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Mark - Background Info
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Mark - Background Info

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Background to the Gospel of Mark

Background to the Gospel of Mark

Published in: Education, Spiritual

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  • 1. The Gospel of Mark Background Information
  • 2. Author
    • Gospels do not name their authors.
    • Early church fathers are unanimous.
    • Justin Martyr (AD 150) referred to the Gospel of Mark as “the memoirs of Peter”.
  • 3. Date
    • Because of comments made by Christ, Mark must have been written before 70 AD.
    • Arguments for Markan Priority
      • At many points Mark's descriptions are the most vivid.
      • Mark's grammar and style is often the roughest.
      • Mark narrates potentially embarrassing or misleading details.
      • Mark's is the shortest gospel, but within the passages he narrates, his is typically the fullest form.
  • 4. Date
    • Arguments for Markan Priority
      • There is very little in Mark that is not reproduced in Matthew or Luke.
      • There seems to be no other explanation for why Mark left out important material common to Matthew and Luke.
  • 5. Date
    • Arguments against Markan Priority
      • The nearly unanimous testimony of the early church was that Matthew was the first gospel written.
      • Why would Matthew, an eyewitness to Christ's life, depend on Mark.
      • Certain minor agreements of Matthew and Luke against Mark exist.
      • A large chunk of Mark is missing from Luke.
  • 6. Background
    • Mark seems to have targeted Roman believers.
      • When employing Aramaic terms, he translated them for his readers.
      • In some places, Mark used Latin expressions instead of Greek equivalents.
      • He reckoned time according to the Roman system and carefully explained Jewish customs.
      • Omitted Jewish elements like genealogies found in Matthew and Luke.
      • Makes fewer references to the Old Testament.
  • 7. Theological Themes
    • Presents Jesus as the suffering Servant of the Lord (10:45)
    • Focused on deeds more than teaching of Christ
    • Omits Christ's early life, beginning with the start of Christ's ministry
    • Demonstrated the humanity of Christ most clearly
      • Christ's human emotions
      • Christ's human limitations