If We Could Re-Assign the Chapters in Mark according to Sense

I’ve been teaching a class on Mark again – one of my favorites. Every time I do so, the chapter divisions in the gospel bother me, given how they conflict with the internal divisions of the gospel itself. If we tried to keep some fidelity to the current numeration of chapters, wouldn’t the following make much more sense? Not suggesting it would be possible actually to implement it, but this would have been much more sensible, once upon a time.
Chapter 1 = 1.1-45
Chapter 2 = 2.1-3.6
Chapter 3 = 3.7-35
Chapter 4 = 4.1-34
Chapter 5 = 4.35-6.6a
Chapter 6 = 6.6b-56
Chapter 7 = 7.1-8.21
Chapter 8 = 8.22-38
Chapter 9 = 9.1-50
Chapter 10 = 10.1-52
Chapter 11 = 11.1-25
Chapter 12  = 11.27-12.44
Chapter 13 = 13.1-37
Chapter 14 = 14.1-72
Chapter 15 = 15.1-47
Chapter 16 = 16.1-8
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  1. #1 by Jeff Cate on October 15, 2015 - 2:57 pm

    Nice post. I’m teaching on Mark this semester also. I agree with almost all of your chapter breaks. One minor tweak would be to consider 1:1-13 a separate chapter from 1:14-45. Yes, it would be kinda short, but it’d be comparable to 16:1-8. Also, I would put 9:1 with 8:22-38 (even though Mark is implying 9:1 is fulfilled in 9:1-8). (Also, minor typo, chapter 3 has 35 verses… and I wouldn’t include 11:26). But I agree with you. I think it’s confusing that 3:1-6 is not part of chapter 2… or 6:6 is all one verse… and that 11:27-33 is part of chapter 11, not 12.

    • #2 by David Lincicum on October 15, 2015 - 3:02 pm

      Thanks, Jeff – very useful further ingredients to throw into the pot! Yes, 9.1 is a tricky one, because it could go both ways. And I wondered about a separate chapter for the prologue as well (though I might be tempted to go to 1.15 there). And thanks for pointing out the typo in ch. 3 and in ch. 11 – working a bit from memory, so things got fuzzy – now corrected!

  2. #3 by Vincent S Artale Jr on October 15, 2015 - 5:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

  3. #4 by petermhead on October 23, 2015 - 3:21 pm

    Three problems with this:
    1. If all chapter divisions made sense it would only re-inforce the idea that they are somehow intrinsically significant. It is better if they don’t all make sense, lest we pay too much attention to them.
    2. ch 11 needs 11.27ff for its double-decker sandwich: temple — fig-tree — temple — fig-tree — temple
    3. 4.35 is explicitly linked with the preceding passage ‘on that day’

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