CHAPTER VII
THE GOSPEL OF MARK

To discuss fully the Gospel according to Mark, as one of Luke's sources is now called, would require more space than the size and proportion of the present volume warrant. It might seem to need no discussion. It lies before the reader in his Bible and he can examine it for himself. It is already familiar to him, trebly familiar from the fact that most of it reappears in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Familiarity, however, often obscures the nature of a book. Much is taken for granted about Mark, derived from current usage or ancient tradition, that is not well founded, while much that is most obvious about it is often overlooked. Its own individuality is blurred by confusion with its parallels. For an understanding of its parallels it is of primary importance. It was perhaps the longest single source for Luke's writings; it is certainly the best known. It provides substantial blocks of material in his first volume and may have influenced him where he was not actually incorporating it. It furnishes the modern student the parallel by which to discover and test the literary methods of the third evangelist. The questions of Mark's origin illustrate by being raised at an earlier stage the kind of questions that beset the study of the making of Luke-Acts. For these reasons, some consideration of the Gospel of Mark is justified.

The Gospel of Mark began with the baptizing ministry of John the Baptist. The caption which precedes this, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son

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