The Gospel of Mark


The piquant dictum, ‘a passion narrative with a long introduction’ is used quite often to refer to Mark’s Gospel. This phrase is helpful in a number of ways yet it is essentially flawed. The second Gospel has been valued differently throughout history. Today it is generally looked on with a more positive light than the early Church Fathers. This Gospel also contains many themes that can be seen throughout the text. Comprehending Mark’s account is the key to assessing this adage. The greatest strength of this phrase is its emphasis on the passion narrative and its weakness is a belittling of the rest of Mark’s narrative.

Scroll down to the end for a link to the rest of the essay on the topic

The full question:

Assess the claim that ‘Mark’s Gospel is a passion narrative with a long introduction’.


These books are ordered from the most useful to the least used resource in my research. There are a few journal articles and websites at times as well.

Four Portraits, One Jesus: An Introduction to Jesus and the Gospels – Strauss, Mark L.

The Beginning of the Gospel – Evans, C. F.

Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey – Blomberg, Craig

Mark, Evangelist and Theologian – Martin, Ralph P.

A Theology of the New Testament – Ladd, George Eldon

A Survey of the New Testament – Gundry, Robert H.

Mark’s Gospel, A History of Its Interpretation – Kealy, Sean P.

The New Testament in Antiquity – Burge, Green, Cohick

The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel – Bolt, Peter

Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels – Green, McKnight, Marshall

Community of the New Age – Kee, Howard C.

Mark 1-8: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary – Marcus, Joel

Mark 8-16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary – Marcus, Joel

The Anchor Bible Dictionary – Freedman

Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of the Word of God – Barth, Karl

An Introduction to the New Testament – Carson, D. A. and Moo, Douglas J.

The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown – Köstenberger, Kellum and Quarles

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