Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - Mark's Gospel for Romans #christian

*Notes added merely refer to different versions of the same verses. Not in the original article.

January 25, 2011

There are more miracles recorded in Mark than in the other Gospels, despite its being shorter. (Matthew's Gospel seems longer only because he includes the discourses - probably verbatim, having the skill to take them down in shorthand required of a customs official. Removing the discourses, it is shorter than Mark's.)

The action moves right along: It takes only 20 short verses in Chapter 1 to describe the ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus' baptism, His temptation in the wilderness, and the call of the disciples.

The Gospel for Romans:

Mark's purpose was to write down the Gospel, as Peter had presented it, to Romans (so say the Fathers, at least, and internal evidence supports them). That the Gospel was for Gentiles can be seen:

1) From the translation of the Aramaic expressions as Boanerges (Mark 3:17[1]), Talitha cumi (Mark 5:41[2]), Corban (Mark 7:11[3]), Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46[4]), Abba (Mark 14:36[5]) and Golgotha (Mark 15:22[6]);

2) In the explanation of Jewish customs (Mark 14:12; 15:42[7]);

3) From the fact that the Law is not mentioned and the Old Testament is only once quoted in Mark's own narrative;

4) The Gentile sections, especially in Mark Chapters 6 through 8.

That it was for Romans specifically is seen in:

1) The explanation of a Greek term by a Latin in Mark 12:42[8];

2) The preponderance of works of power, the emphasis on authority (Mark 2:10[9]), patience and heroic endurance (Mark 10:17 ff [10]);

3) Highlighting the forbidding of a practice that was not Jewish but Roman (Mark 10:12[11]).

Those who believe it was written at Rome find further hints in the mention of Rufus and the resemblance between Mark 7:1-23 and Romans 14. (However, the common presumption that "Babylon" is Peter's code name for Rome is disputed by some authorities. Peter was the apostle to the Jews, and Babylon was a major Jewish center - the Babylonian Talmud later emerged from there.)

The Roman centurion's remark, "Truly this man was the Son of God," (Mark 15:39[12]) is also the style of the author, and bears the same relation to Mark's purpose as does John 20:31 to John's.

  1. Boanerges Mark 3:17 NIV; Mark 3:17 NKJV; Mark 3:17 NASB

  2. Talitha cumi Mark 5:41 NIV; Mark 5:41 NKJV; Mark 5:41 NASB

  3. Corban Mark 7:11 NIV; Mark 7:11 NKJV; Mark 7:11 NASB

  4. Bartimaeus Mark 10:46 NIV; Mark 10:46 NKJV; Mark 10:46 NASB

  5. Abba Mark 14:36 NIV; Mark 14:36 NKJV; Mark 14:36 NASB

  6. Golgotha Mark 15:22 NIV; Mark 15:22 NKJV; Mark 15:22 NASB

  7. Jewish customs Mark 14:12; 15:42 NIV; Mark 14:12; 15:42 NKJV; Mark 14:12; 15:42 NASB

  8. Greek term by a Latin term Mark 12:42 NIV; Mark 12:42 NKJV; Mark 12:42 NASB

  9. emphasis on authority Mark 2:10 NIV; Mark 2:10 NJKV; Mark 2:10 NASB

  10. patience and heroic endurance Mark 10:17 NIV; Mark 10:17 NKJV; Mark 10:17 NASB

  11. Highlighting the forbidding of a practice that was not Jewish but Roman Mark 10:12 NIV; Mark 10:12 NKJV; Mark 10:12 NASB

  12. "Truly this man was the Son of God," Mark 15:39 NIV; Mark 15:39 NKJV; Mark 15:39 NASB