The Gospel of Mark is the earliest Gospel written. It comes from approximately 55 AD. It commonly has two endings, the shorter ending of Mark where the women run away and say nothing, and the longer ending with the resurrection appearances. They are both listed in the bible for scholars have yet to be able to determine the authenticity and veracity of which ending is from the author. The Gospel of Mark is replete with Chiastic structures, known as Marken Sandwiches, but also forms a larger Chiastic Structure encompassing the whole text.
A Chiastic Literary Structure is part of Jewish writing and is designed specifically to point to the important components or the centre of the text. Each component has a mirror component. A and A’ are mirrors of each other. For instance, Jonh points to Jesus at the beginning of the text and the young man points to Jesus at the end of the text.
Following the Chiastic Structure in Mark, the passion prediction becomes the epicentre of the Gospel. I find this particularly interesting especially in light of the shorter ending of Mark where the “women flee and say nothing.”
The Gospel of Mark is a literary challenge. Have you the faith to go ahead to Galilee. Have the faith to believe in the words of Christ, that the Son of Man must suffer and die before he is to be raised from the dead and ascend into heaven. Have you the faith to believe in the resurrection? The text for me is symbolic of the faith that is required of each Christian. It stands in place of Thomas. Can you believe without seeing?
We do hope you will join us as we look deeply into the library known as the Bible. This month we will be meeting on January 31st at the Huether Hotel downstairs in the Malt room at 7:30 pm.