Mark Sociological Framework

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Mark was most likely written in AD 67-69. Looking at the date puts the book in a good sociological framework in which to work and understand the text. However, just looking at the date for this framework is an incomplete study. In order to get a better idea of the sociological and theological framework of Mark, one must not only look at the culture around when the book was written, but to expand upon that by examining who the book was written to and why it was written in the first place. Audience Galilee The first thing, now, is to examine the audience of the book of Mark. There have been three major theories as to who this book was written to. One theory that has been proposed is that Mark was writing from Galilee to a primarily Galilean…show more content…
The theory is that Mark wrote his book in response to what is called the “divine-man” Christology. Which was supposed to be a way of viewing Jesus as a man who performed many miracles, but denying or rejecting his suffering and death. The theory goes that as a result, Mark wrote his gospel with the intention of emphasizing the humanity and suffering of Jesus. It is true that Mark puts an emphasis on the humanity and suffering of Jesus. However, there is very little to no evidence that there existed a “divine-man” Christology at the time of the composition of Mark’s gospel. As a result, this seems to be a very unlikely option for the purpose of Mark’s…show more content…
The reason that this is so significant is because Mark was writing this around the time of AD 67-69 when Nero was the Emperor. In AD 64, Nero set the city of Rome on fire and blamed the Christians for it. As a result, Nero began a wide-spread persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. Given the idea of an audience that was most likely an already Christian audience, it gives good light as to the purpose of the Gospel. Fiensy states that, “…Mark so emphasized Jesus’ death and because he wrote his Gospel just after the persecution of Nero…it was meant both to record the life of Jesus and to show how Jesus’ life should be imitated in his followers” This idea comes from Mark 8, 9, 10. In each of these chapters Jesus predicts his own death. In each instance, the disciples do not understand. As a result, in each instance, Jesus teaches them that they “must deny themselves and take up their cross” and “must be slave of all”. This emphasis cannot be over looked. It seems as though Mark was giving the Christians he was writing to an example in Jesus of how to live life in the midst of persecution and encouragement to stay faithful. Carson and Moo sum this up well when they state, “Mark wants his readers to understand that Jesus is the Son of God, but especially the suffering servant of God. Moreover, believers are to be followers of Jesus. Mark also
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