The Bible Book by Book
Date. Probably written about A. D. 60, and before Matthew.

The Author. He was not an apostle and was variously designated as follows; (1) John, whose surname was Mark, Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37; (2) John only, Acts 13:5. 13; (3) Mark only, Acts 15:39; (4) always Mark after this, Col. 4:10, Philemon 24, 2 Tim. 4:11, 1 Pet. 5:13. He was a son of Mary, a woman of Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). Her home was the gathering place of the disciples, whither Peter went after he was delivered from prison. On this or some other visit Mark may have been converted through the preaching of Peter, and this may have been the cause of Peter calling him "his son" (1 Pet. 5:13), which doubtless means son in the ministry. He returns with Paul and Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch (Acts 12:25), and accompanies them, as minister (Acts 13:5) on the first great missionary journey as far as Perga (Acts 13:13). There he left them and returned home. On the second missionary tour Paul declined to take him and separated from Barnabas, Mark's cousin (Col. 4:10), who chose Mark for his companion (Acts 15:37-39). Ten years later he seems to be with Paul in his imprisonment at Rome and was certainly counted a fellow worker by Paul (Col. 4:10, Philemon 24). Paul found him useful and asked Timothy to bring him to him in his last imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He was with Peter when he wrote his first epistle (1 Peter 5:13).

What he knew of the work of Jesus directly we do not know, probably not much. The early Christian writers universally say that he was the interpreter of Peter and that he based his gospel upon information gained from him.

Characteristics and Purpose.

1. It Is a Gospel of Vividness and Details. He shows the effect of awe and wonder produced upon those present by the works and teaching of Jesus. He tells the details of the actions of Jesus and his disciples and the multitudes. Jesus "looks around," "sat down," "went before". He is grieved, hungry, angry, indignant, wonders, sleeps, rests and is moved with pity. The cock crows twice: "it is the hour", "a great while before day," or "eventide," "there are two thousand swine", the disciples and Jesus are on the sea, on Olivet, or in the court yard or in the porch. Everything is portrayed in detail.

2. It Is a Gospel of Activity and Energy. There is no story of his infancy, but he starts with "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ". He portrays the active career of Jesus on earth. He, however, lays emphasis upon the works rather than the words of Jesus. Few discourses of any length and only four of the fifteen parables of Matthew are given and those in the briefest form, while eighteen of the miracles are given in rapid review. The rapid succession is indicated by one Greek word, translated by the seven words "immediately", "anon", "forthwith", "by and by", "as soon as", "shortly", and "straightway", which occur forty-one times in this gospel. The last meaning, straightway, is truest to the Greek idea and may be called Mark's characteristic word. It indicates how with the speed of a racer he rushed along and thereby furnishes us a breathless narrative which Farrar says makes us "feel like the apostles who, among the press of the people coming and going, were twice made to say they 'had no leisure so much as to eat'." It moves as the scenes of a moving picture show.

3. It Is a Gospel of Power Over Devils. Here as in no other gospel the devils are made subject to Jesus. They recognize him as the "Son of God" and acknowledge their subordination to him by pleading with him as to what shall be done with them (5:7, 12).

4. It Is a Gospel of Wonder. Everywhere Jesus is a man of wonder that strikes awe and terror and causes to wonder those who see and hear him. Some of these may be studied, especially in the Greek, in 1:27; 2:13; 4:41; 5:28 6:50; 51; 7:37. As Archbishop Thompson puts it, "The wonder-working Son of God sweeps over his Kingdom swiftly and meteor-like" and thus strikes awe into the hearts of the on-lookers. He is "a man heroic and mysterious, who inspires not only a passionate devotion but also amazement and adoration".

5. It Is a Gospel for the Romans. The Romans were men of great power, mighty workers who left behind them great accomplishments for the blessing of humanity. So that Mark would especially appeal to them by recording of Jesus his mighty deeds. He lets them see one who has power to still the storm, to control disease and death, and even power to control the unseen world of spirits. The Roman, who found deity in a Caesar as head of a mighty Kingdom, would bow to one who had shown himself King in every realm and whose kingdom was both omnipotent and everlasting, both visible and unseen, both temporal and spiritual.

Then, too, the Roman cared nothing for Jewish Scripture or prophecy and so he omits all reference to the Jewish law, the word law not being found in the entire book. He only once or twice refers in any way to the Jewish scriptures. He omits the genealogy of Jesus which could have no value to a Roman. Then, too, he explains all doubtful Jewish words, such as "Boanerges" (3:17), "Tabitha cumi" (5:41), "corban" (7:11), "alba" (15:36). He reduced Jewish money to Roman currency (12:42). He explains Jewish customs as not being understood by them. (See 7:3; 13:3; 14:12; 15:42).

