New Testament

The New Testament is the portion of the Bible that was written after the events of Jesus Christ. It is composed of 27 books, typically named after the author or the person it was addressed to.

56,882 Questions
New Testament

How many times is Job mentioned in the New Testament?

He is mentioned in James 5:11.

History of Italy
Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

Who was Pontius Pilate?

Pontius Pilate was a Roman citizen, a prelate appointed by the emperor to oversee the province of Judea. He was responsible for releasing Jesus to be crucified. Between the Pilate of the New Testament and the Pilate of history there is nothing in common. The Pilate of the New Testament is subservient to the Jews, acceding to their every wish, even to murdering an innocent prisoner. The Pilate of history is noted for his hatred of the Jews and his cruelties to them. It was these which provoked his recall. Some have noted quite a remarkable difference between what we know of the regular character of Pilate due to a number of merciless actions during his governorship and his being portrayed as weak and vacilating by the gospel writers.

Since the gospels have been found to be accurate in numerous other instances they could be 'given the benefit of the doubt' here even if there were no additional evidence. However it has been discovered that a certain Sejanus who was like a patron or protector of Pilate, was removed from his position in AD31 as he was found to have been plotting against the emperor of the day. This turn of events would have made the political position of Pilate very weak in AD33, the likely time when Jesus was tried. It would have made the leverage used by the Jews when they said 'if you release this man you are not a friend of Caeser,' particularly strong, as Pilate would have been wanting to demonstrate loyalty lest he be implicated with his friend Sejanus. Pilate of course knew that the Jews hated the Romans, but that they had it 'over him' should they report disloyal conduct on his part. His vacilation was no doubt due to being caught between a rock and a hard place. He certainly seemed to believe in Jesus' innocence but reluctantly gave the Jews this favor to save his own neck, at least for a time.


A ruler from the Roman Empire during time of Jesus who held massive amounts of wealth due to the over taxation of the poor.


I personally believe that the Gospels portray Pilate not as "weak and and vacilating" but as cruel, heartless, arrogant, politically-insensitive, and without the slyness and cunning of the various Herods. All this made it easy for the Pharisees, Sadduccees, and Herodians to politically ambush him.

The Bible
New Testament

What biblical Scripture says that your body is a temple?


The Bible
New Testament

Who were the 12 disciples?

Twelve ApostlesThe 12 apostles were people that were called by Jesus to follow, listen, obey and spread the word.

Jesus' disciples were:

1.) Simon (whom He named Peter)

2.) Andrew

3.) James

4.) John

5.) Philip

6.) Bartholomew

7.) Matthew

8.) Thomas

9.) James son of Alphaeus

10.) Simon who was called the Zealot

11.) Judas son of James

12.) Judas Iscariot- later replaced with faithful Matthias.


  • Several disciples had their names changed, or were given additional descriptive names or titles to distinguish one from another; for example, John and his brother James were often called the "sons of Zebedee," or the "sons of thunder."
  • There were many disciples but only 12 apostles(Mark 3:14) at any one time.
  • The listing of Judas Iscariot as number 12 is not accurate; After his betrayal of Jesus and subsequent suicide, he was replaced with a disciple named Matthias (Acts 1:15-26).
Memory HelpHere's a poem to help you remember their names:

Peter, Andrew, James and John,

fishermen of Caperneum.

Thomas and Matthew too,

Phillip and Bartholemew,

James his brother Thadeus,

Simon and the one called Judas,

twelve disciples here in all,

following the Master's call.

The book of Acts chapter 1 verse 13 gives the names of the eleven that met to pick a replacement for Judas Iscariat who betrayed Jesus. They picked Matthias as a replacement making their number 12 again.

AnswerHere is another song to help remember them:

There were 12 disciples Jesus called to help him. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother John. Phillip and Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus and Simon, Judas and Bartholomew.

The Bible
Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

Where does the word corban appear in the Bible?

Corban (Qorban-Hebrew)(Korban'-Greek) means an 'offering' or a 'gift dedicated to God', and was used in the Hebrew scriptures at: Leviticus 1:2, 3; 2:1; Numbers 5:15; 6:14, 21, Ezekiel 20:28 and 40:43.

In Jesus time, the word was used in the paralell accounts at: Mark 7:9-13 and Matthew 15:3-6.

A bad practice had developed among the Jews, ignoring the obligation of 'honoring one's parents'(Exodus 20:12)(Deuteronomy 5:16)(Ephesians 6:2), and caring for their needs as they aged.

The religious leaders, had come up with the idea that if a person didn't want to share necessities with his parents, he simply had to say that these necessities were 'corban' or 'offerings dedicated to God' and he wouldn't have to share anything, though he could still use these on himself until his own death. As usual, the religious leaders of the day professed to honor God, but their hearts were far away from Him, consequently, hypocritical teachings such as this, were condemned by Jesus.-(Matthew 15:7-9)

New Testament
The Bible
Old Testament

Where in Scripture does it say God cannot lie?

1. Hebrews 6:18 in order that through two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to the refuge may have strong encouragement to take firm hold of the hope set before us.

2. Titus 1:2 and is based on a hope of the everlasting life

that God, who cannot lie, promised long ago

3. Numbers 23:19 God is not a mere man who tells lies,+

Nor a son of man who changes his mind.*+

When he says something, will he not do it?

When he speaks, will he not carry it out?

The Bible
New Testament
Jesus Christ

How old is Jesus?

The theological answer is this:

  • Jesus was 33 1/2 years old when he was crucified
  • Jesus was born around 3 A.D. His birth was 2009 years ago though nobody knows the exact date. But Jesus is of the Trinity and is technically eternal. He has not always been man, but in the incarnation "became man" at birth.

The historical answer is somewhat different, however. Historians have not found enough objective information to definitively say how old Jesus was when died; however, it is perhaps safe to suggest that he was in his thirties at the time of his death. The only major primary source on the life of the Historical Jesus, ie: the "New" Testament, provides too many inaccuracies and inconsistencies to be considered a reliable source on his time and place of birth; also, as scholars have noted, Jesus left no writings, and the New Testament was compiled between 40 and 100 years after the events that it describes.

As we know, from extra-biblical sources, Pilate was the Prefect of Judea from 26- 36 CE. Within these ten years, on Passover Eve, Jesus must have died; however, it is down to guesswork (and belief) after that.

Taking all this into consideration, he is almost as old as your mom.

And then there is the accurate biblical answer

If you believe the biblical text, then you must be aware that Christ was observed by others prior to his time on earth in the flesh. Yes he was supposed to be about 33 years of age when he was crucified in the flesh after being born of the virgin Mary of the tribe of Levi. However there are other accounts of Christ in the Old Testament which go all the way back to the garden of eden and another in the book of John which takes Christ all the way back to the beginning of all time.

1) There is the account of Christ in the garden of eden in the book of Genesis as the tree of life (Genesis 2:9)

2) Christ is Melchisedec/Melchizedek (King of the Just) who met with Abraham, explained by the Apostle Paul and documented in Genesis and the book of Psalms: Hebrews 5:6-10, 6:20, 7:1-21, Genesis 14:18, Psalms 110:4

3) Christ was observed by Nebuchadnezzar in the fiery furnace, during the captivity of Babylon, He is referred to as the Son of God. Daniel 3:25

4) In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, The same was in the beginning with God... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. John 1:1-2 and 14. Christ was since the beginning with our Father. How long ago was that? The answer to that time is not given however 2nd Peter chapter 3 identifies 3 earth eons or ages. One that passed hundreds prior to this one which we know is hundreds of thousands if not billions of years old.

These are biblical friendus to the question how old was Christ. In order to be accurate all accounts must be disclosed; not simply those which account for his flesh life. Many people stumble at the word because they do not understand both bodies as Paul identified in 1st Corinthians ch 15. There is a heavenly body and and earthly body. Further 2nd Peter ch 3 proclaims all three earth eons (ages), The 1st prior to this one which ended in a flood and an ice age, The 2nd which is this current age, and the last or 3rd which is often referred to as the eternity. In that same 2nd Peter ch 3, you will discover that a day with the Lord is a as 1000 years.

Histrocial biblical reference =

1) Christ's time on this earth in the flesh was about 33 years.

2) His existence prior to his flesh life can not be measured using mankind's current knowledge (its guessed that the earth is hundreds of billions of years old).

3) His existence after his flesh life has been about 2000 years (two days).

4) Documented in the book of Genesis chapter 1 are the first 7 days where our Father setup this earth age (the 2nd). Knowning from 2nd Peter Ch3 that a day with the Lord is 1000 years, the total of the first week was 7000 years or 7 days (one week).

5) Documented in the first chapter of Genesis are the first 5 days (5000 years) where all of the items needed for flesh man to exist were created.

6) Documented in the first chapter of Genesis was the creation of flesh man on the 6th day (6000 years after our Father began rejuvenating his earth for flesh mans existence)

7) Our Father rests on the 7th day (a period of 1000 of flesh mans years). The first week has ended with a day of rest and the second week begans.

8) The Second Week:

8a. Documented in the second chapter of Genesis is the forming of the man to till the soil (Adam or More specific in the Hebrew eth-ha-adam) on the 8th day (or the 1st day of the second week). Adam is directly traceable to the birth of Christ (Luke ch 3), as Mary is from the tribe of Levi (Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Levi). Adam is mentioned in the Genealogy of Joseph (Matthew ch 1), Mary's husband. Christ is born in the flesh of Mary, a discendent of Adam (eth-ha-adam).

8b. From Adam to Christ are about 4000 years (4days) and from Christ until now are about 2000 years (2 days). We are near the end of 6000 years (6 days) and very close to the start of the day of rest (7th day).

8d. Christ will reign for a period of 1000 years prior to the end of this earth age (eon) (Revelation ch 20), and just after the 5 month reign of Anti-Christ (Satan as the fake Jesus). Christ's reign of 1000 years (one day) will conclude the second week (second set of 7days, each day being 1000 years). After Christ's 1000 year (one day) reign, Judgement occurs (Revelation 20). Each individual is then judged according to their works.

9) To summerize How old is Christ

9a. He was with our Father in the beginning (John 1:1-2,14)

9b. He was in the garden with Adam (Genesis 2:9) "Tree of Life"

9c. He walked with Abraham as Melchisedec (Genesis 14:18)

9d. He was observed in the fire by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:25)

9e. He was born in the flesh of the Virgin Mary of Levi (Luke 3)

9f. He was observed by many of the Disciples and Mary after his flesh death and during his resurection (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 21)

9g. His soul continues even until today.

This is a study for the bible student durived from biblical text, Please do not erase this truth in order to profess a your own self will concerning Christ. There is a warning from Christ in the last chapter of the book of Revelation (22:19) for all those who do not allow the accurate information from biblical text to be presented, but instead choose to erase this text reference and present altered or inaccurate information.

A Watchman of the House of Israel

End of these comments

try 2009

Finding Christ By Following His Star

Here is another way to look at it. It is speculative, but based on hard evidence. I think it is true.

The magi saw "His star" and used it to know the birth of Christ. It had a very exact time of its appearing, as they told Herod. Astronomy tells us of an interesting series of conjunctions of Jupiter (the king planet as understood by eastern astrologers...the magi were astrologers from the east) with Regulus (the king star). That triple conjunction series began September of 3 BC. Nine months later, a very rare and very bright conjunction of Venus and Jupiter occurred. These are the two brightest "stars" in heaven (they are actually planets). This may be the Bethlehem star. It was brightest on June 17, 2 BC. I think the September conjunction marked His conception. Nine months later He was born. That star, which would have been seen as one bright point, would have been the brightest star the magi had ever seen, was His birthday. Several months later, after a long journey, the appeared in Jerusalem to worship Him. He was no longer in the manger (that was birthday), but in the house.

