The Gospel of Mark

series: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

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More information on the CCSS series is available at www.CatholicScriptureCommentary.com

The Gospel of Mark is the first volume of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, a new series that combines outstanding biblical scholarship with lively faith to help Catholics interpret Scripture and apply it to Christian life today.

About the Series The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS) responds to the desire of Catholics to study the Bible in depth and in a way that integrates Scripture with Catholic doctrine, worship, and daily life. The series will include seventeen volumes, offering readable, informative commentary on each book of the New Testament. The CCSS implements the theological principles taught by Vatican II for interpreting Scripture “in accord with the same Spirit by which it was written”—that is, interpreting Scripture in its canonical context and in the light of Catholic tradition and the analogy of faith (Dei Verbum 12).

The CCSS is packed with features designed to help readers use the Bible more effectively in teaching, preaching, evangelization, and other forms of ministry. Each volume provides exegesis as well as reflection and application sections. Cross-references link each passage to the Catechism, the Lectionary, and related biblical texts. Sidebars present information on the background of the text and on how the text has been interpreted by the Church. Abundant quotations from saints and Church Fathers enable readers to glimpse the continuity of Catholic tradition. Each volume includes a glossary, a list of suggested resources, an index of pastoral topics, and an Index of sidebars. Further resources are posted at the series web site, www.CatholicScriptureCommentary.com.

Consulting editors: Scott Hahn (Franciscan University of Steubenville); Daniel J. Harrington, SJ (1940–2014); William S. Kurz, SJ (Marquette University); Francis Martin (Dominican House of Studies); Frank J. Matera (Catholic University of America); George T. Montague, SM (St. Mary’s University); and Terrence Prendergast (Archbishop of Ottawa)

General editors: Peter S. Williamson (Sacred Heart Major Seminary) and Mary Healy (Sacred Heart Major Seminary); associate editor: Kevin Perrotta (award-winning Catholic journalist and editor of the Six Weeks with the Bible series)


Endorsements

"This well-written book fills a very important niche in our appreciation of the Gospels. Healy combines literary sensitivity with theological vigor, resulting in a reading of Mark that puts a compelling face on the message of this Gospel."--Gary Anderson, professor of Old Testament, University of Notre Dame

"Though Mark's Gospel is the shortest Gospel in length, it is certainly not short in profound insights on the life and teaching of Our Lord. Mary Healy plumbs the depths and unwraps the riches of this Gospel for both the serious scholar and the novice alike in her easy-to-read and lucid style. With the incisiveness of a surgeon and the clarity of a scholar, she pulls back the curtain on the first century and the ministry of Jesus Christ. This commentary on Mark will fill an important place in my library!"--Steve Ray, lecturer; author of the Bible Study Guides for Genesis and Acts; and writer, producer, and host of the ten-part documentary series Footprints of God: The Story of Salvation from Abraham to Augustine

"Mary Healy skillfully and insightfully moves her readers to plumb the spiritual depths of Mark's Gospel through helpful sections of 'living tradition' and 'reflection and application.' I have found her commentary a boon in homily preparation. If the other volumes in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture live up to the high standard that Healy has attained, Catholic Christians will be enriched and grateful."--Robert J. Karris, OFM, research professor, The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University

Praise for the CCSS series:

"The CCSS is a long-awaited addition to Catholic books on the Bible. It is clearly written, sticks to the facts, treats the Bible as true history, and does not get lost in idle speculation and guesswork about the sources of the Gospels and the other books. Homilists will find here the pearl of great price and the treasure hidden in a field. Laypersons who are looking for a truly Catholic interpretation of the Bible will find it here. Those who want to know more about God's holy word in the Bible will want to purchase the whole set."--Kenneth Baker, SJ, editor, Homiletics and Pastoral Review

"This series of commentaries is just what the Church needs today. It combines sound exegesis with pastoral and spiritual sensitivity and is accessible to any Catholic who wishes a reliable commentary on Scripture that is understandable, solid in its scholarship, and applicable to life. Recommended."--Ralph Martin, director graduate theology programs in the new evangelization, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit; author of The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints

