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  • Ed Lundberg

The Theology of Mark and What he Believed

In the process of completing the second draft of the dialogue section that deals with how the Gospel of Mark came to be, fictional of course. It has brought with it several difficulties as well as discoveries. First, one must be careful not to allow the voice of Paul to enter into the dialogue. Mark has his own specific and intentional voice designed to meet his own needs. Second of all it tempting to compare Mark’s version of a particular teaching, event or parable with how Matthew and Luke redacted the version to meet their theological intentions. However, historically speaking the present approach is to promote the four-source theory which states that Mark was the first Gospel to be written.

Therefore, as discovered within the narrative, Mark promotes his theological understandings as a way to address the needs of the receiving community. Throughout the fictional discussion and debates of this story then, a pointed attempt will be made to bring out the following with the hope to clarify Mark’s specific point of view. The major points are:

  • The Sitz im Leben - This is an interesting term that roughly translated means "life setting", or the context in which a text has been created and its function and purpose at that time. This will be dealt with in the next posting.

  • What are the main themes in Mark?

  • How does Mark understand God and his role?

  • How does Mark understand Jesus and his role?

  • How does Mark understand the Holy Spirit and his role?

  • How is the death of Jesus to be understood?

  • How does Mark contrast the coming of Jesus with the religious leaders of his day?

  • What is Mark’s viewpoint of the Roman’s and their established authority within Judaism?

  • What does Jesus mean when he talks about the Kingdom of God?

  • What role do the disciples play in Mark’s narrative and why does he present them as not understanding Jesus? How does Mark contrast the behavior of the disciples with people who live on the margins of society?

  • How does Mark establish Jesus coming to redefine the Jewish ceremonial practices and beliefs about the Law?

  • What are the responsibilities of the receiving community of Mark’s gospel as well as all believers?

These are just some of the questions that will be expressed throughout the course of the dialogue and debate of the three main characters of the story.

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Sitz im Leben is an interesting term used in the biblical criticism field. It’s a German term which means ‘setting in life’. Thus it refers to the social, ethnic, and cultural life setting of a partic

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