Bible Study: Gospel of Mark
Basic Background Information:
- Mark is the earliest gospel. Matthew and Luke use it as a source.
- Gospel is a new genre - telling the story of Jesus Christ. Different from other biographical books of the time, except they focus on peasants and poor people, not kings or wealthy rulers.
- Tradition holds that Mark, a companion of Peter and Paul, wrote the book, hence its name.
- Scholars generally believe it was written for gentile followers of Jesus in a community somewhere outside Palestine (possibly Rome) shortly after the Temple was destroyed in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE.
- It speaks to a community experience challenges if not outright direct persecution from the prevailing Greco-Roman culture.
- It was written in Greek, the dominant language of the Roman Empire, rather than the Hebrew or Aramaic that Jesus and his disciples would've spoken.
- The primary purpose of the author of Mark was to announce a message rather than to report literal history
- It was likely written to strengthen the faith of those who already believed, not to convert people