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Jesus, the Temple and the Coming Son of Man: A Commentary on Mark 13

ISBN: 9780830896639

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The Gospels contain many hard sayings of Jesus, but perhaps none have puzzled and intrigued readers as much as Jesus’ discourse on the coming of the Son of Man in Mark 13. Is Jesus speaking entirely of an event in the near future, a coming destruction of the temple? Or is he referring to a distant, end of the-world event? Or might he even be speaking of both near and distant events? But in that case, which words apply to which event, and how can we be sure?

Seasoned Gospels scholar Robert Stein follows up his major commentary on Mark with this even closer reading of Mark 13. In this macro-lens commentary he walks us step by step through the text and its questions, leading us to a compelling interpretive solution.

If you like this resource be sure to check out the IVP Jesus Studies Collection (15 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Addresses the long-debated meaning of the so-called Little Apocalypse in Mark 13
  • Explores a macro-lens commentary of one chapter of Mark from a major commentator on the book
  • Clarifies the disciples’ questions, Jesus’ answers and Mark’s intentions with an interpretive translation
  • Determining Our Goal
  • Key Issues Involved in Interpreting Mark 13:1-37
  • Jesus’ Prediction of the Destruction of the Temple (and Jerusalem): Mark 13:1-4
  • The Coming Destruction of the Temple and the Sign Preceding It: Mark 13:5-23
  • The Coming of the Son of Man: Mark 13:24-27
  • The Parable of the Fig Tree and the Coming Destruction of the Temple (and Jerusalem): Mark 13:28-31
  • The Parable of the Watchman and the Exhortation to Be Alert for the Coming of the Son of Man: Mark 13:32-37
  • An Interpretative Translation of Mark 13:1-37

Top Highlights

“Most importantly we should note that whereas in Ezekiel 8–9 the abominations are the cause of God’s judgment of Jerusalem by Babylon in 587 b.c., the abomination of desolation in Mark 13:14 is not the cause of God’s destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. It is rather the sign of the imminence of its coming.” (Page 89)

“The remarkable similarity between these two passages should be noted. ‘These passages look very much like oral variants of a tradition that may well go back to Jesus.’29 It should also be noted that 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 predates the written form of this tradition in Mark 13:26–27 by fifteen to twenty years and that in the tradition of the Lord’s return in 1 Thessalonians Paul does not associate the parousia in any way with the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70.” (Page 117)

“The inclusio found in 13:5 (‘Then Jesus began to say to them’) and 13:23 (‘I have already told you everything’) indicates that Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ two-part question in 13:4 ends at 13:23. The material in Mark 13:24–27 concerning the coming of the Son of Man lies outside the twofold question in 13:4 and its answer in 13:5–23. Thus the reference to the coming of the Son of Man introduces a new theme that takes place ‘after that [tribulation]’ (13:24).” (Page 67)

“The most likely interpretation is that these are Jewish claimants who falsely assert that they are what Jesus really is, the Messiah or Christ.17 This interpretation receives additional support from 13:21–22 and the parallel in Matthew 24:5, ‘For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray.’” (Page 77)

The interpretation of Mark 13 is controversial and sometimes a bit baffling. Robert Stein—with his characteristic clarity, common sense and exegetical skill—unpacks the meaning of the passage for readers. Even those who disagree will profit from Stein's lucid exegesis and will have to wrestle seriously with the arguments he presents for his reading. All readers will recognize the hand of a veteran and wise interpreter at work. We stand in debt to Stein for an outstanding exposition.

Thomas R. Schreiner, professor of New Testament and Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

In Jesus, the Temple and the Coming Son of Man veteran scholar and classroom teacher Robert Stein tackles the most challenging passage in the Gospels. He addresses all of the difficult questions and key issues with insight and fairness. At every point Stein demonstrates control of the primary literature and the best of modern scholarship. The result is a clear and compelling commentary, passage by passage and verse by verse. Readers will especially appreciate Stein's interpretation of verse 30’s enigmatic prophecy that ‘this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.’ Highly recommended.

Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada

It would be hard to find a more experienced and reliable guide to the complexities of the Markan apocalypse than Robert Stein. Conversant with the best scholarship and unrelenting in his pursuit of the evangelist’s intended meaning, Stein has produced a helpful, sensible and persuasive interpretation of Mark 13. This is a rewarding book that reflects the fruit of careful exegesis as well as reverence for the sacred text.

Donald A. Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

  • Title: Jesus, the Temple and the Coming Son of Man: A Commentary on Mark 13
  • Author: Robert H. Stein
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2014
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 160
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. N.T. Mark 13 › Commentaries
  • ISBNs: 9780830896639, 9780830840588, 0830896635, 0830840583
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:58:43Z

Senior Professor, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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  1. DAL



    Great resource, but if you already own his BECNT on Mark, then you don't need this one. He pretty much discusses the same thing. He does go in to a little more detail on this volume, but the conclusions are the same.


Digital list price: $21.99
Save $5.00 (22%)