We noted when looking at chapter 7 that there is a new beginning at 8,1. Where though does Jesus continue to be?
We can read through this chapter and then on to the first verse of the next chapter. Note how 9,2 begins. What is the episode that begins there?
Then consider what are the various episodes which make up this chapter 8. Look for the four settings provided in the chapter.
Why might I prefer to end the first episode in verse 9 rather than verse 10? A clue is to compare with 6,45. Look at verse 13. It helps to look closely at verse 13 in different translations. Where does this second part of the chapter end?
Note how Mark's setting for this second part is different to Matthew (Mt 16,4; 12-13).
Then following the next episode, note the major turning point in the Gospel story in 8,27.
We will consider the editing of the last part of the chapter, 8,27-9,1, when we come to it.
Then take a look at my response.
The first incident of chapter 8 is a second feeding of the crowd.
We also saw the healing of a deaf man at the end of chapter 7 while in the middle of chapter 8 there is the healing of a blind man. Both healings are told only by Mark.
This merits further exploration. Make a list of all the episodes from 6,34 through to 8,26. See how they have been arranged by the evangelist using the clues I have just given.
Then take a look again at my response.
Our opening page for this chapter must be the feeding of the crowd in the desert (8,1-9).
This can followed by the two scenes based on a boat trip (8,10-21) as our second page.
The third page will be the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (8,22-26) which is followed by
the fourth page, where we will read the events at Caesarea Philippi (8,27-9,1).
We are now ready for our reading of the chapter beginning with the second feeding of a large crowd, 8,1-9.