Gospel Of Mark

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The Gospel of Mark is traditionally the second of the New Testament Gospels. It narrates the life of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his resurrection, but it concentrates particularly on the last week of his life. Usually dated between 60 and 80, it is regarded by most modern scholars as the earliest of the canonical gospels, contrary to the traditional view of the Augustinian hypothesis. Mark is the shortest gospel.



The contents of the Gospel, in order, are as follows:

  • Baptism of Jesus
  • Temptation of Jesus (Mark 1:12-13)
  • Appointment of some of the Twelve Apostles
  • Recruiting the tax collector (Matthew/Levi) to be one of the Twelve Apostles
  • Parable of The Patch and the Wineskins (Mark 2:18-22)
  • The saying about The Strong Man Bound (Mark 3:23-30)
  • The saying about Jesus' True Relatives (Mark 3:31-35)
  • Parable of the Sower (and explanation) (Mark 4:1-20)
  • The saying about The Lamp
  • Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly (Mark4:26-29)
  • Parable of The Mustard Seed (Mark 4:30-32)
  • Feeding the 5000
  • Walking on water
  • Feeding the 4000
  • Peter's confession
  • Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:1-8)
  • Saying about The Discarded Salt
  • Jesus and the Money Changers (Mark 11:15-19)
  • Parable of The Wicked Husbandman (Mark 12:1-12)
  • Saying about Caesar's Coin (Mark 12:14-17)
  • Parable of The Leafing Fig Tree
  • Parable of the Faithful Servant (Mark 13:34-37)
  • Last Supper
  • Empty tomb
  • The oldest ancient manuscripts of Mark 16 stop at this point (Mark 16:7). A "short ending" is included in a handful of manuscripts, saying a little more. The traditional ending, which most scholars believe was not in the autograph (see below), but is present in the majority of manuscripts, is known as the "long ending" and contains:
  • * Resurrection Appearances of Jesus

Authorship and Provenance

The Gospel itself is anonymous, but as early as Papias in the early 2nd century, a text was attributed to Mark, a disciple of Peter, who is said to have recorded the Apostle's discourses. Papias' authority in this was John the Presbyter. While the text of Papias is no longer extant, it was quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea:

This, too, the presbyter used to say. ‘Mark, who had been Peter's interpreter, wrote down carefully, but not in order, all that he remembered of the Lord’s sayings and doings. For he had not heard the Lord or been one of his followers, but later, as I said, one of Peter’s. Peter used to adapt his teachings to the occasion, without making a systematic arrangement of the Lord’s sayings, so that Mark was quite justified in writing down some of the things as he remembered them. For he had one purpose only – to leave out nothing that he had heard, and to make no misstatement about it (Papias, quoted in Eusebius History of the Church, trans. G.A. Williamson (London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1965). 3.39.15 / pg 103-104).

Irenaeus confirmed this tradition (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.1, also 10:6.), as did Origen (cited in Eusebius, History of the Church, 6:14), Tertullian (Tertullian, Against Marcion 4:5), and others. Clement of Alexandria, writing at the end of the second century, reported an ancient tradition that Mark was urged by those who had heard Peter's speeches in Rome to write what the apostle had said (cited in Eusebius, History of the Church 6:14). Following this tradition, scholars have generally thought that this gospel was written at Rome. Among recent alternate suggestions are Syria, Alexandria, or more broadly any area within the Roman Empire.

It has been argued that there is an impending sense of persecution in the Gospel, and that this could indicate it being written to sustain the faith of a community under such a threat. As the main Christian persecution at that time was in Rome under Nero, this has been used to place the writing of the Gospel in Rome (Brown et al. p. 596-597). Furthermore, it has been argued that the Latinized vocabulary employed in Mark (and in neither Matthew nor Luke) shows that the Gospel was written in Rome (e.g. σπεκουλατορα ("soldier of the guard", Mark 6:27, NRSV), ξεστων (Greek corruption of sextarius ("pots", Mark 7:4), κοδραντης ("penny", Mark 12:42, NRSV), κεντυριων ("centurion", Mark 15:39, Mark 15:44-45)). Also cited in support is a passage in 1 Peter: The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.(1 Peter 5:13)

However, the Rome-Peter theory has been questioned in recent decades. Critics argue that the Latinisms in the Greek of Mark could have stemmed from many places throughout the Western Roman empire. Additionally, the passage in 1 Peter is considered inconclusive, Mark being a common name in the first century. Furthermore, some scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark contains mistakes concerning Galilean topography, supporting that the author, or his sources, were unfamiliar with the actual geography of that area, unlike the historical Peter. Finally, some scholars dispute the connection of the gospel with persecution, identified with persecution at Rome, asserting that persecution was widespread, albeit sporadic beyond the borders of the city of Rome.

Some contemporary scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel written, where the traditional view, popular amongst the Church fathers and especially Augustine of Hippo, holds that Mark was composed second, after the Gospel of Matthew (see: Augustinian hypothesis). This assertion of Markan Priority is closely associated with the Two-Source Hypothesis, Q hypothesis, and the Farrer hypothesis (see below).


The text of the Gospel itself furnishes us with no clear information as to the time that it was written. Mark 13:1-2, known as the "little apocalypse", remains a controversial passage regarding the dating of the text. Exegesis is often employed to show correspondences between the passage and the calamities of the First Jewish Revolt of 66-70. The passage predicts that the Temple would be torn down completely, and this was done by the forces of the Roman general Titus.

If Jesus' prophetic remarks do indeed concern the destruction of the Temple, then two options appear concerning the text's date. Either Jesus correctly predicted the event, which would allow for a date of composition prior to 70, or the events were put into the mouth of Jesus after the fact by the Gospel's author, entailing a post 70 dating of the text. Because the text does not observe the fulfillment of this prophetic passage, some of those accepting the passage's veracity argue that the text must date before 70.

Two papyrologists, Fr. Jose O'Callaghan and Carsten Peter Thiede, have proposed that lettering on a postage stamp-sized papyrus fragment found in a cave at Qumran, 7Q5, represents a fragment of Mark 6:52-53; thus they assert that the present gospel was written and distributed prior to 68. Most papyrologists, however, consider this identification of the fragmentary text, and its supposition that early Christians lived at Qumran, to be dubious.

The majority of moderate, liberal and conservative scholars assign Mark a date between 60 and 80. There are vocal minority groups that argue for earlier or later dates. Tradition associated the text's composition with the persecution of Nero, which would allow for a date c. 65. Additionally, tradition held that Mark was written after the death of Paul and Peter[1] . Some scholars, contrasting 13:1-2 with more specific passages in Luke and Matthew, hesitate to assign a date later than 70-73, the latter year being when Jerusalem was finally and fully sacked.


The general theory is that Mark is a Hellenistic gospel, written primarily for an audience of Greek-speaking residents of the Roman Empire. Jewish traditions are explained, clearly for the benefit of non-Jews (e.g. Mark 7:1-4; Mark 14:12; Mark 15:42. Aramaic words and phrases are also expanded upon by the author: e.g. ταλιθα κουμ (talitha koum, Mark 5:41; κορβαν (Corban, Mark 7:11); αββα (abba, Mark 14:36).

Alongside these Hellenistic influences, Mark makes detailed use of the Old Testament in the form in which it had been translated into Greek, the Septuagint, for instance Mark 1:2; Mark 2:23-28; Mark 10:48b; Mark 12:18-27; also compare Mark 2:10 with Daniel Daniel 7:13-14. Those who seek to show the non-Hellenistic side of Mark note passages such as Mark 1:44; Mark 5:7 ("Son of the Most High God"; cf. Genesis 14:18-20); Mark 7:27; and Mark 8:27-30. These also indicate that the audience of Mark has kept at least some of its Jewish heritage, and also that the gospel might not be as Hellenistic as it first seems.

Mark and the Synoptic Problem

The first three, or synoptic, gospels are closely related. For example, out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with both Matthew and Luke (known as the "double tradition" material), 145 with Matthew alone, 60 with Luke alone, and at most 51 peculiar to itself, according to one reckoning. The commonality goes beyond the same selection of what stories about Jesus to tell but extends to the use of many of the same words in how they are told. The synoptic problem is an investigation into whether and how the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke used each other or common sources.

Most researchers into the synoptic problem have concluded that Mark was written first and used by Matthew and Luke ("Markan priority"), as first proposed by G. Ch. Storr in 1786 and popularized by the critical scholarship that began in the mid-19th century. Another hypothesis known as the Augustinian hypothesis follows the traditional view that Matthew was the first Gospel, followed by Mark and then Luke. The other major alternative to Markan priority is the Griesbach hypothesis, which holds that Mark was written third as an abbreviating combination of Matthew and Luke.

There are two solutions to the synoptic problem that are based on Markan priority. Firstly, the Farrer hypothesis, that Mark wrote first followed by Matthew then Luke, each writer using the work of his predecessors. Secondly, the more dominant Two-Source hypothesis (2SH) posits that the gospels of Matthew and Luke also draw extensively from a now-lost "sayings" collection—called Q after German Quelle, "source". Most supporters of the 2SH do not think there is a literary connection between Mark and Q, (e.g. Udo Schnelle (1998 p 195), who wrote that "a direct literary connection between Mark and Q must be regarded as improbable" and looks to connections through the oral tradition) but a couple of active scholars, such as Burton Mack (Burton Mack (1993 pp 177-9); he discusses "a myriad of interesting points at which the so-called overlaps between Mark and Q show Mark's use of Q material for his own narrative designs) have argued that Mark had some knowledge of Q.

To further complicate the matter, in recent years there have been various hypotheses postulating other sources for Mark, generally proposed to explain certain difficulties with the two source hypothesis. It is argued that Mark gave an order and plot to the material found in his sources, and also added some parenthetical commentary (e.g. Daniel J. Harrington, who wrote, "Mark had various kinds of traditions at his disposal: sayings, parables, controversies, healing stories and other miracles, and probably a passion narrative. Some of these traditions may have been grouped: controversies (Mark 2:1-3:6), seed parables (Mark 4:1-34), miracles (Mark 4:35-5:43), etc. Mark gave an order and a plot to these sayings and incidents, connected them with bridge passages, and added parenthetical comments for the sake of his readers." Brown et al. 597). Lastly, one scholar, Michael A. Turton, has argued that the Gospel of Mark is Midrash, or a sermonic commentary of the Tanakh (Old Testament). According to Turton, Mark contains over 150 citations or allusions to the Tanakh, with the bulk of the Gospel episodes being derived from stories of First and Second Kings about Elijah and Elisha(This is an uncommon point of view).

