Books of the Book: Mark

Introduction To The Gospel Of Mark

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Kevin Hart, Tom Shepherd


Series Code: MBOTB

Program Code: MBOTB00001B

00:03 Welcome back folks to Books of the Book.
00:05 Well we are talking with Tom Shepard today and Tom shed
00:08 a little light on who the Gospel of Mark was written to.
00:12 When you know when the Apostle Paul wrote his books, his
00:16 Epistles, he often wrote Paul an Apostle of Jesus Christ
00:19 to the Saints in Rome, or to the Saints in Ephesus.
00:23 So you knew to whom the book was written and you could
00:26 maybe research about Ephesus.
00:28 The problem with the Gospels is, except for the
00:32 Gospel of Luke, none of them tells us to
00:35 whom they were written.
00:36 So you might get the idea that there is no way
00:39 for us to know, well that is not actually the case.
00:43 There is something interesting we have called the
00:47 implied reader that helps us to understand to whom
00:51 the book was written.
00:53 Maybe you can shed a light on what is an implied reader.
00:57 Alright, if I were writing a letter to you Kevin and I
01:00 was talking about the weather here, the southern part
01:05 of Illinois, and then I said, oh by the way the Cubs
01:09 won the game last night. Alright!
01:11 What would I mean by that little phrase,
01:15 the Cubs won the game last night?
01:16 I guess you would be talking about
01:18 a baseball game somewhere right?
01:20 A baseball game someplace - I don't follow organized
01:23 sports but given the question I was certainly thrown
01:26 for a loop, because I really wouldn't know
01:27 what you were talking about.
01:28 Yeah, but if I wrote in the letter, oh the Cubs won
01:31 the game last night and I didn't make any explanation
01:34 whatsoever, I as the author am assuming that you
01:38 know that the Cubs are a professional baseball team
01:41 that is in Chicago Illinois.
01:43 Where they are, or that they won the baseball game,
01:46 I expect you to know some things about baseball.
01:50 Because I simply wrote it and didn't explain it.
01:54 That is what we mean by the implied reader, that is
01:57 the author has an expectation that the reader will
02:01 know certain things and he doesn't explain them.
02:04 Other times he might stop and explain them and
02:07 tell us some detail and say, oh by the way
02:10 that is what I'm talking about.
02:12 When we analyze the book of Mark in this way we find
02:16 some very interesting things.
02:18 First of all let me give a little list of things
02:20 that he did not expect them to know.
02:23 He did not expect his readers to know the
02:26 language of Aramaic.
02:28 If you read the Gospel of Mark every now and then
02:30 Jesus will say something like "talatalitha cumi,"
02:31 You are "talatalitha cumi,
02:34 What in the world does that mean?
02:35 It's an aromatic phrase,
02:36 It means little lamb get up, or wake up.
02:38 Mark puts it like this, that is, "little girl get up".
02:44 So he translates it, into actually into Greek
02:48 It was originally written in Greek.
02:50 He expects the reader to know Greek, but he does not
02:53 expect the reader to know Aramaic.
02:55 There are other things that he does not expect
02:57 the reader to know.
02:58 The reader does not know some of the characteristics
03:01 of the Jewish religion, certain ceremonial kinds of
03:04 things in Chapter 7.
03:05 He explained certain ceremonies that they would go
03:07 through, that they would do certain washings and he
03:10 doesn't expect his readers to know that either.
03:13 Over in Chapter 13, that we are going to come to
03:16 later in this series.
03:17 A wonderful story about the fall of Jerusalem and the
03:20 second coming of Jesus.
03:21 This prophecy of Jesus is so wonderful, he uses
03:25 the phrase "abomination of desolation".
03:28 He says let the reader understand, so he doesn't
03:31 expect them to understand everything about it.
03:35 In fact the kinds of prods them to get to know about it.
03:38 Then he doesn't expect them to know who Joseph of
03:40 Arimathea is, he tells them who he was.
03:43 So there is a list of things he doesn't expect them to
03:46 know, but then there are quite a few things that he
03:48 expects them to already know.
03:50 Here's a list:
03:51 he expects them to know Greek, that they could read
03:54 Greek - which was the common language spoken.
03:56 The common language of the
03:57 Mediterranean world at that time.
03:58 He expects them to know that Jesus is the Messiah,
04:01 That He is the Son of God, the son of David.
04:04 The Old Testament is an authority
04:06 that people can rely on.
04:08 He expects them to know about general locations
04:11 in the land of Palestine.
04:13 He doesn't tell them anything about where Jerusalem
04:16 is or any of the other towns that he refers to.
