dj-paine-mP_r6G_yatU-unsplashHere are resources for the book of Mark.

The Via Emmaus 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.

  1. Introduction (Mark 1:1–15)
  2. Demonstration of Jesus’ Authority (Mark 1:16–8:26)
    1. Jesus’ early Galilean ministry (Mark 1:16–3:12)
    2. Jesus’ later Galilean ministry (Mark 3:13–6:6)
    3. Work beyond Galilee (Mark 6:7–8:26)
  3. Testing Jesus’ Authority in Suffering (Mark 8:27–16:8)
    1. Journey to Jerusalem (Mark 8:27–10:52)
    2. Entering and judging Jerusalem (Mark 11:1–13:37)
    3. 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.

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.

Videos Overviewing Mark

Audio Teachings and Sermons

If you have other recommendations for Mark — audio, video, or articles — please share in the comments.

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

Photo by DJ Paine on Unsplash