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The Gospel of Mark: New International Commentary on the Greek Testament (New International Greek Testament Commentary) [Hardcover]

By R. T. France (Author)
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Item description for The Gospel of Mark: New International Commentary on the Greek Testament (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by R. T. France...

Working from his own translation of the Greek text and culling from helpful research into the world of first-century Palestine, France provides an extensive introduction to Mark's Gospel, followed by insightful verse-by-verse commentary.

Publishers Description
Drawing on many years of Marcan studies, world-class scholar R. T. France has produced an exegetical commentary on the Greek text of Mark that does what the best of recent Greek commentaries have done but in France's own inimitable, reader-friendly way. This work is a commentary on Mark itself, not a commentary on commentaries of Mark. It deals immediately and directly with matters that France himself regards as important. Working from his own translation of the Greek text and culling from helpful research into the world of first-century Palestine, France provides an extensive introduction to Mark's Gospel, followed by insightful section and verse commentary. France sees the structure of Mark's Gospel as an effective "drama in three acts." Act 1 takes up Jesus' public ministry in Galilee. Act 2 covers Jesus' journey to Jerusalem with his disciples. Act 3 focuses on Jesus' public ministry in Jerusalem, including his confrontation with the Jewish leaders, his explanatory discourse on the future, and his passion, death, and resurrection. France carefully unpacks for modern readers the two central themes of this powerful narrative of Jesus' life -- the nature of Christ and the role of discipleship. Supported by careful argumentation and impressive in its sensitivity to Mark's structure, context, and use of the Old Testament, France's study of the second Gospel is without peer.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   765
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   2.6 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2002
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Series  New International Greek Testament Commentary  
ISBN  0802824463  
ISBN13  9780802824462  

Availability  0 units.

More About R. T. France

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! R. T. France (PhD, Tyndale Hall) was a New Testament scholar and served as a senior lecturer at London Bible College; principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University; and honorary research fellow at Bangor University. He was the author or editor of many books, including the New Bible Commentary, the commentary on Matthew in the New International Commentary on the New Testament, and the commentary on Mark in the New International Greek New Testament Commentary.


Mark L. Strauss (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary San Diego. He is the author or editor of many books and articles, including How to Read the Bible in Changing Times and Four Portraits, One Jesus: A Survey of Jesus and the Gospels.

John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including A Survey of the Old Testament, Old Testament Today, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, and The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament.

R. T. France currently resides in Hereford.

R. T. France has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Jesus Library
  2. New International Commentary on the New Testament
  3. New International Greek Testament Com (Eerdmans)
  4. Teach the Text Commentaries
  5. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (IVP Numbered)

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
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4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Gospel of Mark: New International Commentary on the Greek Testament (New International Greek Testament Commentary)?

Great Readability in Modern Interpretation. No Translation  Mar 25, 2007
I find it truly amazing that there is still so much lively discussion about a Gospel of the New Testament which has been a cornerstone of Christian faith for almost 2000 years; however, the more I study New Testament exegesis, the less I'm surprised. The thing that makes the dialogue over The Gospel of Mark special is not Romans' deep theological arguments. Martin Luther, for example, in his 55 volumes of works translated into English barely mentions the Gospel, while doing an entire commentary on the Gospel of John.

The primary interest lies in the fact that less than 200 years ago, the basic opinions on dating Mark changed from its being considered a copy of Matthew to being an earlier source of both Matthew and Luke. This lively discussion was enriched even further by exegesis in the last 50 years, with the founding of `redactive' analysis by Marxson in Germany.

I've surveyed five different exegeses of Mark and have found much common ground, but also many differences, lying primarily in the translations and in the extent to which they address the history of commentary on Mark. Even though some of the volumes deal much more deeply with previous scholarship than others, all limit themselves to work done in the 20th century, and even to work done in the last 50 years. One thing I must say that although there are important differences, all of these volumes represent sound work at the deepest levels of scholarship. Some are more suitable for pastoral use than others, but none are `lightweights'.

The six volumes I surveyed follow:

`The Gospel According to Mark', William L. Lane, 1974, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., `The New International Commentary on the New Testament' Series.

`Mark 1-8:26', Robert A. Guelich, 1989, Nelson Reference & Electronic, `Word Bible Commentary' Series based on the author's own translation.

`Mark 8:27-16:20', Craig A. Evans, 2001, Nelson Reference & Electronic, `Word Bible Commentary' Series based on the author's own translation.

`The Gospel of Mark', Pheme Perkins, 1995, in Volume VIII of The New Interpreter's Bible with side by side NIV and NSRV translations.

`The Gospel of Mark', R. T. France, 2002, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., The New International Greek Testament Commentary Series.

`The Gospel According to Mark', James R. Edwards, 2002, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., `The Pillar New Testament Commentary Series'.

After having read commentary volumes from most of these series on both The Epistle to the Romans and The Epistle of James, I find a lot of consistency across volumes in the same series, so if you become comfortable with the way that `The New Interpreter's Bible ` approaches things, then you are probably on solid ground if you continue with that source, especially if you invested some big bucks in the complete 12 volume set (or there is a set available in your library's reference section, as it has appeared in every library I have visited).

`The New International Commentary on the New Testament' may be the weakest of the five series, as all it's volumes use the `American Standard Version' translation of 1901, considered to be a very literal rendering of the Greek text. While I like this over the NRSV's `politically correct' translations here and there, I suspect the newer NIV may be more up to date on the latest scholarship, especially, as I said, there has been so much done over the last 50 years. William Lane's volume in particular is nicely done, especially since it relegates a lot of the details to footnotes, so you can skip a lot of the lexical stuff.

