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Excerpt from Part II: Features of Mark:

Mark has nο birth narrative; it simply begins with announcing "The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God' s Son" (Mark 1 : 1 ) . Good news, of course, is what the word gospel means. As a herald would sound a declaration of the emperor, so the first of the Gospel writers declares the good news of what God has done through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. This is similar also to Paul's language. Yet Mark does far more than outline the Christ Events; Mark also constructs an engaging story of God's redemptive work ίη the ministry and work of Jesus as the Christ. While it is difficult to know what parts of Mark's story of Jesus originate with tradition being used and what is a factor of the narrator's crafting, Mark groups stories ίη threes, includes both individuated reports and general summaries of Jesus's ministry, and tends to group material together ίη terms of categories (agrarian parables, controversy stories and dialogues, types of miracles, judgment sayings, and eschatological discourses). One of Mark's most interesting features is inclusion and intercalation: the posing of one theme, interrupted by another, and then followed by the original theme. Ίhis shows a constructive intentionality underlying Mark's narrative approach as an original gospel narrative.


Originally published in From Crisis to Christ: A Contextual Introduction to the New Testament, Abingdon Press, Nashville: 2014.