Gospel of Mark

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The end of Mark 15 (excluding v. 47), along with Mark 16:1 in Codex Sinaiticus (c. AD 350). Mark 16 first lines, Codex Sinaiticus.png
The end of Mark 15 (excluding v. 47), along with Mark 16:1 in Codex Sinaiticus (c.AD 350).

The Gospel of Mark [lower-alpha 1] is the second of the four canonical gospels and of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his death, burial, and the discovery of his empty tomb. There is no miraculous birth or doctrine of divine pre-existence, [3] nor, in the original ending (Mark 16:1–8), any post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. [4] It portrays Jesus as a teacher, an exorcist, a healer, and a miracle worker. He refers to himself as the Son of Man. He is called the Son of God, but keeps his messianic nature secret; even his disciples fail to understand him. [5] All this is in keeping with Christian interpretation of prophecy, which is believed to foretell the fate of the messiah as suffering servant. [6] The gospel ends, in its original version, with the discovery of the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and an unheeded instruction to spread the good news of the Resurrection of Jesus. [7]


Most scholars date Mark to c. 66–74 AD, either shortly before or after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. [8] They reject the traditional ascription to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of the Apostle Peter -- which probably arose from the desire of early Christians to link the work to an authoritative figure -- and believe it to be the work of an author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative. [9] It was traditionally placed second, and sometimes fourth, in the Christian canon, as an inferior abridgement of what was regarded as the most important gospel, Matthew; the Church has consequently derived its view of Jesus primarily from Matthew, secondarily from John, and only distantly from Mark. [10]

In the 19th century, Mark came to be seen as the earliest of the four gospels, and as a source used by both Matthew and Luke. The hypothesis of Marcan priority continues to be held by the majority of scholars today, and there is a new recognition of the author as an artist and theologian using a range of literary devices to convey his conception of Jesus as the authoritative yet suffering Son of God. [11]


Andrea Mantegna's St. Mark, 1448 Andrea Mantegna 087.jpg
Andrea Mantegna's St. Mark , 1448
The two-source hypothesis: Most scholars agree that Mark was the first of the gospels to be composed, and that the authors of Matthew and Luke used it plus a second document called the Q source when composing their own gospels. Synoptic problem two source colored.png
The two-source hypothesis: Most scholars agree that Mark was the first of the gospels to be composed, and that the authors of Matthew and Luke used it plus a second document called the Q source when composing their own gospels.

Authorship, date and genre

The Gospel of Mark is anonymous. [12] Its composition is usually dated through the eschatological discourse in Mark 13: most scholars interpret this as pointing to the First Jewish–Roman War (66–74 AD) that would lead to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, with the composition of Mark taking place either immediately after the destruction (the majority position) or during the years immediately prior. [13] Earlier dates in the range 35–45 AD are sometimes proposed, [14] but are usually dismissed. [15]

It was written in Greek, for a gentile audience, and probably in Rome, although Galilee, Antioch (third-largest city in the Roman Empire, located in northern Syria), and southern Syria have also been suggested. [16] [17] Early Christian tradition, first attested by Papias of Hierapolis (attestation dated c. 125 AD), [18] attributes it to the John Mark mentioned in Acts, but scholars generally reject this as an attempt to link the gospel to an authoritative figure. [9] The author used a variety of pre-existing sources, such as conflict stories, [19] apocalyptic discourse, [20] and collections of sayings (although not the Gospel of Thomas and probably not the Q source). [21]

The consensus among modern scholars is that the gospels are a subset of the ancient genre of bios, or ancient biography. [22] Ancient biographies were concerned with providing examples for readers to emulate while preserving and promoting the subject's reputation and memory, and also included morals, rhetoric, propaganda and kerygma (preaching) in their works. [23]

Synoptic problem

Mark the Evangelist, 16th-century Russian icon MarkEvangelist.jpg
Mark the Evangelist, 16th-century Russian icon

The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke bear a striking resemblance to each other, so much so that their contents can easily be set side by side in parallel columns. The fact that they share so much material verbatim and yet also exhibit important differences has led to a number of hypotheses explaining their interdependence, a phenomenon termed the Synoptic Problem. It is widely accepted that this was the first gospel (Marcan Priority) and was used as a source by both Matthew and Luke, who agree with each other in their sequence of stories and events only when they also agree with Mark. [24]


