The first verse of the Gospel of Mark

It’s amazing how you read things in the Bible, are familiar with them (and even know them by heart, as I do in this case), and their significance doesn’t occur to you until you read a commentator who points it out.

An article about the Gospel of Mark that I found on the Web says:

Mark thrusts his theological premise before his readers in the very first verse, declaring it to be the beginning, origin, or basis of the gospel, asserting that Jesus is not just the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, but the very Son of God.

The first sentence of Mark is:

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

So in the first sentence of the first written Gospel, it is declared in unmistakable terms that Jesus is not just the Jewish Messiah, but something of a different order altogether. I had always felt the great power of that sentence, but its specific significance had never occurred to me.

Also, I have always had the view that Jesus’ stature as the Son of God is different from and higher than that of the Messiah, and that it is a mistake to treat the name “Christ” as simply the Greek word for messiah or “the annointed one,” and to speak of Jesus as though his primary meaning was as the Messiah. I’ve always felt that the name “Christ,” while it originates as a translation of “Messiah,” carries far more meaning, namely of Jesus Christ as the eternally existing Son of God. But I’ve never seen my view confirmed so clearly. The confirmation was right before me, and I didn’t see it.

- end of initial entry -

Bruce B. writes:

I’ve heard the Gospel of John described as “high-descending,” as opposed to the synoptic Gospels which are called “low-ascending.” But here Mark seems to be starting from a “high” position.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 15, 2012 09:44 AM | Send

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