Gospel of Mark Audio Commentary

Mark Chapter 1

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Mark Chapter 1 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-07-2011

There is nothing at all in the Gospel of Mark which explicitly indicates its authorship. However many of the earliest Christian writers have not only attributed the gospel to Mark, but have also said that Mark recorded Peter's testimony, even calling him “Peter's interpreter”, in the words of the second-century Christian presbyter Irenaeus. This seems to indicate that Mark wrote the Greek which Peter may have related to him in Hebrew, however such a viewpoint is not entirely necessary, and the word may have simply been used more loosely of a transcriber and not necessarily of a translator. In other words, the statement does not by itself prove that Peter was not bilingual. Peter is mentioned 19 times in Mark's gospel, but that is not too frequent since he is mentioned just as often in Luke, and even more often in the gospels of Matthew and John. Yet in one place there is a special mention of Peter, where there really need not have been, and that is at 16:5-7 where it describes the women arriving at the tomb of Christ: “5 And having entered into the tomb they saw a youth sitting on the right clothed in a white robe, and they were astounded. 6 Then he says to them: 'Do not be astonished! You seek Yahshua the Nazarene who had been crucified. He has arisen, He is not here! Behold the place where they laid Him! 7 But you go tell His students and Petros that He goes on before you into Galilaia. There you shall see Him, just as He said to you!'” This special mention of Peter seems to support the testimony that the man who related the account to its writer was indeed Peter himself. Here are some of the ancient testimonies concerning the authorship of this gospel:

Mark Chapters 2 and 3

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Mark Chapters 2 through 3 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-14-2011

II 1 And entering again into Kapharnaoum, for days it was heard that He is in a house. 2 And many had gathered together so as no longer to have space, not even there by the door, and He spoke the Word to them. 3 And they come bringing to Him a paralytic being carried by four men. 4 And not being able to bring him forth to Him because of the crowd, they had taken off the roof where He was, and digging through lowered the cot upon which the paralytic laid. 

The men with the paralytic had “taken off the roof” and then “digging through” it they lowered the paralytic to where Christ was. The roof being described must be a thatched roof covered with ceramic tile, and the version of this account at Luke 5:19 tells us they were ceramic tiles. The tiles were expensive and surely were not broken. Digging trough the thatching must have made a mess, clouds of dust and dirt and straw dropping into the room below. Yet Christ did not take umbrage to the situation. Rather, He marveled before the crowd.

Mark Chapters 4 and 5

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Mark Chapters 4 through 5 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-21-2011

Here tonight we shall see, when we get to Mark chapter 5, that there are a couple of discrepancies in the chronology of events between Mark and Matthew, where Luke agrees with Mark, which are difficult to resolve. These do not, however, discredit the Gospel, once we realize the nature of the Gospel accounts and their purpose. At this point, Mark chapters 4 and 5 contains events found in Luke chapters 8 and 9, and also in Matthew chapters 8 and 9.

IV 1 And again He began to teach by the sea, and a very large crowd gathers to Him, so as for Him boarding into a vessel to sit in the sea, and all the crowd was by the sea upon the land.

In the ancient Greek world, it was very common for teachers of philosophy to have many followers, and to teach people in diverse places. In Acts chapter 19:9, we see a certain school of philosophy mentioned. Such schools were begun by private individuals who would attract - or perhaps already had – adherents to their philosophy. Sophists, Platonists, Epicureans, Stoics, Cynics, Gnostics, there were many different types of philosophical beliefs in the world at that time, and each had many followers and many teachers. Therefore if Christ had a few dozen followers, He would never have been so despised by the religious authorities in Judea, since it was quite normal for a philosopher to have and be followed by a few dozen students. Yet if Christ had hundreds, then hundreds more would have joined the crowd simply out of curiosity, if for nothing else, and it is not hard to imagine that there were thousands of people at many of His gatherings. By this, the official authorities would indeed feel threatened.

