Pages 800 pages
Publisher Fortress Press
Professor Adela Yarbro Collins brings to bear on the text of the first Gospel the latest historical-critical perspectives, providing a full treatment of such controversial issues as the relationship of canonical Mark to the "Secret Gospel of Mark" and the text of the Gospel, including its longer endings. She situates the Gospel, with its enigmatic portrait of the misunderstood Messiah, in the context of Jewish and Greco-Roman literature of the first century. Her comments draw on her profound knowledge of apocalyptic literature as well as on the traditions of popular biography in the Greco-Roman world to illuminate the overall literary form of the Gospel. The commentary also introduces an impressive store of data on the language and style of Mark, illustrated from papyrological and epigraphical sources. Collins is in constructive dialogue with the wide range of scholarship on Mark that has been produced in the twentieth century. Her work will be foundational for Markan scholarship in the first half of the twenty-first century.
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Commentaries by Female Scholars by John Dyer
- Women and BIPOC by Jamie Davies
- The Pastor’s Bookshelf by Scot McKnight
The standard liberal commentary, bringing a wealth of background information to bear but depreciating the historical nature of the Gospel narrative. [Full Review]
Probably the most intense, complete, and scholarly commentary on Mark is by Adela Yarbro Collins [Full Review]
Collins commentary will probably become the standard technical work on Mark. It has all the excellence of other Hermeneia works, and it is one of the largest, most complete commentaries on Mark to date. In addition to the expected interaction with all the modern critical scholarship on Mark and addressing all the controversial issues of authorship, dating, and multiple endings, Collins really excels at addressing relevant first century Jewish and Greco-Roman literature. In the Hermeneia layout, she is given room to include lengthy quotes so that readers do not have to track them down. Thankfully, this work is not just about scholarly interest, Collins is also very helpful at getting at the meaning of the text.
The contribution of Adela Yarbro Collins to the Hermeneia commentary series joins the recent flow of English-language commentaries on the Gospel of Mark. These commentaries tend to modulate between historical-critical treatments and efforts to apply literary-critical tools. A number of these are shaped by the designs of the publishers and forced to make difficult choices among a variety of methodological possibilities and to focus primarily on the final text and its message. Collins’s treatment, however, is played out on a wider field of inquiry: The series is designed to be a critical and historical commentary to the Bible without arbitrary limits in size or scope. It will utilize the full range of philological and historical tools, including textual criticism…, the methods of the history of tradition (including genre and prosodic analysis), and the history of religion.… It is expected that the authors will struggle to lay bare the ancient meaning of a biblical work or pericope. In this way the text’s human relevance should become transparent, as is always the case in competent historical discourse. However the series eschews for itself homiletical translation of the Bible. (xv) Some nine hundred pages in length, the commentary employs a common format. An extensive introduction treats the typical issues of authorship, place of writing, date, composition and structure, and audience. These standard elements are expanded through lengthy discussions on the genre of this Gospel and upon its interpretation of Jesus. [Full Review]