Gospel of Mark Bible Study Resources

by | Jun 21, 2018 | 02 Library, Resources by Book

Gospel of Mark Bible Study Resources

Everything you need to kick start your study of the Gospel of Mark: maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study.

Jump to: Background; ** Maps; ** Key Words; ** Encyclopedias; ** Commentaries; ** Articles; ** GotQuestions ** Next **

Bible Study: Questions Jesus Asked

Gospel of Mark Basics

  • Author: Mark (aka, John or John Mark; Acts 12:12; Acts 12:25; Acts 15:37), who was a companion of both Paul and Peter, cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10).
  • See: Who was Mark?
  • Like all the gospels, the author is not identified, but Papias (c. 110-140 AD) quotes an earlier source saying: Mark was a close associate of Peter and learned the material in his gospel from Peter’s preaching.
  • John was his Hebrew name. Mark, his Greek name. He is referred to as the son of Mary (Acts 12:12) so his father likely died young. Some of the church fathers include John Mark as one of the 70 sent out by Jesus.
  • Date: 65-68 AD
  • Most early church fathers said Mark wrote after Peter’s death (64 AD?) except Clement of Alexandria claimed Mark’s gospel was written while Peter was still alive.
  • Modern scholars believe Mark’s gospel was the first one written. However, the early church fathers unanimously believed Matthew’s gospel was the first written.
  • Audience: mostly Gentiles in Rome.
  • Purpose: likely to encourage Christians in Rome who were facing persecution
  • Almost half of Mark’s gospel is concerned with the last week of the life of Christ.
  • Mark’s mother had a large house that was used as a meeting place for the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12).
  • Barnabas and John Mark were cousins (Col 4:10).
  • Barnabas & Paul took John Mark with them when they returned from the Jerusalem conference (Acts 12:25).
  • Mark accompanied Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey but turned back in Perga and returned to Jerusalem (Act 13:13).
  • When Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them on their 2nd journey, Paul refused. The disagreement led to: Barnabas taking Mark and traveling to Cyprus; Paul taking Silas and traveling through Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:36-41). But also 2 missionary journeys instead of one.
  • Eventually Paul and Mark worked out their differences as Mark was with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment (Col 4:10) and near the end of Paul’s life Paul wrote that Mark was useful to him in ministry (2 Tim 4:11).
  • Most scholars think the young man in Mark 14:15-52 is John Mark.

Gospel of Mark Structure

  • Geographical markers set the two main parts of Mark’s account:
  • Mark 1:14:  Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,
  • Mar 10:1  And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them. 

A Simple Outline

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

  • Chapter 1:1-13—Introductory credentials
  • Chapter 1:14-8:30 — Ministry of the servant
  • Chapter 8:31-16:20—Ransoming work of the servant

Style of Mark’s Gospel

Frequent use of sets of three

  • three seed parables (Mark 4:3-32).
  • three popular opinions about John (Mark 6:14-15).
  • three popular opinions about Jesus (Mark 8:27-29).
  • three predictions of the Passion (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:33-34).
  • three failures of the disciples to stay awake in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-34).
  • three denials of Jesus by Peter (Mark 14:66-72).

Use of doublets between Mark 4:41 (Who is this?) and Mark 8:29 (Who do you say I am?)

  • Two water miracles: Jesus calms the storm (Mark 4:35-41) and walks on water (Mark 6:45-52).
  • Two healings: dead girl and sick woman ( 5:21-41) and deaf and mute man (Mark 7:31-37).
  • Two multiplications of bread: feed 5000 (Mark 6:34-44) and feed 4000 (Mark 8:1-10).
  • Two sayings on the meaning of bread and hardened hearts (Mark 6:52; Mark 8:14-31).


  • “The Messianic Secret”: Jesus silences the demons (Mark 1:25; Mark 1:34; Mark 3:12); Jesus silences the disciples (Mark 8:30; Mark 9:9); fullest confession of Jesus’ identity happens at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:39).
  • The failures of the disciples: failures of understanding that that Messiah will suffer; failure of loyalty and commitment culminating with them fleeing at Jesus’ arrest.

