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St Mark. Lindisfarne Gospels. Folio 93b. ( British Museum). Lindisfarne Gospels - British Library, Cotton MS Nero D.iv.
The history of the MS. after its completion deserves a word of mention, for a special romance attaches to it. Written in honour of St. Cuthbert, it was preserved at Lindisfarne along with the Saint's body; but in the year 875 an invasion of the Danes drove the monks to carry away both body and book. For several years they wandered to and fro in northern England; then, in despair, they resolved to cross over to Ireland. But the Saint was angry at being taken from his own land, and a great storm met the boat as it put out; and as the boat lay on its side in the fury of the storm the precious volume was washed overboard and lost. Realising the Saint's displeasure, the monks put back, in a state of much penitence and sorrow for their loss; but at last the Saint encouraged one of them in a dream to search for the book along the shore, and on a day of exceptionally low tide they found it, practically uninjured by its immersion. The story is told by the chronicler Simeon of Durham, writing about 1104; and it need not be dismissed as a mere medieval legend. Precious volumes, according to the Irish practice, were carried in special cases or covers, which might well defend them from much damage from the sea; and it is certain that several pages of this book (which was regularly known in medieval times as "the book of St. Cuthbert which fell into the sea") show to this day the marks of injury from water which has filtered in from without. The subsequent history of the MS. may be briefly told. Always accompanying the Saint's body, it found homes at Chester-le-Street, Durham, and finally at Lindisfarne once more. At the dissolution of the monasteries it was cast abroad into the world and stripped of its jewelled covers; but was rescued by Sir Robert Cotton, and passed with his collection into the British Museum, where it now rests in peace and safety.
Description from Sir Frederick Kenyon, Our Bible & the Ancient Manuscripts. (1895 - 4th Ed. 1939) Page 184 & Plate XXVI. (Page-size: 34 x 25cm.)Picture: 'The Lindisfarne Gospels', Janet Backhouse, Phaidon Press Ltd, 1981.
Liberal theologians and skeptics of Christianity argue that Mark “ is responsible for uniting the Palestinian tradition about the human hero leader of the Jewish reform movement with the Hellenistic conception of the divine Christ of Pauline theology. It is assumed that Mark is chiefly responsible for giving permanent form to the theologizing about Jesus which made a divine Christ out of a human being. ” [ Summary by Dr. A.T. Robertson, Baptist professor and Greek New Testament scholar in Studies in Mark’s Gospel [ 1919 ]. Revised and edited by Heber F. Peacock ( Nashville, Broadman Press, 1958), ch. VI, p. 59. ]
One conservative’s answer: The liberals are half-right. Mark did conceive of Christ in the same way as Paul did 1 , and then also the Apostle Peter, his mentor. 2 The problem with liberals is that Mark, Peter, and the Apostle Paul knew Christ, and they, unfor-tunately, do not know Him. For to know Christ both historically and in a spiritually intimate way, is know the Son of God , the Lord Jesus , who reveals the Father by the Spirit.
Quote: “ There is no such thing as an ‘unbiased’ picture of Christ: every Gospel must be written either by a believer or an unbeliever.”
( Professor R.A. Cole, The Gospel According to St. Mark: An Intro-duction and Commentary. London: The Tyndale Press, 1961, p. 21.
I. Key Presuppositions in Valid Interpretation of Mark’s “Code” (2).
Neither earlier 19th century source criticism nor 20th cen-tury radical “form-criticism” (with its “ Q” and “ Logia” documents, etc. was able to get rid of the Divine Jesus of history in Mark (or the other Gospels).
But not only does Mark’s Gospel have all the earmarks of early to mid-1st century circumstances and historicity, in it Mark reveals that his heart and mind has been captivated by the image of Christ , the victorious suffering Son of Man who is the very Son of God, and the Kyrios of all nations and history.
I. Key Presuppositions in Valid Interpretation of Mark’s “Code”(3)
Mark’s image of Christ is marvelously picturesque and vivid because the experience of the image of Christ changed him. Thus, while the recorded expression is essentially Mark’s own, his book is really “ the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is thus not exactly ‘ The Life of Christ According to Mark ’ ” ( A.T. Robertson, p. 61).
