The Berean Expositor
Volume 36 - Page 85 of 243
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The distinctive character of both "Mark" and "Luke".
pp. 105 - 109
After detailing a series of differences observable between the Gospel of Mark with
that of Matthew and Luke, A. W. F. Blunt, B.D., in the "Clarendon Bible", says of
Mark's gospel:
"Thus the Marcan Jesus is neither, as in Matthew, the giver of a new law, nor as in
Luke, the preacher of a catholic paternity . . . . . His portrait is drawn with the utmost
economy of line and colour. Practically all is subordinated to the emphasizing of His
Messianic intention. First He announces the Messianic kingdom, then He admits His
Messianic position, then He publicly assesses the Messianic role, goes up to Jerusalem to
die, and dies for His Messianic claim."
We appreciate the note in the "Companion Bible", p.1381, which reads:
"The Four Gospels are treated in the `Companion Bible' not as four culprits brought
up on a charge of fraud, but as four witnesses whose testimony is to be believed."
The difference between these four witnesses however must wait until, as in the
foregoing articles on Matthew, we have attained some idea of the structural outline of the
gospel itself. Blackwall in his Sacred Classics wrote of Mark's Gospel:
"Simplicity and conciseness are its characteristics; for the majesty of the subject, the
variety of the actions recorded, and the surprising circumstances attending them together
with the important doctrines and precepts laid down, this is the shortest, the clearest, the
most marvelous, and at the same time the most satisfactory history in the world."
Written across the Gospel according to Mark are the words recorded in 10: 45, thus:
"The Son of Man came (1: 1-13)
To minister (1: 14 - 8: 30),
And to give His life a ransom for many (8: 31 - 16:)",
Which three sub-divisions are summed up by Campbell Morgan as:
Sanctification, . . . Service, . . . Sacrifice.
Like Matthew, who was also called Levi, Mark is referred to as "John whose surname
is Mark" (Acts 12: 12, 25), and the Latin surname suggests some association with a
Roman family. Mark has a fair sprinkling of Latin words; he translates the meaning of
the Aramaic expressions introduced and explains Jewish customs. The fact that Mark
wrote for the Romans would explain the omission of the genealogy and the general
absence of quotation from the Old Testament Scriptures. The passage quoted at the
beginning of the Gospel is the only exception, for the quotation given in 15: 28 is
omitted in the R.V. Writing for Romans--who were men of action and whose ideals
differed materially from both those of the Greeks and the Hebrews--Mark emphasizes