Textual Criticism

Manuscripts, both scrolls and codices, tend to lose text at the beginning and the end, not unlike a coverless paperback in a backpack. These losses are characteristically unconnected with excisions. For instance, Mark Mark 1:1 has been found in two different forms. Most manuscripts of Mark, including the highly regarded 4th-century manuscript of Mark, Codex Vaticanus, has the text "son of God", (Greek grammar and article use allow an English translation of the Son of God, a son of God, or merely Son of God) but three important manuscripts do not. Those three are: Codex Sinaiticus (01, א) (4th century), Codex Koridethi (038, Θ) (9th century), and the text called Minuscule 28 (11th century). A further manuscript, P45, is 3rd century, but its opening portion has not survived.

Interpolations may not be editorial, either. It is a common experience that glosses written in the margins of manuscripts get incorporated into the text as copies are made. Any particular example is open to dispute of course, but one may take note of Mark Mark 7:16, "Let anyone with ears to hear, listen," which is not found in early manuscripts.


There was some dispute among textual critics in the 19th century as to whether Mark 16:9-20, describing some disciples' encounters with the resurrected Jesus, was part of the autograph, or if it was added later. Mark 16:8 stops at the empty tomb without further explanation. The last twelve verses are missing from the oldest manuscripts of Mark's Gospel. The style of these verses differs from the rest of Mark, suggesting they were a later addition. In a handful of manuscripts, a "short ending", is included after 16:7, but before the "long ending", and exists by itself in one of the earliest Old Latin codices, Codex Bobiensis. By the 5th century, at least four different endings have been attested. (See Mark 16 for a more comprehensive treatment of this topic.)

The third-century theologian Origen quoted the resurrection stories in Matthew, Luke, and John but failed to quote anything after Mark 16:8, suggesting that his copy of Mark stopped there, but this is an argument from silence. Eusebius and Jerome both mention the majority of texts available to them omitted the longer ending. Critics are divided over whether the original ending at 16:8 was intentional, where it resulted from accidental loss, or even the author's death. Some of those who believe that the 16:8 ending was intentional suggest a connection to the theme of the "Messianic Secret". This abrupt ending is also used to support the identification of this book as an example of closet drama.

Secret Gospel of Mark

A Mar Saba letter ascribed to Clement of Alexandria, copied into a book at the Mar Saba monastery and published by Morton Smith in 1973, contains references to a previously unknown Secret Gospel of Mark that gives information about the gospel of Mark's possible Roman origin. While most Clement scholars agree that the letter sounds authentic, a number of scholars remain unconvinced that an early Secret Mark existed, asserting that the "Mar Saba letter" is a modern-day forgery. Where and if it should fit in the history of the gospel of Mark is still debated.


Unlike both Matthew and Luke, Mark does not offer any information about the life of Jesus before he begins his ministry, including neither the nativity nor a genealogy. The detailed narrative is divided into three sections: the Galilean ministry (including the surrounding regions of Phoenicia, Decapolis, and Cæarea Philippi), the Judean ministry and the journey to Jerusalem, and the events in Jerusalem.

Other characteristics unique to Mark

  • Son of Man is the major title used of Jesus in Mark (Mark 2:10, Mark 2:28; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:9, Mark 9:12, Mark 9:31; Mark 10:33, Mark 10:45; Mark 14:21, Mark 14:41). Many people have seen that this title is a very important one within Mark’s Gospel, and it has important implications for Mark’s Christology. Jesus raises a question that demonstrates the association in Mark between ‘Son of Man’ (compare Daniel 7:13-14) and the suffering servant in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – “How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt?” (9:12b, NRSV) Yet this comparison is not explicit; Mark’s Gospel creates this link between Daniel and Isaiah, and applies it to Christ. It’s postulated that this is because of the persecution of Christians; thus, Mark’s Gospel encourages believers to stand firm (Mark 13:13) in the face of troubles.
  • The testing of Jesus in the wilderness for forty days contains no discourse between Jesus and Satan and only here are wild beasts mentioned (Mark 1:12-13).
  • Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man numerous times.
  • The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Not present in either Matthew 12:1-8 and Luke 6:1-5.
  • Jesus' family say he is out of his mind, see also Rejection of Jesus (Mark 3:21).
  • Among the synoptic gospels, Mark contains the smallest number of parables or riddles; only 12 (John has 3. None of them are found in Mark).
  • Only Mark counts the possessed swine; there are about two thousand (Mark 5:13).
  • Only place in the New Testament Jesus is addressed as "the son of Mary" (Mark 6:3).
  • Only place that both names his brothers and mentions his sisters (Mark 6:3 - Matthew has a slightly different name for one brother and no mention of sisters Matthew 13:55)
  • Two consecutive healing stories of women, make use of the number twelve (Mark 5:25 and Mark 5:42).
  • The taking of a staff and sandals (Mark 6:8-10) are prohibited in Matthew 10:10 and Luke 9:3 and Luke 10:4.
  • The longest version of the story of Herodias' daughter's dance and the beheading of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29).
  • Mark's literary cycles:
  • Mark 6:30-44 - Feeding of the five thousand;
  • Mark 6:45-56 - Crossing of the lake;
  • Mark 7:1-13 - Dispute with the Pharisees;
  • Mark 7:14-23 - Discourse about food defilement.
  • Mark 8:1-9 - Feeding of the four thousand;
  • Mark 8:10 - Crossing of the lake;
  • Mark 8:11-13 - Dispute with the Pharisees;
  • Mark 8:14-21 - Incident of no bread and discourse about the leaven of the Pharisees.
  • Jesus heals using his fingers and spit, see also Exorcism (Mark 7:33).
  • Jesus lays his hands on a blind man twice to cure him (Mark 8:22).
  • The 'Messianic Secret' motif (e.g. Mark 1:32-34; Mark 3:11-12); Demons know of Jesus and his secret identity. He is not just a wonder-worker; Jesus is the, or a, Son of God.
  • Even though the Twelve Apostles are Jesus' close traveling companions, they still have difficulty understanding his teachings and wonder who he is.
  • Mark is the only synoptic gospel that does not contain The Lord's Prayer, unless one accepts (Mark 11:25-26).
  • When Jesus is arrested a young naked man flees (Mark 14:51-52).
  • A woman anoints Jesus' head. There is no mention of her hair (Mark 14:3-9).
  • Witness testimony against Jesus does not agree (Mark 14:56).
  • Jesus gives the direct answer, "I am"(Mark 14:62).
  • The cock crows "twice" as predicted (Mark 14:72).
  • The cloak is royal purple (Mark 15:17), as in John (Mark 19:2). In Matthew (Mark 27:28) it is a common scarlet military cloak.
  • Simon of Cyrene's sons are named (Mark 15:21).
  • A summoned centurion is questioned (Mark 15:44-45).
  • The women ask each other who will roll away the stone (Mark 16:3).
  • A young man sits on the "right side" (Mark 16:5).
  • Afraid, the women flee from the empty tomb. They "tell no one" what they have seen (Mark 16:8).
  • Close of short ending text.
    • As in John (John 20:14) the resurrected Jesus first appears to only Mary Magdalene, from whom had been cast out seven demons (Mark 16:9). Later he appears to others.
    • Disciples are told by the resurrected Jesus that they can handle serpents and drink poison without harm. (Mark 16:18).

It is the current and apparently well-founded tradition that Mark derived his information mainly from the discourses of Peter. In his mother's house he would have abundant opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles and their coadjutors, yet he was “the disciple and interpreter of Peter” specially.

As to the time when it was written, the Gospel furnishes us with no definite information. Mark makes no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before that event, and probably about A.D. 63.

The place where it was written was probably Rome. Some have supposed Antioch (Compare Mark 15:21 with Acts 11:20).

It was intended primarily for Romans. This appears probable when it is considered that it makes no reference to the Jewish law, and that the writer takes care to interpret words which a Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as, “Boanerges” (Mark 3:17); “Talitha cumi” (Mark 5:41); “Corban” (Mark 7:11); “Bartimaeus” (Mark 10:46); “Abba” (Mark 14:36); “Eloi,” etc. (Mark 15:34). Jewish usages are also explained (Mark 7:3; Mark 14:3; Mark 14:12; Mark 15:42). Mark also uses certain Latin words not found in any of the other Gospels, as “speculator” (Mark 6:27, rendered, KJV, “executioner;” R.V., “soldier of his guard”), “xestes” (a corruption of sextarius, rendered “pots,” Mark 7:4, Mark 7:8), “quadrans” (Mark 12:42, rendered “a farthing”), “centurion” (Mark 15:39, Mark 15:44, Mark 15:45). He only twice quotes from the Old Testament (Mark 1:2; Mark 15:28).

The characteristics of this Gospel are,

(1) the absence of the genealogy of our Lord,

(2) whom he represents as clothed with power, the “lion of the tribe of Judah.”

(3) Mark also records with wonderful minuteness the very words (Mark 3:17; Mark 5:41; Mark 7:11, Mark 7:34; Mark 14:36) as well as the position (Mark 9:35) and gestures (Mark 3:5, Mark 3:34; Mark 5:32; Mark 9:36; Mark 10:16) of our Lord.

(4) He is also careful to record particulars of person (Mark 1:29, Mark 1:36; Mark 3:6, Mark 3:22, etc.), number (Mark 5:13; Mark 6:7, etc.), place (Mark 2:13; Mark 4:1; Mark 7:31, etc.), and time (Mark 1:35; Mark 2:1; Mark 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit.

(5) The phrase “and straightway” occurs nearly forty times in this Gospel; while in Luke's Gospel, which is much longer, it is used only seven times, and in John only four times.