"The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture richly provides what has for so long been lacking among contemporary scriptural commentaries. Its goal is to assist Catholic preachers and teachers, lay and ordained, in their ministry of the Word. Moreover, it offers ordinary Catholics a scriptural resource that will enhance their understanding of God's Word and thereby deepen their faith. Thus these commentaries, nourished on the faith of the Church and guided by scholarly wisdom, are both exegetically sound and spiritually nourishing. They are indispensable tools for preaching, catechesis, evangelization, and other forms of pastoral ministry."--Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM Cap, executive director of the secretariat for doctrine, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

"Catholic biblical literature is so abundant that one might raise the question, do we need another commentary on the Holy Scriptures? Such a question will inevitably arise in the minds of those for whom science and mathematics alone give us valid knowledge. But whereas these branches of knowledge grow 'horizontally' (that is, solve one problem to turn to the next), knowledge of God grows 'vertically.' Every word coming from the mouth of God is so rich in content that commentaries--profound as they are--can never exhaust the divine manna. This is why the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is to be warmly welcomed. It builds on the sublime insights delivered by tradition and adds another flower to the bouquet of human homage to revelation."--Alice von Hildebrand, professor emerita, City University of New York

"Those who preach and teach will find their burden lightened and turned into delight with the help of these commentaries. In a time when much biblical scholarship is written for other biblical scholars, these authors understand that the Bible is the book of the Church, the entire people of God."--Richard John Neuhaus, author of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile

"Mary Healy and Peter S. Williamson, with Kevin Perrotta, have launched an exciting and most promising Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. I plan to read and use it as a basis for preaching and am already profiting from the advanced segments."--Michael Scanlan, TOR, chancellor, Franciscan University of Steubenville

"This new Bible commentary series is based on solid scholarship and enriched by the church's long tradition of study and reflection. Enhanced by an attractive format, it provides an excellent resource for all who are serving in pastoral ministry and for the individual reader who searches the Scriptures for guidance in the Christian life."--Emil A. Wcela, Auxiliary Bishop (retired), Diocese of Rockville Centre; past president, Catholic Biblical Association

"Direct, clear, and spiritually rich, the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is just what we need today: patient exposition of God's Word that illuminates and is illuminated by the teaching and practice of the Church."--R. R. Reno, professor of theological ethics, Creighton University

"This new commentary series should meet a need that has long been pointed out: a guide to Scripture that will be both historically responsible and shaped by the mind of the Church's tradition. It promises to be a milestone in the recovery of a distinctively Catholic approach to exegesis."--Aidan Nichols, OP, John Paul II Memorial Visiting Lecturer, University of Oxford; Fellow of Greyfriars, Oxford

"In the four decades since the Second Vatican Council, Catholics of all backgrounds have been blessed with quite a number of excellent commentaries on the Sacred Scriptures. Many of these were very scholarly and others more popular. There has long been a need for a commentary that provides a certain amount of depth while still being very accessible to people of all backgrounds--preachers and teachers of the Word, lay or ordained, as well as ordinary Catholics. Peter Williamson, Mary Healy, and Kevin Perrotta have put together a team that is now writing a seventeen-volume New Testament series entitled The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. Following the theological principle of Dei Verbum 12, that Scripture should be interpreted 'in accord with the same spirit by which it was written,' these volumes seek to integrate Scripture with Catholic doctrine, worship, and daily life. The authors and consulting editors are world-class theologians and Scripture scholars, the format is easy to read, and the price is hard to beat!"--Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop of Detroit

"Informed by careful scholarship, yet accessible to a wide audience, the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture belongs in homes, parishes, college classrooms, and anywhere that a clear, lively, faithful guide to Bible study is welcome. Catholics delving into Scripture will find here a first-class resource for discovering, or rediscovering, the spiritual riches of the New Testament."--Paul Thigpen, professor of theology, Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville, Georgia, and editor of The Catholic Answer magazine

"The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture employs the Church's methodology of studying Sacred Scripture in a faithful, dynamic, and fruitful way. With interest in Catholic Bible studies growing rapidly, the repeated question has been, 'can you suggest a reliable commentary?' The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is now the go-to resource that I can enthusiastically recommend to all my students."--Jeff Cavins, founder, The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Study System

"There is a great hunger among Catholic laity for a deeper understanding of the Bible. The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture fills the need for a more in-depth interpretation of Scripture. I am very excited to be able to recommend this new series to our Bible Study groups around the world."--Gail Buckley, founder and director, Catholic Scripture Study International (www.cssprogram.net)

