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The Gospel of Mark: Open Your Heart and Believe! Handout #1

July 12, 2018

The Gospel of Mark: Open Your Heart and Believe!

Adult Vacation Bible School, July 2018


Session One: Basic background, the world of the Gospel, and jumping into Chapter One

  1. Who was Mark? When did he write? Where? Why?

  2. Literary elements – style, characters, plot, language

  3. The World(s) of Mark’s Gospel


  1. Diving into Chapter one – A “trailer” for the whole story

    1. The beginning of a story that has not ended (1:1)

    2. Looking back in Israel’s history (1:2-8)

    3. Cosmic stage is set (1:9-14a)

    4. The Future is on the horizon right now  -- join the movement (1:14b-20)

    5. Demons flee, people healed, God’s rule is underway – but keep it a secret  (1:21-45)


Session 2, July 8 -- Jesus' mission in Galilee. Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom.Read Mark 2:1-8:21


Session 3, July 15 -- On the Road to Jerusalem. Proclaiming the Kingdom is a journey to the cross. Read  Mark 8:22-10:52


Session 4, July 22 --The events in Jerusalem. Jesus' confrontation with the powers and the disciples movement from fear to faith. Read Mark 11:1-16:8



I highly recommend reading the Gospel straight through first. I suggest you use the New Revised Standard Version (the translation we use in our liturgy) or the English Standard Version.


Also highly recommended: the brief, accessible commentary with translation will accompany you as you read the Gospel, Mark For Everyone,  by Bishop Tom Wright (2004).



For those wanting some deeper exploration:

Binding the Strong man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus, by Ched Meyers (1988, 20th Anniversary Edition, 2008).


Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, a follow-up to his earlier work, Ched Meyers is joined by other writers (2003).


 The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, by Ben Witherington III (2001).



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