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Write a book review of the Gospel of "Mark" in the bible

A review depends on an engaged dialogue between the text and the reader; it should include your own evidence-based analysis and conclusion. (The evidence is the text of the book.) It should be modeled on good published reviews, and should include analytical reporting of the contents, including identifying important structural and thematic elements and discussion of genre. It should also include some critical judgments, e.g., does the book succeed in reaching its goal? Is the book's thesis or goal a good one? Your review will involve no or very little secondary research (limit yourself to specific, necessary points). Do not tell me what others say the book is about. Read it and see for yourself. Do not simply record contents; report critically and analyze. 

Summary of the Gospel of Mark

The gospel of Mark is one of the four gospels in the Holy Bible. The author is not known but according to the book of Acts, Peter calls him John Mark (Acts 12: 12).  Mark gospel might have been written in the 50 or 60 A.D. before the fall of Jerusalem. With 16 chapters; Mark is the shortest of the four gospels written about Jesus Christ. Mark’s writing revolves around Jesus Christ, the twelve disciples, John the Baptist, Jewish religious leaders, and Pilate. The book of Mark gospel is a very important pillar in the faith of Christians through its teachings and lessons. The thesis of this review is to show that Mark was able to show that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah who was sent in order to rescue and restore mankind by giving His life for their sins.

Mark does not talk about the birth of Jesus as he begins by describing His adult life. The NIV version says “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God”, (Mark 1:1). He introduces John the Baptist as he prepares a way for the coming Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament. John calls people to repent and get baptized in the River Jordan. Mark goes directly to introducing the adult life of Jesus. He does not talk about the birth of Jesus and His childhood life. Mark narrates the baptism of Jesus and how His identity as a Son of God is confirmed by Holy Spirit in form of a dove.

Jesus gets tempted in the wilderness for forty days by Satan. After the temptation, the Galilean Ministry begins by Jesus selecting the twelve disciples. He sends them out so that they could go and preach the gospel. He gave them the authority to drive out demons.

In chapters 2 up to 10, Jesus is seen working as a servant through His teachings, healings, helping the poor, performing miracles, feeding the hungry and challenging the authorities. He heals the man with a dreaded disease and this is His first miracle. Other miracles that He performs are: healing a man with a paralyzed hand, a woman who was bleeding for 12 years is healed after touching the cloak of Jesus. He raises Jarius daughter and this shows that He had power over death. Jesus also heals a deaf-mute and a blind man at Bethsaida.

Mark also shows Jesus preaching through parables (Laura, 2013). The teachers of the law from Jerusalem claimed that Jesus had Beelzebul in Him after casting out demons (Holland, 2017). Jesus called them and told them if it's possible for Satan to drive out Satan. Jesus uses the parable of the strong man to show that a house divided by it cannot stand. Therefore, he proved that He was not the chief of demons and He does not get power to drive demons out from Satan.

The theme of Mark gospel lies in his chapter 10. He shows that Jesus indeed was the Son of God who came to serve human beings. He even gave His life in order to restore the life of mankind. Jesus also teaches His disciples that if they want to be first in the kingdom of God, then they shall be last. This teaches us that in order for us to enter the kingdom of God, we must die for ourselves first and serve one another. He is seen as a suffering servant who was prophesied by Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 53), (Ginsberg, 2013)

Structure of the Gospel of Mark

In chapters 11 to 15, mark describes the sufferings and death of Jesus. He narrates about how Jesus is betrayed by the same people He healed and fed. Judas betrays Him with a kiss even though he was one of His disciples. the people who He taught the gospel demands the release of Barnabas a criminal and demands for Jesus to be crucified instead. According to Mark, Christ death takes place at three o’clock with a cry. He calls unto God because He thought that He had been forsaken (Moyise, 2013). The curtains in the Temple were torn into two. The centurion was the only one who believed He was the Son of God.

The final chapter of Mark is about the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary together with Salome are the first to go to the tomb after the Sabbath to anoint the body of Jesus but to their amazement, they find the stone rolled (Brandt,2017). An angel tells them that they should not look for Jesus among the dead as He has risen (Ketchum, 2018). They go to inform others that the Son of Man had risen as it was prophesied.

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and later to two others while they were travelling. Later on, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples and scolded them because they had no faith and they were also too stubborn to believe that He had risen. He gave them the power to preach the gospel to the whole world. After He talked with them, Jesus ascended to Heaven and He sits on the right side of God. The disciples went to preach and the Lord worked with them and proved their teachings to be true through miracles.

As we have seen throughout the book, Mark is not the comic book or rather the reader’s digest gospel as it might appear. To start with, his Greek language was not as skilled as with some writers as it’s supposedly claimed to be the earliest gospel written. The gospel of Mark can be seen structured into a three acts drama. The first act takes place in Jesus ministry in Galilee followed by act two covering the journey to Jerusalem. The last act contains Jesus death and resurrection (France, 2014).

Mark also seems to use a unique literary style. He is seen bringing together several stories and wrapping them up as one story. This style is referred to as use of summaries. A good example is in Mark 6:55-56 where Mark brings together the things that Jesus was doing. He describes how Jesus went from village to village healing the sick.

The book of Mark, therefore, is characterized by fast movement of account of Jesus life. This is seen through the use of the word "immediately". It is used repeatedly for at least 34 times in the book. This shows that Christ's mission was urgent. It brings out the perfection of God's servant by showing us how He served (Betsworth, 2015).

Mark gospel has a great significance in Christianity. It presents a lot of facts and lessons that help Christians build their faith and hope. First, the gospel shows that Jesus was the Messiah who was prophesied in the Old Testament (Middleton, 2015). Secondly, Jesus is seen as the son of God through the life He led, pure from sins and being able to overcome a lot of temptations (De Villiers, 2016).

Above all the miracles that Jesus performed to show that He had power over nature and death through calming the storm, walking on water and raising the dead, He Himself overcame death through His resurrection. He proved that no power is greater than Him as a son of God.

In conclusion, Mark gospel is very brief and focuses mostly on the things that Jesus did rather than the things that He said. This gospel also shows Jesus's authority as the Son of God and compassion for people through His miracles and also by sacrificing His life to save mankind.

References

Betsworth, S. (2015). Mockery and Secretism in the Social World of Mark’s Gospel, written by Dietmar Neufeld, 2014; and The Theological Role of Paradox in the Gospel of Mark

Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. By WitheringtonBenIII.

Brandt, P. L. (2017). Resurrection of Our Lord-1 Year Series.

De Villiers, P. G. (2016). Mystical holiness in Mark's Gospel. HTS Theological Studies, 72(4), 1-7.

France, R. (2014). The gospel of Mark. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing

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Ginsberg, H. (2013). The Oldest Interpretation of the Suffering Servant.VetusTestamentum, 63(10), 25-28.

Holland, D. S. (2017). The Meaning of ?ξ?στη in Mark 3: 21. The Journal of Inductive Biblical Studies, 4(1), 3.

Ketchum, M. J. (2018). Haunting Empty Tombs: Specters of the Emperor and Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. Biblical Interpretation, 26(2), 219-243.

Laura C. Sweat, 2013. Biblical Interpretation, 23(3).doi: 10.1163/15685152-00233p10

Moyise, S. (2013).Introduction to Biblical studies. [London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark.

Middleton, P. (2015). Christology, vindication, and martyrdom in the Gospel of Mark and the Apocalypse: Two New Testament views. T & T Clark.

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