"For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open," reads the inspiring verse of Mark 4:22.
The Gospel of Mark is one of the three synoptic and four canonical gospels of the Christian Bible, and, like the others, it was written in order to deliver the Good News of Jesus' resurrection to the entire world. Despite the fact that the Gospel of Mark is placed second in the order of the four gospels, it was almost certainly the first gospel to have been composed. Scholars agree that it must have been written before the end of the first century, likely around the year 70 CE. It was used extensively by the authors of the Gospels of Luke and Matthew in the composition of their own gospels.
One clue as to the possible identity of the author of Mark comes to us from an Apostolic Father named Papias. Papias wrote that Mark was an interpreter of Peter the Apostle, and that he faithfully recorded everything Peter said to him about all that had been said and done by Jesus. If the gospel was written by this Mark, then it was likely composed in Rome. Other scholars, however, argue that Mark was written anonymously and that it would be impossible to attribute a specific author to the text. They point to the fact that Christian writers since the first few centuries have placed the writing of Mark in locations such as Palestine, Syria, and even Egypt.
Whoever the author of the Gospel of Mark was, the true importance of the text lies not in who wrote it, but in the purpose that it was written for. Its main goal seems to have been with the presentation of Jesus as a gentle, compassionate Messiah, not the warrior king Messiah that many Israelites had been expecting. In order to show that Jesus was nevertheless the true Messiah, the author took great care to show that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. He links Jesus to both the suffering king and the suffering servant that is mentioned throughout Hebrew scripture.
The Gospel of Mark has had perhaps the greatest impact on all of Christianity out of all four gospels. As it was written first, it helped to preserve the message and spiritually motivational words of Jesus at a time very close to His death. Its account of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and teachings is marked by a simple style which was clearly meant to be accessible to all who read it.
"For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open," reads the inspiring verse of Mark 4:22. The author of Mark certainly wrote with these words in mind. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News with all of humankind, to awaken and invigorate them with the message that Jesus had died to save us. For 2000 years now the Gospel of Mark has been used to win billions of hearts and minds over to the Christian message.