Hermann Beckh’s masterful study of Mark’s Gospel offers much more than scholarly arguments. Rather, it is the work of a true visionary who allows his readers to discover the meaning of the Earth and humanity for themselves. Beckh was in the forefront of entirely new kind of research and recovery of the Gospel, writing more for the future than for his own time.
It is common for biblical scholars to view St. Mark’s Gospel as little more than a compendium of fragmentary sources and a copy of the uncertain memories of early Christians. The Gospel is said to have little historical truth, to lack harmony, and to have no guiding structure.
The German writer Arthur Drews (a contemporary of Beckh) even argued that the text was no more than a simplistic solar myth—with just another Sun hero pursuing his way around the Greek and Roman constellations.
Mark’s Gospel: The Cosmic Rhythm offers a response to such materialistic thinking. During the 1920s, leaders of The Christian Community asked Beckh to write this book, seeking to rescue the desecrated Gospel of Mark from its opponents. Inspired by Rudolf Steiner, and with a vast knowledge of ancient languages (Tibetan, Sanskrit, Pali, and Avestan, as well as Hebrew, Greek, and Latin) the Rev. Professor Hermann Beckh perceived ways in which the Gospel reflects God’s everlasting Covenant and meticulously expressed its aesthetic unity, the consistency of its parts, and its consequent radiant clarity.
Hermann Beckh’s far-reaching understanding of sacred texts in the original languages—always associated with the disciplined meditation he attained through Anthroposophy—led to unprecedented insight. This new edition of his classic study has been revised and redesigned.
Hermann Beckh (1875–1937) studied Law and later Sanskrit, becoming Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Berlin. A master of ancient and modern languages, he wrote extensively on religious and philosophical subjects, including Buddhism, Indology, Christianity, alchemy, and music. In 1911, he heard a lecture by Rudolf Steiner and was inspired to join the Anthroposophical Society, where he became a valued coworker. In 1922, he helped found The Christian Community, a movement for religious renewal. His many books are gradually being translated from the original German and published in English.
Rudolf Frieling (1901-1986) was one of the founders of The Christian Community. Before becoming the leader of this movement for religious renewal in 1957, his work took him to Leipzig, Vienna, New York and Stuttgart. He is the author of many books on Christian thinking.
N. V. P. Franklin is a retired university lecturer currently living in South Devon, UK. His first study concerned Jakob Böhme and William Blake’s Four Zoas (1979), while his second addressed Rudolf Steiner’s Christology and Freemasonry (1989). He has also published on Böhme’s understanding of speech sounds and has taught in the Open University and the University of California. Since 2014, his main task has been coediting the Complete Works of Hermann Beckh in English translation. He is neither a member of the Anthroposophical Society nor a Freemason.