With this study of the Gospel of Mark, Brendan Byrne completes his trilogy of works on the Synoptic Gospels. Mark, the Cinderella gospel, as Byrne says, languished for millennia in the shadow of Matthew («the first gospel») and Luke. Beginning in the nineteenth century, scholars uncovered what is now generally accepted as the more likely scenario: that Mark was the pioneer, creating a new literary genre («gospel») in which to communicate the “Good News of Jesus Christ.” This Good News according to Mark is essentially a message of freedom a freedom, however, that does “not come about without cost: a cost to Jesus, a cost to the Father, and a cost to those called to associate themselves with his life and mission.” Mark holds out to us both the price and the promise of freedom.
A Costly Freedom joins The Hospitality of God (on Luke) and Lifting the Burden (on Matthew) to make up a set of indispensable companions to the gospels for preachers, teachers, and those who simply want to read the gospels for understanding and a deepening of their spirituality and faith.
Brendan Byrne, SJ, is professor of New Testament at Jesuit Theological College, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. A member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (1990 '96) and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2000 '), he is the author of nine books and editor in chief of the theological journal Pacifica.