This title in the highly-respected New Studies in Biblical Theology (NSBT) series published by IVP addresses the subject of the atonement in Mark’s Gospel. Since we see this subject showing up profusly in the latest commentaries on the Book of Mark, this volume will be a great addition to your shelves on Mark.
In his Introduction, Mr. Bolt explains his reasons for why he feels this is an important subject today. He explains the great number of chapters dedicated to the Passion and the journey to the cross as being a prime consideration. He further explains, of course, the centrality of the cross to the entire New Testament. That centrality makes the atonement an important subject everywhere it’s mentioned in any biblical book. You will find that Mr. Bolt accepts the history of Mark and seeks to draw his conclusions directly from the pages of the Gospel of Mark.
In chapter 1 we find a discussion of the cross and the “abolition of religion” that is commonly discussed in some circles. He works through that subject both in the details of Mark’s Gospel and a review of scholarly opinion and then reaches a conservative conclusion that honors a strong Christology. Chapter 2 is even better where he discusses the necessity of the cross. He uncovers a great deal of wonderful information in that chapter. In chapter 3 he discusses apocalyptic concerns while chapter 4 relates Christ’s reception among men. The final chapter adds the resurrection and our future hope to the discussion to great advantage. Be sure to notice his discussion of the effect of the Roman world on Mark’s Gospel as well as an explanation for what the Roman soldier meant at the cross when he called Jesus the Son of Man.
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