Saint Vincent Benedictine Authors Book on Mark’s Gospel

2004 News

LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA — Br. Elliott C. Maloney, O.S.B., professor of New Testament Studies and Biblical Languages at Saint Vincent Seminary, and a member of the Religious Studies faculty of Saint Vincent College, has authored a book on the Gospel of Mark. Published by Continuum Books, Jesus’ Urgent Message for Today, The Kingdom of God in Mark’s Gospel, looks at the Evangelist’s work from a new perspective. A book signing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, in the Foundations Room of Placid Hall on the Saint Vincent campus. The public is invited.

“Elliott Maloney’s study of Mark is provocative, full of insights and a delight to read,” wrote Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Halifax. “His study profits from the fresh conclusions of literary and social science criticism. He opens up new horizons through dialogue with the Latin American church’s methods of reading the Bible. Truly engaging, this interpretation is sure to bring thoughtful readers to a deeper understanding of the Markan Jesus and the life of a disciple today.”

Most Rev. Richard J. Sklba, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, notes that “Elliott Maloney offers solid exegesis and a fresh look at Markan eschatology. Thus the teaching of Jesus for Mark’s community as well as modern communities achieves a richness which I found truly exciting.”

Sharyn Dowd, an associate professor of Religion at Baylor University, wrote that “Maloney’s treatment of Markan eschatology is the first such study in English to integrate so thoroughly the insights and the worldview of Latin American exegetes, particularly those in Brazil. The result is a reading of Mark that insists on relating eschatology to the just reign of God that stands over against the rule of every oppressor.”

The majority of Markan scholars contend the themes of the Gospel are discipleship and the Messianic secret. Br. Elliott asserts that scholars have often missed the main point of the Gospel, which is eschatology, or the branch of theology concerned with the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity or the Second Coming. Br. Elliott writes that many Markan scholars have so often missed the point of the Gospel because of their location in the First World. Thus, he says, they lack the cultural orientation to understand the force of Mark’s message about the coming Kingdom of God. So, Br. Elliott notes, traditional interpretations of the Gospel have emphasized a privatization of morality among Christians and a lack of concern for the well-being of the worldwide human community.

The remedy, he notes, is to read Mark through the eyes of the people whose experience is most like that of the writer’s original audience. With that in mind, he began using the exegetical insights of Latin American biblical interpreters and reading the Gospel with the people of Brazil and other Latin American countries.

The book retails for $19 and is available on the Saint Vincent campus at the Basilica Gift Shop and the Campus Book Store. It is available by mail for $26.64 (includes shipping and tax) from Archabbey Publications, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pa., 15650-2690, or online from

Brother Elliott is the son of C. Leo and Barbara Maloney who now reside in Williamsville, New York. His sisters are Barbara Huber of Williamsville; and Maureen Ellis of North Tonawanda, New York. His brothers are James Maloney of Cheekowaga, New York; William Maloney of Buffalo, New York and Michael Maloney of Lockport, New York.

He attended Holy Rosary Grade School in Pittsburgh, and is a 1963 graduate of Diocesan Preparatory Seminary of Buffalo, New York. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1968, and attended Saint Vincent Seminary from 1968-1969. He earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, Italy in 1972, and a Ph. D. in New Testament Studies from Fordham University in 1979. While he was a student at Sant’ Anselmo, Brother Elliott also studied vocal music at the Academy of Saint Cecilia for Sacred Music.

He entered the Benedictine Monastic community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1965. He made simple profession of vows on July 11, 1966, and solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1969.

Brother Elliott has served the monastic community in its education apostolate. At Saint Vincent Seminary he has been an instructor (Jan. 1976-1978), assistant professor (1978-1987), an associate professor (1987-1992) and professor of New Testament and Biblical Languages (1992-present). At Saint Vincent College, hehas taught in the Department of Religious Studies since 1977 and is past chairperson of the department (1985-1997).

He is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature. He has written articles for The Bible Today, and book reviews for the Catholic Bible Quarterly and Chicago Studies. He has served as a translator for the New American Bible (revised New Testament, 1986), and has written two scripts for Paulist Press.