Genre: Understanding the Gospels

Section 1: Background

Background & Outlines

Bible Atlas: Galilee

Bible Atlas: Nazareth

Bible Atlas: Jerusalem

Bible Atlas: Jordan River

Bible Atlas: Bethlehem

Introduction to New Testament Jewish Groups

Chronology of Acts/Epistles from Blue Letter Bible

Biblehub: Timeline of Mark

List of the miracles of Jesus

Overview of the Book by Ray C Stedman

Author, Date, Background by John MacArthur

Mark Overview from Blue Letter Bible

NIV: Introduction to Mark

ESV: Introduction to Mark

ESV: The Global Message of Mark

Ligonier: Introduction to the Gospels

Ligonier: Introduction to Mark

David Malick (Bible.org): An Introduction to the Gospel Of Mark

David Malick: An Argument Of The Gospel Of Mark

James Van Dine: Analysis of Mark

Section 2: Maps

Maps from Holman Bible Atlas

Rome’s Emergence as a World Power

Early Rome

Roman Expansion in the 3rd & 2nd centuries BCE

Civil Wars amidst Roman Expansion in 1st century BCE

Roman Empire in the Age of Augustus

Romans, Palestine, and Herod the Great

Roman Rule in Palestine 63-40 BCE

The Kingdom of Herod the Great

Herod’s Building Program

The World of Jesus

The Division of Herod’s Kingdom

Palestine under the Herods

Palestine in the Time of Jesus (1)

Palestine in the Time of Jesus (2)

Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Life and Ministry of Jesus

Jesus’ Birth and Early Childhood

The Birth, Childhood, and Baptism of Jesus

John the Baptist

Galilee in the Time of Jesus

Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee and Journey to Jerusalem

The Ministry of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee

The Ministry of Jesus beyond Galilee

Jesus’ Ministry according to John

Jesus’ Journeys from Galilee to Judea

Jesus in Judea and Jerusalem

Jerusalem in the New Testament Period

The Passion Week in Jerusalem

Maps from Bible-History.com

New Testament World

Israel in New Testament Times

Herod the Great’s Kingdom

Herod’s Kingdom Divided

Herod’s Temple

Jerusalem at the time of Jesus

Jesus’ Early Ministry

Jesus in Galilee


New Testament Jerusalem

Apostles’ Journeys

World of the New Testament

Section 3: Key Words

Key Words in Mark

Occurrences are based on New American Standard Text. “4x/3v” means the word appears 4 times in 3 verses. “3x” means the word appears 3 times in 3 verses.

God (44x) – Strong’s G2316; “Son of God” (4x)

disciples (42x) – Strong’s G3101 in Mar 2:15; Mar 2:16; Mar 2:18; Mar 2:23; Mar 3:7; Mar 3:9; Mar 4:34; Mar 5:31; Mar 6:1; Mar 6:29; Mar 6:35; Mar 6:41; Mar 6:45; Mar 7:2; Mar 7:5; Mar 7:17; Mar 8:1; Mar 8:4; Mar 8:6; Mar 8:10; Mar 8:27; Mar 8:33; Mar 8:34; Mar 9:14; Mar 9:18; Mar 9:28; Mar 9:31; Mar 10:10; Mar 10:13; Mar 10:23; Mar 10:24; Mar 10:46; Mar 11:1; Mar 11:14; Mar 12:43; Mar 13:1; Mar 14:12; Mar 14:13; Mar 14:14; Mar 14:16; Mar 14:32; Mar 16:7.

immediately (39x) – Strong’s G2117 in Mar 1:10; Mar 1:12; Mar 1:18; Mar 1:20; Mar 1:21; Mar 1:28; Mar 1:29; Mar 1:30; Mar 1:42; Mar 1:43; Mar 2:8; Mar 2:12; Mar 3:6; Mar 4:5; Mar 4:15; Mar 4:16; Mar 4:17; Mar 4:29; Mar 5:2; Mar 5:29; Mar 5:30; Mar 5:42; Mar 6:25; Mar 6:27; Mar 6:45; Mar 6:50; Mar 6:54; Mar 7:25; Mar 8:10; Mar 9:15; Mar 9:20; Mar 9:24; Mar 10:52; Mar 11:2; Mar 11:3; Mar 14:43; Mar 14:45; Mar 14:72; Mar 15:1.

kingdom (18v) / kingdom of God (14x) – Strong’s G932 in Mar 1:15; Mar 3:24; Mar 4:11; Mar 4:26; Mar 4:30; Mar 6:23; Mar 9:1; Mar 9:47; Mar 10:14; Mar 10:15; Mar 10:23; Mar 10:24; Mar 10:25; Mar 11:10; Mar 12:34; Mar 13:8; Mar 14:25; Mar 15:43.

father/Father (18x) – Strong’s G3962 in Mar 1:20; Mar 5:40; Mar 7:10; Mar 7:11; Mar 7:12; Mar 8:38; Mar 9:21; Mar 9:24; Mar 10:7; Mar 10:19; Mar 10:29; Mar 11:10; Mar 11:25; Mar 11:26; Mar 13:12; Mar 13:32; Mar 14:36; Mar 15:21.

Lord (15x) – Strongs G2962 in Mar 1:3; Mar 2:28; Mar 5:19; Mar 7:28; Mar 11:3; Mar 11:9; Mar 12:11; Mar 12:29; Mar 12:30; Mar 12:36; Mar 12:37; Mar 13:20; Mar 16:19; Mar 16:20; Strong’s G2634b in 10:42

“Son of man” (14x) in Mar 2:10; Mar 2:28; Mar 8:31; Mar 8:38; Mar 9:9; Mar 9:12; Mar 9:31; Mar 10:33; Mar 10:45; Mar 13:26; Mar 14:21; Mar 14:41; Mar 14:62; Mar 15:39.

teacher/Teacher (12x) – Strong’s G1320 in Mar 4:38; Mar 5:35; Mar 9:17; Mar 9:38; Mar 10:17; Mar 10:20; Mar 10:35; Mar 12:14; Mar 12:19; Mar 12:32; Mar 13:1; Mar 14:14.

temple (11x) – Strong’s G2413 in Mar 11:11; Mar 11:15; Mar 11:16; Mar 11:27; Mar 12:35; Mar 13:1; Mar 13:3; Mar 14:49; Mar 14:58; Mar 15:29; Mar 15:38.

authority (9x) – Strong’s G1849 in Mar 1:22; Mar 1:27; Mar 2:10; Mar 3:15; Mar 6:7; Mar 11:28; Mar 11:29; Mar 11:33; Strong’s G2715 in Mar 10:42.

Section 5: Commentaries


Top 5 Commentaries on Mark by Keith Mathison – Ligonier.org

Best Commentaries on Mark – Tim Challies

Commentary Reviews: Mark

Biblehub Commentaries: Mark

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: Mark

Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible: Mark

Alfords Exegetical Commentary: Mark

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible: Mark

Geneva Study Bible: Mark

Reformation Study Bible Notes: Mark

The Biblical Illustrator: Mark

Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Mark

Bible Studies in the Gospel of Mark – Ray C. Stedman

Assorted articles-mostly theological journals – Mark

Assorted articles UK – Mark

Section 4: Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Mark, Theology of

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Mark, Gospel Of

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Mark, Gospel According To

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Mark, the Gospel According To

Holman Bible Dictionary: Mark, Gospel of

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Mark, Gospel of

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Mark

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Mark, Gospel By

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Mark, Gospel of

McClintock and Strong: Mark, Gospel of

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Mark, Gospel According To

The Jewish Encyclopedia:

John Mark

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Mark

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Mark

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Mark, John

Holman Bible Dictionary: Mark, John

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Mark (John)

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Mark

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Mark, Marcus

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Mark, John

McClintock and Strong: Mark

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Mark, John

The Jewish Encyclopedia:

John means “the grace or mercy of the Lord” – Hitchcock’s Bible Names

Mark (Marcus) means “polite, shining” – Hitchcock’s Bible Names


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Pharisees

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

Holman Bible Dictionary: Jewish Parties in the New Testament

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Pharisees

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Pharisees

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Pharisees

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Pharisees

McClintock and Strong: Pharisee

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Pharisees

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Pharisees


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Sadducees

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

Holman Bible Dictionary: Jewish Parties in the New Testament

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Sadducees

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Sadducees

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Sadducees

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Sadducees

McClintock and Strong: Sadducee

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Sadducees

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Sadducees


Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Scribes

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Scribes

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Scribes

Holman Bible Dictionary: Scribe

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Scribes

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Scribes

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Scribes

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Scribes

McClintock and Strong: Scribes, Jewish

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Scribes, The

The Jewish Encyclopedia: Scribes

John the Baptist

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: John the Baptist

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

Fausset Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

Holman Bible Dictionary:

