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Gospel of Mark: Authorship and Key Themes

Mark, one of the four canonical New Testament Gospels, is important to Christian tradition. Scholars have debated who composed this gospel. John Mark, a friend of Peter, wrote the Gospel of Mark according to mythology. Mark reportedly recorded Peter’s lessons. Early church leaders Irenaeus and Papias approved this. Today’s academics can’t verify this story because there are no early independent witnesses, and the gospel looks to have an authorial attribution. Academics struggle to establish the gospel’s conventional authorship due to its anonymous writing and the lack of strong evidence linking John Mark to it. The gospel lacks authorial affirmations like those in John’s Gospel or Paul’s writings, making its authorship uncertain. The Gospel of Mark’s multi-authorship confuses authorship (Harris, 2019). Mark’s themes imply it was composed following the Jewish Revolt against Rome in 66 CE. Mark 13:1-2 foretells the Temple’s destruction. Jesus’ detailed account of the Temple’s destruction makes the gospel seem like it occurred already. Mark wrote after 70 CE. Mark emphasizes Jesus and his followers’ suffering and persecution. Early Christian congregations endured persecution from Jewish and Roman authorities during the Jewish Revolt. The gospel was presumably written following the Jewish Revolt when violence and persecution arose.

Mark mentions the Son of Man 14 times. Mark often calls Jesus the Son of Man to emphasize his nature and purpose. Mark emphasizes Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection in the first category by depicting him as a suffering figure. This depiction suggests that Jesus is the Jewish messianic figure, corresponding with Isaiah 53’s suffering servant. Mark’s Son of Man suffers, like Isaiah’s. Mark 8:31 states, “He [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering.” Isaiah 53 envisions a servant who is mocked, rejected, and slain in vengeance for the people’s sins (Harris, 2019). Mark’s picture of Jesus as the suffering Son of Man matches Jewish expectations of a messianic figure sharing others’ pains and Isaiah’s redemptive themes. Mark calls the Son of Man powerful in the second category. Mark 13:26 says the Son of Man will arrive on clouds with power and splendor. This portrayal matches Daniel 7’s apocalyptic imagery, notably verses 13–14. Daniel depicts the Son of Man as a celestial entity who gets authority, glory, and eternal rule from the Ancient of Days. Mark uses Daniel’s imagery to characterize the holy Son of Man. The Son of Man is associated with divine authority and judgment due to Jewish apocalyptic expectations. Mark’s elevated Son of Man matches messianic dreams of a great, triumphant leader who would establish God’s sovereignty on earth. Mark describes the Son of Man as the judge who will administer divine justice at the end of the third era. I Enoch’s Similitudes of Enoch (1 Enoch 37-71) resemble Mark’s notion of the Son of Man as the last judge. I Enoch states, “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” The Son of Man is a righteous judge who punishes the wicked and establishes a new order. Mark describes Jesus as the Son of Man who will judge and emerge in splendor, which fits Jewish eschatological desires like I Enoch.

Jesus spoke parables about the kingdom of God. Parables are figurative or narrative stories containing moral or spiritual lessons. Parables are stories with vivid characters, settings, and morals. Parables use analogies from everyday life to teach morals or spirituality. These tales enthrall listeners and make them consider the subject (Evans, 2003). Jesus used parables to explain the kingdom of God. Parables make spiritual truths clear and unforgettable. Jesus utilized common language and familiar images to make his parables understandable to a large audience. Jesus used simple activities like spreading seeds, retrieving lost sheep, and preparing bread to teach complicated theological principles (Harris, 2019). Parables can have unexpected twists or discordant components that challenge preconceptions and encourage contemplation. They encouraged audience members to question their beliefs. Jesus asked his listeners to think about the kingdom of God to improve their perspective. Many parables have several interpretations, helping listeners understand them better. Parables also conveyed spiritual truths using symbols. Jesus wanted his tales to challenge listeners and draw them into his teachings. Parables were summonsed to action that made listeners reflect on their behavior. Jesus’ parables encouraged judgment rather than knowledge. Jesus wanted reflection to bring people to God’s kingdom. Parables hid and revealed facts. They concealed truths from those with closed minds or hardened hearts and communicated deeper meanings to those open to Jesus’ message. Jesus often used parables to show people’s spiritual blindness.

