Sunday Reflection

Background on three Biblical books

The Gospel of Mark

This gospel was written by one of Jesus’ disciples, Mark, also known as John Mark.  He was writing his gospel primarily for the non-Jewish audience, the Gentiles.  It is said to be written between the years of 50 – 70 A.D. and written in Rome.  Keep in mind that Emperor Nero’s horrific persecutions happened in the 60’s A.D. Many believe this gospel to be the first of the four gospels written.  Mark includes many of Jesus’ miracles in his gospel; many are repeated in the other three gospels.  Many scholars feel that the most important point of this gospel is that Jesus overcame the power of death by resurrecting from the tomb.  This resurrection proved that no power can rule over him and He is the Son of God.

The Book of Hebrews

There is no one definitive author of Hebrews according to scholars. Possibilities are Paul, Barnabas and Apollos.  It was written for the Jewish Christians living outside of Palestine and possibly in the 60’s A. D., similar to the time of the Gospel of Mark.  The book focuses on how Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses (sacrifices, sanctuaries, and priesthood), and how He fulfills the new high priest requirements also mentioned in this Law.  Keep in mind this book was written for Jews who have become Christian and are used to the Law of Moses but are learning how there is more than this Law and how Jesus goes beyond the sacrificial ways and strict laws given in the Law of Moses.

The First Book of Samuel

This might be the easiest of the three books to date as there are references in the book.  There are references to the death of King Solomon in 930 B. C. and the division of the kingdom of Israel into Israel & Judah (I Sam 11:8).  This is the easy part.  Who wrote this book is not so clear but scholars feel it is written with help from Samuel, Nathan and Gad (a personal prophet of David). This book was also once one book along with the Second Book of Samuel as they were part of the Hebrew Bible.  When the Bible was translated into Greek, it was divided into the two separate books. This book focuses on Samuel’s anointing of Saul as king but Saul soon forgets how God put him on the throne and things change.  By the end of 1 Samuel, God is preparing, through Samuel, to have David made king.




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