Mark's Gospel: Background

The Writing of the Gospel

The Nature and purpose of Mark's Gospel

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  • Created by: Patrick
  • Created on: 31-05-11 17:56

Who Mark was, and sources of the Gospel

Who is Mark?

  • Mark wrote his Gospel in 64AD, Rome, Italy.
  • He was a friend of Peter, and knew Paul.
  • He could be John Mark.
  • He wrote the Gospel to provide early Christians a guide for living, and giving hope to a persecuted Church.
  • Well educated, and knew Greek.

Sources of the Gospel

  • Peter gave Mark eye witness detail.
  • Oral Tradition: Other disciples told Mark verbally
  • Mark read many documents, such as Document Q, or the passion narratives
  • Divine encounter with God, who told him everything
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Who read the Gospel, and how it is used today

Who read Mark's Gospel?

  • Jesus 30AD: Jesus mainly spoke to Jewish audiences, with some Gentiles, who were all being persecuted by the Romans in 30AD
  • Mark's Rome 64AD: Mark lived in Rome in 64AD. He was in a Christian community, who were being persecuted by the Romans (they were falsely blamed for starting the fire that destroyed Rome.

How is the Gospel used today?

  • There are many Christians who are persecuted, in places such as Latin America. The Gospel would make them feel empowered. It's a Gospel of hope in the face of terror.
  • Although there are Christians who aren't persecuted or tortured, they are exposed to the pressures of materialism.
  • Christians today still find the miracles and resurrection useful, as it shows us that Jesus is the Son of God.
  • Jesus shows us a perfect guide on how to live and behave: Being kind, care for others, and pray. We have eternal life due to his rising form the dead, and the Gospel is still relevant 2000 years on.
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Authority

"This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Opening line) Gospel: The Good News of Jesus Christ, all he said and did.

The Gospel can be seen as the Word of God, as...

  • It was written as a document of faith to encourage Christians
  • Contains the actual Aramaic words of Jesus
  • It's based on eye witness accounts of Jesus

The Gospel can be understood in 2 ways... Fundamentalist and Liberal.

  • A Fundamentalist believes that everything that happened in the Gospel, happened exactly how it is described by Mark. (For example, Jesus really did calm the storm)
  • A Liberal sees the plot as unimportant, but the message behind the story is what counts. Jesus has power over evil, he can defeat anything: Christians can take comfort in this. (For example, if Jesus can calm a storm, he can defeat the Romans, or modern day evils, like racism or sexism)
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Calming of the Storm

  • That day when the evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.
  • There were also other boats with them. A furious storm came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
  • Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
  • He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down, and it was completely calm.
  • He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
  • They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

A Fundamentalist would believe that Jesus did make the storm stop: He can control nature.

A Liberal would believe that Jesus has power over nature and evil; Christians can take comfort in this: Jesus can defeat anything.

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