The Gospel of Mark is significant in many ways. Not only was it the first Gospel to be written and an important literary source for Matthew and Luke, but it is also best characterized as a witness document, a proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ, which received its creative impulse from the early apostolic preaching. Mark bears witness to the word of revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
This widely praised commentary by William Lane shows Mark to be a theologian whose primary aim was to strengthen the people of God in a time of fiery persecution by Nero. Using redaction criticism as a hermeneutical approach for understanding the text and the intention of the evangelist, Lane considers the Gospel of Mark as a total literary work and describes Mark's creative role in shaping the Gospel tradition and in exercising a conscious theological purpose. By indicating how the text was heard by Mark's contemporaries while also studying Mark within the frame of reference of modern Gospel research, Lane has constructed a thoroughgoing work that is at once useful to scholars and intelligible to nonspecialists.
About the New International Commentary New Testament Series
“. . . undertaken to provide earnest students of the New Testament with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.”
This statement reflects the underlying purpose of The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Begun in the late 1940s by an international team of New Testament scholars, the NICNT series has become recognized by pastors, students, and scholars alike as a critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition.
While based on a thorough study of the Greek text, the commentary introductions and expositions contain a minimum of Greek references. The NICNT authors evaluate significant textual problems and take into account the most important exegetical literature. More technical aspects — such as grammatical, textual, and historical problems — are dealt with in footnotes, special notes, and appendixes.
Under the general editorship of three outstanding New Testament scholars — first Ned Stonehouse (Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia), then F. F. Bruce (University of Manchester, England), and now Gordon D. Fee (Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia) — the NICNT series has continued to develop over the years. In order to keep the commentary “new” and conversant with contemporary scholarship, the NICNT volumes have been — and will be — revised or replaced as necessary.
The newer NICNT volumes in particular take into account the role of recent rhetorical and sociological inquiry in elucidating the meaning of the text, and they also exhibit concern for the theology and application of the text. As the NICNT series is ever brought up to date, it will continue to find ongoing usefulness as an established guide to the New Testament text.
About the Author
William L. Lane (1931-1999) was the Paul T. Walls Chair in Wesleyan and Biblical Studies at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington. In addition to numerous articles on New Testament studies, he also wrote a two-volume commentary on Hebrews for the Word Biblical Commentary.
Lane is to be commended for his splendid work. It is the best English commentary on Mark today and will be a standard for years to come.