Dr. Mark Strauss, professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary San Diego, recently published a commentary on the Gospel of Mark for the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series (Zondervan, 2014). He was kind enough to answer a few questions about his work in an interview with me. Check his book out.
#1: Tell us about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series and what this series has to offer? What attracted you to this project?
MS: The ZEC Series is an exegetical commentary designed for pastors and teachers. It is especially helpful for those who have had a year or two Greek, and will help them refresh their use of the Greek. It is thorough, yet not overly technical (all the Greek is followed by an English gloss). Every pericope contains a brief summary of (1) the literary context, (2) the “main idea” of the passage, (3) an original translation, (4) a graphical layout of the structure of the passage, (5) an exegetical outline, (6) a fairly detailed commentary or explanation of the text, and (7) a “Theology in Application” section discussing the theological implications of the passage. There is little space devoted to composition history and historical critical issues, which are not particularly relevant to the concerns of the church.
I was approached by Clint Arnold about joining the project as an associate editor for the narrative material of the New Testament. I got excited because the commentary is detailed yet accessible, precisely what a preacher or teacher is looking for when trying to do a thorough exegesis of a passage.
#2: Who are some of the Markan scholars that have influenced you most? If you had to work out an “essential reading on Mark” book list, what would you put on it and why?
#3: You have done work on Mark before (New Expositors, 2010). What jumped out to you about Mark’s interests and style this time around?
#4: After working through Mark in such detail, what question marks are left? What Markan conundrums are left unresolved and unexplained?
#5: Part of the emphasis in the ZECNT is “theology in application” – What kinds of things does Mark teach that need to be heard loud and clear by the church today?
#6: Can you tell us about other projects you are working on?
Thanks for your time!