“The Gospel of Mark,” says Westcott, “is essentially a transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged in it with the clearest outline.” “In Mark we have no attempt to draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially characterizes this evangelist, so that 'if any one desires to know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'”. The leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed in the motto: “Jesus came... preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Mark 1:14).

“Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51 peculiar to itself.” (See Gospel Of Matthew.)

I. Our Second Gospel.

The order of the Gospels in our New Testament is probably due to the early conviction that this was the order in which the Gospels were written. It was not, however, the invariable order. The question of order only arose when the roll was superseded by the codex, our present book-form. That change was going on in the 3rd century. Origen found codices with the order John-Matthew-Mark-Luke - due probably to the desire to give the apostles the leading place. That and the one common today may be considered the two main groupings - the one in the order of dignity, the other in that of time. The former is Egyptian and Latin; the latter has the authority of most Greek manuscripts, Catalogues and Fathers, and is supported by the old Syriac.

Within these, however, there are variations. The former is varied thus: John-Matthew-Luke-Mark, and Matthew-John-Mark-Luke, and Matthew-John-Luke-Mark; the latter to Matthew-Mark-John-Luke. Mark is never first; when it follows Luke, the time consideration has given place to that of length.

II. Contents and General Characteristics.

1. Scope:

The Gospel begins with the ministry of John the Baptist and ends with the announcement of the Resurrection, if the last 12 verses be not included. These add post-resurrection appearances, the Commission, the Ascension, and a brief summary of apostolic activity. Thus its limits correspond closely with those indicated by Peter in Acts 10:37-43. Nothing is said of the early Judean ministry. The Galilean ministry and Passion Week with the transition from the one to the other (in Acts 10) practically make up the Gospel.

2. Material Peculiar to Mark:

Matter peculiar to Mark is found in Mark 4:26-29 (the seed growing secretly); Mark 3:21 (his kindred's fear); Mark 7:32-37 (the deaf and dumb man); Mark 8:22-26 (the blind man); Mark 13:33-37 (the householder and the exhortation to watch); Mark 14:51 (the young man who escaped). But, in addition to this, there are many vivid word-touches with which the common material is lighted up, and in not a few of the common incidents Mark's account is very much fuller; e.g. 6:14-29 (death of John the Baptist); Mark 7:1-23 (on eating with unwashen hands); Mark 9:14-29 (the demoniac boy); Mark 12:28-34 (the questioning scribe). There is enough of this material to show clearly that the author could not have been wholly dependent on the other evangelists. Hawkins reckons the whole amount of peculiar material at about fifty verses (Hor. Syn., 11).

3. Quotations:

In striking contrast to Matthew who, in parallel passages, calls attention to the fulfillment of prophecy by Jesus, Mark only once quotes the Old Testament and that he puts in the very forefront of his Gospel. The Isa part of his composite quotation appears in all 4 Gospels; the Malachi part in Mark only, though there is a reflection of it in John 3:28. This fact alone might convey an erroneous impression of the attitude of the Gospel to the Old Testament. Though Mark himself makes only this one twofold reference, yet he represents Jesus as doing so frequency. The difference in this respect between him and Matthew is not great. He has 19 formal quotations as compared with 40 in Matthew, 17 in Luke and 12 in John. Three of the 19 are not found elsewhere. The total for the New Testament is 160, so that Mark has a fair proportion. When Old Testament references and loose citations are considered the result is much the same. Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek give Matthew 100, Mark 58, Luke 86, John 21, Acts 107. Thus. the Old Testament lies back of Mark also as the authoritative word of God. Swete (Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, 393) points out that in those quotations which are common to the synoptists the Septuagint is usually followed; in others, the Hebrew more frequently. (A good illustration is seen in Mark 7:7 where the Septuagint is followed in the phrase, “in vain do they worship me” - a fair para-phrase of the Hebrew; but “teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men” is a more correct representation of the Hebrew than the Septuagint gives.) Three quotations are peculiar to Mark, namely, Mark 9:48; Mark 10:19; Mark 12:32.

4. A Book of Mighty Works:

Judged by the space occupied, Mark is a Gospel of deeds. Jesus is a worker. His life is one of strenuous activity. He hastens from one task to another with energy and decision. The word εὐθύς, euthús, i.e. “straightway,” is used 42 times as against Matthew's 7 and Luke's 1. In 14 of these, as compared with 2 in Matthew and none in Luke, the word is used of the personal activity of Jesus. It is not strange therefore that the uneventful early years should be passed over (compare John 2:11). Nor is it strange that miracles should be more numerous than parables. According to Westcott's classification (Introduction to Study of the Gospel, 480-86), Mark has 19 miracles and only 4 parables, whereas the corresponding figures for Matthew are 21 to 15 and for Luke 20 to 19. Of the miracles 2 are peculiar to Mark, of the parables only 1. The evangelist clearly records the deeds rather than the words of Jesus. These facts furnish another point of contact with Peter's speeches in Acts - the beneficent character of the deeds in Acts 10:38, and their evidential significance in Acts 2:22 (compare Mark 1:27; Mark 2:10, etc.).

The following are the miracles recorded by Mark: the unclean spirit ([[Mark 1:21-28), the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12), the withered hand (Mark 3:1-5), the storm stilled (Mark 4:35-41), the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-17), Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:22 ff), the woman with the issue (Mark 5:25-34), feeding the 5,000 (Mark 6:35-44), feeding the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-10), walking on the water (Mark 6:48 ff); the Syrophoenician's daughter (Mark 7:24-30), the deaf mute (Mark 7:31-37), the blind man (Mark 8:22-26), the demoniac boy (Mark 9:14 ff), blind Bartimeus (Mark 10:46-52), the fig tree withered (Mark 11:20 ff), the resurrection (Mark 16:1 ff). For an interesting classification of these see Westcott's Introduction to Study of the Gospels, 391. Only the last three belong to Judea.

5. The Worker Is also a Teacher:

Though what has been said is true, yet Mark is by no means silent about Jesus as a teacher. John the Baptist is a preacher (Mark 1:4, Mark 1:7), and Jesus also is introduced as a preacher, taking up and enlarging the message of John. Very frequent mention is made of him as teaching (e.g. Mark 1:21; Mark 2:13; Mark 6:6, etc.); indeed the words διδαχή, didachḗ, and διδάσκω, didáskō, occur more frequently in Mark than in any other Gospel. Striking references are made to His originality, methods, popularity and peerlessness as a teacher (Mark 1:22; Mark 4:1 f, 33; Mark 11:27 through Mark 12:37; especially Mark 12:34). A miracle is definitely declared to be for the purpose of instruction (Mark 2:10), and the implication is frequent that His miracles were not only the dictates of His compassion, but also purposed self-revelations (Mark 5:19 f; Mark 11:21-23). Not only is He Himself a teacher, but He is concerned to prepare others to be teachers (Mark 3:13 f; Mark 4:10 f). Mark is just as explicit as Matthew in calling attention to the fact that at a certain stage He began teaching the multitude in parables, and expounding the parables to His disciples (Mark 4:2-11 f). He mentions, however, only four of them - the Sower (Mark 4:1-20), the Seed Growing Secretly (Mark 4:26-29), the Mustard Seed (Mark 4:30-32) and the Husband-men (Mark 12:1-12). The number of somewhat lengthy discourses and the total amount of teaching is considerably greater than is sometimes recognized. Mark 4 and 13 approach most nearly to the length of the discourses in Matthew and correspond to Matthew 13 and 24 respectively. But in Mark 7:1-23; 9:33-50; 10:5-31, Mark 10:39-45 and 12:1-44 we have quite extensive sayings. If Jesus is a worker, He is even more a teacher. His works prepare for His words rather than His words for His works. The teachings grew naturally out of the occasion and the circumstances. He did and taught. Because He did what He did He could teach with effectiveness. Both works and words reveal Himself.

6. A Book of Graphic Details:

There is a multitude of graphic details: Mark mentions actions and gestures of Jesus (Mark 7:33; Mark 9:36; Mark 10:16) and His looks of inquiry (Mark 5:32), in prayer (Mark 6:41; Mark 7:34), of approval (Mark 3:34), love (Mark 10:21), warning (to Judas especially Mark 10:23), anger (Mark 3:5), and in judgment (Mark 11:11). Jesus hungers (Mark 11:12), seeks rest in seclusion (Mark 6:31) and sleeps on the boat cushion (Mark 4:38); He pities the multitude (Mark 6:34), wonders at men's unbelief (Mark 6:6), sighs over their sorrow and blindness (Mark 6:34; Mark 8:12), grieves at their hardening (Mark 3:5), and rebukes in sadness the wrong thought of His mother and brothers, and in indignation the mistaken zeal and selfish ambitions of His disciples (Mark 8:33; Mark 10:14). Mark represents His miracles of healing usually as instantaneous (Mark 1:31; Mark 2:11 f; Mark 3:5), sometimes as gradual or difficult (Mark 1:26; Mark 7:32-35; Mark 9:26-28), and once as flatly impossible “because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:6). With many vivid touches we are told of the behavior of the people and the impression made on them by what Jesus said or did. They bring their sick along the streets and convert the market-place into a hospital (Mark 1:32), throng and jostle Him by the seaside (Mark 3:10), and express their astonishment at His note of authority (Mark 1:22) and power (Mark 2:12). Disciples are awed by His command over the sea (Mark 4:41), and disciples and others are surprised and alarmed at the strange look of dread as He walks ahead alone, going up to Jerusalem and the cross (Mark 10:32). Many other picturesque details are given, as in Mark 1:13 (He was with the wild beasts); Mark 2:4 (digging through the roof); Mark 4:38 (lying asleep on the cushion); Mark 5:4 (the description of the Gerasene demoniac); Mark 6:39 (the companies, dressed in many colors and looking like flower beds on the green mountain-side). Other details peculiar to Mark are: names (Mark 1:29; Mark 3:6; Mark 13:3; Mark 15:21), numbers (Mark 5:13; Mark 6:7), time (Mark 1:35; Mark 2:1; Mark 11:19; Mark 16:2), and place (Mark 2:13; Mark 3:8; Mark 7:31; Mark 12:41; Mark 13:3; Mark 14:68 and Mark 15:39). These strongly suggest the observation of an eyewitness as the final authority, and the geographical references suggest that even the writer understood the general features of the country, especially of Jerusalem and its neighborhood. (For complete lists see Lindsay, Mark's Gospel, 26 ff.)

