Background to the Gospel of St. Mark

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Background to the Gospel of St. Mark

13 lectures, various locations, Oct. 17, 1910 – June 10, 1911 (CW 124)

“Christianity was bound at first to be a matter of faith and is only now beginning, very gradually, to be a matter of knowledge.” —Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner gave seventy lectures on the four canonical Gospels, characterizing the distinctive contribution of each of the evangelists. The Gospel of Mark is a “cosmic” text that calls for an astronomical, as well as a human, reading. It is also critical for understanding the evolution of Christianity, which depends on knowledge of “the Mystery of Golgotha” (Christ’s Crucifixion, Resurrection, And Ascension). “We are only at the beginning of Christian evolution,” Steiner states, reiterating that its further development will depend on spiritual knowledge. To develop such cognition, “most important of all is reverence for the great truths and the feeling that we can approach them only with awe and veneration.” Many profound spiritual truths are indeed revealed in these lectures.

Topics include:

  • Mystery Teachings in St Mark’s Gospel
  • The Son of God and the Son of Man
  • The Symbolic Language of the Macrocosm
  • The Moon-religion of Yahweh; and
  • The Penetration of the Buddha-Mercury Stream into Rosicrucianism.

This thoroughly revised edition includes notes and appendices by Frederick Amrine and an extensive introduction by Robert McDermott.

This volume is a translation from German of Exkurse in das Gebiet des Markus-Evangeliums (GA 124).

About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.

Additional information

Weight 20 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 0.8 × 8.5 in


Dorothy S. Osmond, E. H. Goddard


Robert A. McDermott




September 2023






CW 124


Rudolf Steiner Press


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