Sources for the Gospel of Mark
Compiled by Rev. Rob Van Kooten

Here are some good sources to help you preach the Gospel of Mark from a Biblical Theological perspective.  Remember with the exception of Ridderbos, the work of Biblical Theology is not done for you by the authors of these books.  These books will only help stimulate your mind  to think along these lines. I finished preaching through Mark in 1996 and as I was preparing this book list I noticed that there are many more good books now available.  The books listed here will be a good start for you but be sure to also make good use of your tools such as ISBE and the Dictionary of Biblical Theology to trace Biblical themes.  Be sure also to make good  use of New Testament Abstracts to help you search for good journal articles as there are loads of good articles out there on Mark.  All of these sources must be used together for you to maximize your understanding of the text of Mark's Gospel.

Brown, Raymond E.  Death of the Messiah.  New York:  Doubleday, 1994.

This two book set is invaluable when it comes to understanding Mark's passion narrative.  The other books listed are limited in dealing with the passion narrative portion of Mark.  You will find that Brown's textual insights will greatly stimulate your thinking.  I consider this book to be a must have and you can find it at CBD or

Camery-Hoggatt,  Jerry.  Irony in Mark's Gospel. Great Britain:  Cambridge
University Press, 1992.

This book will help you to see and understand the many ironic twists in Mark's Gospel drama.  The most helpful part of this book is that it has sections that explain the irony in individual Biblical texts.  Because it has to be imported this book is very expensive and I would not recommend buying it.  If you have access to a good library you may be able to find it there.

Kingsbury, Jack Dean.  Conflict in Mark.  Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989.

This book helps you understand the drama of the two major conflicts in Mark; the conflict between Jesus and the authorities and the conflict between Jesus and his disciples.  Kingsbury is always worth reading because he is Christ-centered. Some of the other books on this list are more helpful but since this book is reasonably priced I would recommend buying it.  You can find it available almost anywhere.

Lane, William L.  The Gospel of Mark.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 1974.

In this commentary Lane does an excellent job of giving you basic information about each individual text..  When you are preparing your sermons read this first for a good understanding the passage and then go to your other sources.  This commentary is a must have and you can find it available almost anywhere.

Malbon,  Elizabeth Struthers.  Narrative Space and Mythic Meaning in Mark.
San Francisco:  Harpor & Row Publishers, 1986.

This book will help you understand the different movements in the text especially the significance of the geography.  Whenever Jesus goes to a different place or is in a different house there is great significance to that in Mark.  Don't read every word,  but use the scripture index to help you find all the gold nuggets.  I would highly recommend this book and you can find it available at  Malbon has also written numerous journal articles that you will find helpful for understanding narrative and theology in Mark's Gospel.  Rev. Jim Dennison tells me that she  is currently working on a narrative commentary on the whole book.

Marshall, Christopher D.  Faith as a Theme in Mark's Narrative
Great Britain:  Cambridge University Press,  1989.

This book is very good in helping you understand the narrative of various texts.  You may not agree with everything Marshall says,  but there are many helpful insights into the drama of individual  passages.  This book is a must have and you can find it reasonably priced at

Mauser, Ulrich.  Christ in the Wilderness.  Great Britain:  SCM Press LTD, 1963.

The title of this book says it all.  Mauser will help you see Mark's presentation of  Jesus' fulfillment of Israel's Old Testament wonderings. In his commentary Lane quotes from this book extensively.  I highly recommend that you buy this book!  

Rhoads, David and Michie,  Donald.  Mark as Story.  Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982.

Read this book all the way through before you begin to preach Mark.  The book is simple,  and it will help you  to gain a good understanding of the uniqueness of Mark's Gospel story.  I highly recommend this book and you can find it at

Ridderbos, Herman.  The Coming of the Kingdom.  Philadelphia:
The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1962.

This book is always helpful for Biblical Theology.  Use the scripture index to help you find much helpful information on various texts.  If you do not already have this on your bookshelf buy it today!

Van Iersel, Bastaan.  Mark:  A Reader-Response Commentary.  Sheffield Academic
Press, 1998.

I have not read this recently released commentary but Rev. Jim Dennison recommends it highly.  He tells me that even though it is liberal and expensive,  you will find it to be very stimulating.