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The earliest surviving account of the life of Jesus is Mark’s.  Well, actually, it’s Peter’s since Mark served as a scribe in assembling Peter’s recollections and anecdotes about life during Jesus’ ministry.  As such, it’s very Peter-centric.

It’s believed to have been written in Rome in the late 50s (AD of course), roughly 20 years after the events it records.  Mark’s goal is to present and defend the universal call to discipleship though providing narritive identification and recording the teachings of Jesus (or so says the ESV Study Bible folks). 

The Gospel of Mark is supposedly drawn from an earlier source: Q.  The ESV folks call Mark’s style a ‘docudrama’ as he compiles highlights and representative events without claiming to present a continuous or exhaustive narrative account of Jesus’ ministry.  In that sense, I think of Mark as a highlight reel or an AP write-up.

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