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Monday, January 26, 2015

"Mark - Teach the Text Commentary" (Grant R. Osborne)

TITLE: Mark (Teach the Text Commentary Series)
AUTHOR: Grant R. Osborne
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014, (352 pages).

In this very impressive commentary that brings ancient texts dynamically to life for modern readers, readers get the chance to see a dynamic gospel like Mark taken to a whole new level of clarity and urgency. Progressing on two levels, author and Professor Grant Osborne asks two basic questions to guide readers on the reading of Mark.

1) What did Jesus do?
2) Who is Jesus?

Believing the Mark is the oldest of the four gospels, Osborne treats the existence of Q is more as tradition rather than an "actual document." As far as we are concerned, the key theme in Mark is discipleship.

This commentary follows the regular format of:
  1. Big Idea
  2. Key Themes
  3. Understanding the Text
  4. Teaching the Text
  5. Illustrating the Text
Knowing that Mark is one of the most popular books selected for Bible study by Christian groups all over the world, this commentary fills a very important need of educating the lay and equipping the ministry worker. I find this work very user-friendly and readable. With illustrations, photos, and diagrams to drive home the key themes and important places, readers will catch the momentum of Mark in a fresh way. Grant homes in on the two themes of Christology and Discipleship from beginning to end. He makes a point to show both similarities Mark has with the other gospels as well as the uniquenesses. The illustrations used are true to life and easy to share. Osborne pulls together passages and thoughts from other parts of the Bible to highlight how prominent the gospel is with regards to connecting to the big Bible story. What the commentary lacks in detailed exegesis is compensated by a pretty good list of recommended resources and respectable bibliography. If anyone thinks they have known Mark, reading this commentary will cause them to think again, for this work can stimulate additional insights.

I appreciate Grant paying some attention to the last part of Mark where scholars are divided on whether Mark 16:9-20 are part of the originals or not. He grounds his conclusions on a literary level rather than an archaeological level and provides his reasons for doing so based on a similar experience he had with Matthew 28:9-10.

Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Baker Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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