A Visual Survey Of The Gospel Of Mark

A Visual Survey Of The Gospel Of Mark - T E Hanna | Of Dust & Kings

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The first of the four gospels, the Gospel of Mark claims an important transition from the oral tradition held by the disciples and the early witnesses of the resurrection, and the written record passed on to the growing Christian community spread throughout the Roman Empire. As the Christian persecution began to grow, those who bore the firsthand accounts of walking with Jesus were facing their deaths by becoming the first martyrs of the faith. This left an important gap that needed to be filled, and John Mark took up his pen to record the testimony of those still alive.

The subsequent synoptics — the gospels of Matthew and Luke — grabbed hold of this early treatise as an important source for their own written record. Matthew, the tax collecting disciple of Jesus, added to the text with his own experiences, while Luke carefully interviewed those still-living witnesses to flesh out his own gospel. Thus, we have before us today what may be the most important record in all of Christian literature: the Gospel of Mark.

T E Hanna is the author of Raising Ephesus: Christian Hope for a Post-Christian Age and has published articles across the web on issues of faith and culture.

  • http://castyourworries.wordpress.com castyourworries

    I’ve heard the author Mark described as a giddy schoolgirl…b/c he’s constantly moving from one story to the next…”and then this happened, and then this happened” Kind of captures the movement of the book, and Mark’s excitement!

    • http://tehanna.com T E Hanna

      Mark definitely has a lot of energy to it!

  • Mark Kennedy

    I’m not sure what the percentages at the top represent, e;g. Gospels 15%, Acts 4%, with the epistles–which in practice would mean Paul’s writings–at 48%. This fact regarding your graphic concerns me because at first glance it gives pride of place to the Pauline writings, which is what the evangelical churches I was in most of my life also did. This was a huge mistake on their part, shortchanging the narrative portions of the NT. In fact (as I’m sure you well know and would not intend to misrepresent), Matthew-Acts constitute over half the NT. Yet in my experience they are not given their fair share of time in evangelical pulpits and pews (where Romans and Revelation seem to hold forth).

    • http://tehanna.com T E Hanna

      Next to the chart is a breakdown of genres: 4 gospels, 1 book of Acts, 13 Pauline Epistles, 8 General Epistles, 1 Apocalyptic writing.

      The percentages refer to what percentage of the books make up each genre. So if there are 27 New Testament books and 13 are Pauline Epistles, then 48% of the New Testament books were Pauline epistles.

      You are correct, however. If we were to break it down to words, the number of words in the NT that come from the gospel narratives would be much higher.

      • http://overviewbible.com/ Jeffrey Kranz

        Hey, gents: this word count issues bugged me for a long time, so I did some research on it: turns out that not only is Luke the most prolific NT writer—he’s the third most prolific in the whole Bible! Paul’s in fifth.

        I have all that info here: http://overviewbible.com/bible-length-infographic/

        Hope you enjoy!

        • http://tehanna.com T E Hanna

          This is a great infographic, Jeff!

          Just to point out, Luke’s authorship combines both the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, which is why it is so large. The graphic doesn’t make that clear. The breakdown of word count (in the original language) is really interesting to look at!

          • http://overviewbible.com Jeffrey Kranz

            So glad you enjoyed it. You’re absolutely right: a representation of the authors that includes all the books written would be really helpful in these discussions. It’s on my to-do list. =)

  • Bob Green

    I am curious about your personal opinion about whether or not Mark 16:9-20 was in the original manuscript penned by Mark.

    • http://tehanna.com T E Hanna

      No, Bob. The longer ending to Mark was an early interpolation, most likely due to damage to the scroll. Most modern translations either bracket this passage or include a footnote that it was not present in our earliest manuscripts.

  • Dave

    I look forward to more infographics concerning the other 65 books.

  • http://craigladams.com/blog/ Craig L. Adams

    Nice job.

  • Kenneth Dawson

    I have always liked the gospel of mark and have studied it many times..it’s short but sweet.

    • http://tehanna.com T E Hanna

      Mark was one of the first books I studied in Seminary. I find it amazing.