A preeminent scholar of the Gospel of Mark, C. Clifton Black has been studying and publishing on the Gospel for over thirty years. This new collection brings together his most pivotal work and fresh investigations to constitute an all-in-one compendium of contemporary Markan scholarship and exegesis.
The essays included cover scriptural commentary, historical studies, literary analysis, theological argument, and pastoral considerations. Among other topics Black explores:
• the Gospel’s provenance, authorship, and attribution
• the significance of redaction criticism in Markan studies
• recent approaches to the Gospel’s interpretation
• literary and rhetorical analyses of the Gospel’s narrative
• the kingdom of God and its revelation in Jesus
• Mark’s theology of creation, suffering, and discipleship
• the Gospel of Mark’s relationship to the Gospel of John and Paul’s letters
• the passion in Mark as the Gospel’s recapitulation
Scholars, advanced students, and clergy alike will consider this book an indispensable resource for understanding the foundational Gospel.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: A Brief Commentary on the Gospel according to Mark
Part One: Historical Studies
1. Was Mark a Roman Gospel?
2. The Second Evangelist: Authorship and Apostolicity
3. The Quest of Mark the Redactor: Why Has It Been Pursued, and What Has It Taught Us?
4. Thirty Years On: Mark’s Disciples and Markan Redaction
5. A Servant of Surprise: Juel Interpreted
6. Markan Studies: Whence and Whither?
Part Two: Theological Studies
7. A Conspectus of Markan Theology
8. Mark as Historian of God’s Kingdom
9. The Face Is Familiar—I Just Can’t Place It
10. Does Suffering Possess Educational Value in Mark’s Gospel?
11. Mark: John’s Photographic Negative
12. Christ Crucified in Paul and in Mark
13. Endzeit als Urzeit: Mark and Creation Theology
14. An Oration at Olivet
15. The Kijé Effect: Revenants in the Markan Passion Narrative
Part Three: Homiletical Studies
16. Priming the Pump: Exegetical Ruminations for Preachers
17. Ministry in Mystery: One Evangelist’s Vision
“Black (Princeton Theological Seminary) offers a theologically erudite, witty, and charmingly self-critical collection of mostly previously published essays spanning almost four decades. . . . Recommended.”
“Here one of the premier Markan scholars of our generation provides, even in the first half of his work, what amounts to an eloquent, well-arranged, and up-to-date introduction to Markan studies. This may well be the best and most thorough survey of and engagement with contemporary Markan scholarship to date. Those familiar with the debates will recognize how careful, respectful, fair and nuanced are his judgments. Along the way, the reader will also find the work theologically insightful and often spiritually edifying.”
—Craig S. Keener
Asbury Theological Seminary
“With his customary literary verve, C. Clifton Black has delivered a stunning exegetical and theological reading of the Gospel of Mark. Black shows that Mark exercised exquisite control over the traditions he received and delivered a surprising yet coherent message for Christian audiences of all ages. This volume marks something of a watershed in Markan studies (and much else).”
—Francis J. Moloney, SDB
University of Divinity, Melbourne
“Mark’s Gospel by Clifton Black is a gold mine for anyone who wants to know anything about the second Gospel. It is rare to find such a breadth of topics in one volume, but unsurprising because Black has been sitting with Mark for decades. Every essay is marked by Black’s trademark balance of careful, critical scholarship and clear, beautiful writing. Whether you are a teacher, preacher, or student of Mark, this will be essential reading.”
University of St Andrews
“These accessible yet profound essays are the distillation of a master scholar’s lifetime of studying the church’s first and most outrageous Gospel. With historical precision, literary elegance, and puckish wit, Clifton Black surveys the complex field of Markan studies, which he has done so much to shape, and offers trustworthy guidance as to where that field has been and where it may be going. I can think of no other volume that would be better placed in the hands of beginning students, who will find themselves returning to it year after year for insight, illumination, and inspiration. Not only will you learn a ton from this book, but it will probably make you laugh and it may make you cry.”
Duke Divinity School
“Written with characteristic erudition, wit and exquisitely crafted prose, this is a glorious collection of almost four decades of scholarship from a leading Markan scholar. With sophistication and candor, C. Clifton Black provides a masterly guide to the wild and mysterious terrain of Mark’s Gospel, bursting with both sophisticated scholarship and personal reflections. A must-read for scholars, students and ministers of religion.”
—Helen K. Bond
University of Edinburgh