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Exegesis: Ancient Christian Gospels Essay

1993 words - 8 pages

In interpretation of Mark’s gospels it is important to take into account various elements of historical, theological, and literary context. Mark sets out to appeal to his audience by conveying messages that the audience can relate to. Mark 6: 30-44 is an example of a miracle story with a message that can impact many. There seems to be direct correlation among other gospels and stories throughout the Old and New Testament (NRSV, 1989).
Mark is the shortest Gospel and is typically thought to be the earliest. It is also considered a source for Matthew and Luke. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is the savior and the healer in many of the passages (Koester, 1990). The Gospels emphasized his miraculous ways and his ability to do wonderful things. Nothing in the Gospel identifies the author by name, since the label “according to Mark” was added after the passages were composed (Koester, 1990).
Many biblical commentaries consider Mark the interpreter of Peter. As Peter’s interpreter Mark wrote what the Lord had said and the actions he performed, however not in any particular order were the stories composed. Mark wrote the Gospels in Rome. This was suggested by Papias and by Latin loanwords (Achtmeier, 1996).
Mark’s Gospel displays a close geographical-theological structure. The geographical aspect features the movement from Galilee to Jerusalem. The first half of the Gospel describes Jesus’ activities in Galilee to Jerusalem” (NRSV, 1989). Galilee is the northernmost region of the land of Israel (Achtmeier, 1996). Galilee was geographically distant from Jerusalem and was the seat of the Judean palace, temple, archives, and scribes.
The community included large numbers of Jews. They are the authoritative revelation of God, and the core of Jesus’ teachings is a summary from the Old Testament. The Gospel contains strong attacks on Jewish laws and institutions, it implies mission of the gentiles (Achtmeier, 1996). The community contains Jews and gentile converts living outside of Palestine, whom is breaking away from traditional Jewish traditions. The language of the Gospel is not elegant, literary Greek, however the spoken Greek of ordinary people with occasional Semitic influence (Koester, 1990).
In the historical criticism most of the authors agree that the Gospel of Mark is considered one of the first to have begun writing about history of Jesus (Koester, 1990). The literary characteristic that the Gospel of Mark represents is his collection of various traditions in his disposal such as, sayings, parables, and controversies. Mark leaves his distinct stamp on the Gospel, primarily by his name of composition (Koester, 1990). The Gospel manifests a theological conception and on the narrative level, events proceed to climax in Jerusalem.
Mark 6: 30-44 represents the only Galilean miracle of Jesus narrated in all four Gospels (see Matt. 14:13-21; 15: 32-39; Luke 9: 10-17; John 6: 1-13) (Mays, 1988). These accounts show a double influence from the Old...

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