By IVP / 1998/
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 amidst 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 century to the seventh. St. Mark’s Gospel displays the evocative power of its story, parables and passion as it ignites a brilliant exhibit of theological insight and pastoral wisdom. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Mark (now in its second edition) 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 and saints of the church.