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Although the Gospel of Matthew precedes the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament canon, there is strong evidence that Mark was the first of the four Gospels to be written. It is a fast-moving narrative that seeks to reveal who Jesus is. In addition to Dr. Sproul’s commentary on Mark, the following are five of the most generally helpful commentaries on this part of God’s Word.

1. R.T. France — The Gospel of Mark (The New International Greek Testament Commentary, 2002).

In my opinion, R.T. France has not only written the best commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, he has also written the best commentary on the Gospel of Mark. The New International Greek Commentary series is technical and does require a knowledge of the Greek language. For those who need something less technical, I suggest the commentaries by Lane, Strauss, and Edwards listed below.

2. William L. Lane — The Gospel According to Mark(The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1974).

Published in 1974, William Lane’s commentary on the Gospel of Mark remains a model of clarity. Eerdmans has replaced several of the older NICOT and NICNT commentaries. There is little need for them to do so with this outstanding volume, but since they might, grab a copy while it is still in print.

3. Mark L. Strauss — Mark* *(Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 2014).

The layout of the ZECNT series is among the most helpful that one will find in any commentary series, and Mark Strauss’ use of it comes to fruition in this work. This one will require some knowledge of Greek in order to get the full benefit, but it is usable by those without a knowledge of the original languages.

4. James R. Edwards — The Gospel According to Mark (The Pillar New Testament Commentary, 2002).

I look forward to every new commentary in this series whose general editor is D.A. Carson. Edwards’ commentary on Mark is another fine contribution. His emphasis on the theology of Mark is especially helpful.

5. R. Alan Cole — Mark (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, 1989).

The Tyndale commentaries are non-technical and introductory-level commentaries, but they are surprisingly consistent in their high level of quality. Cole’s commentary on Mark is a good example.


There are a number of other commentaries on the Gospel of Mark that are worth consulting. Among them are those by Ben Witherington, Robert Stein, James A. Brooks, David Garland, C.E.B. Cranfield, Larry Hurtado, Robert H. Gundry (Vol. 1, Vol. 2), and the two volume Word Biblical Commentary by Robert Guelich and Craig Evans.

Helpful Related Works

Among the many helpful works on various theological themes in Mark are the works by Peter Bolt, Hans Bayer, and David Garland.

This article is part of the Top 5 Commentaries collection.