NextLevel Online: Introduction to the Gospels

Session 3: The Gospel According to Mark

In Session 3, we talk about the Gospel according to Mark.


Classroom Instructions

Materials: Lesson Outline
  • Opening word - “Beginning” (ἀρχή13).

Creation theme opens the book (beginning, Spirit over the water, temptation, etc.)

  • No Birth Narrative

  • Fast-Paced Action

    • “Immediately” (εὐθύς) [42x in Mk; 6-Mt; 3-Lk; 3-Jn] — Mark moves at a fast pace only slowing down at the Passion narrative (this word does not occur after 15:1).

    • Favorite conjunction is “and” (καί).

    • Limited discourse in comparison to other gospels, he keeps the action moving. Mark Strauss compared it to an “on-the-spot news report” (pf. 172).

    • Use of “Historic Present” verbs that heighten the urgency of the narrative [151x in Mk; 93-Mt; 11-Lk].

    • Shortest account, but often with more details in shared narratives than other synoptic gospels (e.g., wild animals 1:13; grass 6:39; Jesus sleeping on a cushion 4:38).

  • ID Questions:

    • 1:27 What is this? A new teaching—and with authority…

    • 2:7 Who can forgive sins but God alone?

    • 2:16 Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?

    • 4:41 Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!

    • 6:2 What’s this wisdom that has been given him?

    • 7:5 Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders…?

  • Authority

  • Outline: Two-part structure that hinges upon Peter’s Confession in 8:29 (Craig Blomberg, 131):

    • 1:1-8:30 Successes - M. Strauss = Authoritative Son of God

    • 8:31-16:8 Sufferings - M. Strauss = The Suffering Servant

  • Thematic groupings (see Strauss 174):

    • ch 1 Authority Stories

    • ch 2 Sabbath Controversies

    • ch 4 Kingdom Parables

    • ch 6-8 Boats & Bread Stories

    • ch 7 Unclean Stories

    • ch 7-8 Miracles and Parables for Discipleship (Deaf/Blind)

    • ch 10 Cruciform Life

    • ch 11-12 Controversy/Tests/Traps

  • Inclusio (“bookending”):

    • Son of God

      • 1:1 “Son of God”

      • 1:10 “You are my son”

      • 9:7 “This is my Son…Listen to Him”

      • 15:39 “Surely…son of God!”

    • Torn

      • 1:10 “Heaven torn open”

      • 15:38 “The curtain in the temple was torn…”

  • “Messianic Secret” — Jesus is always telling others to be silent and at the end (short ending), no one is “telling” but instead are afraid.

    • Jesus often withdraws/retreats

    • No Post-Resurrection Narrative (Depending on what you do with the textual variant in Mark 16:9-20).

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.