In the 19th century it became widely accepted that Mark was the earliest of the gospels and therefore the most reliable source for the historical Jesus, but since about 1950 there has been a growing consensus that the primary purpose of the author of Mark was to announce a message rather than to report history. [25] The idea that the gospel could be used to reconstruct the historical Jesus suffered two severe blows in the early part of the 20th century, first when William Wrede argued strongly that the "Messianic secret" motif in Mark was a creation of the early church rather than a reflection of the historical Jesus, and in 1919 when Karl Ludwig Schmidt further undermined its historicity with his contention that the links between episodes are the invention of the writer, meaning that it cannot be taken as a reliable guide to the chronology of Jesus' mission: both claims are widely accepted today. [26] The gospel is nevertheless still seen as the most reliable of the four in terms of its overall description of Jesus's life and ministry. [27]


List of kephalaia (chapters) to the Gospel of Mark, placed after the colophon of the Gospel of Matthew and before the Gospel of Mark, in Codex Alexandrinus (AD 400-440). Codex Alexandrinus list of kephalaia.JPG
List of kephalaia (chapters) to the Gospel of Mark, placed after the colophon of the Gospel of Matthew and before the Gospel of Mark, in Codex Alexandrinus (AD 400–440).

Christianity began within Judaism, with a Christian "church" (or ἐκκλησία, ekklesia, meaning "assembly") that arose shortly after Jesus's death, when some of his followers claimed to have witnessed him risen from the dead. [28] From the outset, Christians depended heavily on Jewish literature, supporting their convictions through the Jewish scriptures. [29] Those convictions involved a nucleus of key concepts: the messiah, the son of God and the son of man, the suffering servant, the Day of the Lord, and the kingdom of God. Uniting these ideas was the common thread of apocalyptic expectation: Both Jews and Christians believed that the end of history was at hand, that God would very soon come to punish their enemies and establish his own rule, and that they were at the centre of his plans. Christians read the Jewish scripture as a figure or type of Jesus Christ, so that the goal of Christian literature became an experience of the living Christ. [30] The new movement spread around the eastern Mediterranean and to Rome and further west, and assumed a distinct identity, although the groups within it remained extremely diverse. [28]

The gospels were written to strengthen the faith of those who already believed, not to convert unbelievers. [31] Christian "churches" were small communities of believers, often based on households (an autocratic patriarch plus extended family, slaves, freedmen, and other clients), and the evangelists often wrote on two levels, one the "historical" presentation of the story of Jesus, the other dealing with the concerns of the author's own day. Thus the proclamation of Jesus in Mark 1:14 and the following verses, for example, mixes the terms Jesus would have used as a 1st-century Jew ("kingdom of God") and those of the early church ("believe", "gospel"). [32] Some scholars think Mark might have been writing as a Galilean Christian against those Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who saw the Jewish revolt against Rome (66–73 CE) as the beginning of the "end times": for Mark, the Second Coming would be in Galilee, not Jerusalem, and not until the generation following the revolt. [33]

