Evangelist as journalist

Listening to Gene describe Mark’s style of writing, I was struck by the similarities to journalism: Simple words and direct language. Short, declarative sentences. Action verbs (baptize, repent, preach, teach, follow, cast out). Vivid images (“…clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey.”)

You’ll see this more clearly, as Gene suggested, in the RSV rather than NAB. Here’s a link if you need it: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/browse.html

What’s more, newspaper reporters learn to “Show, don’t tell.” Keep the story moving, don’t let it bog down. Focus on the facts and leave the opinion for the editorial page. Know your audience and tailor your language or content to that particular audience.

Any editor worthy of the name, however, would try to break Mark of bad habits. Among them:

  • Starting so many sentences with “And,” “But,” or “Immediately.”
  • And failing to cite his sources!
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