The Gospel of Mark: Open Your Heart and Believe! Handout #1
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
Who was Mark? When did he write? Where? Why?
Literary elements – style, characters, plot, language
The World(s) of Mark’s Gospel
Diving into Chapter one – A “trailer” for the whole story
The beginning of a story that has not ended (1:1)
Looking back in Israel’s history (1:2-8)
Cosmic stage is set (1:9-14a)
The Future is on the horizon right now -- join the movement (1:14b-20)
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).