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The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
This superb commentary offers the first sustained attempt to read the Gospel of Mark both as an ancient biography and as a form of ancient rhetoric. Leading New Testament scholar Ben Witherington applies to Mark the socio-rhetorical approach for which he is well known, opening a fresh new perspective on the earliest Gospel. Witheringtons work provides us with a fascinating view of how the life and teachings of Jesus were presented to a largely non-Jewish auidence - and what this presentation of Jesus still holds for Christians today.
Just Like Sitting in on one of Ben's classes!
By Dr. Marc Axelrod "PM"
- September 15, 2008
I took Dr. Witherington's class on the Gospel of Mark about 14 years ago, and so this book was a great refresher for me. The great strength of this book is that it comments on the entire Gospel of Mark, but reads like an engrossing investigative report. Ben begins with a 60 page discussion of introductory issues related to Mark. He believes that this was the first of the four gospels to be written and that the intended original audience was the Gentile Christian community in Rome in the wake and in the dust of Emperor Nero's harsh persecution of the church in the mid to late 60s A.D.
Ben sees this gospel as an ancient biography of Jesus with Christ himself as the main character. He notes that Mark spends approximately 40% of the gospel on the last week of Jesus' life. For Dr. Witherington, the key verses of this Gospel are 8:27-30, where Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, and 10:45, where Jesus explains that He has come to give His life as a ransom for many. This is... read more
Ben Witherington, are you blushing?
By cathcartboy "david_kinnon"
- January 16, 2013
If there is one teacher in whose classes I wish I had the opportunity to sit, or whose tutorials I had the privilege to attend, it would be Prof Dr Ben Witherington. This book stands out amongst the many which have been published on the Gospel of Mark in recent years
The Historical Jesus Magnified!
- August 1, 2012
As always, Witherington's easy-to-follow writing style makes reading Bible commentaries fun and exciting. Before reading this, my opinion of the Gospel of Mark was uh...okay, only a less detailed version of Matthew and Luke. Witherington brings out the rhetorical function and purpose of Mark/Peter, and demonstrates how the Greek text describes Jesus as a radical and even emotional teacher who stirred the hearts of His listeners. Mark especially, is very critical of Jesus' disciples' lack of understanding and the Messianic Secret is kept until the very end in its fulness. I like how Witherington suggests that after 16:8, it is likely that the end of the scroll had rubbed off and was unreadable, and that later redactors summarized the end according to tradition (I still wish Witherington would have commented on 16:9-20, just for kicks). BWIII also does an excellent job against the critics who doubt Markan authorship or even early authorship. Mark was written in a primitive Greek... read more
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