Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

Mark 4

1 - Again he began to teach by the seaside. A great multitude was gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat in the sea, and sat down. All the multitude were on the land by the sea.

2 - He taught them many things in parables, and told them in his teaching,

3 - "Listen! Behold, the farmer went out to sow,

4 - and as he sowed, some seed fell by the road, and the birdscame and devoured it.

5 - Others fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil.

6 - When the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

7 - Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

8 - Others fell into the good ground, and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing. Some produced thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times as much."

9 - He said,"Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear."

10 - When he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.

11 - He said to them,"To you is given the mystery of God's Kingdom, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables,

12 - that 'seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.'"Isaiah 6:9-10

13 - He said to them,"Don't you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables?

14 - The farmer sows the word.

15 - The ones by the road are the ones where the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan comes, and takes away the word which has been sown in them.

16 - These in the same way are those who are sown on the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy.

17 - They have no root in themselves, but are short-lived. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble.

18 - Others are those who are sown among the thorns. These are those who have heard the word,

19 - and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

20 - Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times."

21 - He said to them,"Is the lamp brought to be put under a basketor under a bed? Isn't it put on a stand?

22 - For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light.

23 - If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."

24 - He said to them,"Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear.

25 - For whoever has, to him will more be given, and he who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him."

26 - He said,"God's Kingdom is as if a man should cast seed on the earth,

27 - and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how.

28 - For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

29 - But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

30 - He said,"How will we liken God's Kingdom? Or with what parable will we illustrate it?

31 - It's like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth,

32 - yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow."

33 - With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.

34 - Without a parable he didn't speak to them; but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

35 - On that day, when evening had come, he said to them,"Let's go over to the other side."

36 - Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him.

37 - A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled.

38 - He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, "Teacher, don't you care that we are dying?"

39 - He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,"Peace! Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 - He said to them,"Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?"

41 - They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"


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Mark Images and Notes

The Book of Mark

Mark 1:15 - And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mark 2:12 - And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Mark in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

St. Mark by Titian - 1560
Painting of St. Mark by Titian - 1560

Introduction to The Gospel of Mark

The Word Gospel. The second book of the English Bible that most of us read from is the Gospel of Mark. Mark is the second of the four gospel writings, yet there is only one gospel about Jesus Christ and there are four different writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The word "Gospel" means "good news", and the good news is about Jesus Christ dying on the cross and then 3 days later conquering death and rising from the dead, offering salvation to all mankind, this is the Gospel.

Summary of The Book of Mark

Brief Summary. Jesus of Nazareth is the suffering servant who came to die for the sins of all men. He did His work and "immediately" went to the cross, so be encouraged all who are suffering because Christ suffered for you.

Purpose. The Book of Mark is the shortest of the 4 Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. and he seems to write his account of the Gospel of Christ with a sense of urgency. He mentions the word "immediately" 27 times. In Mark many times Jesus exercises actions rather than words, which would impress his Roman readers who the Book seems to be addressing. He portrays Jesus as a man of power and miracles, who could set aside the laws of nature at will. Yet this powerful Son of God was the suffering servant who would give up His life as a ransom for all mankind (Mark 10:45). The clear purpose of mark was to encourage those suffering persecution that their master suffered first, and He suffered for them.

Audience. Apparently Mark wrote his Gospel account to encourage gentile Christians in Rome who were facing the persecutions of the Emperor Nero. History is clear about the atrocious behavior of the Romans and especially the insanity of Nero. The other evidence that scholars bring up concerning mark's audience as being gentiles is the fact that Mark does not deal with Jewish Laws and he only quotes one prophecy from the Old Testament. There is also careful thought into explaining Jewish customs and idioms. (See Mark 3:7; 5:41; 7:2; 10:46; 14:36; 15:34; 9:43; 14:12; 15:42).

Authorship. The gospel of Mark does not proclaim who the author is within the document, yet the information that we know about Mark can be seen in the writer of this gospel. It is evident that the writer was Jewish, he was a Christian, and he was familiar with every day Jewish life, as well as the Jewish Scriptures. We know from the Scriptures that Mark was Jewish, and he knew the teachings of Jesus very well. He also knew the teachings of the rest of the apostles. It is also important to notice that after Peter was imprisoned he went to the house of Mary, the mother of Mark (Acts 12:12-17). Also Peter mentions in his epistle "my son Mark" (1 Peter 5:13). During Paul's missionary journeys Mark became a companion of Paul and Barnabas, and he left them at Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13), after Paul had rebuked him. Many years later Mark regained the favor of Paul  (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11). Early Church tradition unanimously ascribes the second gospel to Mark as a companion of Peter and the writer of the second Gospel. One prologue to the Gospels which was written around 160 AD has this statement: "Marků Was Peter's interpreter, and after Peter's decease wrote down this gospel in the region of Italy." Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian also attest to Mark as the author.

Location. Nothing in the Gospel of Mark indicates where it was written from. Most of the early writers who boast of Mark as the author also name Rome as the place it was written.

Date. Early Christian writers and traditions place the Gospel of Mark sometime close to the end of Peter's life, around 60-65 AD. Most scholars agree that the Gospel of Mark was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, while the Second Temple in Jerusalem was still standing (Mark 13:1-2). Many scholars do not believe in the miracle of predictive prophecy and argue that the Gospel of Mark was written after the fall of Jerusalem, because of the accurate details of the events that Jesus spoke about.  Mark's Gospel account seems to have been written as encouragement to the Christians who were facing the persecution of the Emperor Nero which took place in 64 AD.

Outline of the Book of Mark

The Servant Comes - Chapter 1:1-13
The Servant's Work - Chapters 1:14-13:37
The Servant's Death - Chapters 14:1-15:47
The Servant's Resurrection - Chapter 16:1-20

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Mark Resources

Outline of the Life of Jesus in Harmony
Simple Map of First Century Israel
Topographical Map of First Century Israel
Map of the Ministry of Jesus
Map of the Roads in Ancient Israel
Map of the Roman Empire