Redaction criticism attempts to identify biblical authors' theological interests by examining their adaptation of sources. Focusing on representative studies of Jesus' disciples in the Gospel of Mark, this pioneering book by C. Clifton Black has become the standard evaluation of that method's exegetical reliability.
Comprehensively reviewing recent scholarship, Black identifies three distinctive types of redaction criticism in Markan interpretation. He demonstrates that diverse redaction-critical interpretations of the disciples in Mark have bolstered rather than controlled scholarly presuppositions to a degree that impugns the method's reliability for interpreting Mark. The book concludes by assessing redaction criticism's usefulness and offering a more balanced approach to Mark's interpretation.
This second edition includes a substantial, detailed afterword that revisits the book's primary issues, converses with its critics, and provides an update of Markan scholarship over the past twenty-five years.
Adela Yarbro Collins
— Critical Review of Books in Religion
"Black's trenchant critique of one aspect of recent scholarship on the New Testament is sobering, but it should stimulate discussion on what it is that we aim to accomplish."
Joel B. Green
— Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"As a whole, this study is a tribute to its author's remarkable capacity to engage in sustained, penetrating critique. . . . [Black's] dissection is accomplished with a measured evenhandedness."
Review of Biblical Literature
"A significant challenge to the application of redaction criticism to Mark."
Biblical Theology Bulletin
"Clifton Black's revised dissertation became an `instant classic' when it was first published back in 1989. An insightful and at times devastating critique of redaction criticism, the book thoroughly weighs the merits and deficiencies of the redaction critical method and its representative proponents. Black also offers a definitive analysis of redaction-critical scholarship's use of the disciples in separating tradition from redaction. . . . This book has stood the test of time and we should be grateful to Eerdmans for reprinting the book with Black's more recent, insightful reflections."