Elective unit                                                                                                          (Min. No. 8)

2nd semester: Monday evening



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 – and also in relation to the broader scope of the Synoptic Gospels.

PREREQUISITES: Two Foundational units in Biblical Studies or equivalent


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. 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
  2. analyse the geographic and historical background to the Gospel of Mark and define the social and political world in which it emerged
  3. 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 and also The Gospel of Thomas
  4. analyse the relationship between the Gospel of Mark and the OT, and articulate implicit and explicit intertextual references
  5. identify and utilise the materials that assist NT interpretation
  6. demonstrate an understanding of the distinctive theology of Mark


One 2000 word exegetical essay (40%); one 4000 word research essay (60%)


BIBLIOGRAPHY *set texts recommended for purchase. Choose one of these.

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, 2009.

Moloney, Francis J. The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002.

*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, 1992.

Witherington, Ben. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.