This post continues working through the exercises I have been giving my class at Calvary Bible Church. For more information on this class, click here.
For links to the class materials, including updated class notes, see these:
- Class Notes (updated weekly; Note that I do not discuss the NIV2011 in my section on translations).
- Daily Bible Study Worksheet
- BibleGateway (for other translations to compare): http://biblegateway.com
[Note: We have a planned break in our class schedule this Sunday due to the Memorial Day weekend, so there will be no class this Sunday. I will give you another assignment to work on next week.]
Mark 1:14-15 describes the beginning of Jesus’ public teaching ministry. I had you skip this section because it would be too brief for us to spend a week studying and because it is not entirely clear that this should be a separate paragraph. It bears many marks of a new paragraph, including the fact that it contains a time marker (John’s imprisonment, v. 14) and a geographic change (Jesus leaves the wilderness in verse 13 and goes into Galilee in verse 14). It also starts a new topic so there is an obvious change of subject. But scholars see Mark 1:14-20 as a summary description of what Jesus did in Galilee, a section that goes to Mark 3:6. Mark summarized Jesus message in verses 14-15, and this summary is possibly an introduction to the whole section (Mark 1:14-3:6). See page 624 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary for more explanation. The bottom line is that you could include Mark 1:14-15 in this week’s study, but I want us to study more than just those two verses this week, so I had you begin with verse 16.
Given that we are starting our study this week with verse 16, the question is where does this week’s paragraph end? Several factors indicate that it ends with verse 20. These factors are:
- A clear change in subject matter. Verses 16-20 talk about Jesus calling his disciples. After verse 21, none of the disciples mentioned in this section are mentioned again until verses 29-30 and the focus of verses 21-27 is Jesus’ authority to teach and cast out demons. So, there is a clear change of subject after verse 20.
- Two key changes of physical location. In our class time I told you both that geographic changes and indoor/outdoor movements of Jesus frequently suggest a new subject. Both are present in this part of Mark 1. Mark 1:14-20 occurs in “Galilee,” a large geographic region around the Sea of Galilee. Mark 1:21 puts Jesus and the disciples in Capernaum. While this town is in Galilee, the fact that it is specified suggests that Mark is focusing in on this story in order to develop a new subject about Jeuss. Likewise, verses 16-20 happen outside along the Sea of Galilee. In verse 21, Jesus and the disciples move indoors to the synagogue. Mark records these movements of Jesus in part to signal a change in subject.
- There is also a chronological change. While verses 14-20 are vaguely described as being “after John was put into prison” (verse 14), verse 21 tells us that the events that follow it happen “when the Sabbath came.” So, this timestamp indicates that a new subject is beginning.
For these reasons, the paragraph we will study this week ends at verse 20. You may, if you choose, study verses 14-20 or just verses 16-20 as I said in class.