Mark Chapters 6 and 7

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Mark Chapters 6 and 7 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-28-2011

Before reading the first paragraph of Mark Chapter 6, it would be fitting to discuss what was customary to do on the Sabbath. It is obvious from many places in Scripture, that people gathered on the Sabbath to learn the Scripture. But it was apparently not that way from the beginning, where the command in Deuteronomy chapter 31 was to read the law to all the people once every seven years, in the year of release, on the Feast of Tabernacles.

Deuteronomy 31:10-13: 10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Mark Chapters 8 and 9

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Mark Chapters 8 and 9 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 11-04-2011

Discussing Mark last week I had made a radical comment concerning the blood brothers of Christ, that some of them were apostles. Here I will go over that again, because it is something which has not been discussed sufficiently, and due to a few inquiries I received, perhaps some people did not understand it.

The lists of apostles at Mark 3 and Matthew 10 agree: Simon Peter; James the son of Zebedee; John the brother of James; Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus; Lebbaeus Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananean; and Judas Iscariot.

In Luke chapter 6 there is a James mentioned with John who must be that same brother and son of Zebedee mentioned in Matthew and Mark. Yet in Luke's list Lebbaeus Thaddaeus – who is only mentioned twice, once each in the original lists of Matthew and Mark - is not mentioned and seems to have dropped out of sight, because he is never mentioned again.

To fill out the twelve, "Judas the brother of James" is mentioned in his place. In Luke's account in Acts we see mentioned “Petros and Iohannes, and Iakobos [James] and Andreas [Andrew was Peter's brother, James and John were the sons of Zebedee], Philippos and Thomas, Bartholomaios and Maththaios, Iakobos [James] son of Alphaios, and Simon the zealot [the Cananean] and Iouda the brother of Iakobos.” The lists in Matthew and Mark being early in Christ's ministry, Lebbaeus Thaddaeus must have dropped out at some point for some reason, and Jude the brother of James filled the list out to twelve again when Luke made his lists.

Mark Chapters 10 and 11

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Mark Chapters 10 and 11 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 11-18-2011

X 1 And arising from there He goes into the borders of Judaea and on the other side of the Jordan, and the crowds again come together to Him, and as He is accustomed, again He taught them. 2 And the Pharisees having come forth questioned Him whether it is lawful for a man to put away a wife, trying Him. 3 Then replying He said to them: “What did Moses command you?” 4 And they said: “Moses permitted to write a letter for a bill of divorce and to put her away.” 5 Then Yahshua said to them: “For your hardness of heart he had written this commandment for you. 6 But from the beginning of creation ‘He made them male and female. 7 On account of this a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, 8 and they shall be two into one flesh.’ Therefore no longer are they two but one flesh. 9 So that which Yahweh has yoked together man must not separate!”

A certain so-called Christian Identity pastor recently stated on his Talkshoe program that Christ's words here do not condemn divorce. Yet clearly, considering the context, Christ is indeed condemning divorce. Otherwise, He would not have proceeded to quote Genesis 2:24, where it says that “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. It is the act of putting away which is divorce. The “bill of divorcement” is only a receipt which records the act.

Mark Chapters 12 and 13

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Mark Chapters 12 and 13 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 11-25-2011

In Mark chapter 11, we saw the cursing of the fig tree, which we related to the parable of the fig tree and the explanation of the fruitlessness of Christ's mission in Jerusalem. We then related how this was the final fulfillment of the dispersion of the Bad Figs of Jeremiah chapter 24, which is proven when comparing the language of Jeremiah to that of Christ concerning Jerusalem in his prophecy of its impending destruction as it is recorded in Luke chapter 21. We will discuss that at length here again next week, since it is also a subject of the latter half of Mark chapter 13. All of these prophecies and parables are part of a related theme, and so is the Parable of the Vineyard which we are about to read here in Mark chapter 12.

