Mark

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Overview

The early church valued the Gospel of Mark for its preservation of the apostolic voice and gospel narrative of Peter. Yet the early church fathers very rarely produced sustained commentary on Mark. This brisk-paced and robust little Gospel, so much enjoyed by modern readers, was overshadowed in the minds of the fathers by the magisterial Gospels of Matthew and John.

But now with the assistance of computer searches, an abundance of comment has been discovered to be embedded and interleaved maid.st the textual archives of patristic homilies, apologies, letters, commentaries, theological treatises and hymnic verses.

In this Ancient Christian Commentary on Mark, the insights of Augustine of Hippo and Clement of Alexandria, Ephrem the Syrian and Cyril of Jerusalem join in a polyphony of interpretive voices of the Eastern and Western church from the second to the seventh century. St. Mark's Gospel displays the evocative power of its story, parables and passion es it ignites a brilliant exhibit of theological insight and pastoral wisdom.

The Ancient Christian Commentary on Mark opens up a long-forgotten passage through the arid and precipitous slopes of post-Enlightenment critical interpretation and bears us along to a fertile valley basking in the sunshine of theological and spiritual interpretation. In these pages we enter the interpretive world that long nurtured the great premodern pastors, theologians end saints of the church.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Part of a 27-volume collection, this book gathers verse-by-verse commentary on the Gospel of Mark by writers of the second through eighth centuries. Includes an introduction on how early Christian writers viewed Mark and on how modern readers should understand the ancient commentators. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Don S. Browning
"We speak abstractly in scholarly circles of the need to transcend looking at Christianity through the spectrum of modern presuppositions. This series, based on the commentaries of early Christians, gives us a concrete way to do this. It's a great idea."
Frederica Mathewes-Green
"The Scriptures have been read with love and attention for nearly two thousand years, and listening to the voice of believers from previous centuries opens us to unexpected insight and deepened faith. Those who studied Scripture in the centuries closest to its writing, the centuries during and following persecution and martyrdom, speak with particular authority. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture will bring to life the truth that we are invisibly surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses."
William H. Willimon
"Contemporary pastors do not stand alone. We are not the first generation of preachers to wrestle with the challenges of communicating the gospel. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture puts us in conversation with our colleagues from the past, that great cloud of witnesses who preceded us in this vocation. This commentary enables us to receive their deep spiritual insights, their encouragement, and guidance for present-day interpretation and preaching of the Word. What a wonderful addition to any pastor's library!"
Richard John Neuhaus
"In the desert of biblical scholarship that tries to deconstruct or get behind the texts, the patristic commentators let the pure, clear waters of Christian faith flow from its scriptural source. Preachers, teachers and Bible students of every sort will want to drink deeply from the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture."
J. I. Packer
"The conspectus of patristic exposition that this series offers has been badly needed for several centuries, and the whole Christian world should unite to thank IVP for undertaking to fill the gap. For the ongoing ecumenical conversation, and the accurate application of early Christian thought, and the current hermeneutical debate as well, the Ancient Christian Commentary will prove itself to be a really indispensable resource."
Mark Bilby
"This volume continues the valuable exploration of patristic interpretation."
International Review of Biblical Studies
"A 'must' for all theological libraries."
Ravonne A. Green
"A wealth of information for the classic Bible scholar."
The Christian Century
"Contemporary Christians would do well to draw the hermeneutical circle broadly enough to include not only cross-cultural voices from around the world but also the voices to be found in the Ancient Christian Commentary series. This is an excellent sermon-preparation resource for pastors."
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Thomas C. Oden (PhD, Yale University), is the general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and the Ancient Christian Doctrine series as well as the author of Classic Christianity, a revision of his three-volume systematic theology. He is the director of the Center for Early African Christianity at Eastern University in Pennsylvania and he formerly served as the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Oden is active in the Confessing Movement in America, particularly within the United Methodist Church and serves on the board of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He suggests that Christians need to rely upon the wisdom of the historical Church, particularly the early Church, rather than on modern scholarship and theology and says his mission is "to begin to prepare the postmodern Christian community for its third millennium by returning again to the careful study and respectful following of the central tradition of classical Christianity."

Christopher A. Hall is chancellor of Eastern University and dean of the Templeton Honors College. He is also associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.

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Table of Contents

General Introduction
A Guide to Using This Commentary
Abbreviations
Introduction to Mark
Commentary
Appendix: Method of Investigation into the Early Exegesis of Mark
Chronological List of Persons and Writings
Authors/Writings Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index
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