Summary: An introduction to the gospel of Mark. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marks Gospel – An introduction
Reading: Mark chapter 1 verse 1:
• Sometimes newspaper editors state the obvious:
• ‘If strike isn’t settled quickly it may last a while’.
• ‘War dims hope for peace’
• ‘Cold wave linked to temperatures’
• ‘Child’s death ruins couple’s holiday’
• ‘Blind woman gets new kidney from dad she hasn’t seen in years’
• ‘Man is fatally slain’
• ‘Something went wrong in jet crash, experts say’
• Grammar often botches other headlines:
• ‘Miners refuse to work after death’
• ‘Milk drinkers are turning to powder’
• ‘Quarter of a million Chinese live on water’
• ‘Stiff opposition expected to casket-less funeral plan’
• ‘Iraqi head seeks arms’
If you were top compare Mark’s gospel to a UK newspaper:
• I would suggest it would be the Daily Mirror.
• Because it contains bold headlines, brief articles, simple language,
• If you want The Daily Telegraph with a conservative slant;
• Then turn to Matthew’s gospel.
• If you prefer The Guardian with its concern for the poor and underprivileged;
• Then Luke is the gospel is for you.
• If you want the reflection and analysis of The Times;
• Then John’s gospel is where to look.
• But if you want the basic story;
• Simply and convincingly told, then Mark is your gospel.
In this gospel Mark emphasizes the deeds of Jesus:
• He presents Jesus as a man and servant of action.
• ‘Jesus spoke and it was done’.
• Forty-two times Mark used a Greek adverb (‘euthus’);
• Which In English is often translated as ‘immediately’, ‘at once’, and ‘straightway’.
• Mark wrote his gospel for readers who were impressed with;
• Power, action and simplicity.
AS YOU READ MARK’S GOSPEL YOU MIGHT NOTICE CERTAIN THINGS:
• Mark rarely quotes from the Old Testament;
• In fact he only does it once in chapter 1 verses 2-3.
• This indicates Mark did not write his gospel for Jewish Christians;
• Who were familiar with the Old Testament, i.e. as Matthew did.
• Rather, he wrote his gospel for Gentile readers;
• Who were not familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures.
• Mark explained Jewish customs for his readers,
• Which they otherwise would not have understood,
• e.g. Such as Jewish ceremonial washing (Mark chapter 7 verses 3-4)
• e.g. What was the preparation day (Mark chapter 15 verse 42).
• This, too, indicates Mark wrote his gospel for Gentile readers.
• Throughout his gospel Mark translated Jewish Aramaic terms for his readers;
• (cf. Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:11 & 34; 14:36; 15:22).
• This is more evidence that Mark wrote for Gentile readers.