Thursday, March 5, 2009

Where Did Mark Get His Material?

For those who like to dig a little deeper in God's Word, here is a challenging question. We are studying the Gospel of Mark. Where did Mark get his material for writing the gospel? The dictation theory simply states that Mark (and every biblical writer) got his material straight from God in dictation fashion. God spoke it, Mark wrote it, and now we have it in our Bibles. Very few people hold to this view.

Now, keep in mind that what I'm about to blog to you in no way minimizes one's belief in the inspiration of Scriptures. I believe that every verse from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:20 is God-breathed, fully inspired. But God chose to use human beings, each with their own personality and background, to write the Bible.

Most New Testament scholars believe that Mark's gospel was the first one written and that Matthew and Luke borrowed from Mark. There are tons of evidence to support this view. But where did Mark get his material?

We don't know for sure. But there is evidence that Mark had a very close relationship with Peter. Who could have provided more first-hand information about Jesus' ministry than Peter? So, many believe that Mark got much of his material from his close friend Peter.

Interestingly, Mark introduces us to Simon (Peter) in the first chapter. He is the first disciple mentioned. In the whole gospel, he used the name Simon six times, Peter eighteen times, and Simon Peter once. Mark has more references to Peter in proportion to length than any other Gospel. This fact might show interest in Peter; but it doesn't provide evidence that Peter was his source of information. We will have to leave this issue unsettled.

By the way, did no one challenge me on my Revelation citation above? Just checking your Bible knowledge. The last verse of the Bible is Revelation 22:21 (not 22:20). And, yes, I believe verse 21 is inspired also.

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Too Nice for Your Own Good

Many of you know that last spring I started using spare time to sell used books on Amazon. Why? To fulfill my REACH pledge and to pay off some debts. Anyway I picked up an interesting title at a thrift store--Too Nice for Your Own Good: How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes by Duke Robinson. I confess that I sold it before I read it, but not before scanning through the book because the title intrigued me.

So, I can't actually recommend the book. But it sure looked intriguing. Are all your relationships in perfect condition? I didn't think so. I got convicted just reading the chapter titles. Anyway here are the 9 things Robinson discusses:

  • Trying to be perfect
  • Taking on too much
  • Not saying what you want
  • Suppressing your anger
  • Reasoning with irrationality
  • Telling little lies
  • Giving advice
  • Rescuing others
  • Protecting those in grief

If any of you read it, let me know if the content is as good as the headings.

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