The work presented here is the first full-length continuous commentary by a single author on the Gospel according to Mark. In the history of biblical exegesis, it marks an important moment. The work has a significance for the history of biblical exegesis, for the study of patristic exegesis, and for the history of Markan study in particular.
The earliest commentary written on Mark's Gospel has only recently been recognized as such.1 In his prologue, the Markan commentator observes that Gospel commentators have completely neglected Mark. The fathers of the church left us only homilies on this or that part of Mark, and scholars such as Victor of Antioch fashioned commentaries on Mark which were merely compilations drawn from such patristic efforts. The traditional commentaries on the other three Gospels covered the greater part of the material found in Mark, so that it is understandable that the shortest of the Gospels was neglected. The anonymous author was aware that his was a pioneering effort. Interestingly, he makes explicit mention of the parts proper to Mark, to which, he says, he will give special attention. Ordinarily, the commentator identifies a section or pericope for treatment by briefly quoting the opening and closing phrases and____________________