In focusing on the Gospel According to St. Mark, Julie M. Smith is looking to answer the question: “What would Mark’s story of Jesus have meant for its first audiences?”
In “The Gospel According to Mark,” that’s part of the BYU New Testament Commentary series, Smith gives attention to five specific areas: various ancient texts of the book of scripture, the culture of the time, biblical allusions, literary interpretation and focusing on the stories about women.
Smith presents the Greek text, the King James version and the English New Rendition version, followed by notes on phrases or verses and an analysis. She presents different options for interpretation, many of which aren’t always mutually exclusive. It’s divided into three parts — Galilee, On the Way and Jerusalem — and further divided chronologically so that each section is generally part of a chapter. This makes it easy to find a particular parable, teaching or event in the life of Jesus Christ to study.
The result is a volume that gives a deeper dive into Mark’s writing and shares valuable context and background that can help a student of the New Testament explore this book of the Gospels.
“Mark’s Gospel gets very little attention, and when it does, it is usually read through the lenses of other Gospels, and thus Mark’s distinctive voice is muted,” Smith writes. “So it is truly a gem hidden in plain sight. My overriding goal in this commentary is to recover Mark’s distinct, unique voice.”
This is the fourth volume of the BYU New Testament Commentary series, a multi-book series that analyzes the new rendition of the Greek texts of the New Testament books and also looks at the linguistic and historical scholarship with a Latter-day Saint perspective.
The other volumes include Revelations, Luke and Corinthians.
See byunewtestamentcommentary.com for more about the project and for excerpts that correlate with the “Come, Follow Me” lessons.