The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark's Gospel, By Peter G. Bolt alt
The Cross from a Distance
  • Length: 213 pages
  • Published: March 11, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 8971
  • ISBN: 9780830889716

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"They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha. . . . And they crucified him. . . . Some women were watching from a distance." (Mark 15:22, 24, 40).

At the climax of Mark's Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth is put to death on a Roman cross. The text tells us that, in that lonely hour, a group of women were watching the crucifixion "from a distance." In a sense, they are given a stance toward the cross that we can share.

In this exploration of Mark's Gospel, Peter G. Bolt looks at why the cross is so prominent in the narrative, asks what contribution Mark's teaching can make to our understanding of the atonement, and shows how this teaching can inform, correct and enrich our own preaching of the gospel in the contemporary world. This New Studies in Biblical Theogy volume helps us to stand in wonder before the God who has come close to us in the cross of Jesus Christ and to live in hope for the better things to come.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

"In this study of the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Peter Bolt is an enormously engaging and informed guide. Section after section of the Gospel comes into sharper focus, as more and more of Mark is read in the light of the movement and direction of its thought. Interwoven with the exegesis is a great deal of useful interaction with a wide range of well-chosen literature, and incisive meditation on what this cross-saturated text says to us today. Dr. Bolt combines careful reading and profound theological synthesis. . . . The result is a book that will stimulate and edify any serious Christian reader."

D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (from the Preface)


Series Preface
Author's Preface

Why Address the Topic?
Approach and Method
The Cross at a Distance: God Up Close

1. The Cross and the Abolition of Religion
The Bridegroom in Mark's Story of the Cross
The Bridegroom Present and Taken Away
Jesus and the Abolition of Religion
Jesus and the Establishment of Faith
Jesus, Faith and the Reader

2. The Necessity of the Cross
The Cross in Mark's Central Section
Prediction 1
Prediction 2
Prediction 3
The Promise of Resurrection
The Impossible Possibility
The Necessity of the Cross in Mark's World

3. The Cross at 'The End of the World'
Mark 13: Apocalyptic Preparation for the Passion
The Arrival of the Last Days
Mark 13 in the Context of the Gospel
The Cross As the Great Distress
Mark 14: Preparations for Jesus' Death
The Cross As the End of the World

4. The Cross: Where God Comes Close
The Climax of Mark's Gospel
The World Officially Rejects the Messiah
The Mockery of the Messiah
The Death of Jesus
God with Us
The Gods and the Crucified God

5. The Cross, Resurrection and the Hope of Humanity
Mark's Denouement: The Crucified One Is Risen
The Son of Man Is Risen!
The Empty Tomb: What Happened to the Body?
The Apotheosis of Roman Emporers
Apotheosis and Resurrection in Mark's Story
Crucifixion, Resurrection and Human Hope

Index of Modern Authors
Index of Scripture References
Index of Ancient Sources


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Bolt is academic director at the Sydney College of Divinity in Sydney, Australia.

D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.