Mark 1:1—Why does Mark omit giving any genealogy of Jesus like Matthew and Luke do?

Problem: Both Matthew (chap. 1) and Luke (chap. 3) give an ancestry of Jesus (see Matt. 1:1). However, Mark provides no genealogy whatsoever. Why the omission?

Solution: Mark presents Christ as a servant, and servants need no genealogy. The Roman audience to whom Mark directed his Gospel was not interested in where a servant came from, but in what he could do. Unlike Mark’s Roman audience, Matthew’s Jewish audience looked for the Messiah, the King. Thus, Matthew traces Jesus back to His Jewish roots as the Son of David the king (Matt. 1:1). Likewise, Luke presents Christ as the perfect man. Hence, Christ’s ancestry is traced back to the first man, Adam (Luke 3:38). John, on the other hand, presents Christ as the Son of God. Therefore, he traces Christ back to His eternal source with the Father.

Consider the following comparison of the four Gospels which explains why Mark needed no ancestry for Jesus.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.