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LifeCode 2-10-18

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Bible Survey of the Book of Mark


1. He was the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10)

2. He lived in Jerusalem with his mother, Mary (Acts 12:12) The church met in his home.

3. He went with Paul and his cousin on the first missionary journey (Acts13:5

4. Mark left the others after their time in Cyprus (which as the homeland of Barnabas. Acts 4:36), perhaps because he did not approve of Paul taking over the leadership.

5. He went back to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13)

6. In Jerusalem he would have had plenty of opportunity to talk with Peter.

7. It might even have been Peter who first brought Mark to faith in Jesus: Peter calls him ‘my son Mark’ in 1 Peter 5:13

8. It is generally accepted that Mark wrote down the good news as he heard it from Peter.

9. It is sometimes suggested that Mark was the young man mentioned in Mark 14:51,52, but there is no way of proving this.


It is probably the earliest gospel, written between AD 65 and AD 70, before the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed. Matthew and Luke both seem to have used Mark’s Gospel


Mark shows us Jesus-with-a-secret. In Mark’s Gospel we find Jesus discouraging publicity…

1. Demons are commanded to keep silent (1:25,34; 3:12)

2. Those who have ben healed by Jesus are told not to talk about it (1:44; 5:43; 7:36).

3. Jesus’ own followers are told not to tell others that he is the Messiah (8:30)

4. And Jesus tells his followers privately about ‘the secret of the kingdom of God’ (4:10-12). So how do we interpret this idea of secrecy? The problem for Jesus was that the Jewish people had the wrong idea about the Messiah. As Jesus confronts their wrong idea we have.

     1. Not approval of it because the popular idea of the Messiah was political and human, instead of spiritual and divine.

     2. Not denial of it because Jesus was the Messiah his may miracles (at least 17 are recorded by Mark) witnessed to that.

     3. But re-formulation of it because Jesus had to show them a serving, saving and suffering Messiah who was fully man but fully God.


For more on the book of Mark get the following book “Opening up God’s word the compact survey of the bible” by John Balchin on Amazon for as low as 10 cents.

Bible Survey of the Book of Matthew

WHY THE GOSPEL WAS WRITTEN. Matthew has a number of clear reasons for writing his Gospel.

  1. To show the connection between Jesus and the Old Testament
  2. To record the extensive teaching Christ gave to his disciples.
  3. To set out how Christ expected his disciples to behave.
  4. To answer questions raised by members of the church, eg. About the early life of Jesus or his coming again.
  5. To speak about the way the church should be run.

THE AUTHOR.    The Gospel does not claim to have been written by Matthew but early tradition firmly states that he was its author. We know little of him, since he is only mentioned in 9:9 and 10:3, except that he was a tax collector who was personally called by Jesus. His name means ‘gift of God’. Elsewhere he is called Lei (Mark 2:14)

THE READERS.  The issues which concern Matthew most suggest that the majority of his readers would have been Jews. Most would already be Christians but he may be writing to persuade others that Jesus was the Messiah the Hews had expected for so long.

Yet he does not ignore the Gentiles altogether and he may be writing with a view to answering some of their questions about the Jewish origin of their faith.

WHEN WAS IT WRITTEN? We cannot say when it was written. It must have been written after Mark wrote his Gospel since Matthew is familiar with Mark., But it cannot be to late because the problems of the Jewish Christians with which he deals gradually became less important. Many dates between AD 50 AND 90 HAVE BEEN SUGGESTED.


  1. Matthew is a very orderly Gospel. It sandwiches section of Jesus’ teaching between sections describing his activities.
  2. In his desire to show that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah he frequently quotes for the Old Testament. There are 65 references in all to the Old Testament.
  3. Matthew speaks about the kingdom of heaven (33 times), which is appropriate for the Hewish background he is writing from whereas other Gospels speak about the kingdom of God.
  4. Alone among the Gospels Matthew speaks of the church He writes as a pastor dealing with questions and problems

For more on the book of Matthew get the following book “Opening up God’s word the compact survey of the bible” by John Balchin on Amazon for as low as 10 cents.