Yesterday we talked a bit about the Gospel of Matthew; today we’ll take a look at the second Gospel account in the New Testament—the book of Mark.
Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. It is relatively fast-paced compared to some of the other Gospels, was written with a non-Jewish audience in mind, and describes the ministry of Christ all the way to his death and resurrection. You can get started reading it yourself (or listen to it in audio format) over at the Bible Gateway. Before you dive in, though, you might want to take a look at some of these resources to help you get the most out of Mark:
- Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Mark is a classic commentary on the book, providing extra insights into each section of Mark. And as was the case with the book of Matthew, Classic Bible Commentaries has a large archive of commentaries on the Gospel of Mark.
- There’s a very thorough overview of the history and important themes of Mark at InterVarsity Press website.
- If you want a shorter summary, Uplook Ministries has a good introduction to the book of Mark as well.
- It might come as a surprise to learn that Mark does not describe Christ’s birth. Discover the Word radio has a short piece talking about Mark’s perspective of the Christmas story.
- Mark is the second of four Gospel accounts—which may make you wonder why there is a need for more than one Gospel story. And if there are four different accounts, how can we trust any of them to be entirely accurate? Delve Into Jesus has articles answering these questions and addressing questions like the reliability of the Gospel accounts, the accuracy of the four different accounts, and the ongoing quest to find the “historical Jesus” they describe. And RBC Ministries has a good section about the way that the Gospel accounts (and other books) were added to Biblical canon.
Mark is a highly readable account of Jesus’ life and ministry—it’s ideal reading if you want to catch up on the basics of the Gospel story this Christmas. Give it a read, and use these resources to get the most out of it!