"The Word of God is the source of Christian life, and the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is an ideal tool for living our faith more deeply. This extraordinary resource combines superior scholarship and a vivid, accessible style that will serve the interested layperson and the serious scholar equally well. It feeds both the mind and the heart and should be on the shelf of every committed Catholic believer. I highly recommend it."--Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia

"This new Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (New Testament) grew out of a perception that there was a need, yet to be met, for commentaries oriented to Christian faith and life today. The first two volumes--The Gospel of Mark and First and Second Timothy, Titus--indicate that this series promises to be spiritually and doctrinally informative, based on careful, solid biblical exegesis. The method and content of this work will be helpful to teachers of the faith at different levels and will provide a reliable guide to people seeking to deepen their knowledge and thereby nourish their faith. With the advance of secularism in our times Christian conviction and evangelization need sustained support, especially through Sacred Scripture. I strongly recommend the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture."--Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster

"Pope Benedict XVI has reminded the Church that continuous encounter with the Word remains the source of her renewal and the font of 'a new spiritual Spring.' The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture affords its readers a helpful guide for encountering the books of the Bible in a way that respects both the whole of Scripture and the givens of Catholic faith. Many will discover in the volumes of this collection wellsprings of spiritual refreshment."--Romanus Cessario, OP, professor of systematic theology, St John's Seminary

"As a former evangelical Bible teacher I own hundreds of Bible commentaries, but after my conversion to the Catholic Church, I was dismayed by the lack of good Catholic commentaries on Scripture. It is thrilling to see the new seventeen-volume Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, which is scholarly, easy to read, and faithful to Catholic teaching. The references to the Catechism, the Fathers of the Church, and a variety of other sources make this an exceptionally rich resource. Each volume is loaded with rich detail, theological insight, and helpful background information. These solidly orthodox Catholic scholars have done us a great service by filling the void--providing a commentary series on Scripture that has set a cutting-edge standard for years to come."--Steve Ray, lecturer; author of the Bible Study Guides for Genesis and Acts; and writer, producer, and host of the ten-part documentary series Footprints of God: The Story of Salvation from Abraham to Augustine

"Besides being a clearly written, comprehensive, and pastorally instructive guide to the Bible for Catholics, the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is also a great commentary for Protestant readers. By being faithful to the Church's teaching and by drawing so much from the wisdom of all of church history, it offers much to Protestant readers who want to read Scripture through the Great Tradition."--David Mills, editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity

"This new commentary series appears to me to be a gift of the Holy Spirit to Catholic clergy, religious, and laity at this historic moment. Pope Benedict has effectively announced the rebirth of Catholic biblical theology, bringing together Scripture, tradition, and the teachings of the Church. An up-to-date popular guide to the New Testament is urgently needed at this moment. This commentary reflects not only biblical criticism but also the unity of the Word of God as it applies to our lives. We accept this Word with the confident belief that these writings are given to us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and reliably present the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is imperative that we study the New Testament because, inspired by Christ himself, it is the guide to eternal life. This is a marvelous and timely introduction. Sign up and learn."--Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR, author and preacher

"By bringing together historical background, exegetical interpretation, church tradition, theological reflection, and pastoral application, this series promises to enkindle thoughtful discussion about the implications of the New Testament for lived Christian faith in the Church today. Its accessible format and multi-angled approach offer a model for teaching and ministry."--Katherine Hayes, associate professor of Sacred Scripture, Seminary of the Immaculate Conception

"The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture gives serious American Catholics a critical study tool they've lacked: a spiritually invigorated and intellectually keen verse-by-verse analysis of the biblical text from scholars who are thinking within the heart of the Church. All of this is achieved without getting bogged down in questions of purely academic interest. The commentaries are rich in textual insight and practical illustration, making them immensely helpful to homilists, teachers, and readers. This project is terrific; undoubtedly one of the most exciting works of today's freshly assertive American Catholicism."--Al Kresta, president and CEO, Ave Maria Radio; host of Kresta in the Afternoon

"Coinciding with the Bishops' Synod on 'The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,' this great project of a seventeen-volume commentary on the New Testament starts with the volume on Saint Mark. This series represents a much-needed approach, based on good scholarship but not overloaded with it. The frequent references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church help us to read Holy Scripture with a vivid sense of the living tradition of the Church."--Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna

