Identifying the ""scenes"" of written texts is a critical skill for following the course set by an author. Even a small variation in course heading can result in compounding an error over time with regard to one's intended destination. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in the opening unit of Mark's Gospel. In this book, Brad Johnson sets out to follow the course prescribed by the author of the second Gospel. Making use of the principles of Inductive Bible Study, rhetorical criticism, and a study of ancient prologues, Johnson makes a twofold case that Mark's opening unit (the first fifteen verses) demonstrates a formal integrity and performs a rhetorical function. As such, the Markan prologue situates the public life and ministry of Jesus within the broader context of an epic drama. A failure to acknowledge the unique contribution of Mark as author in this regard will likely result in a destination the author never intended. ""Brad Johnson's carefully argued book is a significant contribution to biblical studies in three ways: it offers new insights into the structure of Mark's Gospel; it demonstrates the value of ancient rhetoric for Gospel studies; and it offers a fresh and convincing interpretation of the prologue to Mark's Gospel. Few books provide so much interpretive reward to the reader."" --David R. Bauer, Beeson Professor of Inductive Biblical Studies, Dean of the School of Biblical Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary ""This book on the prologue of Mark's Gospel is 'must reading' for students and scholars of Mark. Johnson's aim is to define the limits of Mark's prologue (1:1-15) and to determine the role it plays within the Gospel. His careful summary of how various modern literary methods and ancient rhetorical approaches lead the reader of Mark to understand its prologue is itself worth the price of his book. Johnson concludes that Mark was acquainted with elementary Greco-Roman rhetoric even while he places it within a Jewish framework of rhetorical discourse. The purpose of the prologue is to legitimate Jesus as the anointed and powerful Son of God who is nevertheless destined to suffer at the hands of humans. Johnson makes his case in a style that is both interesting and accessible to the reader."" --Jack Dean Kingsbury, Aubrey Lee Brooks Professor emeritus of Biblical Theology, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA Brad Johnson is Affiliate Professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and the pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church near Wilmore. He is the author of The Gospel of Mark in the OneBook Daily-Weekly Series (2017).