Reading Mark in Context

Jesus and Second Temple Judaism

by Ben C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, Jason Maston, N. T. Wright, Zondervan,

On Sale: 2018-08-21

Book Summary

For several decades, the Jewishness of Jesus has been at the forefront of scholarship. Students of the New Testament are more than ever aware of the importance of understanding Jesus and the Gospels in their Jewish context. In Reading Mark in Context, a team of Gospel scholars explore the Gospel of Mark in light of Second Temple Jewish literature.

About the Book

Over the last several decades, the Jewishness of Jesus has been at the forefront of scholarship and students of the New Testament are more than ever aware of the importance of understanding Jesus and the Gospels in their Jewish context. Reading Mark in Context helps students see the contour and texture of Jesus' engagement with his Jewish environment. It brings together a series of accessible essays that compare and contrast viewpoints, theologies, and hermeneutical practices of Mark and his various Jewish contemporaries.

Going beyond an introduction that merely surveys historical events and theological themes, this textbook examines individual passages in Second Temple Jewish literature in order to illuminate the context of Mark's theology and the nuances of his thinking. Following the narrative progression of Mark's Gospel, each chapter in this textbook (1) pairs a major unit of the Gospel with one or more sections of a thematically-related Jewish text, (2) introduces and explores the historical and theological nuances of the comparative text, and (3) shows how the ideas in the comparative text illuminate those expressed in Mark.


'The idea behind this volume---slice Mark into sections and introduce each via extracanonical Jewish materials---is splendid. Happily, so too is the execution. Reading Mark in Context will expand students’ horizons and motivate them to go looking for more of the same.'

'This work is brilliantly designed to provide a maximum benefit in a relatively concise space, with contributors highlighting various sample passages relevant to Mark’s Gospel. Readers familiar with the New Testament are far more likely to remember elements of the New Testament’s ancient milieu when they are pegged to New Testament material. This offers a brilliant introduction of the relevance of early Jewish context for readers of the New Testament, as well as windows into Mark.'

'Reading Mark in Context is consistently informative, respectful towards the primary texts, and eminently readable, written by scholars who have published on the Gospel of Mark, and thus a helpful guide for students and pastors who seek a better understanding of the most concise of the canonical Gospels.'

'How does one best learn relevant historical background material to the Gospels? Traditionally, one reads a brief introduction to overall trends and then looks for where they might illuminate individual passages. More interesting, if done well, is to begin with the biblical text and then read portions of the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, or even the oldest of the rabbinic literature that allows close comparisons and contrasts with the biblical subject matter. This anthology takes the latter approach, makes excellent and relevant selections from the noncanonical material, and uses a broad range of good scholars who briefly make the relevant comparisons with selections from most all the major passages in the Gospel of Mark. The task is done well so that this volume has excellent textbook potential as well as satisfying the curiosity of many other readers.'

'While the Judaic context of the Gospel of Mark has given rise to interminable speculations regarding sources, the fruitful task of comparative analysis is a rarity in scholarly discourse. Now, in Reading Mark in Context the novice reader is presented with the fruit of a comparative inquiry at its finest. The Jewish writings function like a light upon the narrative, making visible to the attentive reader the profundity of the Markan account of Jesus of Nazareth and illustrating the riches therein with contextual clarity. This is a unique and valuable collection that balances competent usage of the Jewish texts with judicious insights into the Gospel of Mark.'

Product Details

  • Imprint: Zondervan Academic
  • On Sale: 2018-08-21
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Zondervan Academic
  • Publication Date: 2018-08-21
  • Trim Size: 152.000mm x 229.000mm x 19.000mm
  • Weight: 385.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Biblical Studies / Jesus, the Gospels & Acts
  • Category 2 : RELIGION / Biblical Studies / New Testament
  • Category 3 : RELIGION / Biblical Studies / History & Culture
  • Category 4 : RELIGION / Christian Theology / General