Exegesis: Ancient Christian Gospels

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In interpretation of Mark’s gospels it is important to take into account various elements of historical, theological, and literary context. Mark sets out to appeal to his audience by conveying messages that the audience can relate to. Mark 6: 30-44 is an example of a miracle story with a message that can impact many. There seems to be direct correlation among other gospels and stories throughout the Old and New Testament (NRSV, 1989).
Mark is the shortest Gospel and is typically thought to be the earliest. It is also considered a source for Matthew and Luke. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is the savior and the healer in many of the passages (Koester, 1990). The Gospels emphasized his miraculous ways and his ability to do wonderful things. Nothing in the Gospel identifies the author by name, since the label “according to Mark” was added after the passages were composed (Koester, 1990).
Many biblical commentaries consider Mark the interpreter of Peter. As Peter’s interpreter Mark wrote what the Lord had said and the actions he performed, however not in any particular order were the stories composed. Mark wrote the Gospels in Rome. This was suggested by Papias and by Latin loanwords (Achtmeier, 1996).
Mark’s Gospel displays a close geographical-theological structure. The geographical aspect features the movement from Galilee to Jerusalem. The first half of the Gospel describes Jesus’ activities in Galilee to Jerusalem” (NRSV, 1989). Galilee is the northernmost region of the land of Israel (Achtmeier, 1996). Galilee was geographically distant from Jerusalem and was the seat of the Judean palace, temple, archives, and scribes.
The community included large numbers of Jews. They are the authoritative revelation of God, and the core of...

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...esus has done (Elwell, 1989). With the elements of historical, theological, and literary context it is easy to see and engage in Mark’s Gospels and the underlying messages.

Works Cited

Helmut Koester. Ancient Christian Gospels. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1990.
James L. Mays, ed. Harper’s Bible Commentary. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
New Jerusalem Bible. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1985.
New Revised Standard Version Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Paul J. Achtmeier, ed., HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.
Raymond E. Brown, et al., Eds. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Endglewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990.
The Catholic Study Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Walter A. Elwell, ed. Evangelical Commentray on the Bible. Grand Rapdis, MI: Baker Book House 1989.

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