Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 39:1 (Fall 1976)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

William Hendriksen: Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark (New Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975. 700. $14.95.

The authenticity of the Gospel of Mark has come under severe attack in this century. Its geography and chronology (K. L. Schmidt and W. Marxen), its christology (W. Wrede), and its miracle stories (N. Perrin, who sees them as hellenistic aretologies) are considered historically worthless. And lately the French-speaking world has witnessed an attack on the gospel’s essential theology with the publication of F. Belo’s Lecture matérialiste (i.e. Marxist) de l’Évangile de Marc. It is certainly heartening, therefore, to see the recent appearance of two substantial evangelical studies on this gospel: W. L. Lane’s Commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the New International Commentary and W. Hendriksen’s Mark in his New Testament Commentary series.

With the completion of this latter work on Mark, Dr. Hendriksen has commented at length on thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. Of the gospels only Luke remains to be studied. Hendriksen is, therefore, in a unique position to give us a thorough baptism in gospel literature and Marcan theology in particular. Here the reader will find numerous painstakingly constructed charts comparing Mark with the other gospels: his miracle stories in the other gospels (p. 444); three pages of charts comparing the different gospel accounts of the feeding of the five thousand (pp. 244-6); a harmonized chronology of Jesus’ last week (p. 550) and even of his last few hours (p. 602). In this regard the reader will find a number of useful suggestions concerning the essential unity of the gospel tradition. Following Stonehouse, he argues that the point of discussion between Jesus the rich young ruler is not the divinity of Jesus, as Mark’s account would at first suggest, but a superficial use of the term goodness by the rich young ruler (p. 392). He argues reasonably that Mark’s anachronistic reference to Abiathar (Mark 2:25f) is merely a conventional use of his later high priestly title. Hendriksen courageously undertakes an explanation of the

apparent contradiction between Matthew and Luke on the one hand and Mark on the other with regard to the taking of sandals and staff. He suggests that one can translate Matthew to mean, “Do not take along an extra pair of sandals” (p. 229). If other attempts are not as convincing (see p. 59 and p. 441), what does emerge is the author’s unshakeable conviction in the flawless character of God’s Word.

Hendriksen has a grammarian’s apprecia...

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