Mark is at the center of a scholarly debate about the nature of the Gospels and their relationship to one another. The history of Markan scholarship offers a privileged overview of basic issues in the study of the Gospels as a whole. Studying the gospel of Mark this way also provides an orientation to introductory questions of authorship, provenance, and purpose. This commentary provides deep discussion of one of the pillars of the Christian faith and tradition. Culpepper highlights Markan themes and makes numerous cross-references between related passages. He leads his readers deep into source material that remains endlessly fascinating, inspiring, and pivotal for our understanding of Jesus.
“Apparently Mark was writing for a community that was not” (Page 48)
“Mark weaves the irony of the situation. While the people celebrate God’s deliverance of their forebears, the religious leaders plot to kill God’s deliverer. While they make their preparations, however, an anonymous woman, equally unaware of what she is doing, anoints Jesus’ body for burial beforehand.” (Page 482)
“Breaking the flask also meant that none of the ointment would be held back for a later occasion.” (Page 485)
“Righteousness is a matter of the heart, thought, will, desires, priorities, and speech.” (Page 234)
“As readers, we know who Jesus is because of the superscription in Mark 1:1, which is now confirmed by the events at Jesus’ baptism, but none of the characters in the Gospel share in this secret. Indeed, much of the plot of Mark revolves around how the secret of Jesus’ identity comes to be known. In short, if Jesus looked like any other man, how did anyone know that he was the Son of God? Most modern readers would say that Jesus’ uniqueness lay in his power to do miracles, but that is not Mark’s view. None of those who witness the miracles in Mark conclude that Jesus is God’s son. Neither do any who hear his teachings respond with this confession. For Mark it is only Jesus’ death that reveals his divinity (Mark 15:39).” (Pages 48–49)