The Gospel of Mark Prologue (Part I) | Mark 1:1-8 Lesson (Slideshow+)

Mark Commentary

The Prologue of Mark

Though scholars debate the length of the prologue, Mk 1:1-8 is largely about John the Baptist while Mk 1:9-15 is largely about Jesus.1

Update: I recently posted a study on the second part of the prologue (Mk 1:9-13), in which I stopped at Mk 1:13.

The transition from John the Baptist to Jesus the Christ (i.e., the Messiah cf. Mk 1:1) indicates the transition from the old era to the dawning of a new age in redemptive history.2

Below, please find links to verse-by-verse commentary, a video overview of the Gospel of Mark (which can also be found on the Gospel of Mark Book Study Overview page), main points, and the slideshow.

For sources cited in this entire study, please see the bibliography.

Verse-by-Verse Commentary

Click on any of the following links to read more in-depth commentary on each verse. Most of the material can also be found in the slideshow below (albeit in abbreviated form).

Video Overview of Mark

This video is embedded in the original slideshow but will not play in the viewer below. See the insightful, animated video from The Bible Project below:

Main Points

  • The beginning of Gospel (“Good News”) starts with John the Baptist.3 In spite of the future suffering, the narrative is still Good News.4
  • Mark lets us see Jesus from “God’s angle” (cf. Job 1-2).5 Others in the narrative will struggle with His identity: the Messiah, the Son of God.
  • John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by preaching that people should repent: turn from their sin and turn to God6wholeheartedly (cf. Mk 12:29-33)
  • John the Baptist is the Elijah-like forerunner of Jesus; Jesus is “the manifestation of God”.7 He is equated with God (the Father)
  • John had a large following. Yet, his aim was not to gain popularity, but to point to Christ.8 We, too, should aim to “deflect”9 all glory to Christ, not seek to gain renown for ourselves.
  • John the Baptist “stands as the point between the past promise and the future fulfillment of redemptive history…”10 He is like Moses, who “prepared the people for the coming of the kingdom of God but was not himself able to enter the ‘promised land’ (Deut. 34)”.11
  • This is all part of God’s prophesied, master plan (of redemption) – the fulfillment of written prophecy


To download a .PDF version of this slideshow, please click –> Mark 1:1-8 Lesson | The Prologue (Part 1)



  1. Witherington, 68
  2. cf. Witherington, 68
  3. Stein, 38
  4. Witherington, 69
  5. France, 58
  6. Cole T, 106
  7. Edwards, 28
  8. Edwards, 32
  9. Strauss, 67
  10. Guelich, 26
  11. Stein, 51
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Imperfect Servant ✝?⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist