Here are resources for the book of Mark.
The Via Emmaus Reading Plan
- Reading for Scripture Saturation: Introducing the Via Emmaus Bible Reading Plan
- How to Use the Via Emmaus Bible Reading Plan
Reading Mark Two, Four, or More Times
The easiest way (mathematically-speaking) to break up the book is break up the book according to the number of days you are reading. Because Mark is 16 chapters, you can read one chapter a day and get through the book (almost) twice in the month. However, if you read 2–3 chapters a day, you can read Mark every week. Certainly, this is one of those books that can be and should be read multiple times in a month. Moreover, it would be a good book to read in one-sitting.
Reading Mark with Others
At the same time, because Mark is shorter, it gives you a chance to read this book with other books. For instance, you could read Mark along with another gospel to note the similarities and differences. Or you could read Mark and a couple Gnostic gospels, to see why the former is truly inspired and the latter is not. Or you could read Mark in English and add to that readings in Greek. The options for supplementary reading are enlarged this month, because this book is shorter.
Reading Mark Intentionally
Whenever you are reading a book in the Bible, you should attempt to understand its organization. The videos below help with this, as does this outline from the ESV Study Bible.
- Introduction (Mark 1:1–15)
- Demonstration of Jesus’ Authority (Mark 1:16–8:26)
- Jesus’ early Galilean ministry (Mark 1:16–3:12)
- Jesus’ later Galilean ministry (Mark 3:13–6:6)
- Work beyond Galilee (Mark 6:7–8:26)
- Testing Jesus’ Authority in Suffering (Mark 8:27–16:8)
- Journey to Jerusalem (Mark 8:27–10:52)
- Entering and judging Jerusalem (Mark 11:1–13:37)
- Death and resurrection in Jerusalem (Mark 14:1–16:8)
In this outline you can something of how the book is organized. But you also learn something of the twin ideas of servant and king. In the beginning of Mark, the Evangelist proves that Jesus is the true king of Israel. And in the second half of Mark, he shows how this King is the suffering servant. This dual theme reveals how Christ fulfills the book of Isaiah, which also presents the king of Israel as the one who will die for his people (see Isaiah 53).
Again, seeing the arrangement of the book, helps us understand its message, as well as its theological message. So make sure you read Mark intentionally looking for its literary structure.
Reading Mark Theologically
One final way to engage Mark is to read and understand it’s theological message. This could be done by reading one of these two books.
- Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark by Rikki Watts
- The Cross at a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel by Peter Bolt
Or, you could do some other studies in Mark’s Gospel. For instance, the three courses on Mark offered by The Gospel Coalition are really helpful.
More generally, when it comes to reading the Bible, a theological approach to reading is one that strives to know and understand and love the God of Scripture. Instead of just learning facts, dates, people, and places, a theological reading strives to know how all of these factual details reveal the living God. In truth, we should always be reading theologically. Whether you are a pastor or a new believer, knowing God is what Scripture is for. And in this month, to help you read Mark theologically, I am listing a number of helpful articles.
These articles are culled from two places: (1) The Gospel Coalition, which has a “course” for every book of the Bible and (2) Via Emmaus. If you have written or read other good articles, please put them in the comments. I will read them and add them.
- Three Courses on Mark (The Gospel Coalition) — This is the place to begin, as they have a full “course” covering the structure, genre, and theology of Matthew.
- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: Reading Each Evangelist on Their Own Terms and Seeing How Each Reads the Old Testament by David Schrock
- Jesus and ‘Those Who Are With Him’: 1 Samuel, Mark 2, and Two Kinds of Typology by David Schrock
- The Putrefied Priesthood of Jesus’ Day, or Why Mark’s Gospel Calls for a New Priest
- Seeing the Grace of Christ (Better) Through the Chiasm of Mark 6:7–8:30 by David Schrock
- Spiritual Blindness Takes Jesus Time to Cure: A Scriptural Meditation on Mark 8 by David Schrock
- Reading the Transfiguration on Mount Sinai: A Comparison Between Exodus 24 and Mark 9 by David Schrock
- Reading Mark 13 in Context: Seeing 16 Connections between Jesus’s Olivet Discourse and His Death and Ascension by David Schrock
Videos Overviewing Mark
Audio Teachings and Sermons
- Help Me Teach the Bible: Mark with Nancy Guthrie and Derek Thomas
- The Message of Mark: Jesus, the Son of Man by Mark Dever
If you have other recommendations for Mark — audio, video, or articles — please share in the comments.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds