Recommended Books and Commentaries on the Gospel of Mark

MGVHoffman at CrossMarks

The books below are ones I recommend for the study of the Gospel of Mark. The first column lists introductions to Mark, and you will see that I am especially promoting a narrative and reader-response approach. Below that you will find a listing of the most reliable modern commentaries on the Gospel of Mark.


Mark as Story: Rhoads, Dewey, Michie
Important work on Mark that provides good introduction  to narrative reading of the Gospel. Works well at the popular level.

Mark: Black
If you only get one commentary on Mark, I recommend this one. It is attentive to narrative, rhetorical, and theological matters, but it is not overly technical. My first choice for pastors, preachers, and Bible study leaders.

Mark & Method
Provides a variety of approaches to Mark. I especially like Moore's deconstructive chapter and Fowler's reader-response one.

Mark: Juel
A popular-level commentary backed by solid scholarship and narrative awareness

Fascinating and provocative reader-response approach to Mark

Attention to literary aspects, especially intratextuality and intertextuality

Surprise: Juel
A bit dated but still an excellent introduction using a reader-response approach

Marcus v1
Anchor Bible series > Scholarly and thorough. The one to check when you need the most information

Secrecy: Kermode
A classic dealing with literary aspects of Mark that was inspiration for many subsequent works

Marcus v2
Anchor Bible series > Scholarly and thorough. The one to check when you need the most information

Mark: A Commentary
Adela Yarbro Collins

As befits the Hermeneia series, this is an exhaustive commentary on Mark informed by the best historical-critical work.

Mark: Williamson
A good, reliable commentary in the Interpretation series

Marked: Ross
An edgy, graphic novel approach to Mark!

Mark: France
Somewhat more technical commentary in NIGTC series assuming knowledge of Greek

The Oral Ethos of the Early Church: Speaking, Writing, and the Gospel of Mark: Joanna Dewey
Much recent work on Mark has attended to its oral character, and you can have no better guide than Dewey who is a leader in the field.

A commentary that pays special attention to the socio-rhetorical aspects of the Gospel

Strauss: Mark
This series assumes some knowledge of Greek, but it has features useful to anyone. Each section includes a "Literary Context," an outline, the "Main Idea," a translation that is graphical laid out to indicate the logic of the text, a section on "Structure and Literary Form," an exegetical outline, and then a verse by verse explanation of the text.
Note: All the Amazon links are my Associate links from which I may earn a small commission.

Other lists: