Talk:Gospel of Mark

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Where all Jesus's apostles children?

I read something elsewhere about the question if John was a child, and now see Mark being considered a child. Is there any reference to a theologian who could back this up? Looking at one's writing style may be misleading - the material being written for a younger audience by an older individual would also have this effect. Alternatively, writing for the poor and less educated adults in the Roman Empire, hoping to bring them the Good News would have the same effect. Using this line of reasoning that simpler writing is from a younger audience, CS Lewis would be potentially a child rather than the 50 years old he was at the time of the writing... or Dr Seus would be considered an infant with his writing style.

To me, making such wild assertions about the age of historical figures without any evidence whatsoever to back them up other than one person's reading of selected passages compromises the integrity of a trustworthy encyclopedia. --JohnnyS 21:18, 11 August 2009 (EDT)

Peter was not a child. But the evidence is overwhelming that Mark was. Peter even referred to Mark as his son! Mark's mother was a close friend of the Apostles, who were themselves young, suggesting that Mark was quite young.
Participate in analyzing the evidence with us. All you need is an open mind!--Andy Schlafly 21:23, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
JohnnyS, you mention suspicion that John was not a child, but consider: John was a disciple of Jesus in apprx. 30-33 AD, and it is widely beleived that the Gospel of John was written by John 'around' 90 AD, and given life expectancies in those days, John couldn't have been an adult when Jesus was alive! Since John was the brother of James, this also tells us something about Jame's age at the time.
There are of course disciples who weren't children - Peter was a fisherman, Matthew a tax collector, so they were definitely adults. But that we can determine their age at all goes to counter your claim that giving approximate ages for historical figures constitute "wild assertions."
Finally, it should be noted that Mark wasn't an apostle - although he was definitely a close disciple, since he hosted Jesus in his home. JacobB 21:43, 11 August 2009 (EDT)
So a close disciple of Jesus and a child owned a home? Under the same dating system, the Gospel of Matthew was written between 75 AD and 80 AD. To have the Gospel of Mark written between 60 and 80 AD doesn't put him any more a child than Matthew. To have a 20 year old (with a 40 year old mother) in AD 30 living another 40 years is not unreasonable. --JohnnyS 22:28, 12 August 2009 (EDT)
Mark's mother would presumably been about the age of Jesus, or younger. So perhaps she was 30. Today one would expect her son to be less than 5 years old. In those days, an age of 10 for Mark would be typical. If Mark had been much older, then he would have been an Apostle. He wasn't.--Andy Schlafly 22:54, 12 August 2009 (EDT)
Where is the reference for the age of Mark's mother? Why does she have to be the same age as Jesus? Why would Mark have been an Apostle if he was older? As mentioned by JacobB above, didn't Jesus have a number of disciples with no other criteria than they follow him (age not being a factor)? John 19:38 has St Joseph of Arimathea as a disciple of Christ, and yet he owned a tomb (not something a child would own). I really don't see any indication for age for any of these individuals. --JohnnyS 23:04, 12 August 2009 (EDT)

JohnnyS, the evidence is overwhelming. An open mind is required to see it. If Mark had been an adult, then:

  • he likely would have been an Apostle
  • he would not have likely run away naked when confronted
  • his Gospel would have been more adult-like, as the others were
  • his mother would have likely been too old to be a close friend of Jesus
  • Mark would not likely have acted so impetuously in releasing his writing (Gospel) first, and in leaving Paul
  • Mark would not have been so repetitious in his writing, as in using the same term more than 40 times

Proof in the sense of 2+2=4 is not available. But the evidence is overwhelming, and your resistance to accepting it begs this question: why do you insist on doubting it?--Andy Schlafly 23:16, 12 August 2009 (EDT)

