What’s coming up Saturday? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Mark your calendars because this Saturday, we’re going to be talking about, well, Mark. The Gospel of Mark is usually seen as the first one written and yet is surrounded by questions. Who wrote it? If Mark, why do Matthew and Luke borrow so much from a non-eyewitness. Why does it leave out events like the virgin birth (Which I do affirm)? When was it written? Why does it seem to leave out the resurrection at the end and what is going on with the end? What happened to the end of Mark?
These are good questions and to discuss them, I wanted to get a scholar who has a high view of Mark. This would be a scholar who even says Mark is his favorite Gospel. For that, I chose Robert Stein. Who is he?
I found Robert Stein largely through the work of IVP who I do reviews for. According to them, his bio is as follows:
Robert H. Stein is senior professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.
He is the author of An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus, The Method and Message of Jesus’ Teachings, Difficult Passages in the New Testament, Luke (New American Commentary), A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible, Studying the Synoptic Gospels: Origin and Interpretation and The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction.
I’ll also add that he has B.A. in biology from Rutgers, a B.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary, an S.T.M. in NT from Andover Newton Theological School, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Mark is a fast-paced Gospel but there is plenty in there to mine out and it is one worth discussing since most discussions about the Gospels usually begin with Mark. That could be one reason why there are so many questions about it. It is also often claimed that since he supposedly doesn’t give an account of the resurrection that it could be that the resurrection is a later development and lo and behold, the other Gospels just seem to make the story grander and grander.
When we discuss its origin, we also have to look at what someone like Papias said. Mark was said to be written in an orderly manner and nothing that he heard from Peter was left out. Is this the case? Is it also accepted in NT scholarship that the Gospel is in fact by Mark or is this more of a fringe position?
I’m looking forward to this discussion. Mark is usually a Gospel that is neglected and even was so by the church fathers because so much of it can be found in Matthew and Luke, but as Christians, we need to realize God wanted us to have this Gospel for a reason and we should seek to give it just as much diligent study as we give the other Gospels. I hope you’ll be listening in to the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast when we discuss this with Robert Stein and I hope you’ll go to ITunes and leave a positive review of the podcast.