III. The Text.

Of the 53 select readings noted by Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek (Intro), only a few are of special interest or importance. The following are to be accepted: ἐν τῷ Ἠσαία τῷ προφήτῃ, (Mark 1:2) ἁμαρτήματος, (Mark 3:29); πλήρης, (indeclinable, Mark 4:28); ὁ τεκτων, (Mark 6:3; Jesus is here called “the carpenter”); αὐτοῦ, (Mark 6:22, Herod's daughter probably had two names, Salome and Herodias); πυγμῆ, (Mark 7:23, “with the fist,” i.e. “thoroughly,” not πυκνά, “oft”). Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek are to be followed in rejecting πιστεῦσαι, (leaving the graphic Εί δύνῃ, (Mark 9:23); καὶ νηστείᾳ, (Mark 9:29); πᾶσα...ἀλισθήσεται (Mark 9:49); τοῦς ...χρήμασι (Mark 10:24); but not in rejecting υίοῦ θεοῦ (Mark 1:1). They are probably wrong in retaining οὔς ὠνόμασαν (Mark 3:14; it was probably added from Luke 6:31); and in rejecting καί κλινῶν and accepting ῥαντίσωνται instead of βαπτίσωνται (Mark 7:4; ignorance of the extreme scrupulosity of the Jews led to these scribal changes; compare Luke 11:38, where ἐβαπτίσθη is not disputed). So one may doubt ἠπόρει (Mark 6:20), and suspect it of being an Alexandrian correction for ἐποίει which was more difficult and yet is finely appropriate.

The most important textual problem is that of Mark 16:9-20. Burgon and Miller and Salmon believe it to be genuine. Miller supposes that up to that point Mark had been giving practically Peter's words, that for some reason those then failed him and that Mark 16:9-20 are drawn from his own stores. The majority of scholars regard them as non-Markan; they think Mark 16:8 is not the intended conclusion; that if Mark ever wrote a conclusion, it has been lost, and that Mark 16:9-20, embodying traditions of the Apostolic Age, were supplied later. Conybeare has found in an Armenian manuscript a note referring these verses to the presbyter Ariston, whom he identifies with that Aristion, a disciple of John, of whom Papias speaks. Many therefore would regard them as authentic, and some accept them as clothed with John's authority. They are certainly very early, perhaps as early as 100 AD, and have the support of Codices Alexandrinus, Ephraemi, Bezae, Xi, Gamma, Delta, Zeta all late uncials, all cursives, most versions and Fathers, and were known to the scribes of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, who, however, do not accept them.

It is just possible that the Gospel did end at verse 8. The very abruptness would argue an early date when Christians lived in the atmosphere of the Resurrection and would form an even appropriate closing for the Gospel of the Servant (see below). A Servant comes, fulfills his task, and departs - we do not ask about his lineage, nor follow his subsequent history.

IV. Language.

1. General Character:

Mark employs the common coloquial Greek of the day, understood everywhere throughout the Greek-Roman world. It was emphatically the language of the Character people, “known and read of all men.” His vocabulary is equally removed from the technicalities of the schools and from the slang of the streets. It is the clean, vigorous, direct speech of the sturdy middle class.

2. Vocabulary:

Of his 1, 330 words, 60 are proper names. Of the rest 79 are peculiar to Mark, so far as the New Testament is concerned; 203 are found elsewhere only in the Synoptics, 15 only in John's Gospel, 23 only in Paul (including Hebrews), 2 in the Catholic Epistles (1 in James, 1 in 2 Peter), 5 in the Apocalypse (Revelation) (see Swete, Commentary on Mark). Rather more than a fourth of the 79 are non-classical as compared with one-seventh for Luke and a little more than one-seventh for Mr. Hawkins also gives a list of 33 unusual words or expressions. The most interesting of the single words are σχιζομένους, schizoménous, ἤφιεν, ḗphien, κωμοπόλεις, kōmopóleis, ἐκεφαλιωσαν, ekephalíōsan, προαύλιον, proaúlion, and ὄτι, hóti, in the sense of “why” (Mark 2:16; Mark 9:11, Mark 9:28); of the expressions, the distributives in Mark 6:7, Mark 6:39 f and Mark 14:19, the Hebraistic εἰ δοθήσεται, and ὄταν with the indicative. Of ordinary constructions the following are found with marked frequency: καί (reducing his use of δέ to half of Matthew's or Luke's), historic present (accounting for the very frequent use of λέγει instead of εἶπεν), the periphrastic imperfect, the article with infinitives or sentences, participles, and prepositions.

There are indications that the writer in earlier life was accustomed to think in Aramaic. Occasionally that fact shows itself in the retention of Aramaic words which are proportionately rather more numerous than in Matthew and twice as numerous as in Luke or John. The most interesting of these are ταλειθά κούμ, taleithá koúm, ἐφφαθά, ephphathá, and Βοανηργές, Boanērgés, each uttered at a time of intense feeling.

Latinisms in Mark are about half as numerous as Aramaisms. They number 11, the same as in Matthew, as compared with 6 in Luke and 7 in John. The greater proportion in Mark is the only really noteworthy fact in these figures. It suggests more of a Roman outlook and fits in with the common tradition as to its origin and authorship.

For certain words he has great fondness: εὐύς 42 times; ἀκάθαρτος 11 times; βλέπω, and its compounds very frequently; so ἐπερωτᾶν, ὑπάγιεν, ἐξουσία, εὐαγγέλιον, προσκαλεῖσθαι, ἐπιτιμᾶν compounds of πορεύεσθαι, ουνζητειν, and such graphic words as ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι, ἐμβριμᾶσθαι, ἐναγκαλίζεσθαι, and φιμοῦσθαι. The following he uses in an unusual sense: ἐνεῖχεν, πυγμῇ, ἀπεχει, ἐπιβαλών.

The same exact and vivid representation of the facts of actual experience accounts for the anacolutha and other broken constructions, e.g. Mark 4:31 f; Mark 5:23; Mark 6:8 f; Mark 11:32. Some are due to the insertion of explanatory clauses, as in Mark 7:3-5; some to the introduction of a quotation as in Mark 7:11 f. These phenomena represent the same type of mind as we have already seen (II., 6. above).

3. Style:

The style is very simple. The common connective is καί, kaí. The stately periods of the classics are wholly absent. The narrative is commonly terse and concise. At times, however, a multitude of details are crowded in, resulting in unusual fullness of expression. This gives rise to numerous duplicate expressions as in Mark 1:32; Mark 2:25; Mark 5:19 and the like, which become a marked feature of the style. The descriptions are wonderfully vivid. This is helped out by the remarkably frequent use of the historic present, of which there are 151 examples, as contrasted with 78 in Matthew and 4 in Luke, apart from its use in parables. Mark never uses it in parables, whereas Matthew has 15 cases, and Luke has 5. John has 162, a slightly smaller proportion than Mark on the whole, but rather larger in narrative parts. But Mark's swift passing from one tense to another adds a variety and vividness to the narrative not found in John.

4. Original Language:

That the original language was Greek is the whole impression made by patristic references. Translations of the Gospel are always from, not into, Greek. It was the common language of the Roman world, especially for letters. Paul wrote to the Romans in Greek. Half a century later Clement wrote from Rome to Corinth in Greek. The Greek Mark bears the stamp of originality and of the individuality of the author.

Some have thought it was written in Latin. The only real support for that view is the subscription in a few manuscripts (e.g. 160, 161, ἐγράφη Ῥωμαΐστί ἐν Ῥώμῃ, egráphē Rhōmaistí en Rhṓmē) and in the Peshitta and Harclean Syriac. It is a mistaken deduction from the belief that it was written in Rome or due to the supposition that “interpreter of Peter” meant that Mark translated Peter's discourses into Latin

Blass contended for an Aramaic original, believing that Luke, in the first part of Acts, followed an Aramaic source, and that that source was by the author of the Second Gospel which also, therefore, was written in Aramaic. He felt, moreover, that the text of Mark suggests several forms of the Gospel which are best explained as translations of a common original. Decisive against the view is the translation of the few Aramaic words which are retained.

V. Authorship.

1. External Evidence:

The external evidence for the authorship is found in the Fathers and the manuscripts. The most important patristic statements are the following:

Papias - Asia Minor, circa 125 AD - (quoted by Eus., HE, III, 39): “And this also the elder said: Mark, having become the interpreter (ἐρμηνεύτης, hermēneútēs) of Peter, wrote accurately what he remembered (or recorded) of the things said or done by Christ, but not in order. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed Him; but afterward, as I said (he attached himself to) Peter who used to frame his teaching to meet the needs (of his hearers), but not as composing an orderly account (σύνταξιν, súntaxin) of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error in thus writing down some things as he remembered them: for he took thought for one thing not to omit any of the things he had heard nor to falsify anything in them.”

Justin Martyr - Palestine and the West, circa 150 AD - (In Dial. with Trypho, cvi, Migne ed.): “And when it is said that He imposed on one of the apostles the name Peter, and when this is recorded in his 'Memoirs' with this other fact that He named the two sons of Zebedee 'Boanerges,' which means 'Sons of Thunder,' “ etc.

Irenaeus - Asia Minor and Gaul, circa 175 AD - (Adv. Haer., iii. 1, quoted in part Eus., HE, V, 8): “After the apostles were clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit and fully furnished for the work of universal evangelization, they went out (“exierunt,” in Rufinus' translation) to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel. Matthew went eastward to those of Hebrew descent and preached to them in their own tongue, in which language he also (had?) published a writing of the gospel, while Peter and Paul went westward and preached and founded the church in Rome. But after the departure (ἔξοδον, “exitum” in Rufinus) of the, Mark, the disciple and interpreter (ἑρμηνεύτης, hermēneútēs) of Peter, even he has delivered to us in writing the things which were preached by Peter.”

