MARK, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO, 1
|| I. OUR SECOND GOSPEL
II. CONTENTS AND GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
2. Material Peculiar to Mark
4. A Book of Mighty Works
5. The Worker Is Also a Teacher
6. A Book of Graphic Details
III. THE TEXT
1. General Character
4. Original Language
1. External Evidence
2. Internal Evidence
VI. SOURCES AND INTEGRITY
VII. DATE AND PLACE OF COMPOSITION
IX. PURPOSE AND PLAN
1. The Gospel for Romans
2. Plan of the Gospel
X. LEADING DOCTRINES
1. Person of Christ
2. The Trinity
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 The question of order only arose when the roll was superseded by the codex, our present book-form.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.
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 4:26-29 (the seed growing secretly); 3:21 (his kindred's fear); 7:32-37 (the deaf and dumb man); 8:22-26 (the blind man); 13:33-37 (the householder and the exhortation to watch); 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); 9:14-29 (the demoniac boy); 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).
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, Ac 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, 9:48; 10:19; 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 euthus, 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; 2:10, etc.).
The following are the miracles recorded by Mark:
the unclean spirit (1:21-28), the paralytic (2:1-12), the withered hand (3:1-5), the storm stilled (4:35-41), the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-17), Jairus' daughter (5:22), the woman with the issue (5:25-34), feeding the 5,000 (6:35-44), feeding the 4,000 (8:1-10), walking on the water (6:48); the Syrophoenician's daughter (7:24-30), the deaf mute (7:31-37), the blind man (8:22-26), the demoniac boy (9:14), blind Bartimeus (10:46-52), the fig tree withered (11:20), the resurrection (16:1). 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 1:4,7), 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; 2:13; 6:6, etc.); indeed the words didache, and didasko, 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; 4:1,33; 11:27-12:37; especially 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; 11:21-23). Not only is He Himself a teacher, but He is concerned to prepare others to be teachers (Mark 3:13; 4:10). 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). 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; 10:5-31,39-45 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 (7:33; 9:36; 10:16) and His looks of inquiry (5:32), in prayer (6:41; 7:34), of approval (3:34), love (10:21), warning (to Judas especially 10:23), anger (3:5), and in judgment (11:11). Jesus hungers (11:12), seeks rest in seclusion (6:31) and sleeps on the boat cushion (4:38); He pities the multitude (6:34), wonders at men's unbelief (6:6), sighs over their sorrow and blindness (6:34; 8:12), grieves at their hardening (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 (8:33; 10:14). Mark represents His miracles of healing usually as instantaneous (1:31; 2:11; 3:5), sometimes as gradual or difficult (1:26; 7:32-35; 9:26-28), and once as flatly impossible "because of their unbelief" (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 (1:32), throng and jostle Him by the seaside (3:10), and express their astonishment at His note of authority (1:22) and power (2:12). Disciples are awed by His command over the sea (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 (10:32). Many other picturesque details are given, as in 1:13 (He was with the wild beasts); 2:4 (digging through the roof); 4:38 (lying asleep on the cushion); 5:4 (the description of the Gerasene demoniac); 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 (1:29; 3:6; 13:3; 15:21), numbers (5:13; 6:7), time (1:35; 2:1; 11:19; 16:2), and place (2:13; 3:8; 7:31; 12:41; 13:3; 14:68 and 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.)
III. The Text.
Of the 53 select readings noted by Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek (Into), only a few are of special interest or importance. The following are to be accepted:
en to Esaia to prophete (Mark 1:2) hamartematos (Mark 3:29); pleres (indeclinable, 4:28); to tekton (Mark 6:3; Jesus is here called "the carpenter"); autou (Mark 6:22, Herod's daughter probably had two names, Salome and Herodias); pugme (Mark 7:23, "with the fist," i.e. "thoroughly," not pukna "oft"). Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek are to be followed in rejecting pisteusai (leaving the graphic To Ei dune (Mark 9:23)); kai nesteia (Mark 9:29); pasa...halisthesetai (Mark 9:49); tous...chremasi (Mark 10:24); but not in rejecting huiou Theou (Mark 1:1). They are probably wrong in retaining hous...onomasan (Mark 3:14; it was probably added from Luke 6:31); and in rejecting kai klinon and accepting hrantisontai instead of baptisontai (Mark 7:4; ignorance of the extreme scrupulosity of the Jews led to these scribal changes; compare Lu 11:38, where ebaptisthe is not disputed). So one may doubt eporei (Mark 6:20), and suspect it of being an Alexandrian correction for epoiei 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 16:9-20 are drawn from his own stores. The majority of scholars regard them as non-Markan; they think 16:8 is not the intended conclusion; that if Mark ever wrote a conclusion, it has been lost, and that 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.
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.
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 schizomanous, ephien, komopoleis, ekephaliosan, proaulion, and hoti, in the sense of "why" (Mark 2:16; 9:11,28); of the expressions, the distributives in Mark 6:7,39 f and 14:19, the Hebraistic ei dothesetai, and hotan with the indicative. Of ordinary constructions the following are found with marked frequency:
kai (reducing his use of de to half of Matthew's or Luke's), historic present (accounting for the very frequent use of legei instead of eipen 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 taleitha koum, ephphatha, and Boanerges, 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:
euthus 42 times; akathartos 11 times; blepo, and its compounds very frequently; so eperotan, hupagein, exousia, euaggelion, proskaleisthai, epitiman compounds of poreuesthai, sunzetein, and such graphic words as ekthambeisthai, embrimasthai, enagkalizesthai, and phimousthai. The following he uses in an unusual sense: eneichen, pugme, apechei, epibalon.
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; 5:23; 6:8; 11:32. Some are due to the insertion of explanatory clauses, as in 7:3-5; some to the introduction of a quotation as in 7:11 f. These phenomena represent the same type of mind as we have already seen (II, 6 above).
The style is very simple. The common connective is kai. 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; 2:25; 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, egraphe Rhomaisti en Rhome) 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.
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 (hermeneutes) 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 (suntaxin) 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 (exodon. "exitum" in Rufinus) of the, Mark, the disciple and interpreter (hermeneutes) 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 (hos Petros huphegesato auto), 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 (gnorimes kat phoitetes) made memoirs of (or recorded, apomnemoeusai) 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 (akolouthos) 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."
"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 (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 hois de, 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, kata Markon. This phrase must refer to the author, not his source of information, for then it would necessarily have been kata Petron. This is important as throwing light on the judgment of antiquity as to the authorship of the first Gospel, which the manuscripts all entitle kata Matthaion.
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 legei, in Mark and Matthew where Luke uses eipen, 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; 13:3.
(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 9:51-18:14 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), 17:24-27 (tribute money), and 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.
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