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Mark's gospel was the earliest of the four canonical gospels.

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Introduction

Mark's gospel was the earliest of the four canonical gospels. It was written around 70-75 AD, very soon after the Roman Jewish war of 66-70 AD. However other sources claim that the gospel was written shortly before 70A.D. The gospel of Mark, as all the other books in the New Testament, was written in Greek. But as all of the Biblical writings are tied up together, so was this one. Mark's passages can be widely interpreted and share many common themes and stories with the other gospels. However, each one of the stories in the gospel is written in very unique way directed towards gospel's audience. The story of John the Baptist and the baptizing of Jesus is a good example of this phenomenon, since it occurs in all the three synoptic gospels and is also linked to the Old Testament. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. ...read more.

Middle

Hence, Jesus took it upon himself to resolve the confusion. "...But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist"9. Luke also touches upon the fact that Elijah came back in the body of John the Baptist "to prepare a people fit for the Lord"10. John the Baptist was aware of the arrival of Jesus Christ. He, however, was only aware that someone much mightier than him will appear and continue his doings. Hence he said, "One mightier than is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit"11. Thus, one can assume that John was referring to Jesus Christ as something holy and more significant and powerful and anyone who walked the earth, since he had the power to baptize with the Holy Spirit. As Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, he expressed a wish to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. ...read more.

Conclusion

Modern Christians can also use this passage to appreciate some unifying elements they share with non-Christians-for example, it is absolutely critical for the success of Jesus' mission that he become a perfect Jew; also, John the Baptist is compared to Elijah, who is important in both Judaism and in Islam. Moreover, modern Christians can see that salvation is a multi-step process; with pop-Protestantism and other pseudo-Christian forces in society preaching a sola-fide superficial salvation, Mark reminds his readers that preparation is required. One must first acknowledge their sins as the inhabitants of Jerusalem did, they must be humble as John was (despite his greatness), and they must submit themselves to God and be recognized as a member of his ultimate covenant, the mystical body of Christ. 1 The Catholic Study Bible, New American Bible, Oxford University Press,; New York; 1990; Mark 1:6 2 Ibid., Mark 1:11 3 Ibid., Malachi 3:1 4 Ibid., Isaiah 40:3 5 Ibid., Exodus 23:20 6 Ibid., Mark 1:5 7 Ibid., Mark 1:6 8 Ibid., Mark 9:12-13 9 Ibid., Mathew 17:10-13 10 Ibid., Luke 1:17 11 Ibid., Mark 1:8 12 See Matthew 3:13-17 and Luke 3:21-23. Although not based on Mark, John 1:32-33 emphasizes this asymmetrical relationship between Jesus and John as well. 13 Mark 1:11 14 Ibid. 15 Isaiah 42:1. 16 Isaiah 61:1 17 Mark 1:11. 18 Psalm 2:7 1 ...read more.

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