Intro to Mark

The book bears the name of the Disciple who wrote it, John-Mark. John-Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (close friend and companion of Paul). Most likely Mark wrote this Gospel from the first-hand account of Peter (this is attested to in Papias’ writing in 140 A.D.). Even Justin Martyr referred to the Gospel of Mark as the “memoirs of Peter”.
 
Probably written around 50-70 A.D., Mark was to Peter what Barnabas was to Paul. He would have had extensive first-hand knowledge on the life of Jesus through the eyes of Peter. Mark, unlike Matthew and John wrote primarily to a Gentile audience. He even took time to explain in his Gospel Jewish customs and makes far fewer references to the Old Testament. 
 
Mark’s primary focus was on Jesus as the suffering servant. He pays much closer attention to Jesus’ works, service, and ministry more than His teaching. Omitting the ancestrial lines of Jesus (which would have been more important to the Jewish reader) he clearly focuses on Jesus’ humanity and starts his Gospel with the baptism of Jesus and quickly moves into His temptation, and His calling of the 12. 
 
Although short, Mark covers almost as many miracles and works as does Luke. The perspective of Jesus that Mark’s Gospel brings is a wonderful comfort to the Christian believer that Jesus does know exactly what each of us goes through in our own humanities on a daily basis.
 
Mark spent much of his time building churches in Egypt, Libya, and other parts of the northern African region. He was martyred in Alexandria where he did most of his preaching.