04:18 He expects them to know a certain religious practices
04:21 like prayer, and fasting, offerings, sin,
04:25 forgiveness, repentance, and the Sabbath.
04:28 All these things he gives no explanation for them.
04:31 He expects you, the reader, to already know them.
04:34 You probably already recognize that we modern readers
04:37 may not have know all the things that he expected
04:41 his ancient readers to know.
04:42 We are not exactly his implied readers,
04:45 doesn't mean that the Bible was not written for us,
04:47 but what if we are aware of this it can actually
04:50 help us to realize who these exactly people where.
04:54 So who were the likely first audience of this book?
04:57 We have another graphic that displays some
04:59 of this kind of information and helps us to know.
05:02 They were probably Christian people, they knew many
05:05 things about the religion the Bible presents.
05:08 They also were likely Gentiles because of their lack
05:12 of knowledge of certain aspects of Judaism.
05:15 They were a group that we probably would call God
05:17 fearers, these are people who attended the synagogue,
05:20 who knew lots of things about the Bible, the Old Testament.
05:24 They were taken the Old Testament as the authority and
05:27 that did not have to be explained or supported.
05:31 They had a Mediterranean world view.
05:33 They also knew about the Sabbath, so this is consistent
05:36 with a group who kept God's holy Sabbath day.
05:39 It is kind of interesting what you can find out about
05:43 these people even though he never mentions them by name.
05:47 So it is interesting how when you study the
05:51 book of Mark, or any story really.
05:54 When you study the circumstances around it really
05:57 brings a lot of light to the story itself and helps
06:00 you to narrow it down to whom he was speaking.
06:02 Right, it is very valuable to try and analyze these
06:06 stories in this way.
06:07 There is a whole variety of other ways to analyze
06:09 them but sometimes good commentaries can have some
06:12 of this kind of information, fill out other
06:14 kind of information around it.
06:16 It just helps the Bible to come alive to us.
06:18 In the Bible is very deep.
06:20 Well time is slipping away on us and we now
06:25 figure out what is the Gospel of Mark all about?
06:26 Yes, the Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the Gospels
06:32 that we have the Bible, only 16 chapters long.
06:35 It really kind of divides into two main sections.
06:38 Going up through actually the middle of the book
06:41 to about Chapter 8.
06:43 So the two biggest themes about this book are first
06:49 of all who is Jesus? - of course - who is Jesus.
06:54 The second one is and where is He going?
06:58 Because as we've read at the very beginning of our study
07:01 today as the Gospel starts out as the way of the Lord.
07:05 John the Baptist is going to prepare the way of the Lord.
07:09 So where is the way of the Lord going?
07:13 We will see, as we study, that the way of the Lord
07:15 is going to the cross.
07:18 That Jesus is the Messiah.
07:20 The way these themes is developed is unique in Mark
07:23 and it shows up in other Gospels in a little bit
07:26 different way but compatible with Mark.
07:29 Mark has his own little particular little
07:30 ways of presenting things.
07:32 I remember years ago when I was in high school that
07:37 our teacher gave us, our Bible teacher, in an Adventist
07:42 Christian school, and he gave us an assignment to read
07:46 Mark chapter 1 through 10.
07:48 Maybe he figured that if we were asked to read all
07:52 16 chapters we would get overwhelmed and we
07:54 wouldn't read the whole thing.
07:56 So he said read chapters 1 through 10.
07:58 Now I am sorry to say I was raised in a Christian home,
08:02 in an Adventist home, and I had never read that many
08:06 chapters together.
08:07 I think of the whole Bible, especially of the Gospels.
08:11 I have this memory of the first reading of Mark, of
08:15 reading those first 10 chapters and I was surprised.
08:20 Because the Jesus I met, in reading those 10 chapters,
08:24 was not the picture of Jesus that I had.
08:28 From my life, to the Sabbath school, to schools
08:33 and different things like that.
08:35 You know there is nothing like reading the Bible
08:38 for itself, for you to really meet Jesus and
08:41 come in contact with Him.
08:42 This gospel as we're are going to study it here
08:46 over a period of discussions, it says things
08:50 that most people don't know about Jesus or that they
08:53 wouldn't expect Him to say.
08:54 Unusual kind of things so I want to encourage the
08:57 listeners, please as we study the Gospel of Mark
09:00 just don't listen to us talk about it, please take
09:03 your Bible in hand and open it up and you'll come
