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The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
Ben Witherington III

0802845037 Retail Price: $38.00
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Format: Paperback, 487pp.
ISBN: 9780802845030
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Pub. Date: January 2001

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About the Author
Table of Contents
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From The Publisher:

This book offers the first sustained attempt to read the Gospel of Mark both as an ancient biography and as a form of ancient rhetoric. Ben Witherington applies to Mark the socio-rhetorical approach for which he is well known, opening a fresh new perspective on the earliest Gospel.

Written when the fledging Christian faith was experiencing a major crisis during the Jewish war, Mark provides us with the first window on how the life and teachings of Jesus were presented to a largely non-Jewish audience.

According to Witherington, the structure of Mark demonstrates that this Gospel is biographically focused on the identity of Jesus and the importance of knowing who he is—the Christ, the Son of God. This finding reveals that Christology stood at the heart of the earliest Christians’ faith. It also shows how important it was to these earliest Christians to persuade others about the nature of Jesus, both as a historical figure and as the Savior of the world.


An impressive, reliable, and often surprising commentary on the Gospel of Mark.
—Mark Allan Powell

Witherington intersperses homiletic asides within the flow of a clear, scientific treatise…. His work deserves wide circulation.
Religious Studies Review


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About the Author

Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations of Periodicals and Other Reference Worksxi
The Commentary
I.The Superscript65
II.News of New Beginnings (1:1-15)67
III.The Call of the Fishermen (1:16-20)83
IV.The Sabbatical Plan (1:21-28)87
V.Healings at Home and on the Road (1:29-45)97
VI.The Controversial Christ (2:1-3:6)109
VII.Preview and Review (3:7-12)141
VIII.The Creation of a Ministering Community, the Forsaking of Family and Neighbors (3:13-6:6a)145
IX.The Tests of Discipleship; the Trials of God's Anointed One (6:6b-8:38)201
X.Transfigured Glory and Transformed Disciples (9:1-10:52)255
XI.Long Day's Journey into Night, Part I (11:1-13:37)301
XII.Long Day's Journey into Night, Part II (14:1-15:47)359
XIII.The End of the Beginning of the Gospel (16:1-8)411
Appendix: Mark's Perspective on the Disciples421
Index of Modern Authors443
Index of References449

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