Luke says clearly that John the Baptist appeared in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius began his rule on August 19, 14 AD. This means the year 29-30 AD John appeared, and Jesus was baptized by John, being about 30 years old. This would put His birth between 1 and 2 BC, which fits the star data. As mentioned already, Jesus ministered about 3 and 1/2 years. He was crucified on a Friday Passover during the reign of Pilate. The should place the date of His death to April 3, 33 AD, when Jesus was 33 years and 10 months old.

The prophecy of Daniel's 70 weeks also confirm this. The details show that Daniel prophesied the exact date of Christ's appearance in Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), to the VERY DAY! If you count the days of his prophecy carefully, which begin with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (which would be the month of Nisan in the 20th year of Artaxerxes), and count 69 weeks (483 Jewish years of 360 days each=173, 880 days), you end up with March 30, 33 AD. This is five days before Passover, when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to the praise of His followers. He had to be inspected 5 days as the spotless lamb of God. Perfect timing!

One must realize who Jesus is to answer correctly. The Gospel of John 1:1-4 explains that before Jesus assumed the role of a man to become our Savior, He was the Eternal Word of God. Hence He always was and will be as He called Himself the 'alpha and omega' Greek letters of the first and last positions.

Jesus was born a human being in circa 5-4 BC. He died in circa 31 AD and was resurrected as the firstborn of many three days after His death. He is the first of the firstfruits of God and lives again in Heaven (see John 3:13) sitting at the right hand of the Father, now as His Son also. Jesus is both 100% Man and 100% God.

Jesus lived as a human being for "about 33 years", but Jesus is also God the Creator and the Lord of the Old Testament !

Col 1:16-18 ISV For by him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether they are kings, lords, rulers, or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. (v.17) He himself existed before all things, and by him all things hold together. (v.18) He is also the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself might have first place in everything.

Jesus as God was never born but has always existed since eternity past, and will live eternally and never die.

He died when he was 33. He always was, is, and is to come. Spiritually, he has no age.
Please kindly note Jesus is ageless, as he was there with god before the foundation of the earth.

New Testament
Jesus Christ

What was gall given to Jesus Christ on the cross?

The "gall" given to Jesus on the cross (which Mark calls "myrrh" and Luke and John do not mention) was a bitter substance used as an anesthetic; a first-century "painkiller."

New Testament

What does Reap what you shall sow mean?

It means you will get just as you do to others , if bad then you will get bad deeds , if you do good deeds you will get good.


You reap what you sow.

Another way of saying this might be you get back what you put in, or what goes around comes around. Whatever you practice doing will come back to you eventually. Universal Laws are believed by many to have been brought into existence when God created the Universe. Whatever one gives out to others will come back to them, love, compassion, mercy, money etc. If one is generous with anything and gives to others they will be blessed in kind. Or the rule of thumb is do unto others what you would have them do unto you (Bible).

The Bible
Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

Who is yagus in The Bible?

There is no person of that name in the Bible according to my concordance.

Additional Answer:

Your are probably referring to Simon the Sorcerer or Simon the Magician (in Latin Simon Magus) and he first appears in Acts 8:9-14. It is said by some that it was this Simon who was in Rome and not Simon Peter.

New Testament

What five events occurred on Pentecost?

In the book of Acts, chapter 2:

  1. A gathering in the upper room, in one accord, in prayer
  2. The Holy Spirit came sounding like a mighty, rushing wind, and appearing like tongues of fire
  3. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, then a crowd gathered because each one heard them speaking in his own language
  4. The apostle Peter preached for the first time
  5. Three thousand were converted and baptized
New Testament
Idioms, Cliches, and Slang

Why is old age called second childhood?

Old age is called "second childhood" because as we age our bodies tend to shut down and not function as they once did. When we are babies we need to be fed, dress, bathed and taken care of in every form and fashion. When we are elderly we have the same type of need for a caregiver. We often end up wearing (adult) diapers, and sometimes dont have teeth (like a baby). We have accidents and sometimes have trouble communicating and sometimes even have to be wheeled around in a wheel chair (like a baby in a carriage). So if u look, there really are alot of parallels between our first childhood and our "second childhood."

The Bible
New Testament

What does 'manifold grace of God' mean?

The Greek word translated "manifold" (poikilos) means "of various colors or sorts." Thus, "manifold grace of God" (a phrase which appears only in 1 Peter 4:10) means that His grace is demonstrated in numerous different ways.

The Bible
New Testament
Jesus Christ

Who helped Jesus carry his cross?

Simon from Cyrene (Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21).

Little is known of Simon. Many Bible scholars believe that he was likely a Jew who was celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem. He had two sons, Alexander and Rufus.

Cyrene was an important city in North Africa, where Libya is located today. Cyrene had a large Jewish population.

New Testament

Where do you find the biblical verse Who God bless no man curse?

As phrased, it is not biblical. Not exactly sure which verse you're referring to, but here are two possibilities:

(Romans 8:31-32) ". . .If God is for us, who can be against us?..."

(Matthew 19:6) ". . .what God has joined together, let no one separate."

New Testament
Books and Literature

What book has the more stirring chapters?

I would say Mathew. 5:17-20 and 23:8-12 few are admitting to, much less obeying.

New Testament

What audience was Mark's Gospel written for?

Mark is commonly believed to be written for a Roman audience, mainly because of his emphasis on action and the omission of details of lesser interest to them. Mark's Gospel was written for the benefit of a Greek/Roman readership. It contains relatively few references to Old Testament prophecies, explains some Jewish words and practices, and is fast-paced and to the point about Christ as a servant to man, rather than the King of the Jews. It contains fewer (or shorter versions) of Jesus' discourses, focusing instead on His miracles and compassion.

Mark's style and approach indicates he most likely wrote for a Roman audience. Of course what he wrote was also intended for all who want to know more about Jesus Christ and His life and work, down to the present day.

