Meditations on Mark

Mark’s gospel is almost certainly the earliest of the canonical gospels. It was once regarded as the simplest and most straightforward account of the ministry of Jesus. With its breathless pace, ‘And then Jesus said… and then he went….and immediately….’ Mark presents a series of events in quick succession, outlining the bare bones of Jesus' life and ministry. The order appears to be almost random, and yet on closer inspection, it becomes apparent that this is a work of considerable literary sophistication. 

The interpretation of Mark has become the source of fascination to modern commentators: for some, Mark’s focus is Christological, exploring the identity of Jesus Christ; for others, it is eschatological, emphasising the imminence of Jesus’ proclamation that 'the Kingdom of God is at hand'; some scholars emphasise the pastoral or missionary accent of the text, while others focus on the way in which the text has been shaped by the politics and social issues of its day. In these podcasts, Will Lamb provides an overview of contemporary scholarship while paying close attention to the exegesis of Mark’s text. These meditations are designed to enrich our reading of Mark as we explore the gospel in the course of the liturgical year.

These podcasts have been produced by the University Church. Readings by Elisabeth Dutton, meditations by Will Lamb, music and sound design by Nicholas Alexander.

The Beginning of the Gospel (Mark 1.1-15)

In the first episode, we explore the language and imagery of Mark’s Prologue and the way in which Mark introduces his challenging and unsettling story.

Binding the Strong Man (Mark 3.20-35)

In the second episode, we consider the apocalyptic imagery of the gospel, as well as the conflict and controversy which attends Mark’s first few chapters.

The Mystery of the Kingdom (Mark 4.10-20)

In the third episode, we examine the tension between concealment and revelation in the gospel, and the way in which Mark uses parables in order to convey his message.

A Costly Discipleship (Mark 10.32-45)

In the fourth episode, we turn from Galilee to face Jerusalem. Jesus predicts his passion three times, and challenges his followers to think about the cost of discipleship.

The Place called Golgotha (Mark 15.22-39)

In the fifth episode, we reflect on Mark’s account of the passion of Christ.

What's in an ending? (Mark 16.1-8)

In this sixth and final episode, we are invited to meditate on Mark’s mysterious ending.

Additional Resources

Further information and links to other resources on Mark's gospel will be posted here in the course of the year.