Gospel of Mark Study
Mark is presumed by many scholars to be the earliest of the gospels; upon it the other gospels likely were based. Mark's gospel may have been written for the Christian Church in Rome just subsequent to Nero's repression. Thus its emphases on Christ's steadfastness in the face of adversity.
This book is not necessarilly a chronological account. Mark begins with the baptism, followed by the temptation of Christ. Then we are treated to a day in the life of Jesus. Then his conflict with various authorities and finally his arrest and crucifiction. Mark's Gospel, then, is a string of vignets that tell a moral and inspiring story.
Mark was uniquely qualified to write this Gospel. He is supposed to have been at Gesthemane when Jesus was taken by the Roman guards. The story of the young man's escape is vividly depicted in this book. His home may even have been where the disciples met for the last supper, and he was likely present during much of Christ's ministry in Jerusalem (which he limits to a week of time.)
Later Mark became a disciple of Peter. Becoming Peter's interpreter as they travelled in the Roman Empire. It was during their wanderings or subsequent stay in Rome that Mark wrote down Peter's remembrances of Christ.
Mark is an excellent book for study as it is perhaps the most authentic of the gospels, written most closely to the time and spirit of Jesus. It does not seek to interpret Christ's teachings or even to repeat his teachings, rather it is an account of Christ's life as far as Peter and the other early church fathers knew it. Thus the story of Christ's birth and his early education are left out. We are left with the example of his life to inspire our daily living.
The Gospel of Mark, by William Barclay is great both as an in-depth study of Mark for a group and as a daily guide for individuals. Visit our page on Barclay for more information on how to use Barclay's works in a Bible study.