09:06 across this amazing person Jesus.
09:09 And He will surprise you by what
09:12 He says and the way He says it, and what happens.
09:14 There are other themes that are
09:16 important in this gospel.
09:18 Another one is the question of the disciples of Jesus.
09:22 What it means to follow Jesus.
09:26 How many times we are going to see these people.
09:28 What happened to them, how they lived
09:30 their life with Jesus,
09:31 Why they followed Him maybe, the kinds of experience.
09:35 How they responded to His call.
09:36 How they responded to His call and then the crisis that
09:40 they met when they failed.
09:41 And how they responded to that.
09:43 How they responded to that and how Jesus
09:45 helped them through it.
09:46 Discipleship is a very big topic in this book.
09:48 Scholars studied it a lot and there have been some
09:51 that said the book is all about the disciples being
09:53 rejected actually because they come across
09:56 in such a negative light.
09:57 I don't think that is the case, and we will maybe
09:59 see some indications of that as we go through the
10:02 book that indeed Jesus does expect them to be His
10:04 followers after His resurrection.
10:06 But they go through that problem.
10:08 Then there is the subject of His death and resurrection.
10:13 Very early in the book all the way into chapter 2 we
10:17 have indications that Jesus is headed towards the cross.
10:21 Some sort of small indications, that people don't
10:24 understand what's going on, but after we get past the
10:28 center of the book things rapidly moved towards what
10:32 has been called His passion, that is the experience
10:35 of His death, the last week of His life, that will
10:38 be a very big theme in our discussion.
10:40 I love the way the Gospel writers, they are individual
10:44 people they are not, they are not robots slapped down
10:48 on papyrus or whatever they used at the time.
10:51 Some story about this man from Galilee.
10:53 They are individual people with a unique perspective on
10:57 what happened at a unique purpose also.
11:00 These things aren't accidental, the things you're
11:02 talking about, the themes or the transitions in the book,
11:05 or when things are mentioned at what point in the book.
11:08 All these things have a purpose and it is really
11:11 designed for the person who really wants to know, Bible
11:14 studies and not designed for a casual reader to race
11:17 through the chapters and say wow that was good reading.
11:20 I'm very pleased that we have 4 Gospels and each 4 are a
11:24 bit different than each other.
11:26 They are themes they develop and emphasize
11:29 particular things about Jesus.
11:31 It makes it appear like diamond.
11:33 You look at a diamond from one side is blue, and you
11:35 look at another side it's red, and another side it's
11:39 green, and these Gospel writers present Jesus in such
11:42 a way that you see a little different angle on Him.
11:44 They are compatible with one another and yet they are
11:47 different and that is kind of encouraging news.
11:50 Which is a good thing because we only have 4- yeah.
11:53 One Gospel but 4 writers.
11:54 One Gospel, you remembered, and 4 writers.
11:57 Other themes that come up the Jerusalem Temple and
12:00 the second coming of Jesus is an important theme.
12:03 Then there is the interesting topic about why some
12:06 people do not follow Jesus.
12:08 We have a graphic here that lists the important themes
12:13 of Mark and they are who Jesus is.
12:16 What it means to follow Jesus, the discipleship issue.
12:20 The question of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
12:24 These are very important topics.
12:25 Then we have the Jerusalem Temple and the
12:28 second coming of Christ.
12:29 And then why some people do not follow Jesus,
12:33 which will be something that we will want to think
12:35 about and talk about later in these discussions.
12:38 These are all important things to keep in mind, not
12:41 so much that we understand what was being said to the
12:44 people at the time, or a least how they took it,
12:46 but how does it apply to our lives today.
12:48 Right - that is what is beautiful about
12:50 the book of Mark.
12:51 Well Professor we appreciate you coming and joining us
12:53 and any closing words?
12:55 Thank you very much Kevin, good to be with you and
12:57 I'll looking forward to studying the Gospel of Mark
12:59 with everyone as we continue in these series.
13:01 And we look forward to you joining us again on Books of the
13:05 Book and remember that Bible study is not casual
13:08 reading, it is bringing out that shovel to dig and
13:11 push aside the dirt and find out those precious, precious
13:14 truths that lie deep within the Word of God.
13:17 We thank you once again for joining us today.


Revised 2014-12-17