Structure and content

Detailed content of Mark
1. Galilean ministry
John the Baptist (1:1–8)
Baptism of Jesus (1:9–11)
Temptation of Jesus (1:12–13)
Good News (1:15)
First disciples (1:16–20)
Capernaum's synagogue (1:21–28)
Peter's mother-in-law (1:29–31)
Exorcising at sunset (1:32–34)
A leper (1:35–45)
A paralytic (2:1–2:12)
Calling of Matthew (2:13–17)
Fasting and wineskins (2:18–22)
Lord of the Sabbath (2:23–28)
Man with withered hand (3:1–6)
Withdrawing to the sea (3:7–3:12)
Commissioning the Twelve (3:13–19)
Blind mute (3:20–26)
Strong man (3:27)
Eternal sin (3:28–30)
Jesus' true relatives (3:31–35)
Parable of the Sower (4:1–9,13-20)
Purpose of parables (4:10–12,33-34)
Lamp under a bushel (4:21–23)
Mote and Beam (4:24–25)
Growing seed and Mustard seed (4:26–32)
Calming the storm (4:35–41)
Demon named Legion (5:1–20)
Daughter of Jairus (5:21–43)
Hometown rejection (6:1–6)
Instructions for the Twelve (6:7–13)
Beheading of John (6:14–29)
Feeding the 5000 (6:30–44)
Walking on water (6:45–52)
Fringe of his cloak heals (6:53–56)
Discourse on Defilement (7:1–23)
Canaanite woman's daughter (7:24–30)
Deaf mute (7:31–37)
Feeding the 4000 (8:1–9)
No sign will be given (8:10–21)
Healing with spit (8:22–26)
Peter's confession (8:27–30)
Jesus predicts his death (8:31–33, 9:30–32, 10:32–34)
Instructions for followers (8:34–9:1)
Transfiguration (9:2–13)
Possessed boy (9:14–29)
Teaching in Capernaum (9:33–50)
2. Journey to Jerusalem
Entering Judea and Transjordan (10:1)
On divorce (10:2–12)
Little children (10:13–16)
Rich young man (10:17–31)
Son of man came to serve (10:35–45)
Blind Bartimaeus (10:46–52)
3. Events in Jerusalem
Entering Jerusalem (11:1–11)
Cursing the fig tree (11:12–14,20-24)
Temple incident (11:15–19)
Prayer for forgiveness (11:25–26)
Authority questioned (11:27–33)
Wicked husbandman (12:1–12)
Render unto Caesar... (12:13–17)
Resurrection of the Dead (12:18–27)
Great Commandment (12:28–34)
Is the Messiah the son of David? (12:35–40)
Widow's mite (12:41–44)
Olivet discourse (13)
Plot to kill Jesus (14:1–2)
Anointing (14:3–9)
Bargain of Judas (14:10–11)
Last Supper (14:12–26)
Denial of Peter (14:27–31,66-72)
Agony in the Garden (14:32–42)
Kiss of Judas (14:43–45)
Arrest (14:46–52)
Before the High Priest (14:53–65)
Pilate's court (15:1–15)
Soldiers mock Jesus (15:16–20)
Simon of Cyrene (15:21)
Crucifixion (15:22–41)
Entombment (15:42–47)
Empty tomb (16:1–8)
The Longer Ending (16:9–20)
Post-resurrection appearances (16:9–13)
Great Commission (16:14–18)
Ascension (16:19)
Dispersion of the Apostles (16:20)
Page from Mark in a Latin bible dated 1486 (Bodleian Library) Mark Bib Lat 1486 c.2 Bodleian Library.jpg
Page from Mark in a Latin bible dated 1486 (Bodleian Library)


There is no agreement on the structure of Mark. [34] There is, however, a widely recognised break at Mark 8:26–31: before 8:26 there are numerous miracle stories, the action is in Galilee, and Jesus preaches to the crowds, while after 8:31 there are hardly any miracles, the action shifts from Galilee to gentile areas or hostile Judea, and Jesus teaches the disciples. [35] Peter's confession at Mark 8:27–30 that Jesus is the messiah thus forms the watershed to the whole gospel. [36] A further generally recognised turning point comes at the end of chapter 10, when Jesus and his followers arrive in Jerusalem and the foreseen confrontation with the Temple authorities begins, leading R.T. France to characterise Mark as a three-act drama. [37] James Edwards in his 2002 commentary points out that the gospel can be seen as a series of questions asking first who Jesus is (the answer being that he is the messiah), then what form his mission takes (a mission of suffering culminating in the crucifixion and resurrection, events only to be understood when the questions are answered), while another scholar, C. Myers, has made what Edwards calls a "compelling case" for recognising the incidents of Jesus' baptism, transfiguration and crucifixion, at the beginning, middle and end of the gospel, as three key moments, each with common elements, and each portrayed in an apocalyptic light. [38] Stephen H. Smith has made the point that the structure of Mark is similar to the structure of a Greek tragedy. [39]



The earliest and most reliable manuscripts of Mark end at Mark 16:8, with the women fleeing in fear from the empty tomb: the majority of recent scholars believe this to be the original ending, [40] and this is supported by statements from the early Church Fathers Eusebius and Jerome. [41] Two attempts were made in later manuscripts to provide a more satisfactory conclusion. A minority have what is called the "shorter ending", an addition to Mark 16:8 telling how the women told "those around Peter" all that the angel had commanded and how the message of eternal life (or "proclamation of eternal salvation") was then sent out by Jesus himself. This addition differs from the rest of Mark both in style and in its understanding of Jesus. The overwhelming majority of manuscripts have the "longer ending", possibly written in the early 2nd century and added later in the same century, [42] [43] with accounts of the resurrected Jesus, the commissioning of the disciples to proclaim the gospel, and Christ's ascension. [41]


