Tag Archives: Gospel of Mark



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In a very real sense, memory changes us. An emotionally painful memory tends to act as a hedge to keep us from behaving in such a manner that gave rise to that event in the past. Religious and family traditions, or collective memory, cause us to behave in a certain socially acceptable manner, especially while in the company of family and friends who hold to those traditions. And, we probably don’t wander far from those traditions even when we share the company of strangers. Memories of the past that helped make us what we are today jump into focus when they are triggered by something we experience in the present. Visiting old friends we hadn’t seen in years, for example, will trigger memories of people and events we hadn’t thought about in a long time. It isn’t as though we had forgotten our friends or the things we experienced together, but seeing them once again brings many memories of our relationships into focus. Peter points to something like this in his second epistle. He writes that he intends to be an impetus to keep his readers thinking of Jesus and their walk with him. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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To Whom Did Mark Write his Gospel?

Mark's Gospel - 3

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If we are to believe the testimonies of Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria that Mark wrote out Peter’s Gospel for the Roman Christians, could it be reasonably shown within the Gospel that this is true? The answer to this question is “Yes, and no!” While there is no direct evidence within the Gospel of Mark that shows his labor was spent upon Roman believers, there is some very good indirect evidence that implies his Gospel was written with the Roman believer in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Textual Criticism


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Whose is Mark’s Gospel?

Mark's Gospel - 5

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What we know to be the Gospel of Mark is not signed, and neither is there any direct internal evidence linking the Gospel to any individual. However, does this mean the work is truly anonymous? That is, do we have no reasonable idea of who its author is? The answer to this question largely depends upon your personal bias. If one completely rejects early testimony of its authorship and clings to modern criticism stating the author is unknown, then for you the author cannot be known. However, if you are willing to accept ancient testimony as evidence of its authorship, then one can be reasonably certain that John Mark, Peter’s assistant, wrote the Gospel we know by his name. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Textual Criticism


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Concerning the Primacy of Mark

Synoptic Problem - Markan Priority
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In a discussion I had with a Jewish gentleman, we got around to which Gospel might have been written first. His position is that Mark was written first and says he had taken courses that convince him of this position. He made the statement:

“The substance of 606 out of the 661 verses of Mark appears in Matthew, and some 350 of Mark’s verses reappear with little material change in Luke.  Or, to put it another way, out of the 1,068 verses of Matthew, about 500 contain material also found in Mark. Of the 1,149 verses of Luke, about 350 are paralleled in Mark. Altogether, there are only 31 verses in Mark which have no parallel either in Matthew or Luke. From this analysis, one might assume that Mark was in front of Luke and Matthew when they were writing.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 8, 2010 in Christianity, Religion, Textual Criticism


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Mark and the “Q” Document

Mark and QI have seen it argued that a mysterious “Q” Gospel had to have been written prior to any of the Gospel accounts. Some scholars are a little uncomfortable with the “Q” document premise since there is absolutely no hard evidence for it, but they prefer it over a “Matthew first” position when Mark doesn’t have the miraculous birth or resurrection accounts. The presumption is that these records would have been added to a later version of the Gospel. Nevertheless, if Mark represents the transcript of a series of Peter’s sermons at Rome as 2nd and 3rd century AD witnesses inform us that it is, there would be no reason for a birth account showing genealogies etc. If one is delivering a speech or sermon, a long list of foreign names makes for very dull reading and or listening. Even the mention of the virgin birth would be out of place, unless one described its occurrence and showed how this fit into Jewish tradition and/or was important to gentile Christians. Matthew and Luke were both written for specific reasons, but Mark is described by 2nd and 3rd century witnesses as a transcript of what Peter preached at Rome. It was not intended to be a written witness to prove anything. Rather, it was simply Peter’s testimony at Rome about Jesus of what he had both seen and heard. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 6, 2010 in Christianity, Religion, Textual Criticism


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Jesus’ Three Entries Into Jerusalem!

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Matthew 21:1-17 records Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem just before he was crucified. We need to take a close look at what Matthew says. Verses 1-9 record that Jesus approached Jerusalem from Jericho (Matthew 20:29), and He sent two disciples into a nearby village, Bethany (Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29) to find an ass and her colt, upon whom no man had ever sat, and bring them to him.[1] Their use had probably been prearranged with their owner just after Christ raised up Lazarus.[2] Next, Christ sat on the colt and the small crowd of disciples went before and behind Him laying their clothes and palm branches in his path and crying out: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.” The entire city was moved (v.10) and wondered who Jesus was, and the disciples had to tell them (v.11). Jesus entered the Temple area and cast out those who bought and sold (v.12), declaring that they had defiled the House of God, which should have been a House of Prayer (v.13). Afterward, he healed the blind and the lame (v.14), and apparently the disciples continued to chant “hosanna” to him, because (v.15) the chief priests were displeased and told Jesus so, though they witnessed his miracles (v.16). Jesus, however, told them that praise is perfected in the hearts of babes. He then left for Bethany (v.17). Upon his return to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:18), Jesus was hungry and desired fruit from a fig tree. When he found none on the tree, he cursed it and soon it withered and died (v.19). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 31, 2010 in Christianity, Gospel, Religion


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Oral Culture and Chronology of the NT

The relationships between the three synoptic g...
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When were the books of the New Testament written? Many folks believe much of these books were written after the destruction of Jerusalem, and a lot of pressure has been placed upon the conservative biblical scholars to do the same. The reason has to do with the strong oral culture of the 1st century AD. However, oral culture should not be a consideration of any of the writings except for the Gospel narratives. The epistles were written for specific reasons, namely to correct certain problems that had arisen in the Messianic churches. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 10, 2010 in Gospel, Religion, Textual Criticism


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Who Wrote the Gospels?

Gospel AuthorsThe Gospel narratives are not signed, so how do we know that Matthew wrote Matthew and Luke wrote Luke etc.? Paul usually signed his epistles, but none of the Gospel narratives are signed by their authors. What gives? How do we know who wrote what? So goes the argument I once received on the discussion boards that challenge the Christian faith. Nevertheless, the question has been asked. Do we have an answer, and does this answer support the tradition that Matthew did, indeed, write Matthew and so on for the other Gospel narratives and their authors? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 30, 2010 in Gospel, New Testament History, Religion


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