Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


5. The Gospel of Mark

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is Papias’s statement so important to settling the authorship of Mark?
  2. What are some reasons biblical scholars think Mark was not written in Galilee?
  3. Why do you think Mark begins his Gospel with his own confession and closes it with the Roman centurion’s confession?
  4. Why do you think that the divine reality of Jesus was expressed by everyone except the religious leaders?
  5. How did Mark emphasize that Jesus’s death was not an accident?
  6. What was the purpose of Jesus asking the apostles to keep silent about his messiahship?

Assignment Ideas / Class Activities

  1. Plan and present a Scripture reading from Mark that demonstrates that Jesus came to teach us about God.
  2. Have students write an essay comparing the reaction of religious leaders in Jesus’s day to the reaction of religious leaders today to Jesus and his teaching.
  3. Break the class up into small groups and have them find passages in Mark that support the idea that Rome was the city where the Gospel was written. Assign a group to each of the following:
    a. Mark writes for a gentile audience.
    b. Mark explains Aramaic expressions he uses.
  4. Have the class find the references to the silence that Jesus commanded and read these out loud. Help the class see why this is called the “messianic secret.”