. . . While Mark presents Christ both as miracle worker and teacher, the power in Jesus Christ is that of God and not mere man . While Mark has little explicit theology in a systematic or philosophical sense, all the fundamental doctrines concerning the person and the work of Christ are there.
I. Key Presuppositions in Valid Interpretation of Mark’s “Code”(4)
Mark’s Gospel likely followed the general plan of Peter’s sermons in Acts with its chief emphasis on the Galilean ministry (Cf. Acts 2:22-36; 10:34-43). It is quite gratuitous for critics of the Bible and skeptics, however, to assume that the narratives in Matthew and Luke are religious leg-ends or myths and that Mark is a barely historical account with little interest in Christology or the message of salva-tion. In this, as in much else, they are victims of Enlighten-ment rationalism and 19th views of the “ evolution of religion.”
Conclusion : Mark’s “Gospel Code” shows Intelligent De-sign (Divine inspiration) and its chief subject is the Divine Christ who has come to redeem man ( Mark 1:1; 8:31-33; *10:45; *11:35-37).
1A. Mark 1: Designations of the Christ: Messianic Titles/Names. 
Mark 1:1: Christ ( Messiah ) = “ The Son of God.”
Notice the inclusio that Mark 1:1 and Mark 15:39 forms. Why did Mark frame his story precisely this way ? If we accept the longer ending ( Mark 16: 9-20), would there be a second inclusio ( a literary device for a “bookend” ?) Extra credit question : if we do accept the manuscripts with the longer ending, what possible source besides Peter might he have used ?
1A. Mark 1: Designations of the Christ: Messianic Titles/Names. 
Mark 1:11: Christ (Messiah): God’s “ Beloved Son.”
Why is the context so important here ? Besides the Apostle Peter or Mark, who had the audacity to identify Jesus as God ? What again is the Old Testament back-ground to this phrase ? ( Hint: See Psalm 2 and Isaiah 42:1). Would you or would you not call this a “ high” view of Christ, i.e., placing him in sphere of Yahweh himself ?
Notice John 5:37ff. & Revelation 14:1-3. Interesting, no ?
Notice that Mark’s language is almost Johannine ( Cf. John 3:12-17). ( Both here in Mark and in John’s Gospel, Jesus is the Agent of God himself, initiating the plan of Divine redemption).
Baptist Greek scholar A.T. Robertson comments in his notable Word Pictures In The New Testament ( Nashville: Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, 1930):
They call Jesus “ The Holy One of God " ( ho hagios tou theou ). Hence the demon feared that Jesus was come to destroy him and the man in his power. In Mat 8:29 the demon calls Jesus "Son of God." Later the disciples will call Jesus “ The Holy One of God ” ( John 6:69 ). The demon cried out aloud ( anekraxen , late first aorist form, anekragen , common second aorist) so that all heard the . . . strange testimony to Jesus. The man says "I know" ( oida ), correct text, some manuscripts "we know" ( oidamen ), including the demon.
Jesus uses the phrase, “ Son of Man” here ? What does that mean ? ( Hint: see Daniel 7:13,14 and 9:24-27). Here the idea of Messiah and the glorious Son of Man are linked. See further Robertson: “ So he now performs the miracle of healing which all could see, that all could know that (the Son of Man, Christ's favourite designation of himself, a claim to be the Messiah in terms that could not be easily attack-ed) he really had the authority and power ( exousian ) to forgive sins. He has the right and power here on earth to forgive sins, here and now without waiting for the day of judgment.” ( Word Pictures in the N.T .).
Can Romans 10:4-13; Colossians 2:10-17; and Hebrews 4:8-11 help us resolve the dif-ficulty here? What is Mark then indicating about the level of Jesus’ authority and signifi-cance of his will? Notice this corresponds also to Peter’s statements in Acts 2: 24-36 and 1 Peter 1:10-12. Is not Christ himself the key to the Gospel Code of Mark ?