The Romans. This is deduced by both his style of showing action and activity and his lack of reference to Old Testament prophecy (which would have required lengthy explanations to a Roman audience) or Jewish religious customs.

Another answer:

Though some early sources believed the Gospel of Mark was written post the Apostle Peter's death circa 67 AD, others insisted it was written while Peter was still alive. Most who have researched this matter consider Mark writing this work shortly after Peter's death, circa 64-65 AD but before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This being the case, the audience for Mark was under heavy persecution from the Emperor Nero.

Mark directed this work to Gentile Christian converts, especially in Rome. He does not assume readers had a familiarity with Jewish writings/Scripture. He only quotes from the Old Testament once (1:2,3) but explains Jewish customs and geography often.

His immediate intended audience faced persecution and martyrdom. Mark's work strengthened and guided these predominately Roman believers by writing of Jesus' own suffering and death - triumphant over each. This Jesus of Mark showed how the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Christ or Messiah, and the Lord already went through what many were about to face and this Gospel needed to be written down to encourage those then, those now, and those who will face the most terrible times ahead. Mark's work verified these truths providing comfort and strenght to all who would read it. Another answer:The gospel of mark was written in greek, to the gentiles. but later it was for all both the greeks as as the Jews. Another answer:The gospel of Mark is written closest to the actual time of Christ. It was about fifty years after the life of Christ. Mark's gospel was written to a Jewish audience. It is believed that Matthew and Luke took much of their gospels from information provided in the gospel of Mark. The gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were all written to a Jewish audience and much of the wording mirrors one another. The gospel of John was written to a Greek audience and used Sophic or Greek wisdom literature. The beginning of John, "in the beginning was the word.... is Greek wisdom literature.

Another answer:Mark is definitely written for a Jewish audience.

Another answer:The Gospel of Mark was aimed squarely at the Roman mindset. Fast-paced and "action oriented," Mark's gospel includes words of explanation that would be totally unnecessary for a Jewish audience, as in verse 3 below.

Mark 7:1-3 - Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.[NKJV]

Mark's target audience was non-Jews, possibly the Romans.

Bible Statistics and History
New Testament
Paul McCartney

What does Paul of the Bible mean I die every day?

This is ok: when he said I die daily he meant he no longer lives for himself but every day he becomes closer to God by doing God's will and not his own.

This is not correct: Paul was also referring to the daily possibility of his martyrdom. 1 Corinthians 15 v31. 2 Corinthians 11 details some of the suffering he endured over a period of time.

This is the real answer:

We are all pieces of divinity playing the game of life. The purpose of any real spiritual path is to become closer to the God from which we came. In order to do this we must let go of the false misconception of ourselves. We must come to terms with things. We must come to the realization that we are not our mind, our body, or some external position. In the process of doing this it is as if the old self is dying. You may continue to exist in a certain body and do certain things, but you become unattached to them, as they are no longer you.

This is a continual process, because to exist in this world you must be something. So no sooner have you shed one identity than you have a new one that is closer to God. Unfortunately it is already obsolete and must be let go. Letting go is the reality of spiritual growth, to continually let go of the identity that binds you to this world. This is much like it feels at the moment of physical death, the realization that the person you were is gone and you must let go and face the unknown future.

On the spiritual journey it is possible to look back a week, a month, or a year and see distinct identities that you were but now no longer are. They have all died, as will the identity you wear today. In a way you do die every day.

Clarification & Commentary: I am thinking of the quote from the cartoon character POGO who said "we have seen the enemy and he is us". Ultimately, we are "all . . . [pieces]. . . of divinity" because we are not merely body and soul, but are also spirit. "God is a spirit" and is likewise referred to in Hebrews 12:9 as "the Father of spirits". The specific aspect of our experience that is to "die daily" is condensed in the term "I" when Paul said in Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me". IMHO, the "I" that Paul referred to may be rationally understood as our acquired ego identity and development; in other words, the person you have become over a lifetime of conditioning, how you were rasied, the language you speak, enculturalization, psychological formation, emotional development, and your volitional self determination; this is what we have the proclivity to cling to. The "I" or self reflects the sum of our behavioral uniqueness; including the cognitive (mental), affective (emotional) and volitional (will) aspects of our overall humanness. So, as you "continually let go of . . . [this very] . . . identity that binds you to this world", it is more and more replaced with the indwelling Christ, our entrance into a relationship to the Spirit of God, producing the spirit of life, spiritual mindedness, the fruit of the spirit, peace, joy, discernment, etc: In terms of our spiritual growth, it's like shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear so your car will run more smoothly at a higher speed. Unfortunately, most people do not make the shift, do not die to self, remain fixated and imprisoned to only what they know and what they can grasp, to a lifestyle of self-absorption and consequently remain both in this world and a self-limiting byproduct of it. Our lives become more of an incidental reflections of our culture bound awareness instead of the growing purity of consciousness toward the new life that Christ can and will produce in us. One reason we voluntarily accept Christ is because this frees us from conformity to the world, and provides a powerful alternative; a new and transformed life.

Footnote: I do not quote scriptures to preach, but as textual references to help authenticate my viewpoint in the ongoing 2000 year old dialogue of Christian faith that has lasted since the beginning of the ancient church.

The Bible
Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

What is the chiastic structure in Mark's Gospel?

Mark's Gospel is an excellent example in the use of chiastic structures and parallel structures, demonstrating an impressive literary ability on the part of its author.

A chiastic structure is a literary sequence in which an opening set of events is contrasted with another set of events that mirrors the first, with the order reversed. A parallel structure is a literary sequence in which an opening set of events is contrasted with another set of events that parallels the first.The purpose of these structures is to link, by association, the two events of each pair in the minds of the readers, in order to create emphasis or develop a theme that would otherwise not be apparent.

