The Gospel according to Mark:
People, Places, Terms, and Titles
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
 
Characters Appearing or Mentioned in Mark:
  • Figures from the History of Ancient Israel:
    • Isaiah, the Prophet (1:2; 7:6)
    • Moses, the Lawgiver (1:44; 7:10; 9:4-5; 10:3-4; 12:19, 26)
    • David, the King (2:25; 11:10; 12:35-37; cf. "Son of David" in 10:47-48)
    • Abiathar, the High Priest (2:26)
    • Elijah, the Prophet (6:15; 8:28; 9:4-5; 9:11-13; 15:35-36)
       
  • Names for Demonic Forces:
    • Satan (1:13; 3:23, 26; 4:15; 8:33)
    • unclean spirits (1:21-28; 3:11; 5:2; 6:7; etc.)
    • demons & demoniacs (1:32-34, 39; 3:15; 6:13; :26; etc.)
    • Beelzebul (3:20-30)
    • "Legion" - inhabiting the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20)
       
  • Religious and/or Political Leaders in First-Century Palestine:
    • John the Baptist (1:4-9, 14; 2:18; 6:14-29; 8:28; 11:30-32)
    • Herod [Antipas], Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (6:14-28; 8:15)
    • [Herod] Philip, Tetrarch of Northeastern Regions (6:17)
    • Herodias (Philip's wife) and her daughter (6:17, 19, 22)
    • High Priest (14:53-66, but not named in Mark)
    • [Pontius] Pilate, the Roman Governor (15:1-45)
    • Barabbas, a rebel (15:7, 11, 15)
         
  • Jesus' Family:
    • Mary, his mother (named only in 6:3; “mother” also mentioned in 3:31-35)
    • Jesus’ “brothers”: James, Joses, Judas, Simon (6:3; cf. 3:21, 31-35)
    • Jesus’ “sisters” (mentioned, but never named; 3:32; 6:3; cf. 10:29-30)
    • Mary, mother of James the younger and of Joses (15:40, 47; 16:1)
    • Note: “Joseph” is never mentioned in Mark!
       
  • Twelve Apostles:
    • The word “apostles” is used only twice (3:14; 6:30)
    • The group as a whole is also referred to as “the Twelve
      (3:14, 16; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 10:32; 11:11; 14:10, 17, 20, 43)
    • Individual Apostles mentioned only once (3:16-19):
      • Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas,
        James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaean
    • Individual Apostles also mentioned elsewhere in Mark:
      • Simon & Andrew, James & John (1:16-20; 1:29; 3:16-18; 13:3)
      • Simon Peter alone (called “Simon” in 1:29, 30, 36;
        called “Simon Peter” in 3:16; 14:37;  called “Peter” alone in
        8:29, 32-33; 9:5; 10:28; 11:21; 14:29; 14:54, 66-72; 16:7;  [16:9])
      • Peter, James, and John together (5:37; 9:2; 10:35, 41; 14:33)
      • James and John, the sons of Zebedee, together (1:19-20; 10:35-41);
        also called Boanerges = “sons of thunder” (3:17 only)
      • John (son of Zebedee) alone (9:38)
      • Judas Iscariot (3:19; 14:10-11, 43-45)
    • "The eleven" (twelve minus Judas) are mentioned only in 16:14,
      in the later ending of Mark (cf. Matt 28:16; Luke 24:9, 33; Acts 1:26; 2:14)
       
  • Other Named Disciples:
    • Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, a blind beggar (10:46-52 only)
    • Jairus, a synagogue ruler, & his daughter & wife (5:21-43 only)
    • Joseph of Arimathea (15:43-46 only)
    • Levi, son of Alphaeus, a tax collector (2:14 only; cf. Matt 9:9)
    • Mary Magdalene (15:40-47; 16:1-8; [16:9])
    • Salome, woman at the tomb (15:40; 16:1)
    • Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus (15:21)
    • Simon the Leper (14:3 only)
       
