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Mark’s Gospel, ‘written between AD 40 and 65, with the balance of evidence now favouring the earlier part of this period,’ has its own distinct importance, and, in introducing this Gospel, Hendriksen deals in turn with what he considers to be its three main characteristics, compactness, vividness and orderliness. It is ‘definitely the action Gospel,’ and ‘in ever so many passages or paragraphs Mark presents lively little touches that are not found elsewhere.’
Hendriksen does not accept that Mark is chiefly concerned to supply a record of events, rather the Gospel has a doctrinal and thoroughly practical aim – to bring about transformation and furnish an incentive for living to the glory of God. ‘This Gospel was intended to reach the entire Greek speaking world: its message was, is and is going to be meaningful for everybody’, at the same time, he accepts the tradition of the Gospel’s origin in the needs of the church at Rome and points out the relevance of its emphasis in that context
The manner in which Mark pictures the Christ, namely, as an active, energetic, swiftly-moving, warring, conquering King, a Victor over the destructive forces of nature, over disease, demons and even death, would be of interest especially to Romans, people who, in their lust for exercise of power, had conquered the world. To them Mark pictures a King who excels any earthly conqueror. His Kingdom is far more extensive, his armour far more effective, and his rule far more enduring than anything originating here below.
This volume of the New Testament Commentary fully maintains the high standard associated with the author. While technicalities are kept out of the text itself, genuine problems receive due attention.
Writing on the assumption that a commentator’s business is to expound the Scripture with lucidity and simplicity, it is no small part of the value of these volumes that they set aside a whole spectrum of opinion which has no permanent value for the church. Above all, the author aims, in the spirit of the New Testament itself, to direct attention to one who is both Saviour of sinners and ‘Lord of all’.