Walk Thru The Bible

New Testament -- Mark

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John, whose surname was Mark, is the writer (Acts 12:12, 25). He was the son of a certain Mary of Jerusalem and cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10).

From the fact that the family had large facilities and servants attending the door, Mary appears well off and probably an influential member in the early Jerusalem church. It has been suggested that the upper room may have been at her home and that it continued as a meeting place for the apostles (Cf. Acts 1:13).

Although Mark was a source of contention between Paul and Barnabas at the beginning of the second missionary journey, we see him working with Paul and highly favored a few years later (Col. 4:10; Philemon 24). Mark also worked with Peter and is referred to as his "son" much like Timothy was by Paul. Many believe the young man of Mark 14:51-53 was none other than the young Mark himself.


One of the pupils of the apostle John said that Mark wrote down exactly, without mistake, the words and deeds of Christ though not in chronological order. He says that the Mark wrote down the substance of Peter's preaching.


From Mark 10:45 we can easily determine Mark's object in writing his gospel account, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."


Mark is the briefest of the four gospel accounts. It is a narrative of dynamic action. Jesus is presented as "doing" rather than merely "saying."

1. "Straightway" and "immediately" are used more than 40 times.

2. Mark repeatedly speaks of the impact, the awe, and astonishment that Jesus made on the mind and heart of those who heard him. cf. Mark 1:22; 1:27; 4:41; 6:51; 10:24, 26, etc.

3. Mark tells us more about the emotions of Jesus than other writers. He pictures Jesus:

4. Mark repeatedly inserts little vivid details which are the hall-marks of an eye-witness.

5. Mark is very fond of the historic present. He speaks of events in the present tense instead of the past.

6. Mark often gives us the very Aramaic words Jesus spoke. Indicative of an eye-witness. Mark always then gives the interpretation of those Aramaic words revealing to us he is writing for non-Hebrews (cf. 5:41; 7:34; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34).

(These may have been times when Peter could hear again the very sound of Jesus' voice, and could not help givin g in his sermons the very words that Jesus uttered.)
7. Mark made more use of Latin loanwords than the other gospel accounts and some occur in the New Testament only in Mark. [Note also the evidence of Mark 15:21 and Romans 16:13 which ties his gospel to a Roman audience.]

8. Mark presents Jesus as being addressed as Rabbi or Teacher whereas Matthew and Luke represent Jesus as being addressed by the title "Lord." Some say Matthew and Luke reflect the post-resurrection practice of speaking of Jesus while Mark is faithful to the pre-resurrection way of addressing Jesus.


Purpose -- The very first verse of Mark provides a clear indication of the writer's purpose: to set forth "the good news" and to bear witness to Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God.

Outline -- MARK -- "The Miracle Working Servant"

I. The Servant's Coming 1:1-13
II. The Servant's Work 1:14 - 13:37

III. The Servant's Death 14:1 - 15:47
IV. The Servant's Resurrection 16:1 - 20