Thursday, January 12, 2006

Commentary on Mark

I'm preparing a sermon for Sunday on Mark 1:1-15 and have been immensely helped by James R. Edwards' Pillar commentary on Mark (Apollos, 2002).

It's a sermon I've preached before but am now revisiting and actually changing quite a bit. Edwards wasn't available last time I preached this and I'm glad to have it now.

He's extremely good on the kind of scholarly details that commentaries need to go into - clear without swamping and showing how they are pertinent to Mark's argument, but also steps back in a few places to give the kind of theological comment that helps the preacher and which commentaries often don't give.

On vv.1-15 he stresses the point of the OT prophetic quotations as all clearly related to Jesus' identity and mission, and also gives an excellent treatment of the divine voice at Jesus' baptism: linking issues of kingship, suffering servant, and baptismal identification with sinners, Edwards says things like: 'Jesus is Israel reduced to one'; 'where Israel failed, Jesus takes its place'.

Highly recommended


Sean LeRoy said...

Haven't read the commentary, though I have others in the Pillar I probably shouldn't even comment! But, I can't resist...I don't see Jesus as 'Israel reduced to one,' or, where Israel failed, Jesus replaces it/her. This seems to smack of a 'replacement' schema doesn't take into consideration the fact that Jesus comes from within Israel, for the sake of Israel and the whole world.

David said...


In neither quote is 'replacement' theology suggested.

Israel reduced to one is still Israel.

And 'where Israel failed, Jesus takes its place' means he takes Israel's place as Israel.

You said 'where Israel failed, Jesus replaces her' but that is not what Edwards says.

The commentary agrees entirely with your last sentence. Indeed, Jesus comes for the whole world precisely by coming from within Israel and for the sake of Israel.

Sean LeRoy said...

Glad to know Edwards agrees! I'll have to check it out. Replacement theology and its various forms does nothing to address the entirety of Scripture Gen --> Rev. I find even a form of RT in much of the Biblical Theology discussions today, whereby the common scheme is not Gen --> Rev, but Rev --> Gen. This method (Rev->Gen) is like the method I used in High School math (not proudly, mind you) - look in the back of the book for the answer rather than carefully work my way through the problem first! =)