Mark 1:1-8:26 - Concordia Commentary

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Dr. Voelz considers the Law, Gospel, and narrative of promise in Mark in this Concordia Commentary.
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In This Volume

The Reign of God has come in Jesus Christ, but in hiddenness, in humility, and in lowliness. In Mark 16:8, this commentary’s proposed final verse of the original Marcian manuscript, the disciples do not yet see the glorious, risen Christ. They only have the promise of a word given to them in the verse before. This, Voelz argues, serves as a fitting conclusion to the literary and theological trajectory of Mark. The primary evidence left for the disciples in Mark is the same Word of promise given to the faithful today: Christ is risen. Your sins are forgiven. Not through signs or wonders but through meticulous translation and analysis, Voelz unpacks the richness of the Law and Gospel in Mark


  • Guides for interpreting and teaching Christ’s parables
  • Analysis of Christ as an Elijah figure in Mark
  • Evidence of the possible oral presentation of Mark

Additional Essays

  • The Relationship between Mark and the Other Gospels
  • Hellenic and Semitic Linguistic Features in Mark
  • Mark’s Linguistic Usage for Literary Effect

View the rest of the series.

About the Author

James W. Voelz is professor of exegetical theology (New Testament) at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., where he has taught since 1989. Previously he taught at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Ill./Fort Wayne, Ind. (1975–1989), and served as pastoral assistant at Zion Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne (1984–1988).

Dr. Voelz is a graduate of Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wis. (A.A., 1965), Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne (B.A. in classics, 1967), and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (M.Div., 1971). He earned his Ph.D. in biblical studies from Cambridge University, England (1978). He has done post-doctoral study with Bo Reicke (1982) and George B. Caird (1983). He is a member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS), the international NT society, in which he has been co-chair of seminars for over twenty years, including "The Greek of the New Testament." He has presented numerous papers at the SNTS and at the Society of Biblical Literature, in which he is also on the steering committee of the Mark Section. His Fundamental Greek Grammar has been published by Concordia Publishing House since 1986, and his hermeneutics textbook, What Does This Mean? Principles of Biblical Interpretation in the Post-Modern World, since 1995. His essay "The Language of the New Testament" in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (1984) is a standard in the field. Dr. Voelz has lectured widely throughout The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod at conferences for pastors and laity alike.

Jim and Judy (née Hayes) have been married since April 2, 1977, and have one son, Jonathan.


"James Voelz's concentration on the distinctiveness and precision of Mark's language and style distinguishes this learned and readable commentary from others on the market. The clarity of his articulate expositions, the abundance of helpful examples given and the alertness to contrary views testify to the book's origins in decades of inspiring teaching. Now a world-wide readership is able to participate in this meticulous analysis of Mark's Gospel." 
—J. Keith Elliott, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism, The University of Leeds, UK

"Voelz brings to his task years of engagement with the Gospel of Mark, an enthusiasm for exegesis, a particular focus on linguistic matters, and a scholarly voice of his own.  This weighty commentary will repay consulting it." 
—L. W. Hurtado, University of Edinburgh

"This is a first: a commentary whose primary focus is the significance of the syntax and structure of the Greek text. Insightful, at times helpfully provocative, and always stimulating, this volume is guaranteed a spot within easy reach on my shelf. A must for all serious students and readers of Mark."
—Rikk Watts, Regent College, Vancouver

“These two volumes are much more than a commentary. James Voelz shows in a detailed introduction, in numerous excursuses, in well-argued textual notes, and in outstanding commentary sections how the literary style, the grammatical characteristics, and the narrative structure and flow of the Gospel of Mark serve its content: the testimony about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, his words, and his healing and saving ministry. Dr. Voelz argues for the view that the original Gospel according to Mark ended at 16:8, and Christopher Mitchell offers an excellent exposition to the ‘long ending’ (16:9–20)."
— Peter Balla, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Budapest

About the Series 

The Concordia Commentary Series: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the Biblical text.

The series will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, with an original translation and meticulous grammatical analysis of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek of each text. The foremost interpretive lens centers on the unified proclamation of the person and work of Christ across every Scriptural book.

The Commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture; Each passage bears witness to the confession that God has reconciled the world to Himself through the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ His Son.

Authors expose the rich treasury of language, imagery, and thematic content of the Scripture, while supplementing their work with additional research in archaeology, history, and extrabiblical literature. Throughout, God’s Word emanates from authors careful attention and inculcates the ongoing life of the Church in Word, Sacrament, and daily confession.

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Section of BibleNew Testament, Gospels
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