Myth-Folklore Unit: Gospel of Mark

Overview. In this unit, you will read to get the Gospel of Mark in its entirety, examining an account of the life of Jesus that begins with his encounter with John the Baptist and ends with the crucifixion and resurrection. While the Gospel of Mark comes second in the traditional arrangement of Biblical books, most scholars agree that it is the first of the gospel narratives to have taken shape in the written form in which we know it. Each of the Gospel narratives has a special character of its own, and the Gospel of Mark is notable for its emphasis on Jesus's deeds as a healer, an exorcist, and a worker of miracles, what the Greeks would have called a "thaumaturge," a wonder-worker. As you will see, I have removed the traditional separation of the Bible story into separate verses (which were not part of the original Greek text), so even if you are familiar with this gospel, I hope you will have a new reading experience as you consider the text in the context of this class.

Language. The translation used here is the King James Version, but you could easily choose to read this in the translation of your choice since the reading consists of the entire Gospel of Mark; nothing has been omitted because the length of this gospel is around 15,000 words, exactly the right length for the reading units in this class. So, if you have a different Bible translation that you prefer to read, feel free to do that!

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Gospel of Mark. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

Notes. This unit does not have notes on every page yet, so please feel free to ask questions if something is not clear — and your questions will help me write better notes, too! You can ask your question by leaving a comment, just like at any other blog. You can also rate each page with the star ratings checkbox at the bottom of each post. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated!

Connecting Units. If you are interested in these topics, I strongly recommend the Folklore of the Holy Land unit coming up in the Middle East module, which features Jewish, Christian and Islamic folklore, centered on the city of Jerusalem. You might find it intriguing to compare the Life of the Buddha that is coming up in the India module.

Read More. In this unit, you read only the Gospel of Mark, but of course there are three other Gospels, each quite distinct and different from the other.

Additional Resources. For a commentary on Mark, I can highly recommend the very user-friendly Red Letter edition; it's one of those books you can find super-cheap at Amazon: Gospel of Mark Red Letter Edition.

  1. John the Baptist and Jesus
  2. The Followers of Jesus
  3. Jesus and the Twelve
  4. The Parables of Jesus
  5. Jesus the Healer
  6. The Death of John the Baptist
  7. The Miracles of Jesus
  8. Jesus and the Pharisees
  9. The Loaves and the Fishes Again
  10. The Transfiguration of Jesus
  1. The Teachings of Jesus
  2. More Teachings of Jesus
  3. Jesus and the Blind Man
  4. Jesus Enters Jerusalem
  5. More Parables of Jesus
  6. Jesus and the Scribe
  7. The Prophecies of Jesus
  8. The Last Supper
  9. The Arrest
  10. Peter's Denial
  11. The Crucifixion
  12. The Resurrection

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