"I welcome with great joy the launch of this new collection of commentaries on the Bible because the project corresponds perfectly to a pressing need in the Church. I am speaking about exegetical studies that are well grounded from a scholarly point of view but not overburdened with technical details, and at the same time related to the riches of ancient interpretation, nourishing for spiritual life, and useful for catechesis, preaching, evangelization, and other forms of pastoral ministry. Indeed, this is the kind of commentary for which the majority of readers have a great desire."--Albert Cardinal Vanhoye, SJ, emeritus professor of biblical exegesis, Pontifical Biblical Institute, former secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission

"After twenty years of teaching priests as well as teaching Catholic laypeople, seminarians, and deacons in formation, I can say with confidence that the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture is a landmark achievement in theological interpretation of Scripture in and for the Church. Everything about it is inviting and edifying, from the format, photos, background notes, and cross-references (to Scripture and the Catechism) to the rich exposition of the text, quotations from the Church's living tradition, and reflections for contemporary life. It is a wonderful gift to the Catholic Church and a model for the rest of us. Highly recommended for all!"--Michael J. Gorman, professor of Sacred Scripture and dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore

"In preparing for the international Synod of Bishops on 'The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,' Pope Benedict XVI reminded the Church that a prayerful study of the Scriptures is at the heart of the Church's renewal. The new Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture promises to directly serve that purpose. Drawing on sound biblical scholarship, the commentaries present the reader with the rich harvest of that study, reflecting on the message of the biblical text and engaging the life of faith from a Catholic perspective. Preachers, pastors, students of the Bible, and adults seeking mature spiritual nourishment will welcome this new series."--Donald Senior, CP, president, Catholic Theological Union

"When the Scripture is read in the liturgy, it is heard as a living voice. But when expounded in a commentary, it is too often read as a document from the past. This fine new series unites the ancient and the contemporary by offering insight into the biblical text--verse by verse--as well as spiritual application to the lives of Christians today. I particularly like the sidebars inserted into the text called 'Living Tradition' that feature memorable sayings from great Christian teachers or brief explanations of puzzling terms and ideas."--Robert Louis Wilken, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of the history of Christianity, University of Virginia

"In my opinion, the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture embodies the type of biblical exegesis hoped for by Pius XII. In his 1943 encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, the late Pontiff taught that biblical scholars 'should set forth in particular the theological doctrine in faith and morals of the individual books or texts so that their exposition . . . may help all the faithful to lead a life that is holy and worthy of a Christian.'"--Robert L. Fastiggi, professor of systematic theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit


The Author

  1. Mary Healy

    Mary Healy

    Mary Healy (STD, Pontifical Gregorian University) is professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. She is the author of several books, including The Gospel of Mark...

    Continue reading about Mary Healy

Reviews

"[Healy] provides a clear and well-informed exposition of Mark's gospel. . . . The usefulness of the commentary for pastors or lay readers who have some degree of biblical literacy is enhanced by sidebars on historical background questions and sound pastoral reflections after each major passage."--Donald Senior, CP, Bible Today

"[This commentary] is aware of the relevant scholarly discussions and possesses a number of features that make it extremely functional: general introduction to and outline of Mark, excurses on biblical and historical background issues, pictures of artefacts or geography, excurses on the interpretation of the text in the tradition, a 'reflection and application' portion, and, finally, indications of parallel or relevant biblical passages, where the passage is discussed in the Catechism, where it appears in the lectionary, and for what feasts or masses it is appropriate. Suitable for seminarians, ordinands and interested laypeople, this commentary is a refreshing resource. As an Anglican minister, I can say I have used it in preparing homilies on Mark with benefit. Its introductory level . . . is great for a quick yet informed account of the spiritual and theological matter of the text."--James R. A. Merrick, Theological Book Review

"With the recent launch of the 17-volume Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, Baker Academic is providing Catholics an important new resource for biblical study that is scholarly, engaging, and faithful to the magisterium. . . . The Gospel of Mark offers a careful examination of the second Gospel, verse by verse. . . . [Healy] utilizes extensive scholarship to clarify the meaning of the text, provide helpful context, and make it available to the reader for personal reflection and application. Passages are cross-referenced to related scriptural texts as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other magisterial documents. The format is enlivened by photos. Of special interest are the sidebars throughout the book. . . . Additional resources at the end include a list of suggested resources, a glossary, an index of pastoral topics, and a map of Palestine during the time of Christ. Informed by careful scholarship, yet accessible to a wide audience, this volume and others in the series belong in homes, parishes, classrooms, wherever a clear, lively, faithful guide to Bible study is welcome. Catholics will find here a first-class resource for discovering the spiritual riches of the New Testament."--Catholic Answer

