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In this collection, renowned Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin explores the often-overlooked Gospel of Mark. While much of Mark overlaps with other Gospels, this careful reading reveals Mark’s unique aspects. Bringing his years of biblical study and experience in apologetics to bear, Akin offers a commentary, liturgical study guide, and verse-by-verse study guide on the Gospel of Mark.
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Highly respected Catholic author and apologist Jimmy Akin presents a thorough commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Because much of Mark overlaps with the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, Akin believes that the straightforward narrative found in Mark’s Gospel is under-studied and therefore under-appreciated. His commentary opens readers’ eyes to the value of this shortest Gospel. In addition, Akin provides a biographical sketch of Mark and an overview of the facts surrounding his Gospel—how, when, where, and why it was written, and for what audience.
Mark: A Liturgical Study Guide is a companion volume to Jimmy Akin’s Mark: A Commentary. It takes you through Mark’s Gospel as it appears in the liturgy. Akin begins with the Sunday readings for Year B—when the Sunday Gospel readings normally come from Mark—and then proceeds through the use of Mark in liturgy for Year I and Year II. He includes a table of liturgical years and poses questions for each reading to prayerfully ponder as you study.
Mark: A Verse-by-Verse Study Guide is a companion volume to Jimmy Akin’s Mark: A Commentary. Akin poses questions in each section of the study guide corresponding to Mark: A Commentary and encourages readers to explore their own thoughts and responses. This guide is valuable for both group discussion and personal study.
About Jimmy Akin
Jimmy Akin is a Catholic apologist and author. Born in Texas, Akin was studying to become a pastor or seminary professor when he began to explore the Catholic faith. He converted to Catholicism in 1992. His conversion story, “A Triumph and a Tragedy,” was published in the book Surprised by Truth. Akin is senior apologist at Catholic Answers, a member on the Catholic Answers Speakers Bureau, a weekly guest on the global radio program “Catholic Answers Live,” a contributor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and the author numerous books. Among his works are The Fathers Know Best, Mass Revision, and The Salvation Controversy.
The Gospel of Mark usually doesn't top of list as anybody's favorite Gospel. The fact that it is the shortest and little apparently unique within it compared to the other Gospels. Not that any of the Gospels will ever be ignored.
The format of this commentary is not just to have the text of Mark with commentary by footnote. This is a more free-flowing commentary that goes through each chapter and delves into interpretations regarding the text. The format reminded me specifically of Pope Benedict XVI books "Jesus of Nazareth" which is sometimes quoted in this commentary. That is questions are explored with multiple possible interpretations from the current state of scripture study (Protestant and Catholic sources). Jimmy Akin at times will give weight to the interpretation he favors or thinks is the more probable. Still this commentary bring the reader into an exploration of the texts and is not meant to provide definitive interpretations. Exploration is a good term to describe this since you feel like you are indeed going on a journey with a tour guide marking (puns always intentional) the way.
This commentary had me thoroughly engaged over a period of nightly reading. If I had give short-shrift to the Gospel of Mark before, this is no longer the case. There really is so much to explore and tease out of the text. Plus there are intriguing aspects of Mark such as his intended audience down to the way he ordered information such as the fairly well-known Marcan sandwiches. As with most commentaries there is a good amount of comparisons with other scriptures, especially the Gospels. So often these comparisons help to come to a better understanding.
What I especially like about Jimmy Akin's commentary and the general way he teaches is that possible interpretations are not presented as "pick one." As he often notes throughout, that these interpretations are often not mutually exclusive. In Catholic circles we sometimes hear of the "both/and" approach and this is often the best approach
This study on Mark is actually a three volume set with the main volume being the commentary. Included is a "Liturgical Study Guide" that goes through this Gospel as it appears in the liturgy along with a verse-by-verse study guide intended for both further personal and group study.