The unit will commence with a brief study of the historical setting and literary forms of the New Testament writings, with special emphasis on the origin, literary character and theology of the Markan narrative. The methodology of biblical exegesis will be explained and illustrated in relation to the Gospel – also in relation to the broader scope of the Synoptic Gospels.

Unit code: BN9018Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Describe the types of literary forms found in the Gospel of Mark and demonstrate how knowledge of these forms aid in the interpretation of specific passages


Analyse the geographic and historical background to the Gospel of Mark and discuss the social and political world in which it emerged


Critically engage with the structure, content and key theological themes of the Gospel of Mark, the purpose for which it was written, the literary and narrative techniques that are used and its relationship to the other Synoptic Gospels also the Gospel of Thomas


Analyse the relationship between the Gospel of Mark and the OT and articulate implicit and explicit intertextual references


Identify and utilise the materials that assist NT interpretation


Demonstrate an understanding of the distinctive theology of Mark

Unit sequence

2 Foundational Units in Biblical Studies, or equivalent


Lectures, tutorials and class discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • NRSV Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books* [RSV is acceptable]
  • Beavis, Mary Ann. Mark. Paideia. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.
  • Boring, M. Eugene. Mark A Commentary. NTL. London: Westminster John Knox, 2006.
  • ———. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2012.
  • Byrne, Brendan. A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark’s Gospel. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2008.
  • Culpepper, R. Alan. Mark. Macon, GA: Smyth Helwys, 2007.
  • France, R. T. Mark. NIGTC. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.
  • Malina, Bruce J., and Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1992.
  • Marcus, Joel. Mark 1-8. The Anchor Bible. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
  • ———. Mark 8-16. The Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009
  • Moloney, Francis J. A Friendly Guide to the New Testament. Mulgrave, VIC: John Garratt Publishing, 2010..
  • Mullins, Michael. The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Dublin: Columba, 2005.
  • Rhoads, David M., Joanna Dewey, and Donald M. Michie. Mark as Story: Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1999.
  • Throckmorton, Burton H. Gospel Parallels: A Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels. 5th ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992.
  • Witherington, Ben. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

4500 word research essay

4500 60.0
Exegetical Essay

2500 word exegetical essay

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000