And once more by the use of terms familiar to him such as centurion, contend, etc. "Mark showed the Roman a man who was a man indeed". He showed them manhood crowned with glory and power; Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God; a man but a Man Divine and sinless, among sinful and suffering men. Him, the God-man, no humiliation could degrade, no death defeat. Not even on the cross could he seem less than the King, the Hero, the only Son. And as he gazed on such a picture how could any Roman refrain from exclaiming with the awe-struck Centurion, "Truly this was the Son of God".

Subject. Jesus the Almighty King.


   I. The Almighty King is Exhibited as the Son of God, 1:1-13.

1. In the baptism and teaching of John, 1-8.

2. In the baptism of Jesus, 9-11.

3. In the temptation, 12-13.

  II. The Almighty King at Work in Galilee, 1:14-9 end.

1. Begins his work, 1:14 end.

2. Reveals his Kingdom, Chs. 2-5.

3. Meets opposition, 6:1-8:26.

4. Prepares his disciples for the end, 8:27-9 end.

III. The Almighty King Prepares for Death 10:1-14:31.

1. He goes to Jerusalem, 10:1-11:11.

2. In Jerusalem and vicinity, 11:12-14:31.

 IV. The Almighty King Suffers at the Hands of His Enemies. 14:32-15:46.

1. Agony of Gethsemane, 14:32-42.

2. Arrest, 14:43-52.

3. Jewish trial and denial of Peter, 14:53 end.

4. Trial before Pilate. 15:1-15.

5. The Crucifixion. 15:16-41.

6. The Burial, 15:42 end.

   V. The Almighty King Triumphs Over His Enemies, Ch.16.

1. The resurrection, 1-8.

2. The appearances, 9-18.

3. The ascension, 19-20.

For Study and Discussion. (1) Sections peculiar to Mark, (a) Growth of the seed, 4:26-29. (b) Jesus' compassion on the multitudes, 7:32-37. (c) The blind men healed gradually, 8;22-26. (d) Details about the ass, etc., 11:1-14. (e) Concerning watching, 13:33-37. (f) Details concerning Christ's appearances. 16:6-11. (2) The spiritual condition of those affected by Jesus' miracles. Keeping in mind their condition before and after the miracle: (a) Were they saved as well as well as healed? (b) Did they or their friends exercise faith, or did Jesus act voluntarily without any expression of faith? (3) What did Jesus do in performing the miracle? (a) Did he use the touch? (b) Was he touched? (c) Did he simply give command, etc? (4) From the following scriptures 2:35; 1:45; 3:7-12; 6:6; 6:21-32; 6:46; 7:34-25; 8:27; 9:2; 11:11; 11:19; 14:1-12, make a list of the different places to which Jesus retired and in connection with each indicate (in writing): (a) Was it before or after a victory or conflict? (b) Was it in preparation for or rest after the performance of a great work? (c) Indicate in each case whether he went alone or was accompanied and, if accompanied, by whom? (e) In each case also tell what Jesus did during the period of retirement. Did he pray, teach, perform miracles or what? (5) List the phrases "Son of man" and "Kingdom of God" and point out the appropriateness and meaning of each. (6) List all references to demons and to demon possessed people and study their nature, the nature of their work, their power, wisdom, etc. (7) The facts concerning the death of Jesus. 14:1-15:14. List them.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Mark 1. John the Baptist Preaches, Baptizes Jesus; Jesus Tempted, Calls First Disciples, Preaches, Heals and Prays in Galilee

1. The office of John the Baptist.
9. Jesus is baptized;
12. tempted;
14. he preaches;
16. calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John;
23. heals one that had a demon;
29. Peter's mother in law;
32. many diseased persons;
40. and cleanses the leper.

Mark 2. Jesus Heals a Paralytic, Calls Matthew; Fasting; Lord of the Sabbath

1. Jesus followed by multitudes,
3. heals a paralytic;
13. calls Matthew;
15. eats with tax collectors and sinners;
18. excuses his disciples for not fasting;
23. and for picking the heads of grain on the Sabbath day.

Mark 3. Jesus Heals on the Sabbath, Chooses the Twelve, discusses Beelzebub, Mother and Brothers

1. Jesus heals the withered hand,
10. and many other infirmities;
11. rebukes the unclean spirit;
13. chooses his twelve apostles;
22. convinces the blasphemy of casting out demons by Beelzebub;
31. and shows who are his brother, sister, and mother.

Mark 4. Parables of the Sower, Lamp on a Stand, Seed Growing Secretly, Mustard Seed; Jesus Calms the Sea

1. The parable of the sower,
14. and the meaning thereof.
21. We must communicate the light of our knowledge to others.
26. The parable of the seed growing secretly;
30. and of the mustard seed.
35. Jesus stills the storm on the sea.

Mark 5. Jesus Sends the Demons into the Pigs, Heals the Woman with Bleeding, Raises Jairus' Daughter

1. Jesus delivering the possessed of the legion of demons,
13. they enter into the pigs.
22. He is entreated by Jairus to go and heal his daughter.
25. He heals the woman subject to bleeding,
35. and raises Jairus' daughter from death.

