as biblical exegete: literary creativity and theological insight, appreciation of Scripture’s historical grounding and history of interpretation, admirable clarity and level-headedness. The book's abundant maps, photographs, charts, and illustrations add elegance while fulfilling this series' promise of an intelligent user-friendliness. Upon publication Culpepper's Mark should rise to the highest rank of serious biblical commentaries for the widest audience imaginable. I applaud its achievement.
— C. Clifton Black
Princeton Theological Seminary
The Smyth & Helwys Commentary series seeks to bridge the gap between the insights of biblical scholar and the needs of students of God’s written word. It’s a series that seeks readability and balance, one that can be read without long, technical discussions yet can still dig into the rich resources that biblical scholarship has provided.
Read more at: http://spoiledmilks.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/mark-shbc/
— Spencer Robinson