  • Anonymous Individuals:
    • Simon’s mother-in-law (1:29-30)
    • Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20)
    • a woman with a flow of blood (5:25-34)
    • the mother of Herodias (6:24, 28)
    • a soldier of Herod’s guard (6:27)
    • a Syro-Phoenician Woman (7:24-30)
    • two of Jesus’ disciples (11:1-7; 14:13-16)
    • a “good” scribe (12:28-34)
    • one of Jesus’ disciples (13:1)
    • woman who anoints Jesus' head (14:3-9)
    • a slave of the high priest (14:47)
    • a young man who runs away from Gethsemane naked (14:51-52)
    • a servant-girl of the high priest (14:66-69)
    • [two anonymous disciples] - ([only 16:12-13]; cf. Luke 24:13-35)
       
  • Jewish Groups of First-Century Palestine:
    • Pharisees (2:18, 24; 3:6; 7:1-13; 8:11, 15; 10:2; 12:13)
    • Herodians (3:6; 12:13 only)
    • Sadducees (12:18 only)
    • disciples of Jesus (2:15-16, 23; 3:7, 9; 4:34; 6:1; etc. often)
    • disciples of John the Baptist (2:18; 6:29 only)
    • disciples of the Pharisees (2:18 only)
    • scribes of the Pharisees (2:16 only)
    • scribes and Pharisees (7:1, 5)
    • scribes alone (1:22; 2:6; 3:22; 9:11, 14; 12:35, 38)
    • chief priests, scribes and elders together (8:31; 11:27; 14:43, 53; 15:1)
    • chief priests and scribes together (10:33; 11:18; 14:1; 15:31)
    • chief priests alone (14:10; 15:3, 10-11)
    • priests alone (1:44; 2:26)
    • elders alone (7:5)
    • the council (14:55; 15:1, 43)
    • Jews (7:3 only; cf. 15:2-26)
       
  • Generic Groups of Characters:
    • lepers (1:40-45; 14:3)
    • crowds (2:4, 13; 3:9, 20, 32; 4:1, 36; 5:21; etc. often)
    • tax collectors (2:14-17; cf. 12:14)
    • sinners (2:15-17; 14:41)
    • bystanders who challenge Jesus' disciples (11:5)
    • guards (14:54, 65)
    • witnesses at Jesus’ trial (14:57-59)
    • bystanders in the court of the high priest (14:69-70)
    • bystanders at the crucifixion (15:35)
       
  • Characters mentioned in the other Gospels, but not in Mark:
    • OT characters:  Abraham; Isaac; Jacob; Judah; Joseph
    • NT characters:
      • Zechariah & Elizabeth (parents of John the Baptist)
      • Joseph (husband of Mary)
      • Simeon & Anna (prophets in the temple)
      • Nathanael
      • Martha & Mary & Lazarus of Bethany
      • Zacchaeus
      • Annas & Caiaphas (high priests)
      • Nicodemus
      • Malchus
Place Names and Locations in Mark:
  • Judea and Environs:
    • wilderness [of Judea] (1:3-4, 12-13)
    • Jordan [river] (1:5, 9)
    • Idumea = region south of Judea (3:8)
    • Perea = region "beyond the Jordan" (3:8; 10:1)
    • Judea, as a region (3:8; 10:1; 13:4)
    • Jericho (10:46)
  • Galilee:
    • Nazareth, Jesus' hometown (1:9, 24; 10:47; 14:67; 16:6), and its synagogue (6:1-6)
    • Galilee, as a region (1:14, 39; 9:30; 14:28; 16:7; etc.)
    • Sea of Galilee and its shores (1:16; 2:13; 3:7; 4:1, 35; etc.)
    • Capernaum (1:21; 2:1; 9:33), including: 
      • the synagogue (1:21), 
      • the house of Simon & Andrew (1:29), 
      • a tax booth (2:14), 
      • and Jesus' own home? (2:1; 3:19; 9:33)
    • Galilean towns (1:38, 45; etc.), grainfields (2:2:23), a mountain (3:9), villages (6:6), isolated rural spots (6:31)
    • Bethsaida (6:45; 8:22)
    • Gennesaret (6:53)
    • Dalmanutha [or Magdala?]  (8:10)
    • Caesarea Philippi (8:27)
    • "high mountain" (9:2, 9)
  • Outside of Israel:
    • Tyre & Sidon (3:8; 7:24, 31)
    • "the other side" [of the Sea of Galilee]  (4:35; 5:1, 21; 6:45; 8:13)
    • Gerasene [or Gadarene] region (5:1)
    • Decapolis, league of "ten cities" (5:20; 7:31)
  • Near and In Jerusalem:
    • Jerusalem (3:8; 7:1; 10:32; most of ch. 11--16), including:
      • the temple (11:11, 15, 27; 12:35)
      • the treasury (12:41)
      • the "upper room" (14:13-15)
      • the High Priest's house (14:53)
      • the praetorium [Roman Governor's palace] (15:1-20)
    • Bethphage (11:1), and a nearby village (11:2)
    • Bethany (11:1-12; 14:3), incl. the house of Simon the Leper (11:3)
    • Mount of Olives (11:1; 13:3; 14:26)
    • Gethsemane (14:32)
    • Golgotha = "Place of the Skull" (15:22)
    • Tomb, where Jesus was buried (15:46-47; 16:1-8)
  • See also the NT Geography Webpage