XII 1 And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a vat and built a tower and let it out to husbandmen, and he traveled abroad. 2 And he sent a servant to the husbandmen at the appropriate time, in order that he would receive from the husbandmen from the fruits of the vineyard, 3 and taking him they cudgeled him and sent him away empty. 4 And again he sent to them another servant, and him they hit on the head and dishonored. 5 And he sent another, and him they slew, and many others, some then being cudgeled, but some being slain. 6 Yet he had one beloved son. He sent him to them last saying that ‘They shall respect my son!’ 7 But those husbandmen said to themselves that ‘This is the heir! Come, we should kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours!’ 8 And taking him they killed him and cast him outside of the vineyard. 9 So, what shall the master of the vineyard do? He shall come and destroy those husbandmen and let the vineyard out to others!

Mark Chapter 13, and The Chronology of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy - Christogenea on Talkshoe 12-02-2011

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Mark Chapter 13 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 12-1-2011

During the first half of this podcast we discussed the chronology of Daniel's 70-Weeks prophecy, found in Daniel chapter 9, with great detail from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and from the history of Persia. (Click here for the notes to that part of the program.) Now we may proceed with Mark chapter 13, repeating a few of the things which we discussed last week when we began this chapter, and hopefully after seeing the prophecy of Daniel, the marvel of these prophecies will be that much more meaningful to us.

XIII 1 And upon His going out from the temple one of His students says to Him: “Teacher, behold what quality stones and what quality buildings!” 2 And Yahshua said to him: “You see these great buildings? By no means should there be left here a stone upon a stone which would not be thrown down!”

Mark Chapter 14

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Mark Chapter 14 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 12-09-2011

XIV 1 And it was Passover and the feast of unleavened bread after two days. And the high priests and the scribes sought how seizing Him with guile they could kill Him. 2 For they said “Not on the feast, that at no time shall there be an uproar by the people!”

Christ not only had thousands of followers, winning the hearts and minds of the people, but He was also winning the battle of ideas. His expositions of scripture and a proper application of the Law, judgement and mercy, kicked the foundations out from under the pedestal of legalism upon which the Pharisees pretended their authority. Not wanting to lose their status and titles and position, but realizing that Christ continually exposed them, rather than repenting they sought to kill Him.

Mark Chapters 15 and 16

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Mark Chapters 15 and 16 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 12-16-2011

Last week we concluded with the end of Mark chapter 14, and the unlawful trial of Yahshua Christ in the court of the high priest. There we saw that while they wanted to have Christ executed, they had a problem with consistent witnesses establishing a charge worthy of a capital offense. Therefore the high-priest himself provoked Christ in order to instigate a charge that satisfied those taking part in the judgment against Him.

XV 1 And immediately at morning making counsel the high priests with the elders and the scribes and all the council, binding Yahshua they led Him off and turned Him over to Pilatos.

Here we see that after the mock show-trial in the home of the high priest, they still required a meeting in order to work up a plan by which they could convincingly present Christ to Pilate as a criminal who was worthy of execution. When Judaea was designated a kingdom, up until the time of Herod Archelaus, the king had the privilege of trying capital offenses. However when Judaea was reduced to a province, and a Roman governor was set over it by the emperor, the local political leaders lost that privilege, and only the Roman governor could try capital offenses. Christ having had many followers, the high priests could not risk politically the murder of Christ by themselves. In Matthew chapter 26, verses 3 through 5, we learn that the high priests had been planning for a way to execute Christ, while avoiding a “tumult among the people”. Since it was the feast, Jerusalem was typically very crowded at this time, and a major disturbance would have invited an inquiry by the Roman officials. They had to pressure the Roman governor into complying with their wishes. A Roman citizen, such as Paul of Tarsus, would have the right to appeal to Caesar. We see in Acts chapter 27 that Paul, not wanting to trust either the Judaeans or a possibly corrupt governor with his fate, exercised that right. However Christ, not being a Roman citizen, did not have that right.