The Gospel of Mark, one of the four canonical Gospels in the New Testament, provides a dynamic and succinct account of the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Believed to be the earliest Gospel written, Mark’s narrative is marked by its brevity, urgency, and emphasis on action. The Gospel opens with the ministry of John the Baptist, swiftly moving into Jesus’ baptism, temptation, and the launch of His public ministry.

Mark portrays Jesus as a powerful and compassionate figure, performing miracles that demonstrate His authority over nature, illness, and even death. The Gospel culminates in the dramatic events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, illustrating the transformative power of faith and God’s redemptive plan. The theological principles embedded in Mark emphasize themes of discipleship, faith, and the nature of Christ’s messiahship. The text challenges believers to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, portraying discipleship as a radical commitment to self-sacrifice and service. It further invites readers to recognize Jesus not only as a healer and teacher but as the divine Son of God, ushering in the Kingdom of God. For believers, the Gospel of Mark serves as an inspirational guide, prompting reflection on the significance of faith and discipleship.

PURPOSE: Mark likely wrote his Gospel with a primary focus on a Gentile audience, especially considering the prevalent Gentile presence in the early Roman Christian community. The absence of certain Jewish nuances in Mark’s account supports this idea. While Mark emphasizes Jesus as the Son of God, scholars differ on whether this theme is significantly distinct from other synoptic Gospels. Some propose alternative purposes, such as highlighting Jesus as the Servant of Jehovah or emphasizing discipleship and the call to follow Jesus in suffering and death. Ultimately, Mark’s Gospel is seen as a call to discipleship, urging readers to emulate Jesus in their lives. *

AUTHOR: The Gospel of Mark, like other Gospels, doesn’t explicitly name its human author. Traditionally, it’s attributed to John Mark, a figure mentioned in Acts. Early manuscripts simply title it “According to Mark,” suggesting an early church belief in Mark’s authorship. Mark is first mentioned in Acts 12:12 and later accompanies Paul and Barnabas but leaves them during their missionary journey. The connection with Barnabas implies a possible familial relationship. While details about Mark are sparse, tradition links him to Peter, and internal evidence in the Gospel, such as the mention of a young man in the garden, hints at Mark’s involvement in the events. External evidence, including Papias and early church fathers, strongly supports Mark as the author, emphasizing his role as Peter’s interpreter. Despite objections based on language, geography, and perceived dependence on traditions, the early church’s consistent belief in Mark’s authorship remains a compelling argument. *

ADDRESSEE: Gentile Christians

DATE: The origin of the Gospel of Mark raises questions about the date of its composition. If the tradition attributing authorship to Mark representing Peter’s teachings is accurate, then it was likely written shortly after Peter’s death in Rome. Some scholars propose an early date around A.D. 55, before Peter’s demise. Papias suggests that Mark wrote after Peter and Paul’s departure from Rome, possibly before 65. The execution of Peter and Paul during Nero’s persecution in 65 or 66 is another consideration. Even though the dating might not be exact, it is plausible that the Gospel of Mark was written around the year 65, and it probably originated in Rome. *

MAJOR THEMES: The Gospel of Mark underscores the imminent arrival of God’s reign, with Jesus proclaiming the fulfillment of time and the nearness of the kingdom. It presents a more human portrayal of Jesus compared to other New Testament accounts while also acknowledging His divine nature. Notably, Mark places a heightened emphasis on Jesus’s death, framing it as a central element. The portrayal of the disciples in Mark accentuates their flaws, possibly illustrating the grace of a Lord who chooses imperfect followers but who are transformed by His grace. Such also offers hope to struggling Christians.


Mark 1:15 summarizes the central message of Mark, emphasizing the urgency of repentance, belief in the gospel, and the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God. “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Mark 8:34 captures the essence of discipleship, challenging believers to embrace self-denial, carry their crosses, and follow Jesus with unwavering commitment. “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Mark 16:6, the concluding verse of the Gospel of Mark, is pivotal as it announces the resurrection of Jesus, affirming the core Christian belief in the victory over death and the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan. “And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”


  1. The Preaching of John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus
  2. Jesus Heals a Paralytic, Calls Levi, Teaches He is Lord of the Sabbath
  3. Jesus Heals on the Sabbath and Appoints the Twelve Apostles
  4. The Parable of the Sower and Other Parables
  5. Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Man and Raises Jairus' Daughter
  6. Jesus Rejected at Nazareth and Sends Out the Twelve
  7. Tradition and Commandment, and Jesus Heals a Syrophoenician Woman's Daughter
  8. Feeding the Four Thousand and Peter's Confession
  9. The Transfiguration and Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
  10. Marriage and Divorce, and Jesus Blesses the Children
  11. The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
  12. The Parable of the Tenants, the Question about Taxes, and The Greatest Commandment
  13. Signs of the End Times and the Coming of the Son of Man
  14. The Plot to Kill Jesus, His Anointing, Last Supper, Gethsemane, and Betrayal
  15. Jesus Before Pilate, the Crucifixion, and Burial
  16. The Resurrection of Jesus, the Great Commission, and Ascension


Robert E. Picirilli, The Gospel of Mark, ed. Robert E. Picirilli, First Edition., The Randall House Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Randall House Publications, 2003), 17.

Mark Allan Powell, “Mark, Gospel According to,” ed. Mark Allan Powell, The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated) (New York: HarperCollins, 2011), 604.