The two volumes from the `Word Bible Commentary' series by Guelich and Evans should be your first choice if you are especially interested in the literature from the last 50 years, as their bibliographies are superb. While they are also quite deep, they nicely separate the material one wants for pastoral work from the linguistic analyses. It also represents by far the largest and most detailed work of the five. Professor Evans took over work on the second volume after Professor Guelich's death, and much of the material is based on notes from Guelich. I also like these authors' outline, as it simply deals with all the individual pericopes, and does not incorporate any speculative hypotheses about what author John Mark had in mind as he wrote.

`The Gospel of Mark' by Pheme Perkins in Volume VIII of The New Interpreter's Bible may be my least favorite; however, it may be the best option for pastoral users. It raises the fewest questions and presents two of the very best modern translations (NIV and NSRV) side by side. It also offers excellent reflections on the theological use of the paragraphs.

`The Gospel of Mark', R. T. France in `The New International Greek Testament Commentary Series' is also near the bottom of my list, as the volume offers no translation of the text on which it is commenting. While this is actually a plus for many readers, it also makes a point of not offering a lot of commentary on other interpreters' writings, even though it does have a lot to say on other writers' opinions on the structure of `Mark'.

`The Gospel According to Mark' by James R. Edwards in `The Pillar New Testament Commentary Series' is a step down from the quality of Douglas Moo's commentary on James in the same series. And, unlike Moo, Edwards offers no translation. He also seems to have the most speculations about the intentions of author Mark in pointing out irony and structural details. Edwards and France may be the two most enjoyable to read; however I suggest you buffer your reading of these authors with copies of Guelich and Evans at your elbow.

Guelich and Evans together is my favorite for serious study. France and Edwards may be the best modern introductions, if you don't mind having a copy of the Gospel open to follow their commentary.
Best Commentary on Mark   Mar 11, 2007
This is an excellent commentary, one of the best, in fact, I've ever seen, and definitely THE best on the Gospel of Mark (out of the eighteen or twenty that I'm regularly dipping into). It is a commentary on the Greek text, and the Greek is not transliterated or translated, but it is still amazingly readable, lucid, and engaging. France's introduction to the Gospel of Mark is the best intro I've read, and alone worth the price of the book. He views Mark's gospel as a narrative - a drama in three acts; yet he resists imposing superficial structures on the book. He writes with a desire to hear Mark's text afresh, and tends to focus in his comments on the unfolding theological narrative itself. Yet he is obviously well-read and conversant with both the primary ancient documents themselves and the relevant literature on Mark (commentaries, monographs, essays in journals, etc.) and engages them frequently when helpful. His theology is generally conservative, with a high Christology. He is cautious with overly novel interpretations. He articulates a partial-preterist position on Mark 13. France would probably be a bit too technical for the purposes of a lay-person, but preachers can hardly afford to be without him. I would recommend reading him along side the commentaries by James Edwards (Pillar), William Lane (NICNT), and David Garland (NIVAC). Excellent!
A Great Commentary  Sep 13, 2006
I liked this commentary a lot. I have not focused much effort on Mark over the years, but wanted to look at it while I did a complete rereview of my Greek. It was better than I expected. The interesting comments on the Northern - Southern Kingdom's impacts on the cultures of Jerusalem and Galillee were helpful, as were the comments on the book's unlikely chronological layout. It is all good and balanced and worth reading. I for one would have liked more Greek, but it is not a real problem and makes the book for useful for a wider audience.
Review of France's Commentary on Mark (NIGTC)  Aug 22, 2006
I work slowly through the Greek text in preparation for sermons or classes. France's commentary is a great aid for me in this process because of his discussion of key Greek words and terms. But, you do not have to know Greek to profit immensely from this commentary! I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get deeply in the context of Mark. There is material here for the theological student writing his paper, but also for the minister working up a lesson for this Sunday! His engagement of the text helps to move you right into the stories he is discussing, and then right into your own presentation. You won't be disappointed with this purchase.
A model of tempered scholarship  Apr 24, 2006
The NIGTC series positions itself as intending to be somewhat conservative, to deal in detail with the Greek text as well as to focus on the theology of the book. France is in that mold. He considers Mark as a storyteller, even as a "raconteur." Thus he is doing very much a literary critical approach to the text. There isn't much here on history of interpretation, form criticism, etc. He focuses on Mark as Mark, not as a defective first draft of a gospel.

A couple of examples. He take the two-stage healing in 8:22-26 as a bridge passage, linking both what came before and what followed and sees this unique story as referencing the disciples inability to clearly "see" who Jesus is. In discussing the ending he takes the view that 16:8 isn't likely to be the real end of the text. While ending at 16:8 excites us moderns due to its existential, open, daring character, he thinks it very unlikely that Mark or his culture would see it that way. He thinks the real ending has likely been lost and 16:9-20 was written later to replace what was lost. While he defends what is a minority view, his discussion of the topic is sober, presents other points of view fairly and he definitely has reasons for his view.

That is typical of the entire commentary. Albert Lukaszewki in a review for SBL called the book a "model of tempered scholarship." I agree. Even if you disagree with a specific conclusion, you will find much to appreciate in his careful, reasonable, and intellectually honest presentation.

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