Authorship and purpose of Mark's gosel

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  • Authorship and purpose of Mark's gospel
    • Who?
      • Unknown but some think that Mark was connected with Peter as Papias noted that Mark was the interpreter of Peter
        • However Papias is notorious for being wrong about thinks he has said about the gospels so this assertion needs to be treated with caution
          • It seems unlikely that Peter was Mark's source as he tells fewer stories about Peter than any of the other gospels
            • His focus on crucifixion and gentile orientation suggests a link with Paul rather than Peter
              • A man named Mark is mentioned in Paul's letters three times which may support this link
    • When?
      • Most scholars date Mark in the late 60's CE because of his emphasis on suffering and allusions to the Jewish War (66-70 CE)
    • Where and why?
      • Although most agree that Mark was writing for a community of gentile Christians his location is uncertain but many take Rome to be the most likely
        • This is supported by the links with Peter who was martyred in Rome in the mid 60'S CE
          • it would also fit the gentile orientation of the gospel where Jewish customs are explained further to the reader
            • The focus of persecution also seems to suit Rome as Christians were suffering at the hands of Nero who persecuted them as a scapegoat for the great fire of 64 CE
              • His gospel may have been an attempt to encourage and build up a community in crisis
                • He focuses on discipleship, evil and gives a lot of attention to Jesus' death perhaps providing the model for Christians to follow
        • Although most think Rome is the backdrop to Mark's writings the strong emphasis on Galilee should be noted
          • Jesus appears there after the resurrection and the gospel seems to address the people of Palestine, close enough to Jerusalem to be affected by the troubles there

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