The Gospel According to Mark (Mark) .
For a long time, the Gospel of Mark was the least popular of the Gospels, both among scholars and general readers. Mark's literary style is somewhat dull "for example, he begins a great number of sentences with the word "then." Luke and Matthew both contain the same story of Jesus' life, but in more sophisticated prose. Mark also leaves out accounts of Jesus' birth, the Sermon on the Mount, and several of the most well known parables. Mark became more popular, however, when biblical scholars discovered it was the earliest written of the four Gospels, and was probably the primary source of information for the writers of Luke and Matthew. Moreover, because neither Jesus nor his original disciples left any writings behind, the Gospel of Mark is the closest document to an original source on Jesus' life that currently exists. The presumed author of the Gospel of Mark, John Mark, was familiar with Peter, Jesus' closest disciple. Indeed, Mark is the New Testament historian who comes closest to witnessing the actual life of Jesus. Though Mark's Gospel certainly comes to us through his own personal lens, scholars are fairly confident that Mark is a reliable source of information for understanding Jesus' life, ministry, and crucifixion. As a result of its proximity to original sources, the Gospel of Mark has transformed from a book disregarded for its lowly prose to one of the most important books in the New Testament. Its historical importance has affected its evaluation by literary scholars as well. Though crude and terse, the Gospel of Mark is vivid and concrete. Action dominates. A dramatic sense of urgency is present, and Mark has a developed sense of irony that permeates the Gospel.
The Gospel According to Mark has no story of Jesus' birth. Instead, Mark's story begins by describing Jesus' adult life, introducing it with the words, "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (1:1).