The Gospels contain many hard sayings of Jesus, but perhaps none have puzzled and intrigued readers as much as Jesus? discourse on the coming of the Son of Man in Mark 13. Is Jesus speaking entirely of an event in the near future, a coming destruction of the temple? Or is he referring to a distant, end-of-the-world event? Or might he even be speaking of both near and distant events? But in that case, which words apply to which event, and how can we be sure?
Seasoned Gospels scholar Robert Stein follows up his major commentary on Mark with this even closer reading of Mark 13. In this macro-lens commentary he walks us step by step through the text and its questions, leading us to a compelling interpretive solution.
"Eschewing atomizing scepticism on the one side and a clunky over-literalism on the other, Robert Stein now brings to bear on Mark 13 a lifetime of well-informed study and balanced reflection. Students and scholars of all theological stripes will be grateful for this much-needed guidance on what has proven to be one of the most puzzling and hermeneutically complex chapters in all of Scripture."
"Throughout his stellar career, Bob Stein has written many fine works on the Gospels, always providing clarity and insight to complex issues and texts. He has done it again with Jesus, the Temple and the Coming Son of Man. Stein navigates the challenging and sometimes treacherous waters of Mark's Olivet Discourse with the skill and good sense of a seasoned captain."
"In Jesus, the Temple and the Coming Son of Man veteran scholar and classroom teacher Robert Stein tackles the most challenging passage in the Gospels. He addresses all of the difficult questions and key issues with insight and fairness. At every point Stein demonstrates control of the primary literature and the best of modern scholarship. The result is a clear and compelling commentary, passage by passage and verse by verse. Readers will especially appreciate Stein's interpretation of verse 30's enigmatic prophecy that 'this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.' Highly recommended."
"It would be hard to find a more experienced and reliable guide to the complexities of the Markan apocalypse than Robert Stein. Conversant with the best scholarship and unrelenting in his pursuit of the Evangelist's intended meaning, Stein has produced a helpful, sensible and persuasive interpretation of Mark 13. This is a rewarding book that reflects the fruit of careful exegesis as well as reverence for the sacred text."
"Sharp divisions have arisen over how to deal with Jesus' teaching in Mark 13. With his customary lucidity, Stein clarifies all the important issues and offers sensible, carefully argued and insightful interpretations of the text that convey 'the consciously intended meaning of Mark 13, whether of the Jesus of history or the Evangelist Mark.' Those who want to know what Jesus taught about the destruction of the temple and the last days would do well to use this book as their guide."
"The interpretation of Mark 13 is controversial and sometimes a bit baffling. Robert Stein—with his characteristic clarity, common sense and exegetical skill—unpacks the meaning of the passage for readers. Even those who disagree will profit from Stein's lucid exegesis and will have to wrestle seriously with the arguments he presents for his reading. All readers will recognize the hand of a veteran and wise interpreter at work. We stand in debt to Stein for an outstanding exposition."
"Stein's writing style is technical and thorough, yet engaging. This work will appeal to seasoned pastors, students of biblical interpretation, and laypeople interested in better understanding Mark's eschatology."
"What I most appreciated about this work was the clarity and concision of writing (138 pages, excluding bibliography and indices), and the close textual work that supported his arguments. . . . A useful resource for anyone teaching or leading a study of Mark."
"In Jesus, the Temple and the Coming Son of Man, Robert H. Stein . . . ably guides readers through the complex hermeneutical and exegetical issues involved in Jesus' 'Little Apocalypse' discourse."
"Stein is to be commended for taking on such a daunting portion of Scripture with such extensive focus. Particular points of his analysis are well-reasoned and convincing. For anyone setting out to study the eschatological discourse, this is an indispensable resource."
1. Determining Our Goal
2. Key Issues Involved in Interpreting Mark 13
3. Jesus? Prediction of the Destruction of the Temple (and Jerusalem): Mark 13:1-4
4. The Coming Destruction of the Temple and the Sign Preceding It: Mark 13:5-23
5. The Coming of the Son of Man: Mark 13:24-27
6. The Parable of the Fig Tree and the Coming Destruction of the Temple (and Jerusalem): Mark 13:28-31
7. The Parable of the Watchman and the Exhortation to Be Alert for the Coming of the Son of Man: Mark 13:32-37
8. An Interpretative Translation of Mark 13
Index of Subjects
Index of Scripture and Other Ancient Literature