This Tuesday we will begin our ten-week discussion on the Gospel of Mark. This being Lectionary Year B, we have already been reading through most of the gospel every Sunday. Most scholars hold that Mark was the first gospel written. Tradition tells us that the writer of this Gospel is the same “Mark” mentioned in Acts and in Paul’s letters. Acts 12:12, 15:37, Col. 4:10, 2 Tim. 4:11. Mark is considered to be the companion and interpreter of Peter who wrote down Peter’s recollections of Jesus after Peter was martyred. 1 Peter 5:13. Whereas the Epistles, especially those of Paul, are concerned only with the importance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Mark is the first to tell us the story of what led up to those events.
We will read through Mark not as a mere recitation of facts, but as a work of literature. Mark’s Gospel is deeply allusive in that the story is told by suggestion and between the lines rather than being explicit. Therefore, we will focus on the organization of the Gospel and the words Mark uses in telling us who Jesus is (Christology), who the church is (Ecclesiology), and who God is (Theology). Our discussion will be led by Father Gabriel Bullock of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church. The basis of his teaching will be Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Writings of the New Testament. I have attached Johnson’s introduction to the Gospel of Mark for your review. You do not need the book nor need to read the introduction.
In studying Mark, we also get a preview of Matthew and Luke. In composing their gospels, both Matthew and Luke relied heavily on Mark – 98% of Mark is quoted in Matthew and about 68% of Mark is quoted by Luke. These three gospels are called the “Synoptics” (seeing-together) because of their overlap. I have also attached a brief discussion from Johnson on the relationship between these three gospels.
We will have the same format. Dinner is at 6. Discussion is at 6:45. Compline about 8. If you haven’t joined us in a while, please consider coming back. And if you come every week, please consider bringing a friend, neighbor, or someone from church. The menu this week is chili.
(FYI – For those who attend Trinity, please remember that this Sunday is Rally Day.)
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. . . .Mark 1:1