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The African Memory of Mark

Chapter 5

A Portrait of Mark

Dr, Oden sets forth the information we can gather from the Bible concerning Mark and his family connections.


Key Terms and Names

Anti-Marcionite/ Marcionite/ Marcion: a Marcionite is a person who holds to the teachings of a Marcion of Sinope.  Marcion taught the rejection of the Old Testament, which he depicted as the story of an evil demiurge or creator god.  In contrast to this evil god was the “good” god of the New Testament, the loving Father of Jesus.  As a result Marcion’s bible was limited to an edited version of Luke (edited by Marcion, himself) and the works of the apostle Paul.  Marcionism was condemned by the consensus of the church as heresy.  (Anti-Marcionism on p. 88 of The African Memory of Markrefers to the polemical efforts by the early church to stop Marcionism.)




What are three things that Dr. Oden shows us about the significance of the Lion motif in chapter 5?


Summarize the hagiographic speculation concerning the identity of Mark within his gospel. 


Dr. Oden asks us to consider (p. 85) the import of the origins of these first members of the first foreign mission: Paul, Barnabas and John Mark.  Dr. Oden adds, “None were born in Jerusalem.”  What is the import of these facts?  


What is the significance of the close family relationships that are alluded to in this chapter?


Oftentimes, miracle workers and famous people of antiquity are described as working wonders or amazing deeds even in their youth.  What is the significance for us, that Mark’s history does not suggest these kinds of youthful prodigies or miraculous activity?