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The Gospel of Mark is the second book in the Bible's New Testament canon, although it was probably the first of the gospels to be written (c. 70 to 75 CE). Despite being written 35 to 50 years after his death, this is the earliest work providing details of Jesus' life and ministry. Although anonymous, the author of Mark is traditionally John Mark, translator for Peter the Apostle. However, in addition to the lack of evidence for Markan authorship, this attribution does not make the author an eyewitness to the events described.
The Gospel of Mark does not read like history, even when compared with other historical works of the time, and is constructed almost entirely of passages taken from the Old Testament. These observations have led some to conclude that the author of Mark did not intend to write anything more than fiction, and therefore a historical Jesus never existed. Because of the use of Jewish scripture by the author of Mark, some mistakenly reach the backward conclusion that events in Mark were prophesied by the Old Testament.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke are obviously largely based on the Gospel of Mark.