First page of the Gospel of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God", by Sargis Pitsak (14th century) Sargis Pitsak.jpg
First page of the Gospel of Mark: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God", by Sargis Pitsak (14th century)
Minuscule 2427 - "Archaic Mark" Archaic mark session.jpg
Minuscule 2427  "Archaic Mark"


The author introduces his work as "gospel", meaning "good news", a literal translation of the Greek "evangelion" [44]  he uses the word more often than any other writer in the New Testament except Paul. [45] Paul uses it to mean "the good news (of the saving significance of the death and resurrection) of Christ"; Mark extends it to the career of Christ as well as his death and resurrection. [44] Like the other gospels, Mark was written to confirm the identity of Jesus as eschatological deliverer  the purpose of terms such as "messiah" and "son of God". As in all the gospels, the messianic identity of Jesus is supported by a number of themes, including: (1) the depiction of his disciples as obtuse, fearful and uncomprehending; (2) the refutation of the charge made by Jesus' enemies that he was a magician; (3) secrecy surrounding his true identity (this last is missing from John). [46]

The failure of the disciples

In Mark, the disciples, especially the Twelve, move from lack of perception of Jesus to rejection of the "way of suffering" to flight and denial even the women who received the first proclamation of his resurrection can be seen as failures for not reporting the good news. There is much discussion of this theme among scholars. Some argue that the author of Mark was using the disciples to correct "erroneous" views in his own community concerning the reality of the suffering messiah, others that it is an attack on the Jerusalem branch of the church for resisting the extension of the gospel to the gentiles, or a mirror of the convert's usual experience of the initial enthusiasm followed by growing awareness of the necessity for suffering. It certainly reflects the strong theme in Mark of Jesus as the "suffering just one" portrayed in so many of the books of the Jewish scriptures, from Jeremiah to Job and the Psalms, but especially in the "Suffering Servant" passages in Isaiah. It also reflects the Jewish scripture theme of God's love being met by infidelity and failure, only to be renewed by God. The failure of the disciples and Jesus' denial by Peter himself would have been powerful symbols of faith, hope and reconciliation for Christians. [47]

The charge of magic

Mark contains twenty accounts of miracles and healings, accounting for almost a third of the gospel and half of the first ten chapters, more, proportionally, than in any other gospel. [48] In the gospels as a whole, Jesus' miracles, prophecies, etc., are presented as evidence of God's rule, but Mark's descriptions of Jesus' healings are a partial exception to this, as his methods, using spittle to heal blindness [49] and magic formulae, [50] were those of a magician. [51] [52] This is the charge the Jewish religious leaders bring against Jesus: they say he is performing exorcisms with the aid of an evil spirit [53] and calling up the spirit of John the Baptist. [54] [51] "There was [...] no period in the history of the [Roman] empire in which the magician was not considered an enemy of society," subject to penalties ranging from exile to death, says Classical scholar Ramsay MacMullen. [55] All the gospels defend Jesus against the charge, which, if true, would contradict their ultimate claims for him. The point of the Beelzebub incident in Mark [56] is to set forth Jesus' claims to be an instrument of God, not Satan. [57]

Messianic secret

In 1901, William Wrede identified the "Messianic secret" Jesus' secrecy about his identity as the messiah as one of Mark's central themes. Wrede argued that the elements of the secret Jesus' silencing of the demons, the obtuseness of the disciples regarding his identity, and the concealment of the truth inside parables were fictions and arose from the tension between the Church's post-resurrection messianic belief and the historical reality of Jesus. There remains continuing debate over how far the "secret" originated with Mark and how far he got it from tradition, and how far, if at all, it represents the self-understanding and practices of the historical Jesus. [58]


Christology means a doctrine or understanding concerning the person or nature of Christ. [59] In the New Testament writings it is frequently conveyed through the titles applied to Jesus. Most scholars agree that "Son of God" is the most important of these titles in Mark. It appears on the lips of God himself at the baptism and the transfiguration, and is Jesus' own self-designation. [60] These and other instances provide reliable evidence of how the evangelist perceived Jesus, but it is not clear just what the title meant to Mark and his 1st century audience. [61] Where it appears in the Hebrew scriptures it meant Israel as God's people, or the king at his coronation, or angels, as well as the suffering righteous man. [62] In Hellenistic culture the same phrase meant a "divine man", a supernatural being. There is little evidence that "son of God" was a title for the messiah in 1st century Judaism, and the attributes which Mark describes in Jesus are much more those of the Hellenistic miracle-working "divine man" than of the Jewish Davidic messiah. [61]