"In her commentary on Mark, Professor Healy does a good job of placing each pericope in its historical context but also of placing it within the larger literary patterns of the whole gospel. . . . There is a good mixture of scriptural scholarship, background information, church teaching, and practical application. . . . [This commentary] will help especially the teacher and the preacher for [it tries] to do what the Pontifical Biblical Commission asked of Catholic exegetes: not just to offer mere exposition but 'to explain the meaning of the biblical texts for today'. If the rest of the series is as good as [this commentary] they will be worth buying."--David Sanders, OP, New Blackfriars

"While the commentary is based on sound Catholic scholarship, it also provides spiritual nourishment for believers to deepen their faith and their understanding of the living tradition of the Church. . . . There are many helpful tools found in this commentary that are not found anywhere else. Related Old Testament, as well as New Testament, passages are given and commented on in the interpretation. References to the Catechism and the Lectionary are often included. There are two helpful sidebars scattered throughout the commentary. The Biblical Background sidebars give concise historical, literary, or theological information on pertinent topics related to the interpretation section. . . . The Living Tradition sidebars, which give direct quotations from Church documents and from the writings of saints and Church Fathers, examine various theological themes that are related to Church Traditions. . . . It is clearly written, using ordinary style and language that helps non-experts to be engaged in the living word of God. There is also a helpful glossary of important terms found at the end. This is a great resource, especially for Catholic preachers and teachers, lay and ordained, who are working in the ministry of the Word of God."--vanThanh Nguyen, SVD, Catholic Library World

"Healy's commentary . . . draw[s] directly on the fruits of academic biblical scholarship and appl[ies] those results to Mark's Gospel from the perspective of Catholic faith. . . . [The] sidebars are especially noteworthy, since they visually exemplify the methodological commitment to reading the Gospel through the eyes of academic study and theological reflection. . . . The commentary has several strengths. First, Healy displays a remarkable ability to communicate a great deal of exegetical insight with brevity and clarity. . . . Second, the well-executed sections on reflection and application flow directly from the exegesis. The reflections are both exegetically grounded and open-ended enough for readers to apply them to their own lives. Given the divide that sometimes exists between exegesis and theology, this is one of the most noteworthy successes of Healy's commentary. Third, this volume delivers on its claims: it is a distinctively Catholic commentary. While displaying an ecumenical spirit that emphasizes common ground among Christians, Healy offers distinctively Catholic exegeses. . . . Healy's commentary achieves what the CCSS sets out to do with economy and elegance. If the other volumes in the series live up to the standard set by Healy's work . . . they will have produced an important contribution to the study of Scripture in the life and mission of the church."--Brant Pitre, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Praise for the CCSS series:
"There's something about this series that is notable: the authors explain the Bible in theologically orthodox ways and explain the text clearly, succinctly, and without a lengthy apparatus of the history of interpretation or discussions of alternative views. Solid exegesis; discussion of the evidence as needed; not much bibliographical reference. Just expounds what the text says and moves on. In other words, this could be the first commentary read by a pastor preparing a text and could be read easily by a Sunday School teacher preparing a text, and it would be an excellent commentary for a college Bible class. . . . The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture will prove itself to be a reliable, Catholic--but ecumenically open and respectful--commentary."--Scot McKnight, blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed

"[The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture] fits an important niche and the editors (as well as Baker) are to be commended for an attractive and user-friendly design to the volumes. What makes this commentary series unique? The editors and authors are all dedicated Catholics. . . . One might think these commentaries are written exclusively for Catholics. That is not the case. I found the 'Living Tradition' sidebars very insightful for those who are not well acquainted with Catholic tradition. . . . Certainly a lot of academic work has been put into the commentary, but the comments and discussions in the commentary seem to be pitched towards priests and laypeople. I think this is wonderful--I can imagine study groups of Catholics with their Bibles and commentaries. Very inspiring. . . . [Healy] knows the text of Mark very well, and explains what needs to be explained. . . . Overall the commentary is elegantly lucid and edifying. Should lovers of Mark buy this? Personally, it was nice to have a devotional commentary for my own growth. . . . Certainly libraries should subscribe to this series."--Nijay K. Gupta, Crux Sola blog