Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel
For thirty years, Mark as Story has introduced readers to the rhetorical and narrative skill that makes Mark so arresting and compelling a story. Rhoads, Dewey, and Michie have helped to pioneer our appreciation of the Gospels, and Mark in particular, as narratives originally created in an oral culture for oral performance. New in this edition are a revised introduction and an afterword describing the significant role Mark as Story has played in the development of narrative criticism.
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I am using this text for my Bible Study class and I can tell you that this is a must read for layman, and clergy alike --- the style has often been underestimated, in comparison to say Luke, but the craftsmanship and theology of Mark are distinctive, and as the first gospel may be closer to what the original audience both wanted, and expected.
Rhoads, et al. do use the historical/critical approach, which some readers may be unfamiliar with, but the style is approachable and the writing is superb, I highly recommend this book for those wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the first gospel.