Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


5. The Gospel of Mark

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Present the position of the early church on the authorship of Mark
  • Identify where Mark was written and explain why this location is thought to be the place of writing
  • Outline the content of Mark
  • Outline the missionary activities highlighted in this Gospel
  • Give examples of how Jesus’s divine sonship is illustrated in Mark
  • Identify the chief ministries of Jesus as recorded in Mark
  • List the three sets of circumstances in which Jesus commanded silence and the reasons for each

Chapter Summary

  1. The author of the Gospel of Mark was John Mark, who worked with Peter and recorded his recollections of the life and work of Jesus.

  2. The Gospel of Mark was most likely written in Rome with a gentile audience in mind.

  3. The Gospel of Mark has as its central theme the story of Jesus.

  4. Mark focuses on the mystery of Jesus’s divine sonship, beginning with his baptism.

  5. In the Gospel of Mark, the divine reality of Jesus was apparent to everyone and everything except certain religious leaders.

  6. Mark emphasizes the ministry of Jesus rather than his teachings.

  7. Jesus commanded many whom he had helped or told something significant to be silent about it.

Study Questions

  1. Who was Mark?

  2. When was the Gospel of Mark most likely written?

  3. Describe how Jesus’s divine sonship is developed in Mark.

  4. How do the “people” confirm that Jesus is the Son of God?

  5. In what ways was Jesus a servant?

  6. Why did Jesus command people to silence about his identity?