This answer will deal with the following examples:

  • Framework structure
    • This is a substantially updated look at the structure of Mark's Gospel as a whole. It also shows how the author uses nested structures to emphasise events in the main structure or subtly change their meaning.
    • An alternative framework structure using a more traditional chiastic structure is also reviewed and compared to the first example.
  • Passion structure
    • Mark divides the last twenty four hours in the life of Jesus into 8 periods of just 3 hours each, bounded by an elegant chiastic structure.
  • Minor structures
    • Two well-known minor chiastic structures are critically examined.

Framework structure

By creating a structure across the entire gospel, the author of Mark's Gospel has created a parallel structure of immense scope and a complexity beyond those found in the writings of less gifted authors. As with conventional chiastic structures, Mark uses one pair of events to define the limits of the structure, but then the second set progresses in the same direction as the first one, in a parallel format. The pairs shown in the framework structure that follows are not exhaustive, but are major pairs of interest. They will be updated from time to time, and this may result in changes in sequence numbering.

Major events of the framework structure (with detailed explanations following):
A . John explains the coming of Jesus (Mark 1:1-8)

B .The baptism of Jesus (1:9)

C . The voice of God from heaven, "Thou art my beloved son" (1:11)

D . The forty days in the wilderness as an allusion to Elijah and Moses (1:13)

E . The people were astonished at what Jesus taught (1:22)

F . Jesus casts out an unclean spirit (1:23-26)

G . Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians how they might destroy Jesus (3:6)

H . Demons, whenever they see Jesus, fall down and say that he is the Son of God.

-- Jesus commands that they tell no one of this (3:11-12)

I .. Jesus calls the 12 disciples (3:13-19)

J .. Jesus rejects his own family: he has a new family, his followers (3:31-35)

K . Jesus rebukes the wind (4:36-41)

L . The demoniac, wearing no clothes (5:15), cries out that Jesus not torment him and Jesus sends out the demons (5:1-20)

M . Jesus comes into his own country (6:1)
-- Where he was brought up

N . The people misunderstand Jesus and he can do no mighty work (6:2-6)

O . Jesus sends out the disciples and curses those who will not receive them (6:7-11)
-- in sending the disciples with authority and expecting all to receive them, Jesus is asserting his own authority

P . Herod thinks that Jesus is John the Baptist risen from the dead (6:14)

Q . Herodias and her daughter conspire to kill John the Baptist (6:16-29)

R . Feeding the thousands, and related miracles and discourses (6:33-8:21)

S . Who do people say that I am (8:27)

T . Peter affirms faith in Jesus as the Christ (8:29)

U . Whosoever shall be ashamed of me: of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed (8:38)

V . The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes (8:31a)

W . Be killed and after three days rise again (8:31b)

X . Prophecy of second coming (9:1)- Jesus tells the disciples that some of them would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God coming with power.

B' .The Transfiguration of Jesus (9:2-3)

C' .The voice of God from heaven, "This is my beloved son" (9:7)

D' . Jesus talks to Elijah and Moses then to the disciples about Elijah (9:4-13)

E' .A great multitude was amazed at Jesus (9:15)

F' .Jesus cast out a dumb spirit (9:17-27)

G' .They shall kill the Son of man and he shall rise on the third day (9:31)

H' .Jesus clarifies his divine status, saying that he is not God: "Why call me good? There is none good but God" (10:18)

I' . Peter says the disciples have left all and followed Jesus (10:28)

J' . Those who have left their family for Jesus have a new family: all Jesus' followers (10:29-30)

K'. Jesus rebukes the 'sons of thunder', James and John (10:35-45 - cf 3:17)

L' .Blind Bartimaeus cries out for mercy and casts off his clothes, then Jesus heals him (10:46-52)

M' .Jesus comes into Jerusalem (11:1-10)
-- Where he will die

N' .Jesus misunderstands the fig tree that can provide no fruit (11:13-14)

O' .Jesus casts out them that sold and bought in the Temple and curses them for making the Temple a den of thieves (11:15-17)
-- Jesus is asserting his authority

P' .Jesus asks whether the baptism of John is from heaven or of men, and the priests, scribes and elders can not answer (11:30-33)

Q' .Parable of husbandmen who conspire to kill the vineyard owner's son (12:1-9)

X' .Prophecy of second coming (chapter 13)

-- on clouds of glory, within the lifetimes of some of those to whom he was speaking

R' .The Last Supper (14:17-25)

S' .Art thou the Christ, Son of God (14:61)

T' .Peter denies Jesus three times (14:66-72a)

U' .And when he thought thereon, Peter wept (14:72b)

V' .The chief priests, elders and scribes delivered Jesus to Pontius Pilate (15:1)

-- Delivering Jesus is a similar concept to rejecting him.
-- Both parts of the pair involve chief priests, elders and scribes

W' .Jesus dies and on the third day rises again (15:37, 16:6)

A' .The young man explains the departure of Jesus(16:6-8)

Pair A
Note that Mark originally ended at 16:8, with the young man telling the women that Jesus was risen and they fled, telling no one, with no resurrection appearance of Jesus. Verses 16:9-25 form what is now known as the "Long Ending" (there was also, at one stage, a "Short Ending") and were added to the Gospel at a later stage, to provide resurrection appearances and to more or less harmonise it with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Therefore, verses 16:8-25 do not form part of the chiastic structure of Mark's Gospel, and this chiastic structure encompasses the entire gospel, as defined by pair A.

Pair D
In Mark 1:13, the story of Jesus going into the wilderness, where he was ministered by angels is an allusion to Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-7) who was ministered by an angel and in the wilderness forty days. There is no actual suggestion that Jesus fasted for this time, but those familiar with the story of Elijah are likely to have assumed he did do so, and this is made explicit in Matthew and Luke. This brings into play another allusion, to Moses when (Exodus 34:28) he fasted for 40 days while he wrote the words of the Ten Commandments on tablets. The author of Mark seems to have been adept at hidden messages, and this easily overlooked allusion neatly mirrors the Transfiguration in the second set.

