Top Commentaries on the Gospel of Mark

Bible commentaries on the New Testament book of Mark are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Mark that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)


Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on the Gospel of Mark


The Gospel According to Mark (Pillar New Testament Commentary) by James R. Edwards


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: “best buy” on Mark; “the fruit of his years of work on this Gospel”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Mark

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “a helpful and clear exposition for pastors”

Keith Mathison: #3 commentary on Mark; “[Edwards’] emphasis on the theology of Mark is especially helpful”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Edwards takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Reformed. Edwards teaches at Whitworth University. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume provides exegesis and offers preaching and teaching assistance. He also wrote the Luke commentary in the Pillar series. The publisher notes that the PNTC series combines “rigorous exegesis and exposition, with an eye alert both to biblical theology and the contemporary relevance of the Bible.” See more about the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.


Mark (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by William L. Lane


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “highly recommended for the pastor and scholar”

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Mark

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Mark; “Lane’s commentary on the Gospel of Mark remains a model of clarity”

D.A. Carson: “it was for a long time the standard evangelical commentary on Mark”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Lane takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was Reformed (d. 1999). He served on both the NASB and NIV translation committees. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume combines exegesis with preaching aids. Lane is well-known for his Hebrews commentary in the WBC series. The publisher notes that the NICNT series provides readers “with an exposition that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship and at the same time loyal to the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God.” See more about the New International Commentary on the New Testament series.


Mark (NIV Application Commentary) by David E. Garland


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: “best buys” on Mark

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “very helpful exposition”

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Mark

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Garland takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. Garland taught Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for 21 years. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume is well-reviewed for being helpful to preachers. Garland also wrote the 1 Corinthians commentary in the BECNT series. The publisher notes that the NIVAC series aims “to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.


Mark (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by R.T. France


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Reviews and Accolades:

D. A. Carson: “best buy” on Mark; “remarkably accessible and includes a healthy mix of history, theology, social context, even warmth”

Tom Schreiner: recommended; “the most accessible Greek text treatment for pastors”

Keith Mathison: #1 commentary on Mark; “France has not only written the best commentary on [Matthew], he has also written the best commentary on [Mark]”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: France takes an evangelical in approach to Scripture. He was an evangelical, affiliating with the Anglican church (d. 2012). France served on the NIV translation committee. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. France is well-known for his Matthew commentary in the NICNT series. About the NIGTC series, the publisher notes that “at a time when the study of Greek is curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament.” See more about the New International Greek Testament Commentary series.


Mark (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Robert H. Stein


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Mark

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “very helpful exegesis of the Greek text”

D.A. Carson: “writes at the height of his powers…as good as any other and better than most”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Stein takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. Stein also wrote the Luke commentary in the NAC series. The publisher notes that the BECNT series aims “to provide, within the framework of informed evangelical thought, commentaries that blend scholarly depth with readability, exegetical detail with sensitivity to the whole, and attention to critical problems with theological awareness.” See more about the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.


Mark (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Mark L. Strauss


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Interview: Read Best Bible Commentaries’ seven-question interview with Mark Strauss on this volume

Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Mark

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Strauss takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He teaches at a Baptist university. Strauss serves on the NIV translation committee. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. This volume combines Greek exegesis with preaching insight. Strauss is known for his book, Four Portraits, One Jesus. The publisher notes that the ZECNT series “was refined over time by an editorial board who listened to pastors and teachers express what they wanted to see in a commentary series based on the Greek text.” See more about the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.


Mark (Word Biblical Commentary) by Robert Guelich


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “for technical research”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Guelich takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He was professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary (d. 1991). This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. It consists of two volumes. Guelich wrote the first volume (Mark 1:1-8:26). After he died, New Testament scholar Craig A. Evans wrote the second (Mark 8:27-16:20). The publisher notes that the WBC series “delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.


The Gospel of Mark (A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary) by Ben Witherington III


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Mark, “This commentary on the Gospel of Mark is one of [Witherington’s] best”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Witherington takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Arminian. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Witherington is well-known for his Acts commentary in the SRC series. The publisher notes that in the SRC series, “the New Testament is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read.” See more about the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.


Mark (New Cambridge Bible Commentary) by Darrell L. Bock


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Reviews and Accolades:

Craig Blomberg, etal: a “priority” commentary on Mark

Theology, Audience, Purpose: Bock takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is a progressive dispensationalist.1 Bock teaches at Dallas Theological Seminary. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. He is well-known for his Luke commentary and his Acts commentary in BECNT series. The publisher notes that the NCBC series does not “assume the reader has a great deal of specialized theological knowledge or an impressive command of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or biblical Greek.” See more about the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series.


Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross by Robert H. Gundry


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, for “technical research”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Gundry takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. It consists of two volumes and is not part of a series. The publisher notes that this is “the fullest commentary ever to come out on the Gospel of Mark…this monumental work by Robert H. Gundry, reflecting years of painstaking scholarship, presents a well-argued alternative reading of the Greek text of Mark.”


Mark (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by R. Alan Cole


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Mark, “high level of quality”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Cole takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He taught at Moore Theological College in Australia. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Cole also wrote the Galatians commentary in the TNTC series. The publisher notes that commentaries in this series examine “the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.


Mark (Black’s New Testament Commentary) by Morna D. Hooker


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tom Schreiner: recommended, “accessible to pastors”

Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hooker takes a critical approach to Scripture. She is Methodist. Hooker’s husband was a Methodist pastor in England. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that BNTC series “has been hailed by both scholars and pastors for its insightful interpretations and reliable commentary.” See more about Black’s New Testament Commentary series.


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Mark (New American Commentary) by James A. Brooks


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Brooks takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is Baptist. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that the NAC series “has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.


Mark (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised) by Walter Wessel and Mark Strauss


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: The authors take an evangelical approach to Scripture. Wessel died in 2002. Strauss is Baptist (see above). The commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Wessel wrote the first edition in 1984 and Strauss revised it in 2010. In hardcopy format, this volume is paired with D.A. Carson’s well-reviewed Matthew commentary. The publisher notes that volumes the REBC series reflect “scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible.” See more about the revised Expositor’s Bible Commentary series, original and revised.


Mark (Concordia Commentary) by James W. Voelz


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Theology, Audience, Purpose: Voelz takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He is evangelical and Lutheran. While not technical, the volumes in the Concordia Commentary series reflect seminary-level scholarship. The target audience is pastors, professors, and teachers. According to the publisher, authors in the Concordia series “fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture as it emphasizes ‘that which promotes Christ’ in each pericope.”


Mark (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible) by William C. Placher


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Placher was Presbyterian (d. 2008). Placher was Follette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Wabash College. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that “this series is an invaluable resource for those who want to probe beyond the backgrounds and words of biblical texts to their deep theological and ethical meanings for the church today.”


Mark (Abingdon New Testament Commentary) by C. Clifton Black


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Black is Methodist. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that commentaries in this series “are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.” See more about the Abingdon commentary series.


Mark (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Larry W. Hurtado


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Hurtado takes an evangelical approach to Scripture. He taught at the University of Edinburgh. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. The publisher notes that volumes in this series break down “the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.


Mark (Tyndale New Testament Commentary) by Eckhard J. Schnabel


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Schnabel is an evangelical Christian who has taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Schnabel is well-known for his Acts commentary in the ZECNT series. The publisher notes that volumes in the TNTC series examine “the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation.” See more about the Tyndale New Testament Commentary series.


Mark (The New Testament Library) by Eugene Boring


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Boring is professor of New Testament Emeritus at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. Boring also wrote the Revelation commentary in the Interpretation series. The publisher notes that the NLT series provides “fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, careful attention to their literary design, and a theologically perceptive exposition of the biblical text.” See more about the New Testament Library commentary series.


Technical Commentaries


Mark (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) C.S. Mann


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Mann takes a critical approach to Scripture. This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. The publisher notes that the Anchor series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.


Mark (Hermeneia) by Adela Yarbro Collins


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Theology, Audience, and Purpose: Yarbro Collins takes a critical approach to Scripture. She is the wife of Old Testament scholar C. John Collins This volume is best for readers who can follow a technical Greek commentary. The publisher notes that this series “has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work.” See more about the Hermeneia Bible commentary series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Mark (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Christopher A. Hall


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Synopsis: This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. About this series, the publisher notes that “each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”


Mark (Crossway Classics Commentary Series) by J.C. Ryle


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Synopsis: This commentary is best for expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, and experienced Bible readers. About this series, the publisher notes that “for hundreds of years Christendom has been blessed with Bible commentaries written by great men of God highly respected for their godly walk and their insight into spiritual truth. The Crossway Classic Commentaries present the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.” See more about Crossway Classic Commentaries.


Are you a pastor?

On the page Mark Commentaries for Pastors you find commentaries that uniquely designed for pastors in that they focus on application and spend less time on technical discussions.


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Compare 65 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart


Footnotes:

  1. All dispensationalists view the dispensations as chronologically successive. Progressive dispensationalists, in addition to viewing the dispensations as chronologically successive, also view the dispensations as progressive stages in salvation history.