Gospel of Mark Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture by Mary Healy

I have probably mentioned this here before, but this is my review upon finishing the book.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a really great commentary. Healy combines a lot of the information that I have in a variety of other commentaries (both Catholic and Protestant), but then pulls it all together with additional observations that make it very accessible while still being scholarly. She follows up many sections with items for reflection. Her style is very easy to read and you never feel as if she’s talking over your head.

The structure is such that you are generally covering just a little scripture at a time. Each reading is followed with cross references to the Old Testament, New Testament, Catechism, and Liturgy. These are followed by the commentary, in which words from the scripture reading are bolded whenever they are referred to. Although I saw some people complaining about that practice, I found it useful. Sometimes a bolded word would make me suddenly pay attention and go back to the scripture, thinking, “Did it really say that? Why haven’t I ever noticed before?”

There are also a few maps, occasional photos when they’d be helpful, and sidebar boxes with Biblical background and living tradition (Catechism, Fathers of the Church, saints) information that enriches understanding.

Healy is excellent at putting the scripture in context, whether in reference to the context of people of the time, to other scripture, or for our own lives. Sometimes I was enlightened by the factual information which gives me new insights into the text. Sometimes it is from the material for reflection. However, it is a rare day that I failed coming away with an insight that I pondered the rest of the day.

Highest recommendation and I am now beginning 1 Corinthians by George Montague in the same series.

About Julie Davis
  • http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/Pat-Gohn.html Pat Gohn

    Julie,

    I am so glad you’ve posted this review. If you’ll permit me, I’d like to affirm all your above remarks concerning this commentary by Dr. Mary Healy, and commend the entire New Testament series that is slowly being released from this publishing group. It is finely crafted, yet accessible catechesis and exegesis for anyone who seeks a stronger knowledge of Scripture.

    Your readership might be interested in listening to an interview I did with Mary Healy for the Among Women podcast. It took place in 2009, when her book first came out. Here’s a link for interested parties to listen at their desktop, please note the interview with Dr Healy begins at 13:00 mins into the program: http://www.patgohn.com/patgohn/Among_Women_Podcast/Entries/2009/5/19_Among_Women_Podcast_8.html


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