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Peter’s Preaching:
the Message of
Mark’s Gospel

Author Jeremy Duff
Publisher BRF £9.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780857463500

This is a latecomer to the Markan library, and is not a commentary but a guide to reading Mark’s gospel. It is based on the idea that what we have in Mark’s text is a kind of compendium of Peter’s preaching, written down by Mark – who incidentally seems not to have been the young man who ran off naked after Jesus’ arrest. The author presents us with a different way to read Mark’s gospel, taking a thematic approach – miracles, the identity of Jesus, parables – and shows how carefully the original text was structured to make particular points. Duff writes accessibly and intermingles biblical exposition with some telling contemporary illustrations. There is a wealth of preaching material here and many helpful insights. The author also includes some interesting historical and contextual comments, such as that Mark was perhaps responsible for encouraging the use of the new codex format in preference to the more traditional scrolls. This highlights the one failing of Duff’s book – the lack of references to any other literature. But this book is not offered as an academic text and his credentials are attested by his time as a New Testament tutor at Oxford – so we can take his word on trust. In the same way he encourages us to receive Mark’s gospel as Peter’s word to the early church – and to us – about the good news that is Jesus Christ.
MARION GRAY

New Testament analysis