MARK, Gospel According to. Character and Of the four little books called ((Gospels') the second is the briefest and sim plest. In the most direct fashion possible salient events of the Galilean ministry of Jesus are set forth in the first two-thirds of the book, while the last third is mainly occupied with the events of the last week of Christ's life and of his death and resurrection, the second part being given with much more of detail than the first. The book might be analyzed as follows: In troductory, the ministry of John the Baptizer, the baptism and temptation of Jesus (i, 1-13). I. The early Galilean ministry of Jesus, marked both by wide attention and by increasing hostil ity which culminated in the charge that Jesus was in league with Satan, this part of Christ's work ending with the choice of the 12 apostles (i, 14-iii, 35). II. Later ministry in Galilee and its neighborhood, introducing para bolic teaching and consisting largely of the training of the 12 (iv, 1-x, 52). III. The entry into Jerusalem and the Jerusalem teach ing, mainly controversial, in the Temple (xi, 1 icii, 44). IV. The Eschatological Discourse (xiii, 1-37). V. The closing scenes, anointing at Bethany, last supper, agony in Gethsemane, death and resurrection (xiii, 1-xvi, 20 (8?). No purpose appears except to bring the events recorded as clearly before the readers' minds as possible, so that they might know thus much, at least, of what Jesus did and said. The book manifestly is not a missionary tract with the intent to persuade the unconvinced, but rather one who is himself a disciple tells these things to his fellow-disciples for their instruction. It has often been overlooked that the author presents as himself accepting the stupendous claims of Jesus to be the supreme master of men and their destiny and his corresponding demands for their supreme allegiance. But while these are carefully and sympathetically recorded, the main impression gathered from this record of the ministry of Jesus is that of a mighty, unresting, triumphant worker, who yet evokes the intensest hostility of the re ligious leaders of his nation. But the primary
purpose to be recognized throughout is narra tion.
Authorship and No name has ever been connected with this book except that of Mark. Presumably because of its brevity which might seem perhaps to involve incom pleteness, this Gospel was for a long time less quoted than Matthew or Luke. But as it was included in the (Diatessaron' of Tatian it must have been in general acceptance for some time before the year 150; in fact, there is no reason to doubt that from the time of its composition wherever known it was accepted as authorita tive. The earliest tradition which has come down to us, connecting itself with the name of Papias who was acquainted with a number of apostles and others who had seen Jesus, makes Mark the author of a narrative which embodied the reminiscences of Peter. The second Gospel answers well to this description. There are many touches which imply the remembrance of an eyewitness, such as that the grass was green (vi, 29); the look of Jesus 5) ; or his turning to look (v, 32). The tradition that this eyewitness was Peter is confirmed by the char acter of many details of events in which Peter had a share or in which he would be specially interested. It is not, however, to be thought that Peter was Mark's sole authority or even that the principal share of the book is due to him. It may well be held that the main source from which Mark drew his material was the common stock of apostolic reminiscence and preaching, what must at first have been an °oral which presumably took a some what stereotyped form both in content and in language for catechetical purposes (Luke i, 4), and which may have been committed to writing before Mark used it. It has been held by some that Mark also shows knowledge of the oLogia' document (also called see article GOSPELS), but in our ignorance of the scope of this docu ment Mark's knowledge of it cannot safely be asserted.