Mark does not explicitly state what he means by "Son of God", nor when the sonship was conferred. [63] The New Testament as a whole presents four different understandings:

  1. Jesus became God's son at his resurrection, God "begetting" Jesus to a new life by raising him from the dead this was the earliest understanding, preserved in Paul's Epistle to the Romans, 1:3–4, and in Acts 13:33;
  2. Jesus became God's son at his baptism, the coming of the Holy Spirit marking him as messiah, while "Son of God" refers to the relationship then established for him by God this is the understanding implied in Mark 1:9–11; [64]
  3. Matthew and Luke present Jesus as "Son of God" from the moment of conception and birth, with God taking the place of a human father;
  4. John, the last of the gospels, presents the idea that the Christ was pre-existent and became flesh as Jesus an idea also found in Paul. [65]

Mark also calls Jesus "christos" (Christ), translating the Hebrew "messiah," (anointed person). [66] In the Old Testament the term messiah ("anointed one") described prophets, priests and kings; by the time of Jesus, with the kingdom long vanished, it had come to mean an eschatological king (a king who would come at the end of time), one who would be entirely human though far greater than all God's previous messengers to Israel, endowed with miraculous powers, free from sin, ruling in justice and glory (as described in, for example, the Psalms of Solomon, a Jewish work from this period). [67] The most important occurrences are in the context of Jesus' death and suffering, suggesting that, for Mark, Jesus can only be fully understood in that context. [66]

A third important title, "Son of Man", has its roots in Ezekiel, the Book of Enoch, (a popular Jewish apocalyptic work of the period), and especially in Daniel 7:13–14, where the Son of Man is assigned royal roles of dominion, kingship and glory. [68] [69] Mark 14:62 combines more scriptural allusions: before he comes on clouds [70] the Son of Man will be seated on the right hand of God, [71] pointing to the equivalence of the three titles, Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, the common element being the reference to kingly power. [72]

Christ's death, resurrection and return

Eschatology means the study of the end-times, and the Jews expected the messiah to be an eschatological figure, a deliverer who would appear at the end of the age to usher in an earthly kingdom. [73] The earliest Jewish Christian community saw Jesus as a messiah in this Jewish sense, a human figure appointed by God as his earthly regent; but they also believed in Jesus' resurrection and exaltation to heaven, and for this reason they also viewed him as God's agent (the "son of God") who would return in glory ushering in the Kingdom of God. [74]

The term "Son of God" likewise had a specific Jewish meaning, or range of meanings, [75] one of the most significant being the earthly king adopted by God as his son at his enthronement, legitimising his rule over Israel. [76] In Hellenistic culture, in contrast, the phrase meant a "divine man", covering legendary heroes like Hercules, god-kings like the Egyptian pharaohs, or famous philosophers like Plato. [77] When the gospels call Jesus "Son of God" the intention is to place him in the class of Hellenistic and Greek divine men, the 'sons of God" who were endowed with supernatural power to perform healings, exorcisms and other wonderful deeds. [76] Mark's "Son of David" is Hellenistic, his Jesus predicting that his mission involves suffering, death and resurrection, and, by implication, not military glory and conquest. [78] This reflects a move away from the Jewish-Christian apocalyptic tradition and towards the Hellenistic message preached by Paul, for whom Christ's death and resurrection, rather than the establishment of the apocalyptic Jewish kingdom, is the meaning of salvation, the "gospel". [74]

Comparison with other writings

"Entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment" - Mark's description of the discovery of the empty tomb (from the Pericopes of Henry II) PericopesHenryIIFol117rAngelOnTomb.jpg
"Entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment" Mark's description of the discovery of the empty tomb (from the Pericopes of Henry II)

Mark and the New Testament

All four gospels tell a story in which Jesus' death and resurrection are the crucial redemptive events. [79] There are, however, important differences between the four: Unlike John, Mark never calls Jesus "God", or claims that Jesus existed prior to his earthly life; unlike Matthew and Luke, the author does not mention a virgin birth, and apparently believes that Jesus had a normal human parentage and birth; unlike Matthew and Luke, he makes no attempt to trace Jesus' ancestry back to King David or Adam with a genealogy. [80]

