When it comes to the study of the Scriptures there are no shortage of resources. But solid, short, and sound resources can be harder to come by. William Boekestein’s Bible Studies on Mark is a welcome addition to the collection of helpful Bible study resources available. The book is short (around 200 pages) with each chapter coming in at right around 10 pages. This makes for easy reading, and Boekestein’s prose flows smoothly while also delving deeply into the text.
The book is neither a formal commentary nor simply an aid to personal devotion. It is, as the title suggests, a Bible study, and as such it has much to offer to the reader. Boekestein spends the first chapter defining the literary form of the Gospels in general and drawing out the particular theme of Mark’s Gospel. The Gospels, he argues, are “theological biographies” which are significant both for what they have in common and what they explore uniquely. As he points out: “Mark, more than the other Gospel writers, includes the kind of details that help us imagine that we are in the story. Mark presents his message not as a dry lawyer’s brief but as a fast-paced historical account of the ministry of the Savior of the world.”
Each chapter contains a number of questions for reflection or discussion at the end. The depth and nuance which Boekestein brings to these studies could make them profitable for both small groups and individuals. The Pastor or teacher who is teaching on the Gospel of Mark will also find much that is useful in these pages. While the chapter end notes can be a distraction the book is well structured and well written. I have no doubt that any reader who thoughtfully and prayerfully works through these studies will walk away with a clear understanding of Mark and a deeper love for Mark’s Savior.
I would like to thank the good folks over at Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a free review copy of this book. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.