Key Events in Mark's Gospel:
  • Gospel Introduction (1:1-15):
    • Baptism of Jesus (1:9-11; cf. 10:38-39)
    • Temptation in the Wilderness (1:12-13)
    • Jesus' Initial Public Preaching (1:14-15)
  • Public Ministry in and near Galilee (1:16—8:21):
  • Central Section: Journey to Jerusalem (8:22—10:52):
    • Confession of Peter (8:27-30)
    • Passion Predictions (8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34)
    • Transfiguration (9:2-8)
    • Journey to Jerusalem (10:1-52)
  • The Final Week in Jerusalem (11:1—13:37):
    • Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (11:1-11)
    • Cleansing of the Temple (11:15-19)
    • Cursing of the Fig Tree (12:12-14, 20-24)
    • Apocalyptic Discourse (13:1-37)
  • The Passion Narrative (14:1—15:47):
    • Passover [festival]  (14:1, 12-25)
    • Anointing at Bethany (14:3-9)
    • Last Supper (14:12-25)
    • Judas' Betrayal (14:10-11, 42-50; cf. 3:19; 9:31)
    • & Peter's Denial (14:26-31, 66-72) 
    • Crucifixion & Burial (15:21-47)
  • Jesus' Resurrection & Gospel Conclusion (16:1-8):
    • Empty Tomb story (16:1-8); Original Ending at 16:8
    • vs. Later Additions / Longer Ending [16:9-20]
      [Resurrection Appearances, summarized from Mt & Lk]
        
  • See also the Synoptic Outlines Webpage

Main Titles for Jesus used in Mark:
  • Christ [= Messiah]  (1:1; 8:29; 9:41; 12:35; 13:21; 14:61; 15:32)
  • Son of God (1:1; 3:11), equivalent to:
    • Son of the Most High God (5:7)
    • My Son, the Beloved (1:11; 9:7) 
    • Holy One of God (1:24) 
    • Son of the Blessed One (14:61)
  • Son of Man (2:10, 28; 8:31, 38; 9:9; etc.)
  • Teacher (4:38; 5:35; 9:17, 38; etc.) = Rabbi (9:5; 11:21; 14:45)
  • Prophet (6:4; 8:28)
  • Lord = Master = Sir (7:28; 11:3; 12:35-37)
  • Son of David (10:47-48; 12:35)
  • King of the Jews (15:2-26) = King of Israel (15:32)
     
  • See also the Christological Titles Webpage

Other Important Terms in Mark:

  • Gospel vs. gospel (1:1, 14-15; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10; 14:9; [16:15])
  • Kingdom/Reign of God (1:15; 4:11, 26, 30; 9:1, 47; 10:14-15, 23-25; 11:10; 12:34; 14:25; 15:43 )
  • sabbath (1:21; 2:23-28; 3:2, 4; 6:2; 16:1, 2; [16:9])
  • commandments of Moses / of God (1:44; 7:8-13; 10:2-9, 19-20; 12:28-34)
  • traditions of the Pharisees (7:1-23)

Note: The links underlined above take you to other webpages with more details about that topic.
For more information, see also any good Bible Dictionary, and/or use a Bible Concordance,
or a Bible software program to see where these items occur in the New Testament.
Most importantly, look up these passages in Mark's Gospel itself!

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