Clement of Alexandria - circa 200 AD - (Hypotyp. in Eus., HE, VI, 14): “The occasion for writing the Gospel according to Mark was as follows: After Peter had publicly preached the word in Rome and declared the gospel by the Spirit, many who were present entreated Mark, as one who had followed him for a long time and remembered what he said, to write down what he had spoken, and Mark, after composing the Gospel, presented it to his petitioners. When Peter became aware of it he neither eagerly hindered nor promoted it.” Also (Eus., HE, II, 15): “So charmed were the Romans with the light that shone in upon their minds from the discourses of Peter, that, not contented with a single hearing and the viva voce proclamation of the truth, they urged with the utmost solicitation on Mark, whose Gospel is in circulation and who was Peter's attendant, that he would leave them in writing a record of the teaching which they had received by word of mouth. They did not give over until they had prevailed on him; and thus they became the cause of the composition of the so-called Gospel according to Mk. It is said that when the apostle knew, by revelation of the Spirit, what was done, he was pleased with the eagerness of the men and authorized the writing to be read in the churches.”

Tertullian - North Africa, circa 207 AD - (Adv. Marc., iv. 5): He speaks of the authority of the four Gospels, two by apostles and two by companions of apostles, “not excluding that which was published by Mark, for it may be ascribed to Peter, whose interpreter Mark was.”

Origen - Alexandria and the East, c 240 AD - (“Comm. on Mt” quoted in Eus., HE, VI, 25): “The second is that according to Mark who composed it, under the guidance of Peter (ὡς Πέτρος ὑφηγήσατο αὐτῷ, hōs Pétros huphēgḗsato autṓ), who therefore, in his Catholic (universal) epistle, acknowledged the evangelist as his son.”

Eusebius - Caesarea, circa 325 AD - (Dem. Evang., III, 5): “Though Peter did not undertake, through excess of diffidence, to write a Gospel, yet it had all along been currency reported, that Mark, who had become his familiar acquaintance and attendant (γνώριμος καὶ φοιτητής, gnṓrimes kaí phoitētḗs) made memoirs of (or recorded, ἀπομνημονεῦσαι, apomnēmoeúsai) the discourses of Peter concerning the doings of Jesus.” “Mark indeed writes this, but it is Peter who so testifies about himself, for all that is in Mark are memoirs (or records) of the discourses of Peter.”

Epiphanius - Cyprus, circa 350 AD - (Haer., 41): “But immediately after Matthew, Mark, having become a follower (ἁκόλουθος, akólouthos) of the holy Peter in Rome, is entrusted in the putting forth of a gospel. Having completed his work, he was sent by the holy Peter into the country of the Egyptians.”

Jerome - East and West, circa 350 AD - (De vir. illustr., viii): “Mark, disciple and interpreter of Peter, at the request of the brethren in Rome, wrote a brief Gospel in accordance with what he had heard Peter narrating. When Peter heard it he approved and authorized it to be read in the churches.”

Also xi: “Accordingly he had Titus as interpreter just as the blessed Peter had Mark whose Gospel was composed, Peter narrating and Mark writing.”

Preface Commentary on Matthew: “The second is Mark, interpreter of the apostle Peter, and first bishop of the Alexandrian church; who did not himself see the Lord Jesus, but accurately, rather than in order, narrated those of His deeds, which he had heard his teacher preaching.”

To these should be added the Muratorian Fragment - circa 170 AD - “which gives a list of the New Testament books with a brief account of the authorship of each. The account of Matthew and most of that of Mark are lost, only these words relating to Mark being left: 'quibus tamen interfuit, et ita posuit' “ (see below).

These names represent the churches of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries, and practically every quarter of the Roman world. Quite clearly the common opinion was that Mark had written a Gospel and in it had given us mainly the teaching of Peter. That our second Gospel is the one referred to in these statements there can be no reasonable doubt. Our four were certainly the four of Irenaeus and Tatian; and Salmon (Introduction) has shown that the same four must have been accepted by Justin, Papias and their contemporaries, whether orthodox or Gnostics. Justin's reference to the surname “Boanerges” supports this so far as Mark is concerned, for in the Gospel of Mark alone is that fact mentioned (Mark 3:17).

A second point is equally clear - that the Gospel of Mark is substantially Peter's. Mark is called disciple, follower, interpreter of Peter. Origen expressly quotes “Marcus, my son” (1 Peter 5:13 the King James Version) in this connection. “Disciple” is self-explanatory. “Follower” is its equivalent, not simply a traveling companion. “Interpreter” is less clear. One view equates it with “translator,” because Mark translated either Peter's Aramaic discourses into Greek for the Hellenistic Christians in Jerusalem (Adeney, et al.), or Peter's Greek discourses into Latin for the Christians in Rome (Swete, et al.). The other view - that of the ancients and most moderns (e.g. Zahn, Salmon) - is that it means “interpreter” simply in the sense that Mark put in writing what Peter had taught. The contention of Chase (HDB, III, 247) that this was a purely metaphorical use has little weight because it may be so used here. The conflict in the testimony as to date and place will be considered below (VII).

There is no clear declaration that Mark himself was a disciple of Jesus or an eyewitness of what he records. Indeed the statement of Papias seems to affirm the contrary. However, that statement may mean simply that he was not a personal disciple of Jesus, not that he had never seen Him at all.

The Muratorian Fragment is not clear. Its broken sentence has been differently understood. Zahn completes it thus: “(ali) quibus tamen interfuit, et ita posuit,” and understands it to mean that “at some incidents (in the life of Jesus), however, he was present and so put them down.” Chase (HDB) and others regard “quibus tamen” as a literal translation of the Greek οἶς δὲ, hoís dé, and believe the meaning to be that Mark, who had probably just been spoken of as not continuously with Peter, “was present at some of this discourses and so recorded them.” Chase feels that the phrase following respecting Luke: “Dominum tamen nec ipse vidit in carne,” compels the belief that Mark like Luke had not seen the Lord. But Paul, not Mark, may be there in mind, and further, this interpretation rather belittles Mark's association with Peter.

The patristic testimony may be regarded as summarized in the title of the work in our earliest manuscripts, namely, κατὰ Μάρκον, katá Márkon. This phrase must refer to the author, not his source of information, for then it would necessarily have been κατὰ Πέτρον, katá Pétron. This is important as throwing light on the judgment of antiquity as to the authorship of the first Gospel, which the manuscripts all entitle κατὰ Μαθθαῖον, katá Matthaíon.

2. Internal Evidence:

The internal evidence offers much to confirm the tradition and practically nothing to the contrary. That Peter is back of it is congruous with such facts as the following:

(1) The many vivid details referred to above (III, 6) must have come from an eyewitness. The frequent use of λέγει, légei, in Mark and Matthew where Luke uses εἶπεν, eípen, works in the same direction.

(2) Certain awkward expressions in lists of names can best be explained as Mark's turning of Peter's original, e.g. Mark 1:29, where Peter may have said, “We went home, James and John accompanying us.” So in Mark 1:36 (contrasted with Luke's impersonal description, Luke 4:42 f); Mark 3:16; Mark 13:3.

(3) Two passages (Mark 9:6 and Mark 11:21) describe Peter's own thought; others mention incidents which Peter would be most likely to mention: e.g. Mark 14:37 and Mark 14:66-72 (especially imperfect ἠρνεῖτα, ērneíto); Mark 16:7; Mark 7:12-23 in view of Acts 10:15).

(4) In Mark 3:7 the order of names suits Peter's Galilean standpoint rather than that of Mark in Jerusalem - Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Perea, Tyre, Sidon. The very artlessness of these hints is the best kind of proof that we are in touch with one who saw with his own eyes and speaks out of his own consciousness.

(5) Generally Mark, like Matthew, writes from the standpoint of the Twelve more frequently than Luke; and Mark, more frequently than Matthew, from the standpoint of the three most honored by Jesus. Compare Mark 5:37 with Matthew 9:23, where Matthew makes no reference to the three; the unusual order of the names in Luke's corresponding passage (Luke 8:51) suggests that James was his ultimate source. The language of Mark 9:14 is clearly from one of the three, Luke's may be, but Matthew's is not. The contrast in this respect between the common synoptic material and Luke 9:51 through Luke 18:14 lends weight to this consideration.

(6) The scope of the Gospel which corresponds to that outlined in Peter's address to Cornelius (Acts 10:37-41).

(7) The book suits Peter's character - impressionable rather than reflective, and emotional rather than logical. To such men arguments are of minor importance. It is deeds that count (Burton, Short Intro).

It may seem to militate against all this that the three striking incidents in Peter's career narrated in Matthew 14:28-33 (walking on the water), Matthew 17:24-27 (tribute money), and Matthew 16:16-19 (the church and the keys), should be omitted in Mark. But this is just a touch of that fine courtesy and modesty which companionship with Jesus bred. We see John in his Gospel hiding himself in a similar way. These men are more likely to mention the things that reflect discredit on themselves. It is only in Matthew's list of the Twelve that he himself is called “the publican.” So “Peter never appears in a separate role in Mark except to receive a rebuke” (Bacon).

As to Mark's authorship, the internal evidence appears slight. Like the others, he does not obtrude himself. Yet for that very reason what hints there are become the more impressive.

There may be something in Zahn's point that the description of John as brother of James is an unconscious betrayal of the fact that the author's own name was John. There are two other passages, however, which are clearer and which reinforce each other. The story of the youth in Mark 14:51 seems to be of a different complexion from other Gospel incidents. But if Mark himself was the youth, its presence is explained and vindicated. In that case it is likely that the Supper was celebrated in his own home and that the upper room is the same as that in Acts 12. This is favored by the fuller description of it in Mark, especially the word “ready” - a most natural touch, the echo of the housewife's exclamation of satisfaction when everything was ready for the guests. It is made almost a certainty when we compare Mark 14:17 with the parallels in Matthew and Luke. Matthew 26:20 reads: “Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples”; Luke 22:14 : “And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the apostles with him”; while Mark has: “And when it was evening he cometh with the twelve.” The last represents exactly the standpoint of one in the home who sees Jesus and the Twelve approaching. (And how admirably the terms “the twelve disciples,” “the apostles” and “the twelve” suit Matthew, Luke, and Mark respectively.) Such phenomena, undesigned (save by the inspiring Spirit), are just those that would not have been invented later, and become the strongest attestation of the reliability of the tradition and this historicity of the narrative. Modern views opposed to this are touched upon in what follows.

