Slideshow image
Slideshow image
nav image
nav image

The gospel of Mark, with its repeated use of the word “immediately”, is known for its fast and urgent action as Jesus bursts in fully adult, gets baptized, preaches, and calls followers within the first few verses. It offers a great opportunity for a bible study series that time crunched people could do. Here’s a roundup of resources for a study. People can do some of these on their own or in a small group. If you want more people to engage in a focus on Mark (and why wouldn’t you if it’s Year A!) offer people choices so they can decide how they’re going to participate rather than whether they will. That one in person study on Tuesday afternoon (although great) is going to be a miss for the majority of folks. 

 Got an hour?

Watch the Bible Project animated video overview of the Gospel and reflect on the questions below it:

 Got an evening or two?

Use this guide from the Bible Society UK ( The whole gospel can be read in an hour and a half. A small group could read the intro material, read the whole thing aloud, and then take breaks using the discussion questions. 

 Need an Advent series?

The gospel of Mark has no baby Jesus but it sure is rife with Advent themes. Pastor Tracy Daub from PCUSA has published an Advent study called Holy Disruption: Discovering Advent in the Gospel of Mark. It’s a 5 week book study with a free accompanying video series on Youtube ( 

 Looking for more

These four books are especially designed for small group study and a deeper dive. They come from a variety of perspectives and could be used over 6-8 weeks.

  1. The Gospel of Mark: A Beginner’s Guide to the Good News. The popular Jewish scholar of the New Testament, Amy Jill-Levine, has written a brand new introduction to Mark.
  2. Focus on Mark: A study guide for groups and individuals. A 12 chapter approach to Mark, with great discussion questions, overviews and highlights of the whole gospel and room to write or journal reflections.
  3. Books of Faith: Mark. This 8 session book study comes from Augsburg Press and has a fascinating Lutheran perspective:
  4. Conversations with Scripture: Gospel of Mark. This book’s a bit older (2009), but by a well-known name in the Anglican church, Marcus Borg. Borg focuses on the “Way” of Jesus and an interpretation that is historical and metaphorical. This book also comes with a free study guide, which could almost be used on its own: 

College level course – free, online, self-paced

Yale Bible Studies are great for the motivated, self-starter learners who are needing something they can do on their own time. This course offers a mix of video, articles, discussion questions, and further reading recommendations.