Reading the Bible one-to-one is a fruitful and enriching ministry anyone can have.
Common struggles in reading the Bible with a friend is not knowing where to start, and after starting, how to proceed. The Gospel of Mark is an ideal book to read because it focuses on revealing the identity of Jesus and what it means to follow Him in 16 fast-paced chapters.
The following resources will help you read Mark one-to-one or understand it better yourself. Most of the resources are from a great evangelical church in the UK: St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, a church known for clear and faithful Bible teaching. (The Proclamation Trust, a ministry that has greatly influenced WordPartners‘ work, was launched by Dick Lucas out of St. Helen’s.)
- Reading Mark with a Friend (PDF)
- For deeper study: Mark Study Guide (PDF) | More Bible Study Resources from St. Helen’s
- Graphic: The Structure of Mark from VisualUnit.me. (See graphic above and further explanation below.)
First Half (1:15–8:28)
- Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:13-14) of one who appeared to be a ‘son of man’ with everlasting dominion, glory, and a kingdom is a major underlying theme in Mark. (Consider how Jesus is mentioned as being one with ‘authority’ five times in the first half of Mark.)
- A goal of this portion is to reveal who Jesus is. Many times characters in the narrative ask rhetorical questions like the disciples in Mark 4:41, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Answer: He’s not just the carpenter’s kid; He is almighty God with all dominion on earth!
Second Half (8:29–15:39)
- Peter’s exclamation in 8:29 (“You are the Christ!”) serves as a transition point in the narrative. This shows Peter beginning to grasp the identity of Jesus as the Authoritative King, but still not understanding how the Authoritative King could suffer and die—a major theme in Mark’s second half.
- Isaiah 53 is a key Old Testament passage to this half of Mark.
For more explanation and Old Testament background, see the St. Helen’s Bishopsgate Guides above, or watch the overview videos below.
- Book: One to One Bible Reading by David Helm
- C-O-M-A Bible Study Questions from One-to-One Bible Reading (Appendix of One-to-One Bible Reading)
- 12 Books of the Bible For One-to-One Reading