Practical Commentary on Mark by James Morison

Practical Commentary on Mark by James Morison 1

James Morison offers a detailed commentary on the Gospel of Mark which does not require knowledge of Greek.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Greek. My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

James Morison [1816-1893], A Practical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Mark, 7th edn. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1892. Hbk. pp.481. [Click to visit the download page for this book]

Table of Contents

  • Prefatory note
  • Introduction
    1. Gospel and Gospels
    2. Title of St, Mark’s Gospel
    3. The Name ‘Mark’
    4. St Mark the Evangelist the ‘John Mark’ of the Acts of the Apostles
    5. Covert Reference to the Evangelist in the Body of the Gospel
    6. The Relation of the Apostle Peter to the Gospels: Patristic Evidence
    7. Relation of the Gospel to the Apostle Peter: Internal Evidence
    8. The Inner Relation of the Gospel to the Synoptic Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke
    9. Date of the Gospel
    10. The Place of the Gospel’s Publication and the Language in Which it was Originally Given Written
    11. The Plan, Aim, and Style of the Gospel
    12. Integrity of the Gospel
    13. The Topical Position of St. Mark’s Gospel in the Group of Gospels
    14. The Contents of the Gospel
  • Exposition of the Gospel
  • Index to the Exposition

Prefatory Note

The following Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Mark, though latently complementive of the author’s Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, is yet entirely ‘self contained.’ There are, indeed, occasional references to some fuller discussions or expositions in the Commentary on St. Matthew; but the thread of continuous exposition in St. Mark is never suspended or broken off. The author conceives that he was not entitled to postulate the reader’s possession of the earlier volume; and be imagines that it would have been a blunder in the structure of his present work, had it imposed, even on those readers who possess the companion volume, the irksome task of turning to it, and turning it up, ere they could ascertain his opinion on any particular passage in St. Mark.

In thus endeavouring to avoid a ‘rock ‘ on which many had struck, the author was not unmindful that there was a little malstrom-like ‘Charybdis’ on the other side of ‘Scylla,’ no less dangerous to navigators. Hence he has been on his guard not to allow any of the materials which have done duty in the Commentary on St. Matthew to float silently away into the whirlpool of circulatory repetition, in order to do double service in expounding the coincident representations in St. Mark. He hopes that whatever else his readers may miss in the present volume, they will find throughout fresh veins of representation and illustration, the result of fresh labour and research.

In St. Mark’s Gospel, moreover, there 1s a pervading peculiarity of phraseology, (inartificial indeed, yet idiosyncratic,) which to the lover of delicate tints and flickers of presentation affords a continual incentive to fresh investigation. Hence, in truth, much of the charm, as also much of the difficulty, in expounding St. Mark. The charm is intensified if the conviction can be substantiated, (as it undoubtedly can, provided the sum of the existing evidence be impartially weighed,) that St. Peter’s teaching within the circle of the early catechumens was the chief fountainhead from which St. Mark drew the substance and even the minutiae of his Gospel. The flicker of St. Peter’s subjective conceptions is thus passing before us as we read. It is a fact fitted to stimulate. We feel as if we should not like to let slip any of that subtle essence, or quintessence, of mind which made the primary observations of the chief of the Lord’s personal attendants distinctive as well as distinct, and his subsequent reminiscences and representations invariably vivid and frequently picturesque.

Whether attributable to St. Peter’s tenacity of memory, or to that unique element in his dialect which made his manner of speech, like that of every other original mind, peculiarly his own, or whether merely attributable to the reproductive idiosyncrasy of the writer, ‘vexed expressions’ abound in St. Mark, and give ample scope for patient, yet exciting, research.

Pages ix-x

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