Events E and F
In Mark's Gospel, some events not only form pairs across the chiasm, but also interact with each other. Mark repeatedly sandwiches one narrative that stands on its own within another narrative that would seem entirely coherent without it, in the form A1-B-A2. This is an advanced literary technique known to scholars as Markan intercalation, or simply Markan sandwich, by which Mark could emphasise important theological themes. Here we begin with Jesus teaching in the synagogue and the people were astonished at what Jesus taught (Mark 1:21-21) - this is A1 (but also event E in the framework structure). A man with an unclean spirit was in the synagogue and Jesus drove the spirit out of him - this is event B in the intercalation (also event F in the framework structure). In verse 1:27, we return as A2 to the theme of the people amazed, with parallel usage of "teaching with authority" (KJV translates teaching as its synonym 'doctrine'). The effect of this intercalation is to greatly magnify the amazement of the people compared to verse 22 alone. Sandwiched between the two verses in which the people in the synagogue were amazed, the impact of the miracle of the exorcism is also enhanced. The reader can not fail to be aware that what Jesus taught was almost beyond human understanding.

Pair G
It is impossible for the author of Mark to have known that event G occurred, but it opens an excellent chiastic pair: Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians how they might destroy Jesus ... They shall kill the Son of man and he shall rise on the third day. They will kill Jesus but they will not destroy him.

Pair H
In Mark's Gospel, only outsiders call Jesus the Son of God*. Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man, while Peter calls him the Christ (anointed one). In 3:11-12, the demons fall down and call Jesus the Son of God, but Jesus is quick to instruct them to tell no one, thus no more than an implied admission. The demons would know Jesus' divine status, but if this was a blasphemy then they were outsiders and brought no disrepute upon the Christian community. In the matching event of the pair (10:18), Jesus once again clarifies his status, saying that he is not God yet not denying that he is the Son of God.
*Verse 1:1 does have the author call Jesus the Son of God. This is not present in some early manuscripts and it is possible that it was not original.

Pair J
Pair J uses the example of Jesus in the first passage to comfort those Christians of the author's own time who had been rejected by their families, or who had left their families to become wandering preachers or commune members. However, in verses 3:31-35, Event J, Mark risks portraying Jesus as callous or out of his mind when he sends his brothers and his mother away, proclaiming that he has a new family. This is negated because the passage is part of a local chiastic structure in which Jesus' friends, the scribes and perhaps his family are concerned about the mental state of Jesus, but Jesus proves that he is not possessed by the devil: JaThe multitude is so thick that they could not so much as eat bread (3:20)JbJesus' friends say he is beside himself (3:21)JcScribes say Jesus is possessed and by the devil casts out devils (3:22)JdHow can Satan cast out Satan? (3:23)JeIf a kingdom be divided the kingdom can not stand (3:24)Je'If a house be divided the house can not stand (3:25)Jd'If Satan is divided he can not winJc'Because they said he has an unclean spirit (3:30)Jb'Jesus' family comes to him. Jesus says his followers are his family (3:31-35)Ja'The multitude is so thick that Jesus enters a boat (4:1)

Pair J also risks portraying Jesus as opposed to the traditional concept of family, by encouraging his followers to leave their families. Right on cue, Jesus is given several opportunities to show his commitment to family:

  • 10:2-9 Pharisees tempt Jesus to say that it is lawful for a man to put away his wife, but Jesus says let no man put them asunder.
  • 10:10-12 The disciples again ask the same thing. Jesus says that if a man puts away his wife to marry another, or if a woman puts away her husband to marry another, then he or she is guilty of adultery.
  • 10:13-16 Jesus shows his love of children. Children must not be cast aside.
  • 10:17-21 Jesus lectures the rich man on moral principles, including adultery and honouring his father and mother. However, Jesus still says that this is consistent with leaving all and following him.
  • 10:28 Peter says the disciples have left all and followed Jesus.
  • 10:29-30 Jesus says those who have left all, home and family, have a new family a hundredfold. This is, of course, event J'

When Jesus says (10:29-30) that those who have left their family for Jesus have a new family, who are all Jesus' followers, we have been fully assured that Jesus is not preaching the destruction of traditional families.

Pair K

Although events K and K' clearly form a pair, the reason for this pair is not immediately apparent. Mark uses the storm in event K to remind readers that James and John are the 'sons of thunder'. In event K', the author then associates the brothers with Castor and Polydeuces, sons of Zeus the thunderer, who were often portrayed as seated on the right hand and left hand of Zeus. By comparing the sons of thunder with the sons of Zeus Mark was, in the minds of first-century readers, comparing Jesus himself with Zeus, whom he will replace.

Pair L
The two stories in this pair share some interesting features:
  • In both cases when we expect to be told the character's name, he is left nameless.
  • The demoniac in the first story calls out to Jesus not to torment him.
    Blind Bartimaeus cries out for mercy, rather like asking not to be tormented, rather than beg to be allowed to see, as we would expect.
  • The demoniac is naked. Bartimaeus casts off his garment (although possibly retaining other clothing).
  • Both stories have close parallels in the Greek classics

In verse 5:9 Jesus asks the demoniac his name, the only occasion in the gospel where he does so, yet we are never told his name. The demons answer, saying, "My name is Legion, for we are many." Bartimaeus is not a personal name, but means 'son of Timaeus', which was repeated in Greek (translated into English).
Timaeus is an unlikely name for a Jew, as Timaeus must have been (hence Bartimaeus), but it is a Greek name. Plato wrote an important Dialogue called Timaeus, about nature and creation. Furthermore, Dennis R MacDonald (The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark) provides credible evidence that the story of Legion was inspired by Homer's epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. When we have two gospel stories that form a matching pair in the chiastic structure, have features in common and one appears to be based on the great Greek classics, it seems likely that the second story was also inspired by another of the great Greek classics. There is also a parallel between Bartimaeus and blind Tiresias in the Odyssey. but the main effect of this parallel is to confirm the association to the story of Legion, since both have parallels in the Odyssey.
Greeks learnt to read by studying the works of Homer and Plato, so when reading the story of Legion would have noticed parallels to Homer. When they then saw the story of Bartimaeus in a similar context, this would have brought to mind Plato's Timaeus. Having just read the story of James and John seeking to sit on the right hand and left hand of Jesus, as Castor and Polydeuces sat on the right hand and left hand of Zeus, they might well have wondered whether Plato was talking about Jesus.