Christians of Mark's time expected Jesus to return as Messiah in their own lifetime Mark, like the other gospels, attributes the promise to Jesus himself, [81] and it is reflected in the Pauline Epistles, the Epistle of James, the Epistle to the Hebrews and in the Book of Revelation. When return failed, the early Christians revised their understanding. Some acknowledged that the Second Coming had been delayed, but still expected it; others redefined the focus of the promise, the Gospel of John, for example, speaking of "eternal life" as something available in the present; while still others concluded that Jesus would not return at all (the Second Epistle of Peter argues against those who held this view). [82]

Mark's despairing death of Jesus was changed to a more victorious one in subsequent gospels. [83] Mark's Christ dies with the cry, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"; Matthew, the next gospel to be written, repeats this word for word but manages to make clear that Jesus's death is the beginning of the resurrection of Israel; Luke has a still more positive picture, replacing Mark's (and Matthew's) cry of despair with one of submission to God's will ("Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"); while John, the last gospel, has Jesus dying without apparent suffering in fulfillment of the divine plan. [83]

Content unique to Mark

St. Mark with angels, holding his gospel. His symbol, the winged lion, also appears with him. Detail from St Mark's Cathedral. San Marco cathedral in Venice.JPG
St. Mark with angels, holding his gospel. His symbol, the winged lion, also appears with him. Detail from St Mark's Cathedral.
  • 6:30–44 Feeding of the five thousand;
  • 6:45–56 Crossing of the lake;
  • 7:1–13 Dispute with the Pharisees;
  • 7:14–23  Discourse on Defilement [99]
  • 8:1–9 Feeding of the four thousand;
  • 8:10 Crossing of the lake;
  • 8:11–13 Dispute with the Pharisees;
  • 8:14–21 Incident of no bread and discourse about the leaven of the Pharisees.

See also

Gospel of Mark 1:9-11 in Jakartan Malay Creole language Betawi.jpg
Gospel of Mark 1:9–11 in Jakartan Malay Creole language


  1. The book is sometimes called the Gospel according to Mark (Greek: Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μᾶρκον), or simply Mark [1] (which is also its most common form of abbreviation). [2]
  2. Similar to a rabbinical saying from the 2nd century BC, "The Sabbath is given over to you ["the son of man"], and not you to the Sabbath." jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=245&letter=N&search=Gospel#703%20Misunderstood%20Passages
  3. The verb katharizo means both "to declare to be clean" and "to purify." The Scholars Version has: "This is how everything we eat is purified", Gaus' Unvarnished New Testament has: "purging all that is eaten."

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Empty tomb</span> Christian tradition about the tomb of Jesus

The empty tomb is the Christian tradition that the women coming to the tomb of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion found it empty. All four canonical gospels relay the story, but beyond a basic outline, they agree on little. However, the death, burial, and resurrection narratives predate the gospels and Paul's letters via oral traditions and the gospel authors' usage of standard literary, historical, and biographical compositional practices of their day along with their use of multiple sources could account for some of the differences in their accounts of the empty tomb.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nativity of Jesus</span> Birth of Jesus

The nativity of Jesus, nativity of Christ, birth of Jesus or birth of Christ is described in the biblical gospels of Luke and Matthew. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judaea, his mother Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph, who was descended from King David and was not his biological father, and that his birth was caused by divine intervention. Many modern scholars consider the birth narratives unhistorical because they are laced with theology and present two different accounts which cannot be harmonised into a single coherent narrative, but also many view the discussion of historicity as secondary, given that gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than chronological timelines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transfiguration of Jesus</span> Episode in the life of Jesus

In the New Testament, the Transfiguration of Jesus is an event where Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant in glory upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and the Second Epistle of Peter also refers to it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jesus in Christianity</span> Jesus as viewed in the Christian tradition

In Christianity, Jesus is the Son of God and in mainstream Christian denominations he is God the Son, the second person in the Trinity. He is believed to be the Jewish messiah who is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, which is called the Old Testament in Christianity. It is believed that through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, God offered humans salvation and eternal life, that Jesus died to atone for sin to make humanity right with God.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jesus</span> Central figure of Christianity (c. 4 BC – 30 or 33 AD)

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, the world's largest religion. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited messiah, prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Life of Jesus in the New Testament</span> Life of Jesus as told in the New Testament

