If you know me personally and know the kind of ministry I’ve been involved in for the last few years, it will be no secret to you that I love Mark’s Gospel. over the years I’ve read it so many times in one-to-one settings, I’ve preached sections of it, I’ve taught it to others and have enjoyed time in it privately. Mark’s Gospel is a gem! So here’s a wee resource that I couldn’t help but read that really intrigued me and got me more excited about Mark’s Gospel than I was before.
In The Beginning of the Gospel: A theology of Mark by Peter Orr you are introduced to a detailed (but not overly detailed) overview of some of the main themes that run through Mark’s Gospel account of the life and death of Jesus. Mark draws so much on the Old Testament on some of the key themes there and names that point forward to Jesus. You can read Mark in one sitting and get a good feel for the gospel or you can dig around in Mark for an extended period of time and be lost in wonder at the depth of the shortest Gospel.
In seven chapters Peter Orr draws out key elements of the divine identity of Jesus, revelation (written, proclaimed and received), the Kingdom of God and the New Creation, repentance and belief, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection.
One of the interesting topics is the influence of other on Mark’s Gospel. In the introduction Orr speaks about Mark’s connection with Peter and Paul, saying that Peter is Mark’s historical course on the happenings during Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and Paul is Mark’s theological partner. The connection to Peter is clear but I hadn’t thought a great deal about Mark’s connection with Paul and how that fits in with his Gospel. It certainly got me thinking.
This is a book that I would recommend to a preacher who is thinking through Mark, a study group leader who will be leading studies in Mark’s Gospel and who wants to think about some of the key themes and features of Mark to help them get their bearings a bit more. The book isn’t too long, only 163 pages, and it is not a heavy read. Peter Orr has managed to get a good amount of detail and theological work into this book without making it hard to read or boring.
Grab your own copy here and grow in your knowledge of Mark’s Gospel and your appreciation for the wonderful Word of God that we have in our hands.
*** I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the book. My views are my own. ***