Among the four Gospels, Mark’s was the most neglected by the early church. Indeed, no commentary was written on it until the sixth century! Various factors may account for this. It is by far the shortest of the four Gospels, and ninety-percent of its stories are found in either Matthew or Luke. The early church father, Augustine, considered Mark to be a mere abbreviation of Matthew and Luke. Mark’s Gospel also has a somewhat rougher, less literary style than its peers. It is not nearly as elegant as Luke, for example, nor as thematically structured as Matthew. Mark also has a greater number of “problem passages,” difficult statements and actions by Jesus that Matthew and Luke tend to smooth out.