Published on December 2, 2015 by MMG

Zondervan, 2015 | 656 pages

The four gospels are among every Christian’s favorite parts of Scripture, riveting our attention as they do on the person and earthly life of our Lord, the central figure of our faith and of Scripture itself. And we all eventually realize that these writings can only be understood when read in light of the rest of the canon of which they are a part. And if you’re like me you also enjoy reading beyond the verse-by-verse commentary to the broader “What did Mark [or any other given biblical writer] have to say? What makes this book distinctive?”

So I come to a book like David Garland’s A Theology of Mark’s Gospel eagerly. This book is the newest addition to Zondervan’s New Testament Biblical Theology Series (Andreas J. Köstenberger, ed.) Previous volumes released in this series are as follows:

A Theology of Luke and Acts, by Darrell L. Bock (2012)

A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters, by Andreas J. Köstenberger (2009)

A Theology of James, Peter, and Jude, by Peter Davids (2014)

David Garland’s A Theology of Mark’s Gospel (the fourth volume in the BTNT series) explores major Markan themes and also sets forth the distinctive contribution of Mark to the New Testament and the canon of Scripture, providing readers with an in-depth and holistic grasp of Mark’s teaching in the larger context of the Bible.

Approaching the book in its distinctive genre, Garland writes,

This gospel was not intended by its author to be a vessel of theological truths waiting to be quarried but a story in which Jesus is the central figure. Mark’s theology is unfurled through narrative development. He shows rather than tells. (p.42)

And throughout his 600+ pages he examines Mark’s major themes that mark his story of Jesus:

  • Mark 1:1-13: The Introduction to the Gospel and to Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God
  • Christological Titles in Mark
  • Enacted Christology in Mark
  • The Presentation of God in the Gospel of Mark
  • The Kingdom of God in Mark
  • The Secrecy Motifs in Mark
  • Mark’s Theology of Discipleship
  • The Requirements, Costs, and Rewards of Discipleship
  • Mission in Mark
  • Mark’s Theology of Atonement and Salvation
  • Mark’s Eschatology
  • The Ending of Mark’s Gospel: A New Beginning

Preaching or teaching through Mark’s Gospel you will of course want the help of the best commentaries. But the broad grasp of Mark’s major areas of emphasis that Garland’s new volume provides will enhance any series of studies – a resource you will not want to be without.

Fred Zaspel


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A Theology of Mark’s Gospel

Zondervan, 2015 | 656 pages

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