Mark

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    Bird, Michael F.

     (135K)

    The Crucifixion of Jesus as the Fulfillment of Mark 9:1

    "Understanding Mark 9:1 presents a vexing problem for scholars, pastors, and laity alike...Arguments based on the grammar of the text have failed to deliver a convincing solution. Similarly, appeals to either form critical or redactional studies have not won a consensus. The former argues that the logion is not authentic and simply reflects the concerns of the Markan community whilst the latter believes that an original Parousia saying has been reinterpreted to refer to the transfiguration...Another proposal is that the logion is fulfilled in the crucifixion where Jesus' death constitutes the coming of the kingdom of God in power. This position has been defended by Kent Brower, Paul Barnett, Ched Myers, and N. T. Wright, albeit from very different approaches. For Brower and Barnett it is through analysis of Mark's theology, for Myers by a liberationist reading, and for Wright via a historical study. In view of these attempts, it is the aim of this essay to pursue this solution further and expand the breadth of the argument."
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    Edwards, James R.

     (919K)

    The Baptism of Jesus according to the Gospel of Mark

    "In a mere fifty-three words in Greek, Mark relates the story of Jesus' baptism (Mark 1:9-11). The brevity of the story, however, is disproportionate to its significance for Markan Christology, for beneath this terse account lies a wealth of OT intertestamental imagery, drawn upon to indicate that in Jesus the inbreaking of the eschatological kingdom has arrived. The baptism functions as the cornerstone of Mark's Christological understanding--a stone that is not undressed, as we shall see."
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    Ellenburg, B. Dale

     (91K)

    A Review of Selected Narrative-Critical Conventions in Mark's Use of Miracle Material

    "The impetus for this paper arose from an extended redactional analysis of the Markan miracles in juxtaposition with parallel miracles found in the other synoptists. While a redactional investigation yielded profitable fruit, it became obvious that a literary-narrative study of the same material might well lend tremendous insight into how Mark, not primarily as a theologian or redactor but as a writer, crafted the story he has given to us. The purpose here is to examine the Markan miracle narratives through the lens of a recent literary-critical approach."
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    Evans, Craig A.

     (10.2M)

    Mark’s Incipit and the Priene Calendar Inscription: From Jewish Gospel to Greco-Roman Gospel

    "The vision of Second Isaiah approximates the Roman Imperial cult’s promise of the new world order. Talk of 'good news,' which envisions law and order, health and prosperity, and justice and mercy, would ring a familiar cord in the ears of both Jews and Gentiles. In mimicking the language of the Imperial cult and in quoting Isa 40:3 Mark appears to have welded together two disparate, potentially antagonistic theologies. On the one hand, he proclaims to the Jewish people the fulfillment of their fondest hopes—the good news of the prophet Isaiah, while on the other hand he has boldly announced to the Roman world that the good news for the world began not with Julius Caesar and his descendants, but with Jesus Christ, the true son of God."
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    Hellerman, Joseph H.

     (150K)

    Challenging the Authority of Jesus: Mark 11:27-33 and Mediterranean Notions of Honor and Shame

    "In the agonistic society of Graeco-Roman Palestine there was nothing 'deeper'— nothing more important—than saving and losing face in public contests over honor. The perspicuity of Scripture is such that a background in cultural anthropology is hardly necessary in order to perceive that Jesus makes his challengers look foolish in the series of strained encounters in Mark 11–12. A grasp of honor-shame cultural sensibilities is indispensable, however, for properly appreciating just how utterly intolerable such behavior is in a society in which religious leaders are so dependent upon public affirmation to maintain their status in society’s pecking order."
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    Hellerman, Joseph H.

     (180K)

    Wealth and Sacrifice in Early Christianity: Revisiting Mark's Presentation of Jesus' Encounter with the Rich Young Ruler

    "The reason that it is 'easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God' is ultimately due to the nature of the kingdom itself. Jesus' kingdom is to stand in radical opposition to the institutionalized greed of first-century Palestine. It is a place where the material needs of all are met and where wealth is utilized in ways that benefit the community as a whole. As it finds expression among the early Christians, the kingdom of God is first and foremost an alternative community patterned after the social model of the Mediterranean family."
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    Herron, Robert W.

     (480K)

    Mark's Jesus on Divorce: Mark 10:1-12 Reconsidered

    "The existence of several pieces of material in the NT dealing with the question of divorce is strong testimony that it was a profound concern of the Church. The synoptic gospels record Jesus' teaching about divorce in isolated sayings (Matt 5:31-32; Luke 16:8) and as controversy dialogues (Matt 19:1-9; Mark 10:1-12)...The task of this paper will be to critically analyze one tradition, Mark 10:1-2--not with the purpose of making a theological determination about divorce, but to offer some tentative conclusions regarding its historical accuracy and to detect possible theological concerns of the evangelist revealed in the presentation of the text."
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    Hooker, Morna D.

