The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel

Here’s my review of Peter Bolt’s excellent book.



Filed under Bible and Theology, Books

4 responses to “The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel

  1. Dear Jim,

    Great review. By the way, on Monday night I introduced Source, Form, and Redaction criticism to my NT Survey class. I started off the lecture by warning them not be surprised if they think the lecture is boring because I think it’s boring too. “As a matter of fact, when you get into this stuff you just want to cut yourself.”



  2. Nick

    The big question is, were you convinced by his exposition of Mark 13? I found it really attractive on the surface, and several points are very strong…but overall it leaves so much unexplained and even bizarre, if it is all about the next few days before the cross and resurrection and ascension, and fails to take into account the temple theme which clearly is central. I find Sam Storms exposition of the Olivet Discourse at his website to be the most persuasive. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  3. Nick,

    Thanks for your comments. I haven’t studied Mark as much as I would like to, but as I worked through Luke recently I saw that Bolt’s reading doesn’t work in Luke. That inclines me to think that it probably doesn’t work for Mark either. I need to check out what Storms says.



  4. Jim,
    Good review. Bolt’s book is a gem, esp. in the context of some of the stuff I’ve read about Mark and Atonement, like Mark is trying to undo Paul. Great for preaching too. There was only one thing about Bolt’s book that I found hard to swallow. In chapter 1, “Abolishment of Religion” he sounds “almost” like a quasi-Marcionite. When you say stuff like Jesus came to abolish the OT religion I get nervous. Now, Bolt does qualify that by talking about shadow and reality etc., and I think he’s trying to distinguish between religion and a relationship, but he chose an awkward way of doing it. And I agree, I don’t think his resurrection view fits into Mark 13. Bolt shows just how relevant Mark is for Easter!

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