Robert Stein pursues Mark's purpose in this excellent edition in the ongoing BECNT series. The research is scholarly, up to date, and well thought out. The exposition is solid, deep, and readable. You may not agree with everything Stein says, but you'll have your hands full looking to disagree with him.
(-) Stein excels in textual criticism. He really knows his information. And in an academic commentary like this, what better place to get to talk about it? However, it often takes up a lot of the conversation. Stein shows the understanding of Jesus traditions by Mark and how they have been interpreted (correctly or incorrectly) by others. But it was pure monotony to see what Mark said, ask if he really said it, look at what other interpreters have said for/against the text, only to then conclude that Mark really said what he said.
What the BECNT series accomplishes well is showing the forest through the trees. Stein doesn't let us down, although the RC discussions can easily bog you down in their details.
(+) Stein shows how each section fits with the one before it, after it, and often times in the context as a whole. There is detailed interaction with the Greek, covers problematic verses, and shows many of the themes and the purpose of Mark's gospel. You will have a pretty good grasp on Mark and how each section flows to the next.
Recommended? This commentary is definitely recommended. Stein's insights were especially helpful, and the size of this commentary certainly helped. This was my go-to commentary this semester, and I believe this commentary will help fill whatever purpose you have, whether pastoral, teacher/instructor, leading a Bible study, etc. (FYI, This commentary does end at 16.8).
[Special thanks to Trinity at Baker Academic for sending me this book for review! I was not obligated to provide a positive review in exchange for this book.]
Good thorough commentary. It's good to have an affordable and 'truly' Evangelical commentary series which also hints/informs where a critical commentary might be advantageous.
a serious letdown is that Editor and writer Stein has decided to make the decision, whether Mark ends with 16:8 or not, for the reader. I buy commentaries to be able to make my own mind up in an informed way (and get an exegesis all the same, even if the author disagrees with 16:9-20, or any other part). This 'kind of' elevates academical scholarship to idol and Editor to high priest... but then maybe an 800 page commentary on the last few verses is forthcoming :)
(Missler makes a pretty good case for the gnostics having removed the resurrection in the Alexandrian MSS (same argument, that of a seamless heptadic structure, contra Stein), which on the other hand leaves other 'odd' bits as explaining picking up snakes and 'guzzling poison' to explain.)
Good thorough commentary, but: Fail as an exegesis (incomplete - views aside) and Fail as Evangelical Commentary (is it any longer Evangelical when verses get edited out - for whatever reason?)