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The Beginning of the Gospel: A Theology of Mark (Orr)

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The book of Mark—the first and shortest Gospel written—serves as both a historical and theological account, connecting Jesus to the whole storyline of the Bible. Mark writes against the backdrop of the Old Testament and draws from other New Testament writers, specifically Peter and Paul, to articulate many themes that are found in the rest of the New Testament.

In this addition to the New Testament Theology series, scholar Peter Orr offers an accessible summary of the theology of Mark, examining its relationship to both the Old and New Testaments. Each chapter focuses on a key theological theme—the identity of Christ, the announcement of the kingdom, the call to follow, and more—and explains how it is relevant for the church today. 


Series Preface
Introduction: The Beginning of the Gospel: Mark as Backstory 

Chapter 1: Divine Identity: Jesus Christ, the Son of God
Chapter 2: Revelation: Written, Proclaimed, Received
Chapter 3: The Kingdom of God Is at Hand: Jesus and the New Creation
Chapter 4: Repent and Believe the Gospel: Salvation through Jesus
Chapter 5: Follow Me: Being a Disciple of Jesus
Chapter 6: What Moses Commanded: Jesus, the Law, and the People of God
Chapter 7: Died, Buried, and Raised: The Death and Resurrection of Jesus

Epilogue: The End of the Beginning
Recommended Resources
General Index
Scripture Index

About the Author:

Peter Orr (PhD, University of Durham) is a New Testament lecturer at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Exalted Above the Heavens: The Risen and Ascended Christ and a contributor to Theology Is for Preaching and Romans and the Legacy of St Paul. Orr and his wife, Emma, have four sons and are members at All Saints Petersham.  


“This is maybe the best short theology of Mark I’ve read. Unique to Orr’s book is how he places Mark in conversation with both Peter and Paul. When Mark composed his work, Peter and Paul were already preaching aspects of Mark’s Gospel. Mark more fully narrates the story of this great hero who is more than the Jewish Messiah. He is the divine Son.”
Patrick Schreiner, Associate Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross and The Visual Word

“Peter Orr offers readers a rich biblical-theological treatment of the Gospel of Mark, which summons us to follow Christ, the Son of God and servant King. Orr insightfully calls Mark ‘the beginning of the gospel,’ drawing historical and theological links between this foundational narrative of Jesus’s life and the apostolic preaching of Paul and Peter. This is essential reading for all who study and teach Mark’s Gospel.”
Brian J. Tabb, Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies, Bethlehem College and Seminary

“Peter Orr offers a brief, accessible, and insightful survey of the theology of Mark’s Gospel. Orr emphasizes in The Beginning of the Gospel what Mark emphasizes—the gospel of Jesus Christ—and invites readers to see connections between this Gospel and the epistles of the apostle Paul. This book will equip both specialists and general readers to read and reread Mark’s Gospel with deeper understanding and appreciation.”
Guy Prentiss Waters, James M. Baird, Jr. Professor of New Testament and Academic Dean, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson