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The Temptations of Jesus in Mark's Gospel
POD; Published: 3/2/1998
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4259-6
Price: $ 25.50
222 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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The first Christians remembered Jesus as one who had faced and endured temptation, and could therefore identify with their own trials and temptations. Far from signifying sin or failure, life's inevitable trials are in many ancient writings viewed as opportunities for people to prove the genuineness of their faith and obedience to God. This engaging study by Susan Garrett examines the considerable attention Mark's Gospel gives to Jesus' confrontation with temptation, not only during his time in the wilderness but throughout the whole course of his earthly life and ministry.

Built on solid biblical exegesis and practical exposition, this study provides both a deeper understanding of the meaning of Jesus' earthly ministry and needed encouragement for staying faithful as we walk "the way of the Lord" today. By employing "testing" as an interpreting model, Garrett clearly shows that Mark's Jesus was "tried and true," the "proven" son of God whose perfect obedience in time of trial made him an acceptable sacrifice before God, and who now can give guidance and fortitude to those who wish to follow.
"Fresh and theologically rich."
"In four well-arranged, lucid chapters, Garrett engagingly investigates the theme of temptation in the Gospel of Mark. . . The book interacts constructively with the best scholarship on Mark while avoiding technical digressions. It sheds important light on key passages of the Gospel of Mark, while drawing applications for a broad audience. With pastoral as well as theological value, this title exemplifies New Testament scholarship at its best: well researched, careful and pertinent. Highly recommended for any library supporting religion."
Journal of Biblical Literature
"With this work of great promise, the Gospel of Mark receives a fresh exegetical and theological interpretation. . . This fresh reading of Mark's Gospel will find welcoming audiences because of its innovations, its attention to exegesis and theological reflection, and its reading of Mark as a series of dramatized tests designed to encourage and challenge readers as they follow a similar path and face similar afflictions or seductions. . . Garrett's work hold promise because it points Markan research in a new direction, thus providing a path of textual exploration (the testing tradition) that could yield exegetical and theological mileage for years to come."
The Bible Today
"An illuminating and theologically rich study of Mark's christology and soteriology. . . Astute theological and pastoral reflections on the significance of this motif for the contemporary Christian."
Theology Today
"This is an erudite, well-written book that deftly balances hermeneutical and exegetical concerns and that will be helpful to educated lay people, pastors, and scholars."
Luke Timothy Johnson
— Candler School of Theology, Emory University
"Susan Garrett continues to mine a rich vein of scholarship by her reading of Mark's Gospel in terms of the theme of testing/temptation. She succeeds in placing Mark's narrative in the context of Jewish and Christian reflection on redemptive suffering and enriches our understanding of Mark's depiction of Jesus and the disciples. In the process, she shows how Mark's story continues to address those who seek to follow Jesus on `the way of the Lord.' Her exegetical work is precise, her pastoral applications pertinent."
Jouette M. Bassler
— Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
"An excellent work, adding fresh new insights to the well-plowed terrain of Mark's Gospel. Garrett is attentive equally to the interpretive options of first-century readers and to the theological interests of twentieth-century readers. At once scholarly and accessible, this book has much to offer."
David E. Garland
— Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University
"This major contribution to Markan studies impressively recaptures a neglected theme in the Gospel. It shows that Mark presents Jesus as one who was tested throughout his whole life and whose single-minded perseverance opened up the way for disciples to follow. An engaging, carefully nuanced study chock-full of exegetical insights."
Sharyn E. Dowd
— Lexington Theological Seminary
"Garrett has identified an important strand in the tapestry of Mark's narrative and has traced its appearances and its influence on the total pattern with her usual artistry and theological insight. This book will be instructive for scholars and helpful for Christian communities struggling to be faithful to the gospel."
John T. Carroll
— Union Theological Seminary in Virginia
"Garrett offers a probing and subtle reading of Mark's narrative informed by her extensive and knowledge of Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions relating to suffering and temptation, and enriched by judicious use of anthropological models. For its lucid interpretation of Mark's Gospel and its perceptive analysis of the portrayals of Jesus, the disciples, and the religious authorities in Mark, this study is to be highly recommended. But readers will also find here a stimulus to serious theological reflection on the source, meaning, and purposes of temptation and suffering."