Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Gospel of Mark. You can read Part 1, Outline of the Gospel of Mark, by clicking here .
[These notes are from a study prepared 45 years ago.]
Human Authorship of the Gospel of Mark
The Gospel of Mark is anonymous in itself. However, all available testimony from the each Church fathers names John Mark as the writer. Mark’s authorship is confirmed by such men as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Jerome, as well as the second century Anti-Marcionite Prologue.
The author would have been familiar with Palestine and with Jerusalem in particular. He was also familiar with Aramaic, the language of Palestine. Other points make it clear that the writer was a Palestinian Jew. Acts 12:12 indicates that a Mark was just that.
Upon the basis of both external and internal evidence, it is possible to affirm confidently that John Mark, the son of Mary and the attendant of Paul and Peter, was the author of the second Gospel.
There are several Scriptures that give us information about Mark and his ministry:
- Acts 12:12; 13:5, 13; 15:36-41
- Colossians 4:10
- Philemon 1:23, 24
- 1 Peter 5:13
- 2 Timothy 4:11
(Resource: Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 113)
Historial and Geographical Material for the Gospel of Mark
Scholars have dated the writing of this Gospel between 40 and 80 AD. The prophetic indication of Mark 13:14 would seem to place the writing prior to 70 AD.
The place of this writing is unknown. Chrysostom suggested that the writing was done in Egypt. Others think Antioch, but more weighty evidence favors Rome. The Anti-Marcionite Prolouge states that Mark wrote the Gospel ‘in the regions of Italy.’ Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria give further testimony to Rome.
There is evidence that the Gospel of Mark is historical and gives a reliable account of the progression in the life and ministry Jesus of Nazareth. There were ample eyewitnesses, hostile as well as believing, who were available to check on the accuracy of Mark’s account. Also, a great emphasis is placed upon the responsibility of the early Christians to witness. John 14:26 states that the Holy Spirit would bring to remembrance all that had occurred in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Most scholars agree that Mark was secretary to the Apostle Peter and simply wrote the words of Peter, directed by the Holy Spirit.
(Resource: Mark, Standard Bible Commentary, pp. 10-19)
We will look at the preaching value of the Gospel of Mark in the next part of our special series.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]