Eugene Boring’s commentary on the Gospel of Mark is one of the most highly regarded in the New Testament Library (NTL) series. Mr. Boring is quite respected in the scholarly world and this book is just one of several of his major titles. Though he is much less conservative than I am, he has a knack for throwing out provocative thoughts that I enjoy considering when studying a passage in Mark’s Gospel.
In his Introduction, he covers all the bases in 25 pages. There was a substantial bibliography before the Introduction began too. More than some writers, he focuses on Mark’s specific audience, and says this gospel is one to be read aloud “in the context of a worshiping congregation”. Though he sometimes confuses the Jesus of history as someone different than the Jesus that Mark writes about, he does trace beautifully the story that’s being written. He feels that genre is one of the most important aspects to getting at Mark’s meaning. Though I really can’t agree with Mr. Boring on his conclusions on sources, date, and provenance, nor his conclusions about Mark 13, he is a clear writer in stating his conclusions. He pulls out many details that you might miss within the text that can give some great thoughts. His discussions of author, purpose, text and transmission, and language, translation, interpretation, though, are all quite brief. His historical conclusions are odd, but in any event, he believes the main content of Mark’s narrative is theological.
His actual commentary is even better. This is where he sees things that others miss. Even if you don’t agree with his conclusion about what he found, you will love being able to dwell on the nuggets he dug up. The real value of this commentary is here.
This commentary is now available in a more economical paperback edition. It’s one of the more important mid-sized commentaries on the Gospel of Mark. You will enjoy checking it out.
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