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The African Memory of Mark

Chapter 6

The African Mosaic of the Lord’s Supper and Pentecost According to Mark

Dr. Oden sets forth the data showing a deep connection between Mark and his family to the Upper Room, and therefore to the Lord’s Supper, the Apostles, and to Jesus Christ himself.  Further, Mark’s connection to the great empowering day for the church, Pentecost, is also shown.


Key terms and names:


Upper Room: The location where Jesus took the last supper with his disciples. The site of the Upper Room (also known as the Cenacle) is commemorated today by the Monastery of St. Mark in Jerusalem.



Did you catch the main point, which Dr. Oden is trying show us, on page 93?  Read carefully the middle paragraph.  Whatever we may think of the African commentary on this passage of scripture, it is apparent that..... (finish the sentence).


 Notice the relationships touched on in page 95.  Paul has not yet been in Rome.  Where might he have developed such a relationship with Rufus and his mother?  Where might he have become familiar with “the Household of Aristobulus?”


Summarize the lines of evidence for the location of the house of Mary and Mark.  Consider the location it has within ancient Jerusalem.  Consider the events that took place there according to the African memory.  Do you find the evidence and the story compelling?


“The Moral implication, according to the African memory,” Dr. Oden points out, “is that all who come to the Lord’s Table are tested in conscience as to their faith.  Eleven of the Twelve were disturbed by this confrontation.  One lied.”  Consider this statement in light of 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.  Is what happened at that first Table prefiguring the command that Paul gives, and what happens within our own hearts when we partake of communion? The African memory here supplements and amplifies what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 11.


Is there anything unreasonable about the assertion of the African memory that Mark, and possibly Mary (John Mark’s mother) accompanied the disciples and Jesus to Gethsemane? Why or why not?