  • There are other disciples who are landholder (and tomb holders) who were not Apostles. Age was not a factor.
  • I assume you are referring to Mark 14:51-52... and if you were wearing a linen cloth and all the others ran and people garbed you, you wouldn't leave your clothes and run off too? I would - better to be alive and naked than at the hands of Jesus's abductors too.
  • Elsewhere you stated that John's Gospel was childlike. Mark's Gospel is simple and concise - not childlike.
  • I have friends who are twice my age, and half my age. Jesus was known for his compassion and I would be surprised if he selected his close friends based on his age.
  • How is it impetuously to release a Gospel earlier in an effort to get the Good News out to people as soon as possible?
  • Repetition is common in ancient works as an aid for memorization. "Rosy-fingered dawn" was repeated again and again by Homer in the Odyssey. Also be sure to not confuse using the same Greek term with the same English term. Agapaō (Strongs G25 as in Matthew 5:44) phileō (Strongs G5368 as in Matthew 23:6) are both translated as "Love".
--JohnnyS 23:40, 12 August 2009 (EDT)
I would also point to the "if he was older he would have been an Apostle" - St. John, the Apostle was an Apostle and yet you put him at 13 years old. So, apparently age isn't a factor in the selection of the Apostles. --JohnnyS 00:00, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

JohhnyS, are you the desperate atheist that paid Richard Carrier $5,000 to attempt to refute JP Holding's work the Impossible Faith?

JohnnyS, are you Johnny Skeptic? In other words, are you the desperate atheist that paid Richard Carrier $5,000 to attempt to refute JP Holding's work the Impossible Faith? I am referring to this: "An atheist paid $5,000 to have Richard Carrier, a writer who contributes articles for Internet Infidels, write a work which argued against Holding's essay The Impossible Faith.[1][2] conservative 04:10, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

Mark's Dates

I took a Milton course last year and just finished the book "The Origin of Satan" by Elaine Pagels and it seems that many biblical scholars and historians believe the author of Mark was writing sometimes around the revolt of 66CE. Has anybody else encountered this idea? I find it rather compelling and was curious whether or not a more distinct section on "Authorship" or "Possible Historical Context" should be added. --Sardonac

That might be a date for the final form of the Gospel of Mark, but surely he wrote drafts well beforehand.--Andy Schlafly 19:47, 15 August 2009 (EDT)
Well Pagels cites the fact some of the words and references he uses, in the context of the revolt, take on a different connotation. For example, Jesus remarks that he was arrested like a common thief or bandit when the same word has been found to refer to seditionists. Another specific examples is the portrayal of Pontius Pilate as a judge who isn't nearly so much to blame as the Jews. This, in the context of the revolt, shows Mark writing while bearing in the the Romans would read his work. This angle is highlighted by other accounts of Pilate (non-biblical ones) depicting him as a cruel judge that was so unjust that he'd often crucify without trial. What I'm getting at is that although the bible contains the message of Christ our savior the Bible has passed through the pen of man, the motivations of man, and the history of man so I've always believed certain aspects of date/time/scale may be inaccurate. However such things don't truly dilute the message of Christ so it seems important to contextualize the message in the messengers and their environment. Yeah, sorry for the ramble. As for drafts I'm not sure the Gospel of Mark would have been written in the form of drafts. I figure the author, who may be the "Mark" we know, took notes over a long period and eventually compiled them for publication but was also very aware of events during his time. That meant writing while keeping in mind the Romans were looking for undercover seditionists, the Jewish Priests were gunning to put down the dissenting Christians, and with emphasis on the larger picture of Christ not actually being dead. --Sardonac
2000 years ago people were much less politically sensitive than they are today, as there was no "media" then. Even today, with all the media, many person care little about political subtleties. I doubt half of Americans even know who the Vice President is, for good reason. Attempts to explain or distort writings by average people like Mark based on politics are without evidence or justification. So I politely decline your attempt to put a political gloss on Mark's candid, simple, and straightforward eyewitness account.--Andy Schlafly 12:07, 16 August 2009 (EDT)
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