Mark begins his gospel by orienting his readers to his reason for writing and introducing his characteristic style.
The first verse of Mark’s Gospel has no verb and can be understood as a title or introduction. The key terms that Mark employs helps his readers to understand why he feels the need to write this account. Though modern readers primarily associate the word “gospel” with the four books at the beginning of the New Testament, at the time of Mark’s writing, it was a new term, coined by the Derived from a Greek word meaning "one who is sent," an apostle is a person who embraces and advocates another person's idea or beliefs. At the beginning of his ministry Jesus called twelve apostles to follow and serve him. Paul became an apostle of Jesus... More A Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More to describe his preaching of Salvation can mean saved from something (deliverance) or for something (redemption). Paul preached that salvation comes through the death of Christ on the cross which redeemed sinners from death and for a grace-filled life. More through faith in Jesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More Christ. By describing his work as the Gospel of Jesus the Christ (sometimes translated “good news”), Mark links his work with Paul’s proclamation. Mark also includes key terms to help his readers understand the nature of Jesus’ identity. For instance, he describes Jesus as Christ, a Greek term that means “the anointed one” and that is equivalent to the Hebrew “The Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More.” This description ties Jesus to the tradition of Israelite kingship, especially Second king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More, as can be seen in A psalm is a song of praise. In the Old Testament 150 psalms comprise the psalter, although some of the psalms are laments and thanksgivings. In the New Testament early Christians gathered to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. More 2:1.
Finally, the first verse introduces readers to the curious ambiguity that pervades Mark’s Gospel. It’s very hard to know what Mark is referring to with the word “beginning.” Is it simply a reference to the start of his Gospel? Is it a reference to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry? Or is all of the Gospel of Mark the beginning that then continued on through the ministry of Paul in the Roman world? Readers will continue to encounter questions like this as they dig deeper into Mark’s writing.