The Gospel according to Mark
The Gospel according to Mark

The Gospel according to Mark

in Pillar New Testament Commentary

by James R. Edwards

4.74 Rank Score: 7.06 from 16 reviews, 5 featured collections, and 35 user libraries
Pages 578
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 1/1/2001
ISBN-13 9780802837349
This new Pillar volume offers exceptional commentary on Mark that clearly shows the second Gospel—though it was a product of the earliest Christian community—to be both relevant and sorely needed in today's church.

Written by a biblical scholar who has devoted thirty years to the study of the second Gospel, this commentary aims primarily to interpret the Gospel of Mark according to its theological intentions and purposes, especially as they relate to the life and ministry of Jesus and the call to faith and discipleship. Unique features of James Edwards's approach include clear descriptions of key terms used by Mark and revealing discussion of the Gospel's literary features, including Mark's use of the "sandwich" technique and of imagistic motifs and irony. Edwards also proposes a new paradigm for interpreting the difficult "Little Apocalypse" of chapter 13, and he argues for a new understanding of Mark's controversial ending.


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Edwards demonstrates clarity in his writing and care in his exegesis. His expertise in Mark’s Gospel is evident, but his writing remains accessible for readers who don’t have expertise in Greek. Tabb highly recommends this volume for its “insightful, responsible exegesis.” [Full Review]
BRathbun BRathbun April 1, 2024
Reading through Edwards commentary on Mark felt sort of like walking through a gospel with a wise sage or a scribe who was bringing out treasures old and new. An enjoyable read. 
Tim Challies Tim Challies February 13, 2013
The Pillar series, edited by D.A. Carson, is consistently excellent, always conservative, and more widely accessible than the NIGTC. Edwards’ volume on Mark receives a recommendation from every conservative expert I consulted. Keith Mathison says “Edwards’ commentary on Mark is another fine contribution. His emphasis on the theology of Mark is especially helpful.” According to the publisher, “This commentary aims primarily to interpret the Gosepl of Mark according to its theological intentions and purposes, especially as they relate to the life and ministry of Jesus and the call to faith and discipleship.” [Full Review]
Phillip J. Long Phillip J. Long May 23, 2012
Edwards’ commentary is in the Pillar series, edited by D. A. Carson. While the series is designed for pastors, most of the volumes will have an appeal to scholars as well. Edwards has an excellent introduction to the gospel of Mark, the highlight is his discussion of Mark’s Christology. Since the commentary is aimed at pastors, Greek is transliterated and text-critical issues are relegated to footnotes. I especially appreciate his use of the Hebrew Bible and other Second Temple Period literature. The result is a very readable and useful commentary which will serve the busy pastor well. [Full Review]
Stephen Hess Stephen Hess March 2, 2010
This is an excellent commentary on Mark, especially for pastors and laypeople. Edwards has spent much of his career studying Mark and this commentary represents the fruit of that labor. The idea of the "Markan Sandwich" originated with Edwards and the Sandwich is just one among many insights that he contributes in this volume. Yet he avoids going into too many technical details and instead focuses on the message and theology of Mark. This is a solid evangelical commentary that every pastor should have on his shelf.
Mark Heath Mark Heath January 27, 2010
An excellent commentary that focuses on the historical setting, the literary devices and the theological purposes of Mark. Includes several useful excursuses on key themes in Mark. [Full Review]
Jim Rosscup Jim Rosscup September 20, 2008
Brian LeStourgeon Brian LeStourgeon July 31, 2008
Edwards approaches Mark as Mark and does not get bogged down in synoptic arguments. He pays particular attention to contextual meaning via “sandwiches” as literary conventions with theological purposes.
I look forward to every new commentary in this series whose general editor is D.A. Carson. Edwards' commentary on Mark is another fine contribution. His emphasis on the theology of Mark is especially helpful. [Full Review]
The Gospel According to Mark is the seventh volume published in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series edited by D. A. Carson. The series is aimed primarily at pastors and teachers of the Bible and thus has the goal of elucidating, in the most straightforward manner, the biblical text in its canonical form. Contributors “blend … rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible, without confusing the commentary and the sermon” (x). In keeping with the underlying assumption of this approach, which is that “the vision of ‘objective scholarship’ (a vain chimera) may actually be profane” (x), the author does an admirable job of avoiding forced readings of the text even while remaining sensitive to theological commitments. James Edwards, Professor of Religion at Whitworth College, describes the commentary as “a work dear to [his] heart,” and his deep-seated love for Mark is clearly evident throughout the book. [Full Review]
James Edwards’s commentary reflects a lifetime of scholarship on the Gospel of Mark,including twenty years of teaching experience, most recently at Whitworth College. Asthe newest addition to the Pillar New Testament Commentary series, this volume remainsfaithful to the aims expressed by general editor D. A. Carson, addressing a readership ofpastors and Bible teachers by means of overtly theological and applicable exegesis (x).As a self-described “scholar of the church,” Edwards intends to interpret Mark’s Gospelso that “readers may be enabled to see Jesus as God’s son and to follow him as disciples”(xiv).Following the format of the Pillar series, Edwards cites the New International Version,though his exegesis works very closely with the Greek text and does not shy away fromchallenging the NIV translation. In addition to the standard verse-by-verse analysis,Edwards includes the following excursuses: “The Secrecy Motif and Jesus’ MessianicSelf-Consciousness” (63–65), “Son of Man” (79–81), “Divine Man” (105–9), “Christ”(249–52), “How Should the Transfiguration Be Understood?” (269–71), “Women in theGospel of Mark” (417–18), “Pontius Pilate” (454–56), and “The Son of God” (481–83).An appendix on “The Secret Gospel of Mark” (509–12) concludes his sixteen exegeticalchapters. [Full Review]