Mark: Introduction to Mark’s Gospel

Basic Orientation to the Gospel

Who wrote the gospel?

The author is traditionally identified as the John Mark of Acts (Acts 12.12, 25) and the apostle Peter is traditionally understood as his main source.

When was it written?

Most (but not all scholars) believe this is probably the earliest of the four gospels.  As always the actual dating is a matter of much scholarly dispute with dates ranging from the early 60s to mid 70s but most seeing it as written as sometime a few years either side of 70AD.

Introducing the Gospel -  Resources

Biblical Theologians

In these two videos, biblical scholar and Fulcrum Leadership Team member Paula Gooder introduces us to Mark's Gospel


In 2012, Tom Wright and Big Read encouraged people to read through Mark's Gospel for Lent. Below are some of the excellent resources produced:



As part of this Tom Wright also answered questions submitted including many on Mark's gospel


In this video, American New Testament scholar Ben Witherington offers his understanding of the background to Mark's gospel

One of the best commentaries on Mark is by William Lane.  In 1998, he gave his final teaching on the gospel which is collected together here.  What follows are the handout notes and the audios of his 13 talks which are each about an hour long.

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Prologue (Mk 1.1-13)


Early Galilean Ministry, Part 1 (Mk 1.14-3.6)


Early Galilean Ministry, Part 2 (Mk 1.14-3.6)


Later Phases of the Galilean Ministry, Part 1 (Mk 3.7-6.13)


Later Phases of the Galilean Ministry, Part 2 (Mk 3.7-6.13)


Later Phases of the Galilean Ministry, Part 3 (Mk 3.7-6.13)


Withdrawal Beyond Galilee  (Mk 6.14-8.30)


The Journey to Jerusalem (Mk 8.31-10.52)


Ministry in Jerusalem, Part 1 (Mk 11.1-13.37)


Ministry in Jerusalem, Part 2 (Mk 11.1-13.37)


The Passion Narrative (Mk 14.1-16.20)




Douglas Moo has written (2000) a short, 36 page, booklet on Understanding the Gospel of Mark

Download (PDF, 7KB)

The chapter on Mark's Gospel from The Lion and the Lamb (2012), an introduction to the New Testament by Andreas Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum and Charles L. Quarles offers a good overview of the gospel

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The Introduction from James R. Edwards' Pillar Commentary on Mark (2002) is also online

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Biblical Training Website

This website has a number of helpful introductory resources including

Dr Robert Stein's New Testament Survey series on

The Priority of Mark (ie evidence it is the earliest gospel) (37 mins)

The Background and Theological Emphases of Mark (42 mins)


Dr Craig Blomberg's Introduction the New Testament: Gospel and Acts series on

Introduction to Mark (38 mins)


Dr Bill Mounce's New Testament: Its Structure, Content and Theology series on

Mark 1-5 (1 hr 16 mins)

Mark 6-12 (1 hr 16 mins)

Mark 13 (1 hr 17 mins)

Mark 14-16 (1 hr 6 mins)


Luther Seminary's Enter the Bible Website

This has resources on Mark by Professor Paul Berge including




Introductory Issues

Theological Themes

On the right hand side of the page are various further resources including short commentaries on the gospel divided into 23 passages. There are also very short videos of Berge speaking about the beginning of Mark, the disciples in Mark, exorcisms, faith and fear, Messiahship, the Passion Narrative and the ending of the gospel.


Fulcrum Articles on Mark

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