     (1.3M)

    "Introduction" to The Gospel According to Saint Mark

    "Anyone who examines commentaries on Mark written over the centuries will soon become aware of the very different ways in which the gospel has been expounded at different periods of time. Some of the most dramatic changes, however, have come about quite recently, as we can see by considering a few of the many commentaries which have been published in the last forty years...Mark's story is written from the standpoint of faith. No one who reads it can be neutral towards it: inevitably we read it in the light of our own presuppositions, and this goes for the commentator also!...[I]t is for each individual reader of the gospel to decide the extent to which Mark's intepretation rings true."
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    Hooker, Morna D.

     (2.8M)

    Translation and Commentary on Mark 1.1-45, an excerpt from The Gospel According to Saint Mark

    "It is important to realize that the events described in these opening verses of Mark are different in character from those that take place in most of the remaining pages of the gospel. Elsewhere, though unusual things happen, we do not find visions or voices from heaven (except once, in chapter 9); nor do we read about the activity of the Holy Spirit and Satan (apart from a discussion about them in chapter 3); we do not even have the meaning of what is going on spelt out for us by Mark with the help of Old Testament texts, as it is here...It is as though Mark were allowing us to view the drama from a heavenly vantage-point (whence we see things as they really are) before he brings us down to earth..."
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    Hurtado, Larry W.

     (550K)

    "Introduction" to Mark

    "Very possibly the oldest written account of Jesus' ministry that we possess, the Gospel of Mark is a vivid and fast-paced writing that holds the interest of the popular reader and the biblical scholar alike. When Christians first began discussions about drawing up a list of writings that would be regarded as authoritative for Christian faith..., the Gospel of Mark was among the first writings selected for inclusion in this list...For these and other reasons...the Gospel of Mark is an important document and well repays the time spent in studying it."
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    Hurtado, Larry W.

     (484K)

    "The Forerunner and Jesus (Mark 1:1-20)", Chapter 1 of Mark

    "In this brief but fully packed introductory section, Mark first describes Jesus by titles that summarize for the author the proper significance of Jesus and then links him with Old Testament prophetic themes and with the historical figure John the Baptist...[W]e are introduced immediately into the time of of the adult ministry of Jesus, with no information on Jesus' childhood. Though Matthew and Luke have birth and childhood stories, Mark plunges the reader into the thick of Jesus' ministry...Whatever the reason, the absence of material on Jesus' childhood, together with the fast-paced narrative content of the book throughout, makes Mark's Gospel an arresting summary of Jesus' ministry."
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    Mark

     (215K)

    Mark - World English Bible (WEB)

    This is an open source version of the bible based on the 1901 ASV (American Standard Version). This document may be freely distributed, there is no copyright on this translation.
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    Moloney, Francis J.

     (305K)

    "Introduction to the Gospel of Mark", Chapter 1 of The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary

    "The Gospel of Mark was neglected by early Christian tradition, rarely—if ever—used in preaching. The Gospel of Matthew surpassed it in both length and detail.Mark was seen as something of a poor cousin to the great Gospel of Matthew, used so consistently by the fathers of the church...Things have changed since that time, and it could be claimed that gospel scholarship over the past 150 years has been dominated by a fascination with the Gospel of Mark."
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    Moloney, Francis J.

     (206K)

    "The Prologue (Mark 1:1-13)", an excerpt from The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary

    "Already in antiquity, certain conventions were established for beginning a story. It has therefore long been recognized that 'placing an item at the beginning or at the end may radically change the process of reading as well as the final product.' This is clearly the case for the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John. Each has a 'beginning' that stands apart from the body of the Gospel because of its form and content: a birth narrative (Matt 1–2; Luke 1–2) or a hymn summarizing the christological proclamation of the Gospel that follows (John 1:1–18). The Gospel of Mark’s account of the activity of John the Baptist also serves as a genuine prologue to the narrative that will follow."
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    Moore, Terri Darby

     (206K)

    Authority and Servanthood in the Gospel of Mark

    "These lessons of authority and servanthood in the gospel of Mark do not insist that disciples rid themselves of any hint of power and authority in an attempt to place themselves in the lowest class of whatever power pyramid may exist. The point is to follow Jesus in recognizing that whatever power and authority may be invested in us is from the only true source of power that exists, God the Father. Thus any power we have been given is to be used exclusively in service to him, not to self (or any other allegiance or group). Jesus has clearly shown that service to the Father is practiced in the type of service to others which denies selfprerogatives and ambitions."
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    Moore, Terri Darby

     (280K)

    Radical Service: MARK 10.41-45

    "Mark 10.41-45 subverts the worldly notion of prominence, authority, and power that is used only for the personal benefit of important rulers and elite members of society. Instead Jesus elevates selfless service that places the needs of others as the highest priority and value for those who would follow in his ways. He himself is the ultimate and authoritative example for this idea, for his very purpose was to serve others and give the supreme sacrifice of his life for the redemptive freedom of mankind."
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    Pilch, John J.

