The Gospel according to Mark

(Pillar New Testament Commentary) James R Edwards: Eerdmans Apollos, 550 pp.

One of the latest additions to this new commentary series, I have enjoyed using it as I have been preparing for services in the lead up to Easter. It has helped me put into practice what I have been teaching at Cliff College. 'We need to get to grips with what the Bible is saying by using the tools available'. It has been good to see a group of students grasp the value of thoughtful study of the Bible for Christian discipleship and service.

There is a clarity and thoroughness in this commentary without being too heavy or demanding. It achieves its aim by making ‘clear the meaning of the text of Scripture as we have it.’ I have various commentaries on Mark but this one helped me approach the text in a fresh and helpful way as I seek to make the Bible come alive in preaching, lecturing and Bible Studies.

All preachers would benefit from getting this book; Bible Study group leaders who like to be thorough in their preparation would also find it helpful. This is no dry text book but a very useful tool to help us be true evangelicals and seek God to speak to us through his word. The general editor of the series is Don Carson and he writes of the commentaries in the series: 'Their ideal is a blend of rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to Biblical Theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible, without confusing the commentary and the sermon'.

If you are thinking of building up a useful thought provoking series of evangelical commentaries I suggest here is a good place to start. Matthew, John, Romans, Ephesians. James and the Letters of John are also available.

Reviewed by Andrerw J Barker, working with Christian Aid in Nottingham.