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Mark As Story: An Introduction to the…

Mark As Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel

by David Rhoads, Joanna Dewey, Donald M. Michie (Author)

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422738,912 (3.75)2
Mark as Story has proved to be a useful resource for laypersons, students, and clergy for fifteen years. It introduces the Gospel of Mark as a unified composition, laying bare the narrative thread as well as the basic motifs. It is marked throughout by clarity, freshness, and a lively style.



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A useful book and introduction to the Gospel of Mark from a narrative-critical perspective. This approach treats the text as a story as a means of approaching the original intents and audience of the document. I found this to be particularly useful in their discussions of discipleship and implied audience, but their discussion of the method was a little lacking. I was also slightly concerned with their extra-low Christology that may minimize Christ beyond the human figure we see in the text. Above all a good read and accessible for many levels. ( )
  sc4 | Oct 31, 2017 |
Contradictory in assertions, inconsistent in method, repetitious in details, smug in attitude—no, I didn't like it at all. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
Contradictory in assertions, inconsistent in method, repetitious in details, smug in attitude—no, I didn't like it at all. ( )
  memlhd | Jan 23, 2016 |
A good introduction to the Gospel of Mark as a narrative story. The authors apply the practice of literary analysis, and look at the storytelling narratives in the book of Mark. While the authors assume Mark is historically accurate, this book can be read without cringing by people who do not see accuracy in the narrative, as it deals solely with literary analysis. In fact, for those who have devoured works of the Biblical scholars, this work actually helps to sort out some of the tangled webs of history and tradition; so many techniques used in the book are so obviously literary that it begins to look, on its face, as if the author was telling a story rather than reporting history, which uses different techniques to engage the reader. Overall, a good complement to any library on comparative religions, biblical criticism, or freethought. ( )
  Devil_llama | Apr 1, 2012 |
When people read the Bible, whether at home or in church, only read short passages at a time. The three authors of this book, all seminary and college professors, seek to remind readers that each book of the Bible originally was an organic whole, meant to be read as a single story.

This is an important lesson, and the Gospel of Mark is an excellent example; it is perhaps the most complete narrative in the Bible. Unlike many other Biblical writings, it is not a composite of multiple narratives and it does not show evidence of significant editorial additions or excisions. So it offers an ancient version of what modern readers might call, "the author's vision."

After a brief introduction to their enterprise, the authors offer their own translation of the gospel, written in modern form with paragraphs and modern punctuation. They then explore the main narrative aspects of Mark: the narrator, the setting, the plot, the characters, and the (assumed or ideal) reader.

It should be noted that their examination uses modern categories for study, rather than ancient ones; this makes the study readily accessible to modern students, but one wonders if their analysis misses some authorial intent by not paying attention to the ancient rhetorical categories.

Regardless, there are real benefits to this study. It encourages people to look at the Gospel of Mark in a new and relevant way. The overall study challenges the verse by verse approach most people have when reading the Bible (encouraged by commentaries, reference notes in study Bibles, and many pastors in their preaching), reminding people that the Bible was not written to be a reference book like an encyclopedia, where one reads brief articles about specific subjects, but instead includes writings that once stood on their own as complete works.

The book is well geared for college students and Bible study groups. It is written in a clear way, with plenty of explanation and examples to encourage engagement with the primary text. However, the book is not ground-breaking for those who are well-read about the gospels in general and Mark in particular. Additionally, once you accept this approach, the interpretation of the writers seems a bit superficial. Frankly, the examination of the narrator, especially, and the characters seemed rather thin in this study. ( )
  ALincolnNut | Sep 7, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Rhoadsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dewey, Joannamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Michie, Donald M.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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