I am enrolled in an exegesis course on Mark at DTS this semester. We just finished introductory matters and are about to head into the text – I am pumped! One of the course requirements is to read one commentary (from a predetermined list set by Dr. Wallace) of our choice. I have chosen to climb the great depths of Joel Marcus’ 2 volume commentary on the Gospel in the Anchor Bible Series.
Toward the end of his nearly 100 page introduction, Marcus has a section entitled, ‘The Place of Mark in Christian Life and Thought’. I found one statement quite simple but quite profound. The following is under the subsection ‘Mark in the History of Religions’:
“Mark’s particular way of interpreting these writings, moreover, follows in the footsteps of Old Testament exegesis of Jewish writers. The God whose advent the Markan Jesus announces, to whom he calls his hearers to turn in penitence and faith, the God whom he trusts to raise him from the dead (an un-Hellenistic concept), is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (cf. 12:26), and not of the philosophers.”
This comment follows a note that Mark only quotes from the Old Testament, which seems to me a quite profound statement in light of the buzzing conversations regarding Mark’s employment of popular rhetoric (Marcus goes against this recent trend – at least according to his introduction).