Pair R
Mark 6:33-8:21 form an integrated set of passages with ten references or allusions to food, including a summary by Jesus of the two feasts in 8:19-21, maintaining a consistent theme of food, plus a minor theme of not understanding:
  • Jesus and the disciples had no leisure so much as to eat , so they went into a desert place
  • Feeding the 5000
  • When Jesus walked on water the disciples were amazed, for they considered not the miracle of the loaves
  • Pharisees complain about the disciples eating with unwashed hands
  • Discourse - what goes into a man goes into his belly and does not defile
  • Greek woman metaphorically begs for crumbs from the table
  • Feeding the 4000
  • Disciples are hungry and have only one loaf of bread
  • Jesus warns the disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees and they reason, "It is because we have no bread," showing they do not understand
  • Summary by Jesus of the two feasts

By verse 8:21, the reader is asking, "Why don't they understand?" Later, at the Last Supper (event L'), the reader understands, but knows that the disciples do not.

Pairs T and U
Events T and U are also part of a local chiastic structure that links verse 8:38 ("Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.") to Peter's affirmation in event T of this structure, then indirectly to events T' and U' (14:66-72a; 72b), where Peter denies Jesus 3 times; "And when he thought thereon, he wept"). This adds emphasis and meaning both to Peter's affirmation and his later denials: a.TPeter affirmsbJesus refers to his death and resurrectioncPeter rebukes Jesusc'Jesus rebukes Peterb'Jesus refers to death, the cross and life after deatha'.U"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me ..."This is a reversal of Peter's affirmation, just as Peter's denials (T') are a reversal of his affirmation.

Pair X
Pair X (9:1 and ch 13) is of special interest because its members are not in precisely corresponding locations. Verse 9:1, at the very end of the first set is the logical position for the first member, but the corresponding, fuller account in the second set had to be spoken while Jesus was still alive. I believe that the evangelist placed this in its current position, chapter 13, for this reason.

An alternative structure

Others see the framework structure differently.
For completeness I will describe this alternative structure, which has some merit: A Beginning - John points to Jesus (1:4-8)
B Jesus' baptism - The splitting of the heavens, "You are my son," (1:9-11)
C Jesus is tested in the wilderness (1:12-13)
D The parable of the sower (4:1-9)
E Raising of the young girl (5:21-43)
F The death of John the Baptist (6:14-29)
G Stilling of the second storm - exorcism of the deep (6:45-52)
H Peter's confession (8:27-30)
I - Jesus' first passion prediction (8:31-33)
H' Transfiguration (9:2-10)
G' Exorcism of possessed boy (9:14-29)
F' Appearance of the rich (young) man (10:17-22)
E' Raising of the young man (followed Mark 10:34)
D' Parable of the vineyard (12:1-11)
C' Jesus is tested in the temple (12:13-27)
B' Jesus dies, the temple veil is split "Truly this was God's son." (15:33-39)
A' The young man points to Jesus (16:1-8)

There are some grounds for agreeing with this. Here, A and A' correspond to my corresponding passages, while the subsequent pairs follow a more traditional chiastic structure. I find the F/F' and G/G' pair rather strained, suggesting that the author never intended these to be part of his chiastic structure and that they are only so in retrospect. I also believe that B/B' form an uncomfortable pairing because they require the baptism to reflect the death of Jesus.

The strength of the structure that I first described is that the events of the first set seem to introduce the theologically more important events of the second set, thus providing a literary reason for the chiastic structure used. The strength of the second structure I have cited is that in most cases each pair involves a word that could be intended as a flag to link the corresponding halves of the pair.

We should not rule out the possibility that Mark intended both structures concurrently - in this gospel, the evangelist sometimes seems to have been intent on demonstrating his literary skills.

Passion Structure

The author of Mark's Gospel has created another structure with a complexity beyond those found in the writings of less gifted authors. In a challenging feat, Mark divides the last twenty-four hours before the death of Jesus into eight segments of three hours each, separated by events that form a chiastic structure in themselves.

In this, the opening set begins on the evening of the Last Supper and ends with the trial before the high priest and other senior priests and elders. The second set begins with the trial before Pontius Pilate and ends on the evening of the crucifixion.


The celebration of the Passover Feast, which becomes the Last Supper, beginning "when it was evening" (Mark 14:17), or when the sun went down: approximately 6 pm and the beginning of the day of the Passover by Jewish reckoning. Jesus says, "This is my body," a metaphor that will be reflected in his burial.
-- Mark knew that the duration of the Passover meal was three hours and that it concluded with the singing of a hymn.
When was about 9 p.m. Mark then has Jesus and the disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray. He suffered alone and in agony, asking God that, if possible, he take this cup (his destiny to be crucified) away from Jesus.
-- Meanwhile his disciples, Peter, James and John, were not able to remain awake.
-- "Could you not watch one hour?" Jesus asked. The process was repeated two more times. The disciples could not watch one, two or three hours. It was now midnight.
The betrayal of Jesus, the darkest deed in human history, came next, occurring at the stroke of midnight.

This will be reflected by the darkness at midday.
At 3:00 a.m., Jesus was led away for a trial before the high priest and other senior priests and elders.
-- We know the time of the first trial because Peter's threefold denial of Jesus followed, once each hour until the cock crowed, marking the watch between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., known as cockcrow.

