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Mark: From Death to Life (NCP Biblical Commentaries) [Paperback]

By Dennis Sweetland (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   216
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.42" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.56"
Weight:   0.63 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2007
Publisher   NEW CITY PRESS
ISBN  1565482662  
EAN  9781565482661  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
A new and updated edition of one of the most credically acclaimed presentations of the Gospel of Mark.

Publishers Description
NCP Biblical Commentaries Resources for Pastoral Ministry NCPs biblical commentaries present the best of contemporary exegetical and theological scholarship in a clear, readable, inclusive style. The series provides readers with resources to better understand and integrate scriptural teachings with their own personal, social, spiritual and ecclesiastic lives. Each volume provides an introduction to one or more books of the Bible, including an overview of the time, place and circumstances of composition, and the main issues addressed by the sacred writers. The biblical text is accompanied by an exposition of the issues and questions it raises for readers. Further insights from the history of its interpretation and practical applications for its significance today follow. The volumes in this series are designed for committed Christians women and men interested in deepening their faith and understanding of the importance of the scriptures to their daily life. They also help readers develop a scriptural basis for their personal spirituality as well as their commitment to the ecclesiastic community of faith.

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Thorough, engaging and thought-provoking  Aug 19, 2007
This work is ideal for those interested in deepening their understanding of the Gospel of Mark and scripture study in general. Dennis Sweetland, a professor of theology, tells us in the introduction that the author referred to as "Mark" used his own vocabulary and style to present Jesus' career through "preached history." He explains the setting and culture in which Mark wrote and methods used to determine that his was the first of the four gospels. Major themes in Mark are the authority of Jesus and the "hiddenness and suffering aspect of his messiahship." Mark made clear that Jesus' identity could not be appreciated apart from his death and resurrection. Sweetland explains and demonstrates repeatedly that this gospel is designed to emphasize that much of Jesus' life and teaching is a fulfillment of prophecy.

Throughout the work Sweetland connects this gospel with our own lives through his commentary and numerous "For reflection" sections. The issue of parables is a good example. We are made aware that Jesus first presents parables to the crowd and the disciples together, then instructs the disciples privately. "The point is that the disciples of Jesus had a greater opportunity to understand what Jesus said and did," writes Sweetland. "Yet they do not seem to profit from it and later desert him." He goes on to wonder that Mark would portray the disciples in a bad light at the same time he based his gospel on stories that began with them. Sweetland surmises that the disciples may have come to understand eventually and, if so, they provided a lesson for later readers of the gospel: "It takes time to know Jesus completely. Often misunderstanding is the earliest response."

Sweetland addresses other elements of Mark's gospel that can be confusing; for example, Mark's including two stories in which a crowd is fed. The first involved a multitude of 5000 (6:30-44) on the western side of the lake, which was Jewish territory. The 12 baskets of leftovers represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The second "feeding" occurred as Jesus was teaching a crowd of 4000 (8:1-10) on the Gentile side of the lake. Here the leftovers filled seven baskets, a symbol of completeness in the Gentile world. Together, these stories highlight Jesus' mission as a unifier, another of Mark's themes.

These few examples are meant to whet the appetite for the thorough, engaging, and thought-provoking resource Dennis Sweetland offers. Lectionary-based small groups wishing to broaden their experience of scripture would not go wrong by starting with "Mark from Death to Life."

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