The Gospel of Mark is not a typical biography. Most nonfiction about great men leaves us more knowledgeable, but less impressed. Honest biographers are thorough enough in their research to show both the virtuous and the unscrupulous elements. The most interesting biographies uncover what the subject spent a lifetime covering up or denying. Readers expect to find flaws in their heroes. In helps to understand the person, and gives us a sense of connection to their humanity. In my experience, I can’t think if a time where I finished a biography (especially of an unbeliever) with a more favorable impression of the person than when I started. The Gospel of Mark strikes the reader in a completely different way. The story is necessary because Jesus Christ did not write any book directly, and certainly not an autobiography. Eyewitnesses inspired by the Holy Spirit had to write it. In Mark’s case, he had all the facts about Jesus, but would give his life in defense of the truth that he was not just a martyr, but also the Christ, and the very Son of God worthy of absolute allegiance. You never find that at the end of a typical biography.