This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.
An important aim of the NIGTC authors is to interact with the wealth of significant New Testament research published in recent articles and monographs. In this connection the authors make their own scholarly contributions to the ongoing study of the biblical text.
The text on which these commentaries are based is the UBS Greek New Testament, edited by Kurt Aland and others. While engaging the major questions of text and interpretation at a scholarly level, the authors keep in mind the needs of the beginning student of Greek as well as the pastor or layperson who may have studied the language at some time but does not now use it on a regular basis.
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.
“The kingdom of God, then, does not depend on human effort to achieve it, and human insight will not be able to explain it.” (Page 214)
“There is no warrant here for the preacher’s favourite comment on the fickleness of a crowd which could shout ‘Hosanna’ one day and ‘Crucify him’ a few days later. They are not the same crowd. The Galilean pilgrims shouted ‘Hosanna’ as they approached the city; the Jerusalem crowd shouted, ‘Crucify him’.” (Page 430)
“The first parable, then, is a message about rightly interpreting and responding to the period of the apparent inaction of the kingdom of God. Despite appearances to the contrary, it is growing, and the harvest will come. But it will come in God’s time and in God’s way, not by human effort or in accordance with human logic.” (Page 215)
“But the true sense of μυστήριον is better captured by the English ‘secret’, which denotes not incomprehensibility but hiddenness. A secret is that which is not divulged—but once known it need not be hard to grasp. It is privileged information rather than a puzzle.” (Page 196)
“For the wilderness was a place of hope, of new beginnings.13 It was in the wilderness that Yahweh had met with Israel and made them into his people when they came out of Egypt.” (Page 57)
This massive commentary on the Greek text of Mark comes from the pen of an eminent Oxford scholar and British evangelical…. The commentary itself is detailed and penetrating…. Of particular value are France’s detailed comments on the text of Mark, his extensive bibliography, and his judicious interpretation of Mark’s theology.
—The Bible Today