Gospel of Mark Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- How does Mark characterize Jesus's attitude toward various aspects of Judaism, like its sacred scriptures, the laws of the Torah, Sabbath observance, issues of purity, food regulations, practices in Jerusalem's Temple, and general leadership? You know, just to name a few.
- What final grade would you give the twelve disciples on their report cards? Do they totally flunk out or can they recover from their errors? Do they deserve scorn and criticism or sympathy and emulation?
- What role do Jews and non-Jews (a.k.a. "Gentiles") play at various points in Mark's story? While Jesus is living? After the empty tomb?
- What is Mark's sense (or concept) of God? To what degree is God absent or present? How does God stand in relation to the other characters? Here's a list for you: Jesus, demons, supernatural messengers, the disciples, the crowds, minor characters, Jewish leaders, and non-Jews? How does God communicate with all these other figures?
- Over a cup of coffee, you ask Mark what he thinks of the Roman Empire. What would he say?
- What is the significance of Mark's ending? When does the story "really" end? For help with the key issues here, take a look at "What's up with the ending?" in the "Analysis" section of this guide. Then duke it out with the best of 'em.
- Why does Mark include the detail that a follower escaped naked upon Jesus's arrest (14:51-52)?
- How would you choreograph the dance of Herodias's daughter (a.k.a. Salome) for a play or movie (6:21-29)? For examples, click your way to the Salome de Carlos Saura and the Salome of Rita Hayworth.
- Read Chapter 13. Where do you place Mark's first recipients in the timeline of apocalyptic events? Where do you locate us now almost two-thousand years later?
- Imagine that God answers Jesus when he cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (15:34 NRSV). What would he have said? From Mark's perspective? From your perspective?
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