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: John the Baptist

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: John the Baptist

Morrish Bible Dictionary: John the Baptist

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: John the Baptist

McClintock and Strong: John the Baptist

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: John the Baptist

The Jewish Encyclopedia: John the Baptist

Assorted articles-mostly theological journals – John the Baptist

Alfred Edersheim

Sketches of Jewish Social Life

The Temple —Its Ministry and Services 

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Old Testament History

Whyte’s Dictionary of Bible Characters

Herod That Fox

James the Lord’s Brother


John the Baptist

Joseph and Mary


Mary Magdalene



Pontius Pilate

Pilate’s Wife


Zacharias and Elizabeth

Section 6: Articles


Paul Apple (2017) – Mark Commentary

James Arlandson: Archaeology and the Synoptic Gospels- Which way do the rocks roll?

James Arlandson: Historical Reliability of the Gospels – 14 part series

James Arlandson: Eyewitness Testimony in Mark’s Gospel

Darrel Bock: Historical Backgrounds to the Gospels and Life of Jesus

Gospels in Parallel

David Mallick: The Chiastic Structure of the Gospel of Mark Around Geographical Clues

Arend Remmers: The Four Gospels – Comparison

Peter Smith: Chronology & Synopsis of the Passion Week

Daniel Wallace: Mark: Introduction, Argument, and Outline

Charles Dyer: The Purpose of The Gospel of Mark

Greg Herrick: Mark Introduction with Outline – Portrait of Jesus: The Victorious Suffering Servant

Greg Herrick: Demonism in Jewish/Hellenistic Literature and Its Relation to Mark

James M. Arlandson: Are There Contradictions in the Gospels?

James M. Arlandson: Historical Reliability of the Gospels

James M. Arlandson: Archaeology and the Synoptic Gospels: Which way do the rocks roll?

Darrel L. Bock: Historical Backgrounds to the Gospels and Life of Jesus

Peter L Smith: Chronology & Synopsis of the Passion Week

Section 7: Got Questions


Treat like any commentary: read carefully, read thoughtfully and require proof.

Gospel of Mark – Bible Survey

Why did God give us four Gospels?

What is the harmony of the Gospels?

When were the Gospels written?

Who was John Mark in the Bible?

What can we learn from the life of John the Baptist?

What were the key events in the life of Jesus Christ?

Why did Jesus teach in parables?

What was the meaning and purpose of Jesus’ temptations?

What does it mean to be “fishers of men”?

What is the meaning of the parables of fasting at the wedding feast, the old cloth, and the wine skins?

What does it mean that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath?

Who were the twelve (12) disciples / apostles of Jesus Christ?

Why did Jesus refer to James and John as the sons of thunder?

What does it mean to bind the strong man?

What does it mean that a house divided cannot stand?

What did Jesus mean when He said, “He who has ears to hear”?

What is the meaning of the Parable of the Growing Seed?

What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?

What is the meaning of the Parable of the Sower?

What is the significance of Jesus calming the storm?

Why did Jesus allow the demons to enter the herd of pigs?

Why are there two demon-possessed men in the Gerasene tombs in Matthew, but only one in Mark and Luke?

What is the meaning of the story of the woman with the issue of blood?

What does it mean to shake the dust off your feet?

What can we learn from Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000?

What was the meaning of Jesus walking on water?

What does Corban mean in Mark 7:11?

Why did Jesus spit for some of His miracles?

What does it mean to gain the whole world but lose your soul?

What is the worm that will not die in Mark 9:48?

Did Jesus heal two blind men (Matthew 20:29-34) or one blind man (Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43)?

What is the significance of the triumphal entry?

What does it mean that the house of prayer had been turned into a den of thieves?

Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler he could be saved by obeying the commandments?

What did Jesus mean when He told people, “Your faith has made you well”?

What does Jesus want us to learn from what He said about the widow’s mite?

What is an alabaster box?

What happened in the upper room?

Who was the young man who fled naked in Mark 14:51-52?

What is the significance of Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss?

What was the reason behind Peter’s denial of Jesus?

Who helped Jesus carry the cross?

What was the significance of anointing spices in the Bible?

Can the various resurrection accounts from the four Gospels be harmonized?

Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?

What does the Bible say about snake handling? Should we be handling snakes in church?

Does Mark 16:16 teach that baptism is necessary for salvation?

Section 8: Next

Next: Gospel of Luke

Previous: Gospel of Matthew

Series: Resources by Book

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