Archive for the ‘Mark’s Gospel’ Category

rbr4Step into the study, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable and let’s enjoy the Gospel of Mark.

John the Baptist is certainly one of the most intriguing figures in the entire Bible. Josephus devotes a large amount of material to him and Acts 19:1-7 indicates that John’s influence extended far beyond a few converts at the Jordan river. The serious student would do well to compare John and his message with what we know of the Essene community in the desert at Qumram. There are many similarities that may be more than coincidental.

Many scholars have pointed out that the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist is one of the most historically certain parts of the Gospel story, not only because it is recorded in all four gospels, but because the baptism of Jesus by John would have been an embarrassment to the early Christians, particularly if there were an active “John the Baptist Movement” existing at the same time as early Christianity. Yet all the Gospels agree that Jesus’ ministry is inaugurated in a formal sense with his baptism by John and that this baptism was the time of a special awareness of Jesus’ relationship to his heavenly Father. (more…)


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Step into the study, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable and let’s enjoy the Gospel of Mark.

Mark is one of five Biblical books that talks of beginnings in the title sentence. Genesis 1:1 speaks of the beginning of God’s creative activity. John 1:1 says that in that same beginning, Jesus was God the Son. Titus 1:2 says that God had already promised salvation from before the beginning of time and Mark 1:1 records the beginning of this promise becoming reality; the beginning of the Good News about Jesus. I John 1:1ff says the Gospel began with a personal encounter with the living Word.

Matthew and Luke choose different beginning points. Matthew starts with a genealogy of Jesus that connects him to Abraham, the one who received the promise (Gen 12), while Luke begins with a declaration of his intention to write an acceptable historical record of the beginnings of Christianity in Jesus. Both these Gospels record infancy narratives, which Mark completely avoids. Mark’s only mention of Jesus’ family is in the conflicts he has with them in his early days of ministry. (more…)

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The first thing I ever did on the internet was write Bible Studies on the Gospel of Mark. I got have finished. They’ve been on a Geocities site for years. I’m going to move them here to a new home at JSS.

These are unedited, with plenty of errors of various kinds. I’ll be spending some time editing them, but forgive anything of a grammatical or punctual nature. Hope you enjoy them.

Step into the study, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable and let’s enjoy the Gospel of Mark.

Out of all the books in the world, why read this one? With a hundred other activities and interests to pursue, why devote your mind to some religious text out of the Bible? How is it going to help you?

Obviously the reasons to study Mark are many, but let me suggest what persuades me. Hopefully it will persuade you as well. (more…)

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