Analysis of Marks Gospel

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This research assignment aims to analyse and interpret an influential part of the New Testament – Mark’s Gospel. An analysis of Mark and his community will be discussed as well as interpreting Jesus’ teachings and his significant theme of Discipleship as it was then and in present society.

A Gospel in general, is a textual document written in narrative form of the good news and teachings proclaimed by Jesus to announce the power of God. Mark’s Gospel is one of four others (Matthew, Luke and John), where each Gospel has its differences in structure, language and theological slants. Mark’s Gospel is divided into three main sections: The Ministry of Jesus, Jesus’ prologue of foretelling his Passion, and his Passion and Death. Mark set out on a mission of God to carry on the word of Jesus with Paul, where Mark was traditionally known to be closely linked to one of Jesus’ disciples – Peter, which many of the stories in the Gospel relate to his perspective and point of view. Much of Mark’s stories may have originated from Peter through oral transfer (as it was common in those times) and discussions with Paul, as well as accounts from the Old Testament.

Mark’s community mainly consisted of Gentiles who lived in Rome as opposed to Jesus followers in Israel who were Jews. Gentiles are classified as people of any religion that are not Jewish, and of non-Jewish origins such as the Romans. In particular the Roman Centurion (army officer) who professed that Jesus was truly the Son of God (15:39), is one of many reasons that suggest Mark’s community to be Gentile. This is a significant part in the Passion narrative, as the Centurion – being a Gentile is one of the first people to have faith and believe in Jesus after his death, which is relevant to the Kingdom of God. Also, many of Jewish customs are explained for non-Jewish followers as well as Mark’s translation of Latin words written in Greek (Mark: A Gospel for Today, 1989). Mark’s community endured much suffering under the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero that was persecuting Christians for practicing their Monotheistic faith and preaching the word of Jesus. For Mark’s community, in continuing the word of Jesus and to spread the good news, the people faced many difficulties as to convert to Christianity. These barriers included the geographical differences of Rome and Jerusalem as well as having their own opinions...

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...l their possessions behind to follow Jesus. Though Discipleship does not result in poverty, but living a true live in accordance with God, and the Messiah. However, recontextualised in modern contexts - priests have also undergone this concept and discarded monetary values to serve under the authority of Jesus and to spread the good news and give guidance to those who are lost, just as Jesus’ disciples did. Nevertheless, this does not stipulate the right for people in such high ranks of ‘Holiness’ to exclude or criticize others’ views, and to make unaccountable judgments on the behalf of God. We should persist on the tolerance and respect of other’s viewpoints. This theme also gives hope to ‘Jesus Followers’ that it is not the end for God’s people.

Written By: Marcus Huynh Copyright


Danes, Christopher & Simon. (1989) Mark: A Gospel for Today. Lion Publishing, England.

Geddes, Gordon & Griffiths, June. (2001) St. Mark’s Gospel. Heinemann Publishing, Melbourne.

Cooper, Robin. (1970) Mark’s Gospel: An Interpretation for Today. Hodder & Stoughton, Abington.

Available: Last Accessed 22/05/05
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