Publication Year: 2014
David Schnasa Jacobsen draws together the strengths of two exegetical approaches to the Gospel of Mark in this volume of the Fortress Biblical Preaching Commentaries series. Jacobsen takes a broad thematic approach to the first Gospel, while at the same time giving exegetical and homiletical insights about individual pericopes in their narrative context. By helping preachers and students make connections between the various lections from Mark throughout Year B in their sermons and studies, they and their parishioners will have a deeper appreciation of Mark’s unique interpretation of the Christ Event and how that influences their approach to living the Christian faith in today’s world.
With liturgical sensitivity and exegetical skill, Jacobsen provides a unique preaching resource that will build biblical literacy by assisting both preachers and listeners in understanding Mark’s Gospel as narrative-theological whole, not just as a collection of loosely related stories.
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Title Page, Copyright Page
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A preacher who seeks to be creative, exegetically up to date, hermeneutically alert, theologically responsible, and in-touch with the moment is always on the hunt for fresh resources. Traditional books on preaching a book of the Bible often look at broad themes of the text with little explicit advice about...
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In the early twentieth century, a group of artists formed a collective in a small community just north of the German city of Bremen. The town of Worpswede was of no great repute. It sat on the edge of a long, sparsely inhabited swamp-like region known as the Teufelsmoor, the Devil’s moor. One...
Readings from Mark in the Revised Common Lectionary in Order of the Liturgical Calendar, Year B
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Readings from Mark in the Revised Common Lectionary in Order of Mark’s Narrative
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Week in and week out churches in many North American denominations hear the reading of a Sunday lection from the Gospels. It has become so routine that we may not ever really think how much we owe this to the writer we Christians customarily call Mark. Mark’s was the first Gospel with this now common...
1. Prologue to Mark’s Gospel (1:1-15)
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With his Gospel in the apocalyptic mode (see Introduction), Mark wants to shake up the reader’s world before the story even starts. The prologue does just that, setting the stage for the coming apocalyptic drama. Instead of beginning with a narrated story, Mark’s Gospel begins in v. 1 with a title that announces...
2. The Gospel’s Promising Beginnings in Galilee (1:16—3:6)
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With this first major section of Mark, we see Jesus in his “Galilean spring.” His gospel ministry has begun and meets with impressive results. Yet because his gospel has an apocalyptic tinge, even the springtime is not all blossoms and blooms. Jesus meets up with an unclean spirit, sickness, and yes, a stretch of...
3. The Gospel Mystery Deepens—The Word of Promise in Wider Fields (3:7—6:6a)
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In this next major section of Mark, the scope of Jesus’ ministry, the gospel that is himself (1:1) and the reign of God (1:14-15) is sown across wider fields. The promising beginnings of that gospel ministry in Galilee set the stage, both for a powerful apocalyptic pushing back against anti-divine forces and a revelation...
4. The Rocky Way—The Word of Promise and The Disciples’ Misunderstanding (6:6b—8:26)
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Having established the mystery of Jesus’ word of promise as encompassing apocalyptic disclosures and rejection by those closest to Jesus, the narrative now turns to highlight Jesus’ relationship with his disciples. The ones whom he called to follow were to be the very ones who did the will of God and...
5. Gospel Interlude—Revelation on the Way (8:27—9:13)
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Much like the prologue, this brief section serves as a revelatory reflection in relation to the unfolding narrative. If throughout most of the narrative the relation of Jesus’ identity and gospel proclamation of the divine reign prompts rhetorical questions and amazement, here the language broaches mystery not...
6. Teaching and More Misunderstanding on The Way (9:14—10:52)
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This next section then highlights the juxtaposition of what has just been revealed with the struggle to understand on the disciples’ way through Galilee and Judea. Mark invites us to live this paradox with Jesus, whose identity and reign-of-God ministry are fraught with the same conflicts. This section...
7. The Gospel in Jerusalem (11:1—12:44)
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With Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, Mark’s Gospel arrives at its climax, too. We know this is the case narratively because Mark very carefully slows down the action from here until the end in chapter 16. Jesus has been moving with rapidity and immediacy through the landscape of Galilee with the occasional...
8. An Apocalyptic Farewell Address (13:1-37)
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This is one of the briefest chapters of this commentary, comprised of a single chapter of Mark’s Gospel. Yet it is also one of the most important. We have mentioned that much of this narrative of Jesus’ life and ministry needs to be read in light of later first-century realities, especially the destruction of the temple. In...
9. The Passion of Mark’s Gospel (14:1—15:47)
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Until this point we have been careful to place individual lectionary pericopes in close relationship to Mark’s theologically driven narrative. While the section introductions were careful to integrate every pericope, whether it appears in the lectionary or not, into the overall Markan vision, here in this centrally...
10. Epilogue: Mark 16
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With this final section, Mark’s Gospel of the gospel comes to its apocalyptic conclusion. Consistent with the rest of Mark’s text, it is not a full-blown apocalypse, but a Gospel in an apocalyptic mode. What Mark does differently, however, is to make sure there is at least some element of mystery here...
Appendix: Further Preaching Resources on Mark’s Gospel
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Blackwell, John. The Passion as Story: The Plot of Mark. Fortress Resources for Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986. This book represents a structuralist interpretation for preaching the passion narrative from Mark 14:1–16:8. The structural part is represented in two ways...
Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2014