Mark was "John, who was also called Mark" of Acts 12: 12, 25; and also Acts 15: 37. Barnabas was the cousin of Mark (Colossians 4: 10) and may have been the "certain young man" in Gethsemane in Mark 14: 51, 52 . Since all of the disciples had abandoned Jesus (14: 50), this may have been a firsthand account.
Date of the Gospel of Mark: Generally thought to be between A. D. 55-65, favoring the early date. Mark was the first Gospel written down and Matthew and Luke have extended sections that are either word-for-word quotes or very close to it.
Readership of Mark: Mark was evidently directed to a Roman readership and early tradition indicates that it originated in Rome. This may be why Mark omitted a number of items that would not have been meaningful to Gentiles, such as the genealogy of Jesus, instances of fulfilled prophecy, references to the Law, and certain Jewish customs that are found in other gospels. Mark used a number of Latin terms in place of their Greek equivalents in 4: 21, 6: 27, 12: 14, 42; 15: 15, 16. 39.
Mark portrays Jesus as the servant of God. This theme is repeated throughout the book. Also noticeable is the number of miracles described in the book, which would have appealed to the power-oriented Romans.
I. The presentation of the servant (1: 1 - 2: 12)
A. The forerunner of the servant
B. The baptism of the servant
C. The temptation of the servant
D. The mission of the servant
II. The opposition to the servant (2: 13 - 8: 26)
A. Initial opposition
B. Parables of the servant
C. The miracles of the servant
D. Growing opposition to the servant
III. The instruction by the servant (8: 27 - 10: 52)
IV. The rejection of the servant (11: 1 - 15: 47)
A. The triumphal entry (11: 1-19)
B. Instruction on prayer
C. Opposition by the leaders
D. The instruction by the servant about the future
E. The passion of the servant
V. The resurrection of the servant (16: 1 - 20)
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