VI. Sources and Integrity.

We have seen that, according to the testimony of the Fathers, Peter's preaching and teaching are at least the main source, and that many features of the Gospel support that view. We have seen, also, subtle but weighty reasons for believing that Mark added a little himself. Need we seek further sources, or does inquiry resolve itself into an analysis of Peter's teaching?

B. Weiss believes that Mark used a document now lost containing mainly sayings of Jesus, called Logia (L) in the earlier discussions, but now commonly known as Q (Quelle). In that opinion he has recently been joined by Sanday and Streeter. Harnack, Sir John Hawkins and Wellhausen have sought to reconstruct Q on the basis of the non-Markan matter in Matthew and Luke. Allen extracts it from Matthew alone, thinking that Mark also may have drawn a few sayings from it. Some assign a distinct source for Mark 13. Streeter considers it a document written shortly after the fall of Jerusalem, incorporating a few utterances by Jesus and itself incorporated bodily by Mark. Other sources, oral or written, are postulated by Bacon for smaller portions and grouped under X. He calls the final redactor R - not Mark but a Paulinist of a radical type.

In forming a judgment much depends upon one's conception of the teaching method of Jesus and the apostles. Teaching and preaching are not synonymous terms. Matthew sums up the early ministry in Galilee under “teaching, preaching and healing,” and gives us the substance of that teaching as it impressed itself upon him. Mark reports less of it, but speaks of it more frequently than either Matthew or Luke. Jesus evidently gave teaching a very large place, and a large proportion of the time thus spent was devoted to the special instruction of the inner circle of disciples. The range of that instruction was not wide. It was intensive rather than extensive. He held Himself to the vital topic of the kingdom of God. He must have gone over it again and again. He would not hesitate to repeat instructions which even chosen men found it so difficult to understand. Teaching by repetition was common then as it is now in the East. The word “catechize” (κατηχέω, kạtēchéō) implies that, and that word is used by Paul of Jewish (Romans 2:18) and by Luke of Christian teaching (Luke 1:4). See Catechist.

The novelty in His teaching was not in method so much as in content, authority and accompanying miraculous power (Mark 1:27). Certainly He was far removed from vain repetition. His supreme concern was for the spirit. Just as certainly He was not concerned about a mere reputation for originality or for wealth and variety of resources. He was concerned about teaching them the truth so effectively that they would be prepared by intellectual clearness, as well as spiritual sympathy, to make it known to others. And God by His Providence, so kind to all but so often thwarted by human self-will was free to work His perfect work for Him and make all things work together for the furtherance of His purpose. Thus incidents occur, situations arise and persons of all types appear on the scene, calling forth fresh instruction, furnishing illustration and securing the presentation of truth in fullness with proper balance and emphasis and in right perspective.

Thus before His death the general character of that kingdom, its principles and prospects, were taught. That furnished the warp for the future Gospels. The essence, the substance and general form were the same for all the Twelve; but each from the standpoint of his own individually saw particular aspects and was impressed with special details. No one of them was large enough to grasp it all, for no one was so great as the Master. And it would be strange indeed, though perhaps not so strange as among us, if none of them wrote down any of it. Ramsay, Salmon and Palmer are quit justified in feeling that it may have been put in writing before the death of Jesus. It may well be that Matthew wrote it as it lay in his mind, giving us substantially Harnack's Q. John and James may have done the same and furnished Luke his main special source. But whether it was written down then or not, the main fact to be noted is that it was lodged in their minds, and that the substance was, and the details through mutual conference increasingly became, their common possession. They did not understand it all - His rising from the dead, for example. But the words were lodged in memory, and subsequent events made their meaning clear.

Then follow the great events of His death and resurrection, and for forty days in frequent appearances He taught them the things concerning the kingdom of God and expounded in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself, especially the necessity of His death and resurrection. These furnished the woof of the future Gospels. But even yet they are not equipped for their task. So He promises them His Spirit, a main part of whose work will be to bring to their remembrance all He had said, to lead them into all the truth, and show them things to come. When He has come they will be ready to witness in power.

The apostles' conception of their task is indicated in some measure by Peter when he insisted that an indispensable qualification in a successor to Judas was that he must have been with them from the beginning to the end of Christ's ministry, and so be conversant with His words and deeds. From the day of Pentecost onward they gave themselves preeminently to teaching. The thousands converted on that day continued in the teaching of the apostles. When the trouble broke out between Hebrews and Hellenists, the Seven were appointed because the apostles could not leave the word of God to serve tables. The urgency of this business may have been one reason why they stayed in Jerusalem when persecution scattered so many of the church (Acts 8:2). They were thus in close touch for years, not only through the struggle between Hebrews and Hellenists, but until the admission of the GentileCornelius and his friends by Peter had been solemnly ratified by the church in Jerusalem and possibly until the Council had declared against the contention that circumcision was necessary for salvation. During these years they had every opportunity for mutual conference, and the vital importance of the questions that arose would compel them to avail themselves of such opportunities. Their martyr-like devotion to Jesus would make them quick to challenge anything that might seem a misrepresentation of His teaching. The Acts account of their discussions at great crises proves that conclusively. To their success in training others and the accuracy of the body of catechetical instruction Luke pays fine tribute when he speaks of the “certainty” or undoubted truth of it (Luke 1:4). Thus Jesus' post-resurrection expositions, the experience of the years and the guidance of the Spirit are the source and explanation of the apostolic presentation of the gospel.

Of that company Peter was the recognized leader, and did more than any other to determine the mold into which at least the post-resurrection teachings were cast. Luke tells us of many attempts to record them. He himself in his brief reports of Peter's addresses sketches their broad outlines. Mark, at the request of Roman Christians and with Peter's approval, undertook to give an adequate account. Two special facts influenced the result - one, the character of the people for whom he wrote; the other, the existence (as we may assume) of Matthew's Q. It would be natural for him to supplement rather than duplicate that apostolic summary. Moreover, since Q presented mainly the ethical or law side of Christianity the supplement would naturally present the gospel side of it - and so become its complement - while at the same time this presentation and the needs of the people for whom he specially writes make it necessary to add something from the body of catechetical material, oral or written, not included in Q, as his frequent καὶ ἔλεγεν, kaí élegen, seems to imply (Buckley, 152 ff). So Mk's is “the beginning of the Gospel.” He introduces Jesus in the act of symbolically devoting Himself to that death for our sins and rising again, which constitutes the gospel and then entering upon His ministry by calling upon the people to “repent and believe in the gospel.” The book is written from the standpoint of the resurrection, and gives the story of the passion and of the ministry in a perspective thus determined. About the same time it may be, Matthew, writing for Jewish Christians, combines this gospel side of the teaching with his own Q side of it, adding from the common stock or abridging as his purpose might suggest or space might demand. Later Luke does a similar service for Greek Christians (compare Harnack, The Twofold Gospel in the New Testament).

The only serious question about the integrity of the book concerns the last twelve verses, for a discussion of which see under III above. Some have suggested that Mark 1:1-13 is akin to Mark 16:9-20, and may have been added by the same hand. But while vocabulary and connection are main arguments against the genuineness of the latter, in both these respects [[Mark 1:1-13 is bound up with the main body of the book. Nor is there sufficient reason for denying Mark 13 as a true report of what Jesus said. Wendling's theory of three strata assignable to three different writers - historian, poet, and theologian - is quite overdrawn. Barring the closing verses, there is nothing which can possibly demand anything more than an earlier and a later edition by Mark himself, and the strongest point in favor of that is Luke's omission of Mark 6:45 through Mark 8:26. But Hawkins gives other reasons for that.

VII. Date and Place of Composition.

Ancient testimony is sharply divided. The Paschal Chronicle puts it in 40 AD, and many manuscripts, both uncial and cursive (Harnack, Chronologie, 70, 124) 10 or 12 years after the Ascension. These Swete sets aside as due to the mistaken tradition that Peter began work in Rome in the 2nd year of Claudius (42 AD). Similarly he would set aside the opinion of Chrysostom (which has some manuscripts subscriptions to support it) that it was written in Alexandria, as an error growing out of the statement of Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, II, 16) that Mark went to Egypt and preached there the Gospel he composed. This he does in deference to the strong body of evidence that it was written in Rome about the time of Peter's death. Still there remains a discrepancy between Irenaeus, as commonly understood, and the other Fathers. For, so understood, Irenaeus places it after the death of Peter, whereas Jerome, Epiphanius, Origen and Clement of Alexandria clearly place it within Peter's lifetime. But it does not seem necessary so to understand Irenaeus. It may be that it was composed while Peter was living, but only published after his death. Christopherson (1570 AD) had suggested that and supported it by the conjectural emendation of ἔκδοσιν, ékdosin, “surrendering,” “imprisonment” for ἔξοδον, éxodon, in Irenaeus. Grabe, Mill and others thought Irenaeus referred, not to Peter's death, but to his departure from Rome on further missionary tours. But if we take exodon in that sense, it is better to understand by it departure from Palestine or Syria, rather than from Rome. Irenaeus' statement that the apostles were now fully furnished for the work of evangelization (Adv. Haer., iii. 1) certainly seems to imply that they were now ready to leave Palestine; and his next statement is that Matthew and Mark wrote their respective Gospels. And Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 24) states explicitly that Matthew committed his Gospel to writing “when he was about” to leave Palestine “to go to other peoples.” The same may very possibly be true of Mark. If the fact be that Romans in Caesarea or Antioch made the request of Mark, we can easily understand how, by the time of Irenaeus, the whole incident might be transferred to Rome.