The four New Testament Gospels include Matthew. Modern academics disagree whether Matthew penned the verse. Academics disagree that an apostle wrote the book for several reasons. First, the Gospel of Matthew is not the work of a Galilean fisherman like Matthew. The gospel’s use of Mark’s Gospel as a key source supports the author’s use of an earlier written narrative. The author’s knowledge of Jewish customs, rituals, and scriptures suggests a well-educated Jewish background rather than fishermen. The Gospel of Matthew’s concentration on Jewish issues and fulfillment of Old Testament predictions suggests the author was a Jewish Christian with great knowledge of Jewish scripture (Evans, 2003). This concentration on Jewish issues and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies suggest the Gospel of Matthew’s author, date, and place. The author’s scrupulous attention to Jewish legal and religious concerns in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and other frequent allusions to the Torah reveal their grasp of Jewish religious traditions (Harris, 2019). Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 22:7; 24:2) mentions Jerusalem’s fall and the Temple’s destruction, suggesting it was written after 70 CE. The early Christian community’s struggles with the Jewish Revolt and temple destruction shaped the church’s growth. The gospel’s concern for Jewish-Christian relations, the synagogue’s existence, and its stress on Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish dreams are all compatible with a time when Judaism and Christianity were still separating. The gospel’s focus on the church’s international mission and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20) implies that Christianity was reaching out to Gentiles. Post-70 CE, the early Christian movement began to separate from Judaism.

In one of the New Testament’s four canonical Gospels, Luke’s themes and concerns reveal its author’s theological and creative goals. Luke stresses Jesus’ compassion for Samaritans, women, tax collectors, and convicts beyond Judaism (Evans, 2003). The Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son stories demonstrate that God can reach anybody. Luke cares for abused, deprived, and needy people. The gospel shows Jesus’ and God’s love for the poor.

In contrast to Jesus’ mission statement in Luke 4:18–19, the Beatitudes in Luke 6:20–23 bless the hungry, homeless, and widowed. Luke emphasizes social fairness and structural inequalities. Luke defies gender stereotypes by giving women major roles in the Gospel (Brown et al., 1990). Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna are crucial to Jesus’ birth story. The parables and experiences with women emphasize their faith, discipleship, and value in God’s kingdom. In Luke 7:36–50, a woman anoints Jesus’ feet. In Luke 24:1–12, women observe the empty tomb (Harris, 2019). Luke emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s significance in Jesus and early Christianity. The gospel emphasizes the Spirit’s presence and direction from Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:35) to his baptism (Luke 3:22) and his empowering of the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Luke uses Jesus as an example of Christian prayer and stresses particular pleas throughout the gospel. Luke emphasizes repentance, forgiveness, and God’s goodness. The gospel emphasizes forgiveness and repentance and God’s kindness and restitution. The Prodigal Son, Lost Coin, and Lost Sheep parables demonstrate God’s love and goodness. Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke while traveling with Paul. Modern experts disagree on its legality. This article will support and disprove the claim that Paul’s traveling companion Luke composed Luke’s gospel.

Luke’s Gospel prologue (Luke 1:1–4) describes the author as having “carefully investigated everything” and writing a logical narrative. Paul’s writings allude to “Luke, the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24), implying a friendship. The Acts of the Apostles and Gospel of Luke are usually the second and third books in a two-volume work. The two volumes read well together, suggesting one author. Acts 16:10–17, 20:5–21:18, and 27:1-28:16 use “we” and designate Luke as the book’s author, showing involvement. Early Christian texts and church leaders, including Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Irenaeus, endorse Luke writing the gospel. Some academics say stylistic and grammatical distinctions between the Gospel of Luke and the Pauline texts imply separate authorship. They emphasize differences in terminology, writing style, and theology (Harris, 2019). After meeting Paul, Luke’s Gospel contains historical and theological facts. The gospel’s references to the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44) and other historical events have led some scholars to date its origin after 70 CE. “Q” (Quelle) and the Gospel of Mark are among Luke’s literary sources. Luke may have coordinated these materials.


Scholars dispute the proof that Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke. Despite internal evidence confirming Luke’s affiliation with Paul and Luke-Acts’ authorship, stylistic contrasts and the theological-historical setting have led some scholars to doubt the conventional attribution. The gospel’s dependence on older sources and particular writing style complicates the authorship question. Lack of evidence may leave the authorship debate unanswered. Many academics and religious groups still attribute the Gospel to Luke, Paul’s traveling companion. Readers can connect with the gospel’s presentation of Jesus and redemption regardless of Luke’s authorship.


Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E. (1990). The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Prentice Hall.

Evans, C. A. (2003). The Gospel of Luke. Cambridge University Press.

Harris, S. (2019). The New Testament: A Student’s Introduction (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US).


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