When it was 6 o'clock, "As soon as it was morning", Jesus was led by the chief priests, scribes and elders for trial by Pontius Pilate.

At the trial, Pontius Pilate sentences Jesus to be crucified.

At 9 o'clock: "It was the third hour when they crucified him."


When "the sixth hour had come" (12 noon), darkness covered the whole earth, reflecting the betrayal at 12 midnight.
The three hours of darkness, until 3 p.m. mirror the agony in the Garden of Gethsemene. Jesus last words, "My God. My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" reflect the recognition that his prayer in the Garden has not been answered. At 3 o'clock Jesus cried out and gave up the ghost.
Joseph of Arimathea then asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, so that he could be buried before the Sabbath began at 6 p.m., when the sun went down.

The presence of 8 time periods of three hours means that there must be an odd number of events around them. I believe that Mark intended the trial before Pontius Pilate to be a 'crossover' event (shown as Dx) that is not really in either set, both mirroring the trial before the Sanhedrin (the last event of the first set) but also, by sentencing Jesus to be crucified, mirroring Jesus being crucified (thus the first event of the second set).

Minor Structures

Several minor structures have been found in Mark's Gospel. In some cases the structures are undeniable, but in other cases the challenge is to ensure that the structure is real - did Mark intend a chiastic structure to exist or is it only evident in hindsight.

The story of the fig tree is an example of a well known chiastic structure used by Mark (11:12-21):

A Jesus takes authority over a fig tree by cursing it (11:12-14)
B Jesus takes authority over merchandisers at temple (11:15,16)
C My house will be a house of prayer for all nations (11:17a)
C' You have made my house into a den of robbers (11:17b)
B' Jewish leaders are losing their authority (11:18,19)
A' Disciples recognize Jesus' authority in the withered fig tree (11:20,21)

An example I would question is Mark 1:21-28, with its strained or over-generalised comparison of some pairs:

A. Location They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he the synagogue and taught. (1:21)

B. Teaching with Authority They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (1:22)

C. Unclean Spirit Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit (1:23)

D. Dialog And he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." (1:24)

D'. Dialog But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" (1:25)

C'. Unclean Spirit And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. (1:26)

B'. Teaching with Authority They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching-with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." (1:27)

A'. Location At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. (1:28)

The Bible
Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

What are the biblical verses with the word redeemed?

There are 136 times redeem to redeemer to redeemed is used in the NIV bible.

The Bible
New Testament

When were the Synoptic Gospels written?


The Synoptic Gospels are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They are called 'synoptic' because they are all chronological accounts of the three-and-a-half-years of Jesus Christ's life on earth from His birth to His crucifixion and resurrection. They are all similar but each is slightly different, and no one Gospel is the basis of the others.

Various very broad ranges of dates such as the folowing have previously been put for the Gospels:- Matthew: 37 to 180ad/ce

Mark: 40 to 175 ad/ce

Luke: 50 to 170 ad/ce

However, this wide range can be furthur narrowed down quite easily because, unlike the Egyptians, the jews recorded details of not just their victories but also all their defeats. . Their biggest defeat both militarily and psychologically was the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD, but this crushing defeat upon the "Chosen People" is not mentioned in the past tense in any of the Synoptic Gospels or the Gospel of John. This means that all the Gospels must have been written before 70AD.

Modern theologians put the following dates for the Gospels:-

MATTHEW Late 50's to early 60's; written from Antioch of Syria

MARK Late 50's to early 60's; written from Rome.

LUKE 60-61AD; written from Rome. {He also wrote 'Acts' in 63AD from Macedonia]

{ For these dates see "The Untold Story Of The New Testament Church An Extraordinary Guide To Understanding the New Testament" " by Frank Viola 2004 ISBN 0-7684-2236-1 . It is NOT available on the Net.]

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Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

What is a summary of Matthew Chapter 10 in the Bible?

Matthew 10:1-42 describes Jesus as he was training his twelve apostles to do the preaching work and warning them of the persecution that would follow.

(Matthew 10:7-8)The Apostles were given special healing powers to prove that God's spirit was now with THEM and no longer with the Jews.

Jesus gave specific instructions on how to preach and what to expect when others realized they were taking a stand for the truth and objected.(Matthew 10:16-39)

Background Info: The Jewish nation had been God's chosen people for over a thousand years. They'd had miraculous signs of his presence at their temple for centuries, but now, with the arrival of the foretold Messiah, Jesus, God was no longer using the Jewish Nation. With the fulfillment of messianic prophecy, God was operating through this new little group of Christians, founded by his son. God's people would no longer have a physical Law Code(given to Israel), but would have the law of love 'written on their hearts'.

The Apostles were to preach to the Jews about Jesus(Matthew 10:5-6) They were to preach that 'the Kingdom of God was near' in the fact that Jesus was the Messiah (the King of God's Kingdom) and was there with them. The Jews were given the first option to accept the foretold Messiah. (Matthew 10:40)

The Bible
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New Testament
Old Testament

How many verses mention praise and worship in the Bible?

261 verses mention praise, and 188 verses mention worship, but in only 3 verses are they mentioned together in the Bible

The Bible
Bible Statistics and History
New Testament

Where in the Bible does the word Shekinah appear?

The word 'Shekinah' (Shechinah), which means "that which dwells", is not found in the Bible, but it's description is. Exodus 25:21-22 and Leviticus 16:2 describe a luminous cloud above and between the two cherubs on the Ark of the Covenant. It would have been the only light in the "Most Holy" compartment of the tabernacle, especially benefiting the high priest when he entered the chamber on Atonement Day.

The word, Shekinah is, however, found in the Targumim (the Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew Scriptures Exodus 25:8; 29:45, 46; Numbers 5:3; 35:34) where the Hebrew word "dwell" or "tabernacle" is represented by " Shekinah".

History of Ireland
New Testament

The Book of Kells is an example of?

an illuminated manuscript. [APEX]


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