Commentary by Adam Clark (London: Epworth Press, 1844) on Mark 3:11:
Verse 11 . Thou art the Son of God. - Two MSS., and the later Syriac, have, Thou art the Christ, the Son of God. One of Stephens's MSS. has, Thou art the Holy One of God. A MS. in the library of Lei-cester has, suV ei Jo qeovvvvv ς , ὁ υ ἱὸς , Thou art GOD, the Son. This is an uncommon reading, which is not confirmed by any MS. yet discovered. — Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary
This text reiterates 1:1; 1:24; 2:7; 3:11; and also follows two “ Son of Man ” texts in 2:10 and 2:28. Both phrases are high level Christology .
William Barclay in his Daily Study Bible Commentary On Mark ( 2 nd Ed.; Philadelphia: Westminister Press, 1964), p. 115ff. translates this as “ son of the Most High God” as HCSB, ASV , etc., but the significance of this text as the seventh assertion of Jesus’ deity goes unnoticed by most moderns. However [next]
However, the Greek text here is * Ιησου~ , Υιὲ του~ Θεου~ του~ ῾ Υψίστου . It is literally, “ Jesus, Son of God most high.” This perfectly integrates with the depiction of Jesus as “ the Holy One of God” seen in Mark 1:24. This sets the reader up for what comes in chapters 7-15. At the end of this chapter Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter from death, an act only God could accomplish!
Feeds 5,000; Walks on the Sea of Galilee, and Heals the Multitudes ( Mark 6:30-56). Notice the Divine assurance of comfort in 6:50: “ Immediately He spoke with them and said, “ Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid . ” (Cf. Gen-esis 15:1; Exodus 3:5,6,14 ; Joshua 1:9 ; Psalms 3:6; 23:4: 27:1-3 ; etc.; Isaiah 12:2; 44:8; Jeremiah 30:10; Micah 4:4; Zephaniah 3:13). In the LORD’s coming in salvation in the O.T. fear was disspelled from those who trusted in Him and this confidence is extended to the Messiah ( Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7). Get it ?
Proof : There are only 2 references to the “Son of Man” prior to Peter’s confession and Christ’s pre-diction of His passion. But from Mark 8:27-33 to Christ’s Messianic confession before High Priest Caiphas there are exactly 12 references (8:31; 8:38;
The appellation Lord ( Gk. Kyrios ) is used in several important junctures in the Gospel of Mark. It is used in *1:3; *2:28; 5:19; 7:28; 9:24; 10:51; *11:3; *11:9;*11:10; 12:29; 12: 30 *12:36; 12:37; 13:20; 16:19; 16:20.
Out of these 16 uses in Mark’s Gospel, all but 2 of
The question is not a conundrum or scriptural puzzle (Gould), but "He contents himself with pointing out a difficulty, in the solution of which lay the key to the whole problem of His person and work" (Swete). The scribes all taught that the Messiah was to be the son of David ( John 7:41 ). The people in the Triumphal Entry had acclaimed Jesus as the son of David ( Mat 21:9 ). But the rabbis had overlooked the fact that David in Ps 110:1 called the Messiah his Lord also. The deity and the humanity of the Messiah are both involved in the problem. Mat 22:45 observes that "no one was able to answer him a word."
Richard A. Burridge On Jesus’ Reply to High Priest Caiphas at his Trial before the Sanhedrin.
“ In 14:62 all three titles come together: . . . ‘ Are you the Christ ?’. . . [cf. 1:1;8:9], ‘ The Son of the Blessed One? (im-plying the title ‘Son of God’ used by the demons and the voice in 1:11 and 9:7; as only a human being the High Priest
still avoids the direct form). Jesus responds with a direct
‘ I am ’ (echoing the Divine name of Exodus 3:14), but then
returns to the Son of Man, not for riddling self-affirmation,
but for the glorious figure of Daniel 7:13. The High Priest’s
reaction of tearing his clothes emphasizes how stupendous
a claim has been made.” ( From Four Gospels: One Jesus ?
London: SPCK, 1994, Ch. 2, “ The Roar of the Lion – Mark’s
Jesus,” p. 59). [ Burridge is Dean of Kings College, London ].
To God be the glory, great things He has done; So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He has taught us, great things He has done, And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.