When Advent comes, we shall turn our focus to the Gospel of Mark. It is the shortest and the earliest of the four Gospels; it is simple and direct with a sense of urgency. Mark presents Jesus as a man of actions rather than words, a man of power and miracles. Yet this powerful Son of God was the suffering servant who would give up His life as a ransom for all mankind. Mark’s clear purpose was to encourage those enduring persecution, and not coping very well with it. He also wanted to them to know who Jesus was.
This November we are blessed to have Father Nicholas King SJ, the Assistant Catholic Chaplain at Oxford University visit us virtually. Nicholas is known for his teaching of the New Testament and biblical languages for many years at Oxford and in South Africa, in 2013 his translation of the entire Greek Bible was published.
In recent correspondence with Father Nicholas writes:
It will be great to be back in NSW, at least “virtually” after nine years. I have an ancient relationship with Australia, of which one part is grudging admiration for the unyielding performance of your cricketers; and it has always been my ambition to be in the country during an Ashes series. So far, I have not managed that, but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Maitland-Newcastle and Broken Bay. I recall giving a lecture on the King James Version, and being asked at the end of it whether I thought that translators were inspired: a good if disconcerting question. I enjoyed working with you to discover how to make the gospels come alive; and discuss “Jesus’ useless disciples” in the gospel of Mark. It was a most enjoyable expedition, and I formed a great admiration for the Catholic and Anglican lay-people whose intelligent enthusiasm for the scriptures brought the lectures alive.
So, I look forward to being with you again, at least across the ether.
You are invited to listen and engage with Father Nicholas King SJ this November.
Session 1 - Wednesday November 4 at 6.30pm.
Bringing The Gospel to Life: Many people nowadays think that the Bible is “old-fashioned” and rather dead. In this session we shall be looking at ways in which it is possible to find the Gospel as a source of life, looking at some passages from Paul, Matthew, Luke and John.
Session 2 - Wednesday November 18 at 6.30pm.
Mark: The Strangest Gospel. This talk will examine the shortest gospel, and that which was almost certainly the first to be written (so Mark invented the gospel form); the session will look at the oddity of this remarkable text.
Both sessions will involve a 40-minute presentation and 50 minute Q&A.