Talk:Gospel of Mark
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Unclear paragraph in lede, terrible writing, what is this stuff about Paul? Very very poor article
Third para in lede currently reads:
"According to tradition and some early church writers, the author is Mark the Evangelist, the companion of the apostle Peter. The gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, varying in form and in theology, and which tells against the tradition that the gospel was based on Peter's preaching. Of course, the autograph does not base its content on Paul's preaching alone  Various elements within the gospel, including the importance of the authority of Peter and the breadth of its basic theology, suggest that the author wrote in Syria or Palestine for a non-Jewish Christian community which had earlier absorbed the influence of pre-Pauline beliefs and then developed them further independent of Paul."
" The gospel, however, appears to rely on several underlying sources, varying in form and in theology, and which tells against the tradition that the gospel was based on Peter's preaching." "sources..., form...theology..and which tells" is ungrammatical. I can't tell if it means to say the fact that the gospel appears to rely on several underlying sources tells against the tradition or that the sources, form and theology tell against the tradition.
"Of course, the autograph does not base its content on Paul's preaching alone" What? How does Paul suddenly make an appearance here? Is this a typo and "Peter" is meant? That is what I thought at first but then the next sentence starts talking about Paul again, so I am not sure. It shouldn't just introduce "Paul" into the discussion anyway without even saying who Paul is, it cannot be assumed that every reader of wikipedia is going to know already. Also I don't think it should say "autograph" as there is no autograph in existence and no one knows what it might have said, better to say "text".
"but on a compilation of eye witness accounts, known apostolic preachings, and pre-existing written records that do not exist today verifiable from 2nd century commentators and an understanding of 1st century Greco-Roman culture regarding oral tradition. Badly written and confusing but you can just about make out what it is trying to say, however there are some statements there that are too dogmatic in my opinion - Gospel of Mark may include some eye witness accounts although that cannot be proven. I don't think "pre-existing written accounts that do not exist today" are verifiable, that is too strong a word. "Confirmed" might be better. No one is going to come to a better "understanding of 1st century Greco-Roman culture regarding oral tradition" by reading this article, that's for sure, since this is the only appearance of "1st century Greco-Roman culture" in the article. I thought the lede was supposed to summarise the contents of the rest of the article, that certainly does not.
"Various elements within the gospel, including the importance of the authority of Peter and the breadth of its basic theology, suggest that the author wrote in Syria or Palestine for a non-Jewish Christian community which had earlier absorbed the influence of pre-Pauline beliefs and then developed them further independent of Paul." This comes close to being gobbledegook. "Breadth of its basic theology" is pretty meaningless without further explication. Then we are confronted with the mention of the still unexplained person, "Paul",but in the form of "pre-Pauline beliefs". Does that mean beliefs that are the same as Paul's only the author of Mark got there first, or beliefs that come before Paul and are therefore different from Paul's beliefs? What are these beliefs that were developed further "independent of Paul"? The only mention in the article of any "Pauline beliefs" is "Joel Marcus notes that the other Evangelists "attenuate" Mark's emphasis on Jesus' suffering and death, and sees Mark as more strongly influenced than they are by Paul's "theology of the cross" in the "Meaning of Jesus' death" section.
Peter / Paul confusion in this article
In the "Composition and Setting" section, we read "The Gospel According to Mark does not name its author. A tradition evident in the 2nd century ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist (also known as John Mark), the companion of Peter, on whose memories it is supposedly based." OK. So far, so good. Two sentences later, in the "Authorship and sources" section, we are confronted with "According to Papias of Hierapolis, writing in the early 2nd century, this gospel was by John Mark, the companion of Saint Paul in Rome, who "had one purpose only – to leave out nothing that he had heard, and to make no misstatement about it." So this "John Mark" was the "companion of Peter" and "the companion of Paul in Rome"? No explanation of how or why he was such an in demand companion to leading early apostles. And the full quote from Papias is ""Mark, having become Peter's interpreter, wrote down accurately whatever he remembered of what was said or done by the Lord, however not in order." Peter, not Paul, as the article would lead one to think. Was "John Mark" a "companion of Saint Paul in Rome?" That's the first I've heard of it. I think whoever wrote this is confused between Peter and Paul, and whoever reads it is likely to become confused also. Gospel of Mark is a very important part of the New Testament, it deserves a better article than this one.Smeat75 (talk) 01:39, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
- Our Mark the Evangelist and John Mark articles covers this to some degree. The basic idea is that there are two names by which one person may have been known (alternatively, they could have been two different people). In the case of Mark the Evangelist, the preponderance of the writings on him identify him as having been a personal friend of Peter, but then accompanying Paul to Collosae and, later, to Rome. I have tidied up the lead and fixed what was definitely a confusion of Peter and Paul. Otherwise, I think it's fine. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 02:49, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
- Yes the lead is a little less confusing now, thanks for replacing "Paul" with Peter there, however there are still quite a few problems in my opinion, the lead should not suddenly introduce the idea of "pre-Pauline beliefs" which were developed "independent of Paul" without any explanation of who Paul was or what those "pre-Pauline" beliefs were. It is quite possible that people from other cultures or religions may be trying to learn about Christianity by reading encyclopaedia articles and have no previous knowledge of such matters.
