Mark - Background Info

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Background to the Gospel of Mark

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Mark - Background Info

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

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