• "Marked by Grace: Understanding the Gospel of Mark"

"Marked by Grace: Understanding the Gospel of Mark"



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About "Marked by Grace: Understanding the Gospel of Mark"

Course Overview

The Gospel of Mark stands as a foundational text within the New Testament, offering a unique perspective on the life, teachings, and significance of Jesus Christ. In this academic course, students will embark on a scholarly journey to unpack the rich theological themes, narrative structures, and historical contexts present in Mark's Gospel. Through a combination of textual analysis, historical inquiry, and theological reflection, participants will gain a deeper understanding of how Mark's portrayal of Jesus resonates with themes of grace, redemption, and discipleship.

Course Objectives:

  1. Examine the Literary and Narrative Features of Mark's Gospel: Students will explore the distinctive characteristics of Mark's Gospel, including its narrative style, literary techniques, and thematic emphases. Through close reading and analysis, participants will discern the overarching message and theological motifs embedded within the text.
  2. Understand the Historical Context of Mark's Gospel: By delving into the socio-cultural, political, and religious milieu of first-century Palestine, students will contextualize the events and teachings recorded in Mark's Gospel. Through historical inquiry, they will gain insights into the historical Jesus and the early Christian community's response to his ministry.
  3. Explore Theological Themes of Grace and Redemption: Central to the Gospel of Mark is the theme of grace—God's unmerited favor extended to humanity through the person of Jesus Christ. Through theological reflection, students will explore how Mark portrays Jesus as the embodiment of God's grace, offering salvation and liberation to all who believe.
  4. Analyze Discipleship and Mission in Mark's Gospel: The Gospel of Mark presents a compelling vision of discipleship characterized by self-sacrifice, humility, and radical obedience to Jesus' teachings. Students will examine the portrayal of discipleship in Mark's narrative, considering its implications for Christian life and mission in contemporary contexts.
  5. Engage with Critical Scholarship and Interpretive Debates: Throughout the course, students will engage with a range of scholarly perspectives on the Gospel of Mark, including historical-critical methods, literary analysis, and theological interpretation. By critically evaluating different scholarly viewpoints, participants will develop their own informed interpretations of Mark's Gospel.

Introduction Study Notes

So, beloved, today we're going to spend a considerable amount of time looking at the Gospel of Mark. Looking at the Gospel of Mark. Now, a couple of things about the Book of Mark, and I'm going to invite you to take personal notes on this presentation. There will be a good amount of material that's going to be available on the screen and the vast majority of what I will be asking you in the final exam or the follow-up study questions to this will be available on the screen.

However, there are some additional items that I will be sharing with you between the slides and the visuals that I want you to be attentive to as well. Now, the Gospel of Mark is important to us because it is one of the four canonized gospels. Now, you'll notice that I am saying that it is one of the four canonized gospels that we have in the New Testament. Let me be academically honest here

and share with you that while these four, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the most familiar, the most popular, and the most known to us in our faith community. I would be less than honest if I were not to say that there were some other Gospels that were written out. They are not included in what we call the canonized New Testament, but they do exist. There's a great deal of controversy and debate on whether or not they should have been included in the New Testament. But we have a series of books like the Gospel of James,

the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary. All were written during New Testament times, perhaps not as early as this book that we're looking at today, the Gospel of Mark, but they certainly all fall within what we call, and please put this.

down, the anti-Nicene period, A-N-T-E, the anti-Nicene, not anti, but ante, A-N-T-E, meaning that they were written prior to 325 AD, prior to the first council of Nicaea. But when we talk about the books that undergird the faith community and are available to all Christians everywhere, we're talking about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those are the canonized New Testament Gospels. Now, again, there are some other Gospels that exist that were written. However, they were not canonized, they were not included. When the church came together and decided what books should all Christians everywhere have

available to them without controversy, without debate, without the possibility of false teachings, these four, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it grew out of the Muratorian canon or the earlier Marcion canon. These four were the four that were selected. I do want you to know that others do exist. You won't hear that readily in the faith community,

but other books do exist, but they didn't make what I call the cut of the canon. We're going to look. We're going to look.

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