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

Gospel of John in Historical Inquiry – a book note

Front cover: The Gospel of John in Historical Inquiry

It is not often I recommend a book that book that retails new at £120, but when this one landed on the sorting table a Book Aid last week I thought its contents significant enough to do so.

James H. Charlesworth with Jolyon G.R. Pruszinski, editors, Jesus Research. The Gospel of John in Historical Enquiry. T&T Clark Jewish and Christian Texts Series 26. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2019. ISBN-13: 978-0-5676-8134-8. Hbk. pp.371.

Table of Contents (partial)

  • Paul N. Anderson, Why the Gospel of John is Fundamental to Jesus Research
  • Dale C. Allison, Jr., Reflections omn Matthew, John, and Jesus
  • Harold W. Attridge, Some Methodological Considerations Regarding John, Jesus and History
  • George L. Parsenois, How and in What Way Does John’s Rhetoric Reflect Jesus’ Rhetoric?
  • Urban C. von Wahlde, The First Edition of John’s Gospel in Light of Archaeology and Contemporary Literature
  • R. Alan Culpepper, John 2:20, “Forty-Six Years”: Revisiting J.A.T. Robisnon’s Chronology of Jesus’ Ministry
  • Craig S. Keener, Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel’s Depiction of the Baptist
  • James H. Charlesworth, Can Archaeology Help Us See Jesus’ Shadows in the Gospel of John?
  • Jan Roskovec, History in John’s Portrayal of Jesus
  • Michael A. Draise, Jesus and the Historical Implications of John’s Temple Cleansing
  • Petr Pokorny, Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel of John

Most experts who seek to understand the historical Jesus focus only on the Synoptic Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. However, the contributors of this wolume come to an important consensus: that the the Gospel of John preserves tradition that are independent of the Synoptics, and which are often as reliable as any known traditions for understanding the historical Jesus. As such, the contributors argue for the use of John’s Gospel in Jesus research.

From the back cover.

So, if you are fortunate to have access to a research library I would recommend this as an addition to your reading list.

Please note that I cannot make any part of this book available on-line, because it is in copyright.

Cambridge Greek Testament: Hebrews by Alexander Nairne

Alexander Nairne [1863-1936], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

A commentary on the Greek text of Hebrews in the Cambridge New Testament for Schools and Colleges series by Alexander Nairne. It is worth oting that the author devotes a considerable space in the introduction to the theology of Hebrews.

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

Alexander Nairne [1863-1936], The Epistle to the Hebrews with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922. Hbk. pp.141. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    1. Plan and analysis of the epistle
    2. History of the reception, criticism and interpretation of the epistle
    3. The theology of the epistle
    4. The text of the epistle
    5. The style of the epistle
  • The Greek Text
  • Notes
  • Index of Contents

Disussion of authorship

That no doubt had already struck Luther when he conjectured Apollos as the author. Possibly Luther, and the modems who have accepted his conjecture, read more into the few lines in which .Apollos is described (Acts xviii. 24 f.) than is really to be found there. The conjecture is not supported by tradition. Harnack’s idea that Priscilla was the authoress is a development from Luther’s inference. Blass in the short preface to his rythmical text pays no attention to the philosophical colouring, and accepts the Barnabas tradition, because Barnabas as a Levite would have been familiar with the cadences of the Greek Psalter. Barnabas is the only name which can be connected with anything like a. real tradition. Scholarship is more respectful to tradition of late. It is felt that there are few fresh starts in thought; tradition generally lies behind, and what seems to be tradition is at least to be respectfully examined. That is the spirit of a book which has not yet been so carefully criticised as it deserves. Mr Edmundson thinks Hebrews was written to Judaeo-Christians in Rome by Barnabas in 66 A.D. S. Paul was still living; had been released from his captivity; and at the close of the same year was himself in Rome, again in prison and soon to die. I Peter had been already written and is quoted in Hebrews. The Apocalypse was written three years later, at the beginning of A.D. 70. Early in the same year, A.D. 70, Clement, a younger brother of M. Arrecinus Clemens and the same Clement as is named in Phil. iv., gave literary expression to the message from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth ; he was not yet the official head of the Roman Church. That is a consistent view of our epistle and the other epistles that are related to it. Without necessarily adopting the whole of it, we may at least welcome the support Mr Edmundson gives to the early date of Hebrews. That judgement is hardly fashionable at present, but, as will presently be shown, it does fit many important characteristics of the epistle.

As for the author’s name, that search may as well be given up. The Barnabas tradition only emerges for a moment or two and is lost in darkness on either side. The other names proposed, Luke, Clement, Apollos, Silas, Philip the deacon, Aristion – one writer has even suggested S. Peter – are mere conjectures; some of which are surely impossible. That there should be one letter in the New Testament which was not written by any person who happens to be mentioned in the other books, is quite in accordance with the analogies of literary history. It may be added, though not as an argument, that our interest in the apostolic Church and our reverence for its rich inspiration would be increased hereby. The character, education and to a large extent the circumstances of the author may be gathered from the letter itself. The mere precision of a name would not illuminate the background very much….

Pages iv-lvii