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Monday, January 30, 2017

"Bible Studies on Mark" (William Boekestein)

TITLE: Bible Studies on Mark
AUTHOR: William Boekestein
PUBLISHER: Grandville, MI: Reformed Fellowship Inc, 2016, (218 pages).

The gospel of Mark is the shortest gospel in the Bible and arguably the most popular. Written with brief and pulsating manner, it has also been labeled as the earliest gospel to be written. Just like the way the gospel of Mark was written, the author here keeps pace with 21 chapters that follows chronologically the movement of the sixteen chapters of Mark.  The key to this study is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Know that the narratives are pointers to Christ. The gospel is good news, prophetic, and is a witness for Christ. According to Boekstein, the uniqueness of this gospel includes:

  • A Focus more on works rather than words
  • Jesus is a doer
  • Mark emphasizes Jesus' Passion
  • The suffering nature of discipleship
  • Preaching of the Kingdom
  • Service and Sacrifice
  • ...

It is easy to follow the study guide because it flows well with the gospel. The description is brief, leaving ample time and space for groups to get to the discussion quick. Each chapter begins with a title verse or passage. This is followed by a description of the passage, a commentary, and some notes on the major pointers in the passage. At the end, there are questions for discussions and a list of resources for further research. Hailing from a Reformed faith, this study guide manifests many of the traits of this tradition, which includes adhering to Calvinistic creeds such as Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Confession, the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Confession, and Catechisms. One thing that lacks is the absence of the leader's guide for facilitators and discussion leaders. While many of the questions are self-explanatory, many leaders would appreciate having some notes for leading. Having said that, perhaps the very absence puts the onus on leaders to do additional preparation such as reading through the chapter more than once in order to get a gist of what the author is saying. More importantly, read the gospel passage a few times and that might very well be the best preparation any one leader could do.

Bill Boekestein is pastor of Immanuel Fellowship Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has written several books on Church, individual and group studies.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Cross-Focused Reviews without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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