The life of Jesus in the New Testament is primarily outlined in the four canonical gospels, which includes his genealogy and nativity, public ministry, passion, prophecy, resurrection and ascension. Other parts of the New Testament – such as the Pauline epistles which were likely written within 20 to 30 years of each other, and which include references to key episodes in Jesus' life, such as the Last Supper, and the Acts of the Apostles, which includes more references to the Ascension episode than the canonical gospels - also expound upon the life of Jesus. In addition to these biblical texts, there are extra-biblical texts that Christians believe make reference to certain events in the life of Jesus, such as Josephus on Jesus and Tacitus on Christ.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parables of Jesus</span> Parables taught by Jesus of Nazareth according to Christian gospels

The parables of Jesus are found in the Synoptic Gospels and some of the non-canonical gospels. They form approximately one third of his recorded teachings. Christians place great emphasis on these parables, which they generally regard as the words of Jesus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ministry of Jesus</span> Ministry of Jesus

In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan by John the Baptist, and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry. A chronology of Jesus typically has the date of the start of his ministry, 11 September 26 AD, others have estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Confession of Peter</span> Episode in the New Testament in which the Apostle Peter proclaims Jesus to be the Christ

In Christianity, the Confession of Peter refers to an episode in the New Testament in which the Apostle Peter proclaims Jesus to be the Christ. The proclamation is described in the three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 16:13–20, Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–21. Depending on which gospel one reads, Peter either says: 'You are the Messiah' or 'the Christ' ; or 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God',, or 'God's Messiah' or 'The Christ of God'.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christianity in the 1st century</span> Christianity-related events during the 1st century

Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity from the start of the ministry of Jesus to the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles and is thus also known as the Apostolic Age. Early Christianity developed out of the eschatological ministry of Jesus. Subsequent to Jesus' death, his earliest followers formed an apocalyptic messianic Jewish sect during the late Second Temple period of the 1st century. Initially believing that Jesus' resurrection was the start of the end time, their beliefs soon changed in the expected Second Coming of Jesus and the start of God's Kingdom at a later point in time.

The historical reliability of the Gospels is the reliability and historic character of the four New Testament gospels as historical documents. While all four canonical gospels contain some sayings and events which may meet one or more of the five criteria for historical reliability used in biblical studies, the assessment and evaluation of these elements is a matter of ongoing debate. Almost all scholars of antiquity agree that a human Jesus existed, but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the biblical accounts of Jesus, and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. Elements whose historical authenticity is disputed include the two accounts of the Nativity of Jesus, the miraculous events including the resurrection, and certain details about the crucifixion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oral gospel traditions</span> Oral stage in the formation of the gospels

Oral gospel traditions is the hypothetical first stage in the formation of the written gospels as information was passed by word of mouth. These oral traditions included different types of stories about Jesus. For example, people told anecdotes about Jesus healing the sick and debating with his opponents. The traditions also included sayings attributed to Jesus, such as parables and teachings on various subjects which, along with other sayings, formed the oral gospel tradition. The supposition of such traditions have been the focus of scholars such as Bart Ehrman, James Dunn, and Richard Bauckham, although each scholars vary widely on their conclusions, with Ehrman and Bauckham publicly debating on the subject.

In Christianity, the title Son of God refers to the status of Jesus as the divine son of God the Father. In Trinitarian Christianity, it also refers to his status as God the Son, the second divine person or hypostasis of the Trinity, although the phrase "God the Son" cannot be found in the Bible.



