This semester I have been entrusted with the responsibility to teach Bible college students how to properly interpret and apply the Bible. One thing is certainly clear: There is a great need for biblical literacy in the church today. Even when students are given the tools of studying the Bible in theory, they may find themselves asking what this looks like in practice. Thanks to William Boekestein an example is set forth in his work Bible Studies on Mark.
Contained in 21 lessons, Boekestein guides the reader through the Gospel of Mark. He begins the book by addressing the introductory matters of describing the genre of the Gospels, considering how we profit from the Gospel of Mark, and developing themes seen throughout Mark. Each lesson walks through the text in a satisfactory manner. Pastor Boekestein explains details of the text where needed, such as when Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” (Boekestein 66). He also tackles difficult matters, informing the reader Mark 16:9–20 was not included in the earliest manuscripts (Boekestein 203). The defining characteristic of Bible Studies on Mark is its knowledge of all Scripture. The author has a great knowledge of the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament. In case one thinks the author is studying the Bible in isolation, the end of each chapter features endnotes of good sources, making it evident the book has been well-researched.
While the lessons are sound in their interpretation, some side applications of particular texts seem to be a stretch in making application from the text. One particular example is the lessons that can be learned from Peter’s denial (Boekestein 184). This is not to say one cannot make such side applications; it is simply that some side applications are not the most convincing. Yet, this minor critique does not take away from the solid teaching William Boekestein has provided in Bible Studies on Mark. The book begins by encouraging us to ask throughout the lessons, “How does Jesus’ life teach us good news?” (Boekestein 3). If you let Pastor Boekestein walk you through this Gospel, you will arrive at a biblically informed answer. Bible Studies on Mark is a study for those who want to be guided into a deeper study on Mark in a timely fashion.
I received this book for free from Reformed Fellowship Inc. via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.
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