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A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross, Volume 1
POD; Published: 2/23/1993
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2910-8
Price: $ 41.50
516 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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This is a print on demand book and is therefore non- returnable.

The fullest commentary ever to come out on the Gospel of Mark, this monumental work by Robert H. Gundry, reflecting years of painstaking scholarship, presents a well-argued alternative reading of the Greek text of Mark. Gundry turns from form and redaction criticism, both of which he considers largely inapplicable to Mark, to a very close reading of Mark's text as it stands — a reading that pays special attention to such literary devices as word order, chiasm, inclusion, asyndeton, and the historical present tense.

Driving the commentary is Gundry's provocative thesis that the Gospel of Mark constitutes a straightforward apology for the apparently shameful manner of Jesus' death; as such Mark is essentially an evangelistic tract rather than an obliquely written handbook of Christian discipleship and church life. Besides positing this bold, seldom-defended thesis, Gundry's commentary contains these features:
  • Thoroughness of treatment, including extensive interaction with other interpretations and detailed discussions of authorship, date, etc.;
  • A defense of the Papian tradition, including Mark as getting his materials from Peter;
    A rejection of the view that Mark 13 reflects the Jewish war of 66-70 C. E.
  • A lengthy excursus on the Secret Gospel of Mark;
  • A rejection of currently popular ironic, polemic, and other symbolic interpretations;
  • New literary critical arguments supporting the view that Mark did not originally end at 16:8; and
  • A massive bibliography.
I. Howard Marshall
—University of Aberdeen
"No serious student of Mark dare neglect so important a book. . . . A full commentary on the text of the Gospel of Mark, expounding it in the light of a thesis which runs counter to much critical orthodoxy — namely, that the Gospel is a straightforward account of Jesus with an evangelistic purpose and is designed to overcome the scandal which the cross wrongly presented to unbelievers. The author is skeptical of many of the methods and conclusions of radical scholarship and argues for a presentation based on historical fact transmitted through Peter's reminiscences to John Mark. Based on the Greek text, the commentary contains an extraordinary abundance of detail and discussion of other points of view, yet it is written in an easy and readable style."
Mois�s Silva
—Westminster Theological Seminary
"Gundry's independence and creativity show up throughout the work. He seems incapable of writing a page that is not provocative, and just the fact that his commentary includes numerous controversial judgments will affect the scholarly discussion in a fairly profound way. Yet this feature is not the result of haphazard, shotgun attempts at being original. On the contrary, Gundry has managed to present a coherent interpretation that obviously is based not on a selective handling of the data but on exhaustive research. . . . I hope the volume will be widely recognized as the great success that it is."