Mark and Method (ed. by: J. Capel Anderson, et. al.)

Anderson, Janice Capel. Mark & Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies, 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008. Pp. 288.

Honestly, I cannot sing enough praises for the second edition of Mark & Method. Edited by Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen D. Moore, this work is first rate. A compilation of scholarly essays, this tome makes an excellent textbook for students of Mark’s Gospel. In fact, I would recommend this book before any others when it comes to getting a firm, introductory grasp on Mark.

Imbued with a lengthy list of impressive contributors, this work contains 8 chapters that plummet the depths of hermeneutical issues, perspectives and approaches to the Gospel According to Mark. After a nice, concise history of the interpretation of Mk. in the first chapter, the next seven chapters illustrate the ways in which various hermeneutical methods illumine the text in various ways. The chapters’ titles are: Narrative Criticism, Reader-Response Criticism, Deconstructive Criticism, Feminist Criticism, Social Criticism, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Criticism.

I found chapters 2 (Elizabeth Struthers Malbon), 5 (Janice Capel Anderson), 6 (David Rhoads) and 7 (Abraham Smith) most illuminating. Then again, I am biased as my interests reside in socio-literary approaches towards the Scriptures. Given the way the book is structured—an individual, unthematic, essay format—it is difficult to, in a short amount of space, to offer any detailed analysis. That said, if anyone has questions about this book or any of its chapters, I’d be more than willing to discuss them.

This work makes not only a good introduction to Mk. but also a fine introduction to hermeneutical issues and methods. If you are a professor, I highly recommend using this book. If you are a student, especially in Markan studies, you must own this. And if you are an avid read or someone with an affinity for Mark’s Gospel, it would be a travesty not to have this book on your shelf. Thanks to Fortress Press for sending me this outstanding work on the Gospel According to Mark!

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