The beginning of the gospel.—The opening words are interesting as presenting a transition stage in the history of the word Gospel, between its earlier sense, as meaning generally the “good news” of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14; Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35), and the later sense, as a book recording the main facts in our Lord’s life and work. In 1Corinthians 15:1, 2Timothy 2:8, where it clearly includes a narrative of some kind, we have an instance of a like transition.
The Son of God.—This also is significant as to the Church’s faith at the time when St. Mark wrote. He, of whom he speaks, was not a prophet or righteous man only, but was, in the highest sense which could be attached to the words, the Son of God. If we think of St. Mark as reproducing St. Peter’s teaching, we cannot fail to connect the words, thus placed, as they are, in the very title of his Gospel, with the Apostle’s confession in Matthew 16:16.