Originally, the Gospel of Mark was read aloud to first-century audiences eager to hear more about the life of Jesus and how his teachings could touch their own lives. Now Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, an expert who has written about and taught Mark for twenty years, brings us back to that original setting, providing an exciting new way of reading and hearing the Gospel of Mark. In clear, non-scholarly language, Malbon begins by outlining the presuppositions that scholars use when they read this gospel. We learn that Mark's gospel, in its original context, was not meant to be read silently; it was meant to be performed, read aloud, and heard by an audience of Christians. The chapters of Hearing Mark then follow the gospel in narrative order, from first verse to last, with each chapter of the book focusing on a theme emphasized in each gospel section: kingdom, community, discipleship, suffering. The conclusion offers echoes" of these interrelated themes as they play out for Mark's listeners in the first century and in the twenty-first. Hearing Mark closes with selected suggestions for further reading and annotations. Malbon also lists resources for hearing the Gospel of Mark in various ways, including persons to contact for dramatic presentations, videotapes, and instructions for conducting a reading in a local church. Elizabeth Struthers Malbon is Director and Professor, Religious Studies Program, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her books include In the Company of Jesus: Characters in Mark s Gospel and Narrative Space and Mythic Meaning in Mark.
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