November 10, 2013
The First and Greatest Commandment
The Bible is the sacred text of all Christians. While there are variances between the bibles of some Christian denominations, all Bibles are divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament gives an account of the Israelites who are God’s chosen people. It is filled with myths, stories of love and animosity, harmony and conflict, infidelity, killing, conquest and defeat. It also contains stories of Prophets, messengers of God, who came to the people of how God expected them to act, but more significantly it forecast the coming of a Messiah who would be a liberator to the people.
The New Testament is the story of the growth of Christianity, and the coming of the long anticipated Messiah. This covers the time shortly before the birth of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. The New Testament is about the life of Jesus and the lessons he taught during his time on earth. It recounts his death, resurrection, and ascent into heaven. The remainder of the New Testament tells how his followers dealt with his absence, how they continued on his works and spread his message.
The New Testament starts with four books called Gospels, which means “Good News”. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Although all four gospels tell the events of Jesus’ life, the Gospel according to Mark is exceptional between the four. It is the shortest of all four gospels. It is believed to be the first written, therefore, it is considered to be a foundation for which the other gospels were written. The book is officially regarded as the “Gospel According to Mark” even though it does not state who the author was. The author is believed to be John Mark who was a follower of Jesus some time after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was probably written during the time period A.D. 55 and 70. John Mark traveled with Jesus’ apostle, Peter....