Robert Beckford TV - James Tabor - Excavating the Empty Tomb TV - From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians TV - Mysteries of the Bible TV -
The first writer – Mark – was relying on hearsay. Dr Robert Beckford, Who Wrote the Bible? Channel 4 2004
If you just put the Gospels in a kind of chronological order it’s actually layered. You can just peel off the layers like a sort of forensic investigation. At the bottom you’ve got that core story of Mark – Mark was our earliest Gospel ... Matthew who writes next has ratcheted it up considerably – Pilate washes his hands; his wife has a dream; Jesus is a righteous man; don’t bother him. And the Jews take on the guilt. And then you go to Luke – it’s the Mark story but it’s amped up, and it’s getting louder and louder. And the basic idea is Pilate was just an innocent bystander, an unnecessary part of the story. And then John – he has them almost having a philosophical discussion. We are removing completely I think out of the realm of just straight history. Professor James Tabor
The last twelve verses were never part of the original Gospel of Mark ... verses 9 through 20 – or the long ending as it’s called – radically break the train of thought at verse 8 ... The writing style of the Long Ending isn’t the same. Excavating the Empty Tomb
Reasons for rejecting Mark 16:9-20: missing from many early manuscripts; contradicts Mark as well as Matthew, Luke and John; language is foreign to the rest of Mark; obsession with belief in Jesus; Eusebius and Jerome claim it is spurious, showing up in few copies; embellishment to stories was ubiquitous in ancient times. ibid.
Mark: the first gospel has all the earmarks of a work of fiction. ibid.
How did Mark know what Jesus said [Garden of Gethsemane] if everybody was asleep? ibid.
We will see Mark improve the scenes and motifs he copies from the Odyssey. ibid.
Mark takes Homer’s hidden identity technique to its limit. ibid.
Mark treats the Sea of Galilee as if it were the Mediterranean. ibid.
A woman meets a stranger; the stranger is recognised; some liquid is spilled; the woman anoints the hero; the scene shifts immediately to the hero’s enemies [Homer cf. Mark]. ibid.
Was Mark casting James and John as a Christianised version of Castor and Polydeuces? ibid.
Mark 13:30: I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. ibid.
Verses 9-20 of chapter 16 [Mark] were a later addition to the story. ibid.
There was never a Jesus of Nazareth at all. As I’ve intimated thus far in this series, the historical Jesus did not exist until Mark brought him down to Earth in his Homeric allegory written sometime shortly after the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 C.E. and only after the Gospel story gained wide circulation in the 2nd century did the absences ... become problematic for the Church fathers. ibid.
In Mark what does set Jesus apart is that he is a peculiar kind of miracle worker. In one case he has to attempt the miracle twice to get it right. And at another time he can’t perform miracles at all. From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians III, PBS 1998
Mark was the first to write the story of the life of Jesus. He took disparate elements of early tradition and a few written sources. ibid.
Mark is challenging the pre-war image of Jesus as an apocalyptic figure. ibid.
The Jesus in Mark’s Gospel both reveals and conceals his true identity. A paradox scholars call the Messianic Secret. ibid.
Matthew and Luke may have copied the work of Mark. Mysteries of the Bible: Who Wrote the Bible? s3e7&8, A&E 1996