If this view be adopted, the date would probably not be before the council at Jerusalem and the events of Galatians 2:11 ff. It is true the New Testament hints are that the apostles had left Jerusalem before that, but that they had gone beyond Syria is not likely. At any rate, at the time of the clash at Antioch they had not become so clear on the question touching Jews and Gentiles in the church as to be “fully furnished for the work of universal evangelization.” But may it not be that Paul's strong statement of the seriousness of their error actually did settle those questions in the minds of the leaders? If so, and if with new vision and ardor, they turn to the work of world-wide evangelism, that would be a natural and worthy occasion for the composition of the Gospel. The place may be Caesarea or Antioch, and the date not earlier than 50 AD. This is the simplest synthesis of the ancient testimony. Modern opinion as to date has ranged more widely than the ancient. Baur and Strauss were compelled by their tendency and mythical theories to place it in the 2nd century. Recent criticism tends strongly to a date in the sixties of the 1st century, and more commonly the later sixties. This is based partly on _ hints in the Gospel itself, partly on its relation to Matthew and Luke. The hints usually adduced are Mark 2:26 and Mark 2:13. The former, representing the temple as still standing, has force only if the relative clause be Mark's explanatory addition. Mark 13 has more force because, if Jerusalem had already fallen, we might expect some recognition of the fact.

Two other slight hints may be mentioned. The omission by the synoptists of the raising of Lazarus, and of the name of Mary in connection with the anointing of Jesus argues an early date when mention of them might have been unpleasant for the family. When the Fourth Gospel was published, they may have been no longer alive. The description of John as the brother of James (Mark 5:37) may also take us back to an early date when James was the more honored of the two brothers - though the unusual order of the names may be due, as Zahn thinks, to the author's instinctively distinguishing that John from himself.

The relation of Mark to Matthew and Luke is important if the very widespread conviction of the priority of Mark be true. For the most likely date for Acts is 62 AD, as suggested by the mention of Paul's two years' residence in Rome, and Luke's Gospel is earlier than the Acts. It may well have been written at Caesarea about 60 AD; that again throws Mark back into the fifties.

The great objection to so early a date is the amount of detail given of the destruction of Jerusalem. Abbott and others have marshalled numerous other objections, but they have very little weight - most of them indeed are puerile. The real crux is that to accept an earlier date than 70 AD is to admit predictive prophecy. Yet to deny that, especially for a believer in Christ, is an unwarranted pre-judgment, and even so far to reduce it as to deny its presence in this passage is to charge Luke - a confessedly careful historian - with ascribing to Jesus statements which He never made.

The eagerness to date Matthew not earlier than 70 is due to the same feeling. But the problem here is complicated by the word “immediately” (Matthew 24:29). Some regard that as proof positive that it must have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem. Others (e.g. Allen and Plummer) feel that it absolutely forbids a date much later than 70 AD, and consider 75 AD as a limit. But is it not possible that by by εὐθέως, euthéōs (not παραχρῆμα, parachrḗma), Christ, speaking as a prophet, may have meant no more than that the next great event comparable with the epochal overthrow of Judaism would be His own return and that the Divine purpose marches straight on from the one to the other? The New Testament nowhere says that the second advent would take place within that generation. See below under “Eschatology.” There is therefore no sufficient reason in the Olivet discourse for dating Luke or Matthew later than 60 AD, and if Mark is earlier, it goes back into the fifties.

VIII. Historicity.

Older rationalists, like Paulus, not denying Mark's authorship, regarded the miraculous elements as misconceptions of actual events. Strauss, regarding these as mythical, was compelled to postulate a 2nd-century date. When, however, the date was pushed back to the neighborhood of 70 AD, the historicity was felt to be largely established. But recently theory of “pragmatic values” has been developed; Bacon thus states it: “The key to all genuinely scientific appreciation of Biblical narrative ... is the recognition of motive. The motive ... is never strictly historical but always etiological and frequently apologetic....The evangelic tradition consists of so and so many anecdotes, told and retold for the purpose of explaining or defending beliefs and practices of the contemporary church” (Modern Commentary, Beginnings of Gospel Story, 9). Bacon works out the method with the result that Mark is charged again and again with historical and other blunders. This view, like Baur's tendency-theory, has elements of truth. One is that the vocabulary of a later day may be a sort of necessary translation of the original expression. But translation is neither invention nor perversion. The other is that each author has his purpose, but that simply determines his selection and arrangement of material; it neither creates nor misrepresents it if the author be honest and well informed. The word “selection” is advisedly chosen. The evangelists did not lack material. Each of the Twelve had personal knowledge beyond the content of Q or of Mark. These represent the central orb - the one the ethical, the other the evangelic side of it - but there were rays of exceeding brightness radiating from it in all directions. Luke's introduction and John's explicit declaration attest that fact. And neither John nor Luke throws the slightest suspicion on the reliability of the material they did not use. There is no sufficient reason for charging them with misstating the facts to make a point. Bacon seems to trust any other ancient writers or even his own imagination rather than the evangelists. The test becomes altogether too subjective. Yet since Christianity is a historical revelation, perversion of history may become perversion of most vital religious teaching. In the last analysis, the critic undertakes to decide just what Jesus could or could not have done or said. The utter uncertainty of the result is seen by a comparison of Schmiedel and Bacon. The former is sure that the cry “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” is one of the very few genuine sayings of Jesus; Bacon is equally sure that Jesus could not have uttered it. Bacon also charges Mark with “immoral crudity” because in [[Mark 10:45 he reports Jesus as saying that He came “to give his life a ransom for (ἀντί, antí) many.” Thus, on two most vital matters he charges the evangelists with error because they run counter to his own religious opinions.

Plummer's remark is just (Commentary on Matthew, xxxiii): “To decide a priori that Deity cannot become incarnate, or that incarnate Deity must exhibit such and such characteristics, is neither true philosophy nor scientific criticism.” And A.T. Robertson (“Matthew” in Bible for Home and School, 26): “The closer we get to the historic Jesus the surer we feel that He lived and wrought as He is reported in the Synoptic Gospels.” The evangelists had opportunities to know the facts such as we have not. The whole method of their training was such as to secure accuracy. They support each other. They have given us sketches of unparalleled beauty, vigor and power, and have portrayed for us a Person moving among men absolutely without sin - a standing miracle. If we cannot trust them for the facts, there is little hope of ever getting at the facts at all.

IX. Purpose and Plan.

1. The Gospel for Romans:

Mark's purpose was to write down the Gospel as Peter had presented it to Romans, so say the Fathers, at least, and internal evidence supports them. In any additions made by himself he had the same persons in mind. That the Gospel was for Gentiles can be seen

  • (a) from the translation of the Aramaic expressions in Mark 3:17 (Boanerges), Mark 5:41 (Talitha cumi), Mark 7:11 (Corban), Mark 10:46 (Bartimaeus), Mark 14:36 (Abba), Mark 15:22 (Golgotha);
  • (b) in the explanation of Jewish customs in Mark 14:12 and Mark 15:42;
  • (c) from the fact that the Law is not mentioned and the Old Testament is only once quoted in Mark's own narrative; (d) the Gentile sections, especially in Mark 6 through 8.

That it was for Romans is seen in

  • (a) the explanation of a Greek term by a Latin in Mark 12:42;
  • (b) the preponderance of works of power, the emphasis on authority (Mark 2:10), patience and heroic endurance (Mark 10:17 ff);
  • (c) Mark 10:12 which forbids a practice that was not Jewish but Roman. Those who believe it was written at Rome find further hints in the mention of Rufus (Mark 15:21; compare Romans 16:13) and the resemblance between 7:1-23 and Rom 14. The Roman centurion's remark (15:39) is the Q.E.D. of the author, and bears the same relation to Mark's purpose as John 20:31 to John's.

But one cannot escape the feeling that we have in this Gospel the antitype of the Servant of Yahweh. A.B. Davidson (Old Testament Theology, 365) tells us that there are two great figures around which Isaiah's thoughts gather - the King and the Servant. The former rises “to the unsurpassable height of 'God with us,' 'mighty God,' teaching that in Him God shall be wholly present with His people.” The Servant is the other. The former is depicted in Mt, who also identifies Him with the Servant (Matthew 12:18 f); the latter by Mk who identifies Him with the Messianic King (Mark 11:10; Mark 14:62). Davidson summarizes the description of the Servant:

  • “(1) He is God's chosen;
  • (2) He has a mission to establish judgment on the earth.... The word is His instrument and the Lord is in the Word, or rather He Himself is the impersonation of it;
  • (3) His endowment is the Spirit and an invincible faith;
  • (4) There is in Him a marvelous combination of greatness and lowliness;
  • (5) There are inevitable sufferings - bearing the penalty of others' sins;
  • (6) He thus redeems Israel and brings light to the Gentiles.
  • (7) Israel's repentance and restoration precede that broader blessing.”

It is not strange that this Servant-conception - this remarkable blend of strength and submission, achieving victory through apparent defeat - should appeal to Peter. He was himself an ardent, whole-souled man who knew both defeat and victory. Moreover, he himself had hired servants (Mark 1:20), and now for years had been a servant of Christ (compare Acts 4:29). That it did appeal to him and became familiar to the early Christians can be seen from Acts 3:13 and Acts 4:30. In his First Epistle he has 17 references to Isaiah, 9 of which belong to the second part. Temperamentally Mark seems to have been like Peter. And his experience in a wealthy home where servants were kept (Acts 12:13), and as himself hupērétēs of apostles in Christian service, fitted him both to appreciate and record the character and doings of the perfect servant - the Servant of Yahweh. For Roman Christians that heroic figure would have a peculiar fascination.

2. Plan of the Gospel:

The plan of the Gospel seems to have been influenced by this conception. Christ's kingship was apprehended by the Twelve at a comparatively early date. It was not until after the resurrection, when Jesus opened to them the Scriptures, that they saw Him as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:1-12. That gave Peter his gospel as we have already seen, and at the same time the general lines of its presentation. We see it sketched for Romans in Acts 10. That sketch is filled in for us by Mark. So we have the following analysis:

Title: Mark 1:1

1. The Baptist preparing the way: Mark 1:2-8; compare Isaiah 40:3 f.

2. Devotement of Jesus to death for us and endowment by the Spirit: Mark 1:9-13; compare Isaiah 42:1 ff.

3. His greatness - the Galilean Ministry: Mark 1:14 through 8:30; compare Isa 43 through 52:12.

(1) In the synagogue: period of popular favor leading to break with Pharisaic Judaism: Mark 1:14 through Mark 3:6.

(2) Outside the synagogue: parabolic teaching of the multitude, choice and training of the Twelve and their Great Confession: Mark 3:7 ff through Mark 8:30.