- That quote from Papias is definitely referring to Peter, not Paul, though. I think it is very wrong to make it look like "Mark" didn't want to leave out anything he had heard from Paul. I won't try to change it right now but wait to see if there are any other comments, but I am going to tweak some of the other matters I mentioned in my first post. Smeat75 (talk) 03:08, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
- So I have looked up "John Mark" in the Bible and Mark the Evangelist and John Mark here. It is not well established at all that John Mark was "the companion of Saint Paul in Rome", this notion appears to be based around 2 Timothy 4:11 which just says "Take Mark and bring him with thee", and may refer to a completely different person.The article should not just state flatly without any citation or source that John Mark was the companion of Saint Paul in Rome. In any case, that quote from Papias is not referring to Paul at all, but to Peter. Papias, as quoted by Eusebius, the cite given in the article, says "Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord’s discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely."[] This becomes in the article "According to Papias of Hierapolis, writing in the early 2nd century, this gospel was by John Mark, the companion of Saint Paul in Rome, who "had one purpose only – to leave out nothing that he had heard, and to make no misstatement about it." It is making the assumption that "John Mark" is the same person as the "Mark" referred to in the Papias quote, not a certainty at all, it is stating that John Mark was the companion of Paul in Rome, highly dubious, and making it appear that "John Mark" didn't want to leave out anything he had heard from Paul, not what the quote says at all.The source is being used to support a statement which is not in the source. This is very very wrong. I am changing it.Smeat75 (talk) 18:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Lead of article
According to WP:LEAD,"The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points—including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject is usually established in the first few sentences. Apart from trivial basic facts, significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article." This article's lead does not follow those guidelines. The lead should refer to the accepted theory that Mark was used as a source of both Matthew and Luke and briefly discuss the very "prominent controversy" surrounding the end of the Gospel. It should not refer to "an understanding of 1st century Greco-Roman culture regarding oral tradition" or " pre-Pauline beliefs" because those concepts are not covered in the remainder of the article. The guidelines also state "the lead should be written in a clear, accessible style" which the last paragraph is not. Once again I will leave this for a day or so to see if anyone comments before I try to change anything.Smeat75 (talk) 18:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
- As no one has responded I have re-written the lead as outlined above, adding the information that Mark is widely believed to be a source for both Luke and Matthew, that the original ending seems to come to an abrupt halt before the resurrection appearances, and removing from the third paragraph all concepts that are not discussed in the main body of the article, per WP:LEAD. This includes "an understanding of 1st century Greco-Roman culture regarding oral tradition","the authority of Peter", "the breadth of its ( the gospel of Mark's) basic theology" and "pre-Pauline beliefs". If anyone wants those ideas mentioned in the lead, they need to be discussed in the body of the article, which they are not.Smeat75 (talk) 03:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Son of St. Peter
It is said in 1 Peter 5:13 that Mark is his son. Does that qualify for an edit where it presently states, "Mark the Evangelist, the companion of the apostle Peter" ? Twillisjr (talk) 15:52, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
- No, it doesn't, on both counts. Most of the commentaries either maintain that it was not the same Mark or that Son was meant as a term of endearment rather than relation (comp. with 1 Timothy 1:2). The Pulpit commentary, Gill's exposition, and the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary support this. Even without this, it is original research to say that that Mark is indeed the Disciple Mark (and questionable research, as that raises some issues of chronology, either Peter was especially old by Paul's time or the Disciple Mark was a noteworthily young disciple whose childhood was left unmentioned for some reason). Ian.thomson (talk) 00:09, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I am deleting the section "Homeric tradition hypothesis" as it is not cited to a reliable source
The only source given for the section "Homeric tradition hypothesis" is [], which is from a non-academic website run by blogger Richard Carrier. Neither the website "Secular Web" nor Richard Carrier, who as the WP article about him says "is an American blogger" are reliable sources, please look at WP:USERG and you will see "Anyone can create a personal web page or publish their own book, and also claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable. This includes any website whose content is largely user-generated". WP:RS says "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" which the source cited is not. If there were an academic review of "Dennis MacDonald's 'The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark" that could be quoted in the article somewhere, but a review on a self-published blog by a non-academic writer is not WP:RS. Smeat75 (talk) 18:02, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
- I have preserved the deleted paragraph on the published work of Dennis MacDonald for discussion here, and added a link to two SBL reviews of the book which are available here. Also relevant are the publications of Robert A. Derrenbacker, Jr. (e.g., see Ancient Compositional Practices and the Synoptic Problem) and F. Gerald Downing on ancient compositional methods and their application to the synoptic gospels. All of these authors are important contributors to the field of Narrative criticism. Imo, this material could have been retained and improved, per WP:PRESERVE. Ignocrates (talk) 22:03, 14 June 2014 (UTC)