     (129K)

    Death with Honor: The Mediterranean Style Death of Jesus in Mark

    "In Mark's gospel, Jesus suffers for as long as six hours apparently without resistance or complaint and says nothing until he shrieks just before dying. The way he died makes a favorable impression on the centurion who witnessed the execution (14:39). With the aid of two social science models, it is possible to offer a plausible, Mediterranean cultural explanation for this pagan's reaction. The basic personality model (Cook) would explain that Jesus' behavior at death is the result of his training in suffering during his youth. Jesus' death proves that he was reared well. The cultural ideology model (McClelland) argues that Mediterranean ideology, that is, its norms and values reinforced by its maintenance system is the central determining factor of adult personality and child-rearing practices. Jesus dies honorably as one would expect of an adult, Mediterranean male."
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    Santos, Narry F.

     (90K)

    The Paradox of Authhority and Servanthood in the Gospel of Mark

    "The Gospel of Mark has been described as a paradoxical gospel, a riddle that teases its readers' response, and a narrative that possesses an enigmatic and puzzling character. This paradoxical and puzzling character is seen clearly in the paradox of authority and servanthood in Mark's Gospel. The paradox highlights the relationship of two important Marcan motifs: the Christological motif of authority and the discipleship motif of servanthood—motifs that interact intricately in Mark. This paradox serves as a key Marcan rhetorical device that urges readers to show servanthood in their exercise of authority within the community of believers and beyond."
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    Smith, Geoffrey M.

     (95K)

    A Closer Look at the Widow's Offering: Mark 12:41-44

    "The story of the widow’s offering as found in Mark 12:41–44 has long provided the Church with an example of humble devotion to the Lord. Further, it speaks to the people of God about the true nature of giving...The careful observer, however, will note a second theme in this account of the widow that intersects with the standard interpretation of the text. The second theme is the coming judgment upon the nation of Israel. It is an underlying theme throughout Mark’s gospel: The days of covenant-breaking Israel are numbered, and all that remains for what is left of the theocracy is covenant curse."
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    Stein, Robert H.

     (408K)

    "Is It Lawful for a Man to Divorce His Wife?"

    "This question that the Pharisees addressed to Jesus (Mark 10:2) is still a troubling one today...The purpose of this article, then, is to understand how Jesus actually answered the question on divorce, to see how the evangelists and the apostle Paul interpreted Jesus' answer, and to see if some conclusions can be drawn as to how we should apply this to our own situation today."
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    Thomas, John Christopher

     (2.5M)

    A Reconsideration of the Ending of Mark

    "Generally, evangelicals give meticulous attention to the science of textual criticism in the attempt to establish the most reliable Biblical text possible. However, one passage, the last chapter of Mark, causes more puzzlement and consternation among conservatives than most of the other passages of the Greek NT that contain variant readings. Not only is the legitimacy of a traditional reading questioned (16:9-20), but the prospects of Mark ending his gospel at 16:8 are simply too problematic for most scholars. This study will endeavor to determine the place where Mark originally ended his gospel, to explain the rise of textual variants, and to discuss possible implications of these variants, especially for evangelicals."
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    Williams, Joel F.

     (147K)

    Literary Approaches to the End of Mark's Gospel

    "Mark 16:7–8 records the instructions of the young man to the women at the tomb and their surprising response. 'But go, say to the disciples and to Peter, "He is going before you into Galilee; you will see him there, just as he said to you." And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment took hold of them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.' Do these verses make adequate sense as the conclusion to Mark’s Gospel?...The purpose for this article is to present and evaluate different attempts to explain the meaning and significance of Mark’s abrupt ending."
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    Williams, Joel F.

     (115K)

    Discipleship and Minor Characters in Mark's Gospel

    "How should an interpreter approach the study of discipleship in the Gospel of Mark? For the most part, recent studies on the topic have focused on Mark's portrayal of the disciples along with Jesus' teaching to His disciples. In discussing past research on this subject, Malbon states, 'Discipleship—that is, following Jesus—has been recognized as a central theme or motif in the Gospel of Mark. Understandably enough, the portrayal of the disciples in Mark has often been the focus of scholarly investigation of the theme of discipleship.' Malbon points out that past scholarly investigations are inadequate because 'what Mark has to say about discipleship is understood in reference not only to the disciples but also to other Markan characters who meet the demands of following Jesus.' In other words the study of discipleship in Mark's Gospel is broader than a study of the disciples."