Mark 6. Jesus at Nazareth; Sending out the Twelve; John Beheaded; Jesus Feeds Five Thousand, Walks on Water, Heals

1. Jesus is a prophet without honor in his own country.
7. He gives the twelve power over unclean spirits.
14. Various opinions of Jesus.
16. John the Baptist is imprisoned, beheaded, and buried.
30. The apostles return from preaching.
34. The miracle of five loaves and two fishes.
45. Jesus walks on the sea;
53. and heals all who touch him.

Mark 7. Clean and Unclean; the Heart of Man; Healing of a Syrophoenician Woman and a Deaf Mute Man

1. The Pharisees find fault with the disciples for eating with unwashed hands.
8. They break the commandment of God by the traditions of men.
14. Food defiles not the man.
24. He heals the Syrophenician woman's daughter of an unclean spirit;
31. and one that was deaf, and stammered in his speech.

Mark 8. Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand, Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida; Peter's Confession of Christ

1. Jesus feeds the people miraculously;
10. refuses to give a sign to the Pharisees;
14. admonishes his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod;
22. gives a blind man his sight;
27. acknowledges that he is the Jesus who should suffer and rise again;
34. and exhorts to patience in persecution for the profession of the gospel.

Mark 9. Jesus is Transfigured, Heals a Boy with an Evil Spirit; Who Is the Greatest; Do Not Cause to Sin

1. Jesus is transfigured.
11. He instructs his disciples concerning the coming of Elijah;
14. casts forth a deaf and mute spirit;
30. foretells his death and resurrection;
33. exhorts his disciples to humility;
38. bidding them not to prohibit such as are not against them,
42. nor to give offense to any of the faithful.

Mark 10. Divorce; Let the little children; Rich Young Ruler; Jesus Predicts His Death; James and John's Request; Blind Bart

1. Jesus disputes with the Pharisees concerning divorce;
13. blesses the children that are brought unto him;
17. resolves a rich man how he may inherit everlasting life;
23. tells his disciples of the danger of riches;
28. promises rewards to those who forsake all for the gospel;
32. foretells his death and resurrection;
35. bids the two ambitious suitors to think rather of suffering with him;
46. and restores to Bartimaeus his sight.

Mark 11. The Triumphal Entry; the Money Changers; the Withered Fig Tree; Jesus' Authority

1. Jesus rides with triumph into Jerusalem;
12. curses the fruitless fig tree;
15. purges the temple;
20. exhorts his disciples to steadfastness of faith, and to forgive their enemies;
27. and defends his actions by the witness of John, who was a man sent of God.

Mark 12. The Parable of the Tenants; Render to Caesar; Marriage at the Resurrection; Greatest Commandment; Widow's Offering

1. Jesus tells the parable of the tenants
13. He avoids the snare of the Pharisees and Herodians about paying tribute to Caesar;
18. convicts the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection;
28. resolves the scribe, who questioned of the first commandment;
35. refutes the opinion that the scribes held of the Christ;
38. bidding the people to beware of their ambition and hypocrisy;
41. and commends the poor widow for her two mites, above all.

Mark 13. Christ Foretells the Destruction of the Temple and His Return; Day and Hour Unknown

1. Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple;
9. the persecutions for the gospel;
10. that the gospel must be preached to all nations;
14. that great calamities shall happen to the Jews;
24. and the manner of his coming to judgment;
32. the hour whereof being known to none, every man is to watch and pray

Mark 14. Jesus Anointed; Last Supper; Gethsemane; Judas Betrays Jesus; Jesus before the Sanhedrin, disowned by Peter

1. A conspiracy against Jesus.
3. Expensive perfume is poured on his head by a woman.
10. Judas sells his Master for money.
12. Jesus himself foretells how he will be betrayed by one of his disciples;
22. after the passover prepared, and eaten, institutes his last supper;
26. declares beforehand the flight of all his disciples, and Peter's denial.
43. Judas betrays him with a kiss.
46. Jesus is apprehended in the garden;
53. falsely accused and impiously condemned of the council;
65. shamefully abused by them;
66. and thrice denied by Peter.

Mark 15. Jesus before Pilate; Mocked by Soldiers; Crucifixion; Burial

1. Jesus brought bound, and accused before Pilate.
6. Upon the clamor of the people, the murderer Barabbas is released,
12. and Jesus delivered up to be crucified.
16. He is crowned with thorns, spit on, and mocked;
21. faints in bearing his cross;
27. hangs between two thieves;
29. suffers the triumphing reproaches of the crowd;
39. but is confessed by the centurion to be the Son of God;
42. and is honorably buried by Joseph.

Mark 16. The Resurrection; Christ Commissions the Disciples

1. An Angel declares the resurrection of Jesus to three women.
9. Jesus himself appears to Mary Magdalene;
12. to two going into the country;
14. then to the apostles;
15. whom he sends forth to preach the gospel;
19. and ascends into heaven.
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