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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Place.

By tradition, Mark is to be located in Rome. In support of this one can point to the fact that Mark uses Latin loanwords (e.g. for ‘centurion’ in 15:39 ) and seems to think in terms of Roman coinage (see 12:42 ) and the Roman divisions of time (see 13:35 ). However, although a Roman origin would fit with this evidence, it is not the only possibility. Latin loan-words and Roman coinage would have been influential in other places than Rome in the empire.

The stress on suffering in Mark's gospel (see below) has also been thought to fit a Roman origin. However, it is not absolutely clear that Mark's stress on suffering is necessarily reflecting the situation of his community: it might just as well be due to his wishing to speak to his community about possibilities and dangers which they were not yet facing. See MK 98:34–9:1 . Further, a date after 70 for the gospel would mean that it could not be situated directly in the Neronian persecutions. In the end we probably have to be agnostic and say we do not know precisely where Mark comes from or what community he is writing for.

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