Apr 6, 2009

A Review of Perspectives on the Ending of Mark

Black, David Alan et al. Perspectives on the Ending of Mark. Edited by David Alan Black. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2008.

(Thanks to Jim Baird at Broadman & Holman for the review copy.)

Perspectives consists of five essays, three which reject the authenticity of the longer ending of Mark (Wallace, Elliott), two that affirm its authenticity (Black, Robins
on), and a summary essay from Bock, who also sides with the non-authentic position. The essays are the fruit of a conference held April 13–14, 2007 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) entitled “The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Original or Not.”

The essays in general are informative and well-written. Even when the authors are dogmatic in their assertions, and t
hey often are, the tone remains irenic. This book is a good example of how equally competent scholars can draw from the same pool of evidence and come to diametrically opposite conclusions in a way which is both rigorous and Christian. The essays provide a helpful way for those interested in the issue of the ending of Mark to learn more than briefer treatments in introductions/surveys, commentaries, and study Bibles. For such readers I would suggest beginning by scanning Bock’s summary chapter (although it is at the end of the book), before undertaking the rest of the essays. Bock does an excellent job of pointing out areas of agreement, differences in method, and the like.

For anyone interested in the book, you can access a sample chapter of the book here.

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