Drama. Irony. Betrayal. Miracles. A holy war with the whole world at stake. And it’s all packed into the shortest of the four Gospels. Written in an engaging, lively, oral style, Loosing the Lion tells us how, despite being misunderstood and neglected throughout most of history, the Gospel of Mark has recently been experiencing a scholarly revival. Theologians are beginning to see how it is actually an intense, wild, impossible story told at a breakneck pace with twists and turns that shock and surprise those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Readers will be captivated by the Gospel’s literary brilliance, which brings us to the threshold of an encounter with the living Jesus, who reveals his mysteries, and ultimately himself, to those who approach him and dwell in his presence. And when we do encounter him, “The proper response is repentance, joining God’s army to be liberated, and once liberated, advancing the liberation of the whole cosmos, which, ultimately, is the content of the Gospel Jesus calls us to believe in. Liberation is coming. Join the resistance.”


About the author:

LEROY A. HUIZENGA is Administrative Chair of Human and Divine Sciences at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. He holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD in New Testament from Duke University. During his doctoral studies he received a Fulbright Grant to study and teach at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt, Germany. Dr. Huizenga is the author of The New Isaac: Tradition and Intertextuality in the Gospel of Matthew (Brill, 2012), co-editor of Reading the Bible Intertextually (Baylor, 2009), and is currently writing a major theological commentary on the Gospel of Mark for Bloomsbury T&T Clark’s International Theological Commentary series.



“For some time now, the first of the living beasts round the throne in heaven—the Markan Lion—has been kept in a cage by its academic zookeepers. They keep it around for exegetical tourism, but belittle it as short, haphazard, lacking in literary greatness, and wanting in theological complexity. What Huizenga sets out to do in this stimulating book is to set this Gospel-Lion free from our modern prejudices. He takes something precious, cleans it off, and gives it back to us to appreciate as if for the first time. The scholarship on which this book stands is impressive, but kept unobtrusive so as to be readable by laity and as a resource for preachers. Exegesis flows into liturgical preaching, confronting us with the awful beauty of the Cross.”
—David W. Fagerberg, PhD
Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN


“Leroy Huizenga gives us the resurrected Aslan in his exciting book Loosing the Lion. For too long Mark’s Gospel has been the little kid bullied on the playground of biblical scholarship. Derided by scholars who think it a literary disaster or a hodgepodge collection of disconnected Jesus stories, Dr. Huizenga shows the multileveled complexity and subtlety of Mark’s dynamic account of Jesus—the hero who defeats the devil. Not just a scholarly treatise, Loosing the Lion is a powerful and practical source for preachers of the Word. Although written by a Catholic, this book should be a resource for preachers of all traditions to present once more Mark’s ever ancient, ever new drama of the world’s redemption.”
—Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Author of The Mystery of the Magi: The Quest for the True Identity of the Three Wise Men


“Leroy Huizenga has composed a concise and informative entree into the Gospel of Mark for preachers and teachers. He writes within the Catholic tradition, but his insights transcend denominations and theology as he introduces readers to the Gospel of Mark, why Mark matters, and why one should read this beautiful story. A superb resource for anyone who wants to get better acquainted with the Gospel of Mark.”
—Michael F. Bird, PhD
Lecturer in Theology
Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry
Melbourne, Australia


“Dr. Huizenga’s extremely readable Loosing the Lion is marked by deep learning, creativity, and verve. Rooted in historic orthodoxy and sensitive to the needs of the Catholic Church today, this book will serve well those who desire to teach and preach from the oft-neglected Gospel of Mark.”
—Jonathan Pennington, PhD
Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation
Director of Research Doctoral Studies
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, KY

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Publish Date

December 2017



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Loosing the Lion: Proclaiming the Gospel of Mark