4. His lowliness - mainly beyond Galilee: Mark 8:31; compare Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53:9.

(1) In the north - announcement of death: Mark 8:31 through Mark 9:29.

(2) On the way to Jerusalem and the cross - through Galilee (Mark 9:30-50), Peraea (Mark 10:1-45), Judea (Mark 10:46-52).

(3) The triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11).

(4) In Jerusalem and vicinity - opposed by the leaders (Mark 11:12 through Mark 12:44); foretelling their doom (Mark 13); preparing for death (Mark 14:1-42); betrayed, condemned, crucified and buried in a rich man's tomb (Mark 14:43).

5. His victory - the resurrection: Mark 16; compare Isaiah 53:10-12. What follows in Isaiah is taken up in Acts, for the first part of which Peter or Mark may have been Luke's main source. Generally speaking the plan is chronological, but it is plain that the material is sometimes grouped according to subject-matter.

This Servant-conception may also be the real explanation of some of the striking features of this Gospel, e.g. the absence of a genealogy and any record of His early life; the frequent use of the word “straightway”; the predominance of deeds; the Son's not knowing the day (Mark 13:32); and the abrupt ending at Mark 16:8 (see III).

X. Leading Doctrines.

1. Person of Christ:

The main one, naturally, is the Person of Christ. The thesis is that He is Messiah, Son of God, Author (Source) of the gospel. The first half of the book closes with the disciples' confession of His Messiahship; the second, with the supreme demonstration that He is Son of God. Introductory to each is the Father's declaration of Him as His Beloved Son (Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7). That the sonship is unique is indicated in Mark 12:6 and Mark 13:32. At the same time He is the Son of Man - true man (Mark 4:38; Mark 8:5; Mark 14:34); ideal man as absolutely obedient to God (Mark 10:40; Mark 14:36), and Head of humanity (Mark 2:10, Mark 2:28), their rightful Messiah or King (Mark 1:1; Mark 14:62) - yet Servant of all (Mark 10:44 f); David's Son and David's Lord (Mark 12:37). The unique Sonship is the final explanation of all else, His power, His knowledge of both present (Mark 2:5, Mark 2:8; Mark 8:17) and future (Mark 8:31; Mark 10:39; Mark 14:27; 13), superiority to all men, whether friends (Mark 1:7; Mark 9:3 ff) or foes (Mark 12:34), and to superhuman beings, whether good (Mark 13:32) or evil (Mark 1:13, Mark 1:12; Mark 3:27).

2. The Trinity:

The Father speaks in Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; is spoken of in Mark 13:32; and spoken to in Mark 14:36. The usual distinction between His fatherhood in relation to Christ and in relation to us is seen in Mark 11:25; Mark 12:6 and Mark 13:32. The Spirit is mentioned in Mark 1:8, Mark 1:10, Mark 1:12; Mark 3:29 and Mark 13:11. The last passage especially implies His personality.

3. Salvation:

As to salvation, the Son is God's final messenger (Mark 12:6); He gives His life a ransom instead of many (Mark 10:45); His blood shed is thus the blood of the covenant (Mark 14:24); that involves for Him death in the fullest sense, including rupture of fellowship with God (Mark 15:34). From the outset He knew what was before Him - only so can His baptism be explained (Mark 1:5, Mark 1:11; compare Mark 2:20); but the horror of it was upon Him, especially from the transfiguration onward (Mark 10:32; Mark 14:33-36); that was the Divine provision for salvation: He gave His life (Mark 10:45). The human condition is repentance and faith (Mark 1:15; Mark 2:5; Mark 5:34, Mark 5:36; Mark 6:5; Mark 9:23; Mark 16:16), though He bestows lesser blessings apart from personal faith (Mark 1:23-26; Mark 5:1-20; Mark 6:35-43). The power of faith, within the will of God, is limitless (Mark 11:25); faith leads to doing the will of God, and only such as do His will are Christ's true kindred (Mark 3:35). Salvation is possible for Gentile as well as Jew (Mark 7:24-30).

4. Eschatology:

The eschatology of this Gospel is found chiefly in Mark 8:34 through Mark 9:1 and Mark 9:13. In Mark 9:1 we have a prediction of the overthrow of Jerusalem which is here given as a type and proof of His final coming for judgment and reward which He has had in mind in the preceding verses. Mark 13 is a development of this - the destruction of Jerusalem being meant in 13:5-23 and Mark 13:28-31, the final coming in Mark 13:24-27 and Mark 13:32. The distinction is clearly marked by the pronouns (ταῦτα, taúta, and ἐκείνης, ekeínēs, in Mark 13:30 and Mark 13:32 (compare Matthew 24:34, Matthew 24:36). In each passage (Mark 9:1; Mark 13:30) the fall of Jerusalem is definitely fixed as toward the close of that generation; the time of the latter is known only to the Father (Mark 13:32). Between Christ's earthly life and the Second Coming He is seated at the right hand of God (Mark 12:36; Mark 16:19). The resurrection which He predicted for Himself (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:34) and which actually took place (Mark 16), He affirms for others also (Mark 12:24-27).


The works marked with the asterisk are specially commended; for very full list see Moffat's Introduction.


Fritzsche, 1830; Olshausen, translated 1863; J.A. Alexander, 1863; Lange, translated 1866; Meyer, 1866, American edition, 1884; Cook, Speaker's Commentary, 1878; Plumptre, Ellicott's, 1879; Riddle, Schaff's, 1879; W.N. Clarke, Amer. Comm., 1881; Lindsay, 1883; Broadus, 1881 and 1905; Morison, 1889; H.G. Holtzmann(3), 1901; Maclean, Cambridge Bible, 1893; Gould, International Critical Commentary, 1896; Bruce, The Expositor Greek Testament, 1897; B. Weiss, Meyer, 1901; Menzies, The Earliest Gospel, 1901; Salmond, Century Bible; Wellhausen2, 1909; Swete, 1908; Bacon, The Beginnings of Gospel Story, 1909; Wohlenberg, Zahn's Series, Das Evangelium des Markus, 1910. For the earlier see Swete.


Eichhorn, 1827; Credner, 1836; Schleiermacher, 1845; De Wette, 1860; Bleek, 1866, translated 1883; Reuss, 1874, translated 1884; B. Weiss. 2nd edition, translated 1886; 3rd edition, 1897; H.J. Holtzmann, 1892; Th. Zahn, 1897, translated 1909; Godet, 1899; Julicher(6), 1906; von Soden, 1905, translated 1906; Wendling, Ur-Marcus, 1905; A. Muller, Geschichtskerne in den Evang., 1905; Wrede, Origin of New Testament Scriptures, 1907, translated 1909; Horne, 1875; Westcott, Introduction to Study of Gospels, 7th edition, 1888, and The Canon, 6th edition, 1889; Salmon, 1897; Adeney, 1899; Bacon, 1900; Burton, 1904; Moffat, Historical New Testament, 1901; Introduction to the Literature of New Testament, 1911; Peake, 1909; Gregory, Einleitung., 1909; Charteris, Canonicity, 1881; The New Testament Scriptures, 1882, and popular Intros by Plumptre, 1883; Lumby, 1883; Kerr, 1892; McClymont, 1893; Dods, 1894; Lightfoot, Essays on the Work Entitled Supernatural Religion, 1889; Sanday, Gospels in the 2nd Century, 1874; Stanton, Gospels as Historical Documents, I, 1903; II, 1909. Mark and the Synoptic Problem:

Rushbrooke, Synopticon, 1880; Wright, Synopsis of the Gospels in Greek, 3rd edition, 1906; Composition of the Four Gospels, 1890; Some New Testament Problems, 1898; H.J. Holtzmann, Die synopt. Evang., 1863; Weizsacker, Untersuch. uber die evang. Gesch., 2nd edition, 1901; Wernle, Die synopt. Frage, 1899; Loisy, Les ev. syn., 1908; Wellhausen, Einleitung in die drei ersten Evang., 1905; Blass, Origin and Char. of Our Gospels, English translation, xviii; Norton, Internal Evid. of the Genuineness of the Gospels, 1847; F.H. Woods, Stud. Bibl., II, 594; Palmer, Gospel Problems and Their Solution, 1899; J.A. Robinson, The Study of the Gospels, 1902; Gloag, Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels; Burton, Some Principles of Literary Criticism and Their Application to the Synoptic Problem, 1904; Stanton, as above, and in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), II, 234 ff; Turner, “Chronology of New Testament,” Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), I, 403 ff; J.J. Scott, The Making of the Gospels, 1905; Burkitt, Gospel History and Its Transmission, 1906; Salmon, Human Element in the Gospels, 1907; Harnack, Gesch. der altchristl. Lit., I, 1893; II, 2nd edition, 1904; Beitrage zur Einleitung in das New Testament, 4 volumes, translated in “Crown Theol. Lib.,” Luke the Physician, 1907; The Sayings of Jesus, 1908; The Acts of the Apostles, 1909; The Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels, 1911; Montefiore, The Synoptic Gospels, 1909; Hawkins, Horae Synopticae, 2nd edition, 1909; Denney, Jesus and the Gospel; Cambridge Biblical Essays, edition by Swete, 1909; Oxford Studies in the Syn. Problem, edition by Sanday, 1911; Salmond, Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), III, 248 ff; Maclean, Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, II, 120 f; Petrie, Growth of Gospels Shown by Structural Criticism, 1910; Buckley, Introduction to Synoptic Problem, 1912.

The Language:

Dalman, Words of Jesus, translated 1909; Deissmann, Bible Studies, translated 1901; Light from the Ancient East, translated 1910; Allen, The Expositor, I, English translation, 1902; Marshall, The Expositor, 1891-94; Wellhausen, Einleitung.; Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, 1889; Swete and Hawkins.


Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, Introduction to the New Testament in Greek; Salmon, Introduction, chapter ix; Gregory, Text and Canon; Morison and Swete, in Commentary; Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of Mark.


Schweizer, Quest of the Historical Jesus, 1910; Sanday, Life of Christ in Recent Research; Emmet, Eschatological Question in the Gospels, 1911; Hogg, Christ's Message of the Kingdom, 1911; Forbes, The Servant of the Lord, 1890; Davidson, Old Testament Theology.

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