  1. ESV Pew Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 2018. p. 836. ISBN   978-1-4335-6343-0. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021.
  2. "Bible Book Abbreviations". Logos Bible Software. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. Boring 2006, pp. 44.
  4. Telford 1999, pp. 139.
  5. Elliott 2014, pp. 404–406.
  6. Boring 2006, pp. 252–53.
  7. 1 2 Boring 2006, pp. 1–3.
  8. Leander 2013, p. 167.
  9. 1 2 Burkett 2002, p. 156.
  10. Edwards 2002, p. 2.
  11. Edwards 2002, pp. 1–3.
  12. Sanders 1995, pp. 63–64.
  13. Perkins 2007, p. 137.
  14. Crossley 2004.
  15. Telford 1999, p. 12.
  16. Perkins 2007, p. 241.
  17. Burkett 2002, p. 157.
  18. Keith 2016, p. 92.
  19. Bible Mark 2:1–3:6
  20. Bible Mark 13:1–37
  21. Boring 2006, pp. 13–14.
  22. Lincoln 2004, p. 133.
  23. Dunn 2005, p. 174.
  24. Koester 2000, pp. 44–46.
  25. Williamson 1983, p. 17.
  26. Joel 2000, p. 859.
  27. Powell 1998, p. 37.
  28. 1 2 Lössl 2010, p. 43.
  29. Gamble 1995, p. 23.
  30. Collins 2000, p. 6.
  31. Aune 1987, p. 59.
  32. Aune 1987, p. 60.
  33. Aune 1987, p. 61.
  34. Twelftree 1999, p. 68.
  35. Cole 1989, p. 86.
  36. Cole 1989, pp. 86–87.
  37. France 2002, p. 11.
  38. Edwards 2002, pp. 38–39.
  39. Smith 1995, pp. 209–31.
  40. Edwards 2002, pp. 500–01.
  41. 1 2 Schröter 2010, p. 279.
  42. Horsely 2007, p. 91.
  43. Bible Mark 16:9–20
  44. 1 2 Aune 1987, p. 17.
  45. Morris 1990, p. 95.
  46. Aune 1987, p. 55.
  47. Donahue 2005, pp. 33–34.
  48. Twelftree 1999, p. 57.
  49. Bible Mark 8:22–26
  50. "Talitha cumi," 5:41, "Ephphatha," 7:34
  51. 1 2 Kee 1993, p. 483.
  52. Powell 1998, p. 57.
  53. Bible Mark 3:22
  54. Bible Mark 6:14
  55. Welch 2006, p. 362.
  56. Bible Mark 3:20–30
  57. Aune 1987, p. 56.
  58. Cross & Livingstone 2005, p. 1083.
  59. Telford 1999, p. 3.
  60. Bible Mark 13:32
  61. 1 2 Telford 1999, pp. 38–39.
  62. Donahue 2005, p. 25.
  63. Ehrman 1993, p. 74.
  64. Bible Mark 1:9–11
  65. Burkett 2002, pp. 68–69.
  66. 1 2 Donahue 2005, pp. 25–26.
  67. Edwards 2002, p. 250.
  68. Witherington 2001, p. 51.
  69. Donahue 2005, pp. 26–27.
  70. Daniel 7:13
  71. Bible Psalm 110:1
  72. Witherington 2001, p. 52.
  73. Burkett 2002, p. 69.
  74. 1 2 Telford 1999, p. 155.
  75. Dunn 2003, pp. 709–10.
  76. 1 2 Strecker 2000, pp. 81–82.
  77. Dunn 2003, p. 69.
  78. Telford 1999, p. 52.
  79. Hurtado 2005, p. 587.
  80. Burkett 2002, p. 158.
  81. Bible Mark 9:1 and 13:30
  82. Burkett 2002, pp. 69–70.
  83. 1 2 Moyise 2013, p. unpaginated.
  84. Bible Mark 3:21
  85. Bible Mark 4:24–25
  86. Bible Mark 4:26–29
  87. Bible Mark 5:13
  88. Bible Mark 5:25, Mark 5:42
  89. Bible Mark 5:41
  90. Bible Mark 7:34
  91. Bible Mark 6:3
  92. Bible Mark 6:3
  93. Bible Matthew 13:55
  94. Bible Mark 6:3
  95. Bible Matthew 13:55
  96. Bible Mark 6:14, Mark 6:24
  97. Bible cf. Matthew 14:1; Luke 3:19, Luke 9:7
  98. Bible Mark 6:14–29
  99. Twelftree 1999, p. 79.
  100. Bible Mark 12:29–30
  101. Bible Deut 6:4
  102. Bible Mark 13:3
  103. Bible Mark 14:51–52
  104. Bible cf. Matthew 26:57, Luke 3:2, Acts 4:6, John 18:13
  105. Bible cf. Mark 14:56, Mark 14:59
  106. Bible Mark 14:72
  107. Willker, Wieland. "A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels. Vol. 2: Mark, p. 448" (PDF). TCG 2007: An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels, 5th ed. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
  108. Bible cf. Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:2, Luke 3:1, John 18:28–29
  109. Bible Mark 15:21
  110. Bible Mark 15:44–45
  111. Bible cf. Mark 16:3, Matthew 28:2–7
  112. Bible cf. Mark 16:5, Luke 24:4, John 20:12
  113. see Mark 16, Alternative endings


Further reading

Online translations of the Gospel of Mark
Related articles
Gospel of Mark
Preceded by New Testament
Books of the Bible
Succeeded by