User Tools

Site Tools


Mark the Evangelist

Also known as John Mark.

According to William Lane (1974), an “unbroken tradition” identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark,3 and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas.4 However, Hippolytus of Rome in On the Seventy Apostles distinguishes Mark the Evangelist (2 Tim 4:11), John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37), and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10; Phlm 1:24).5 According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the “Seventy Disciples” who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel (Luke 10:1ff.). However, when Jesus explained that his flesh was “real food” and his blood was “real drink”, many disciples left him (John 6:44–6:66), presumably including Mark. He was later restored to faith by the apostle Peter; he then became Peter’s interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa, and became the bishop of Alexandria.

According to Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1–4), Herod Agrippa I, in his first year of reign over the whole of Judea (AD 41), killed James, son of Zebedee and arrested Peter, planning to kill him after the Passover. Peter was saved miraculously by angels, and escaped out of the realm of Herod (Acts 12:1–19). Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor (visiting the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, as mentioned in 1 Pet 1:1), and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (AD 42; Eusebius, Eccl, Hist. 2.14.6). Somewhere on the way, Peter encountered Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter. Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark (Eccl. Hist. 15–16), before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius (43).6

In AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark travelled to Alexandria [cf. c. 49 [cf. Acts 15:36–41] and founded the Church of Alexandria – today, both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria claim to be successors to this original community.7 Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself. He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa.8

According to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 2.24.1), Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (62/63), probably, but not definitely, due to his coming death. Later Coptic tradition says that he was martyred in 68.1,9,10,11,12

The Gospel of Mark was written by an anonymous author, rather than direct witnesses to the reported events.13,14,15,16,17,18,19 (2016-12)


As recorded at pull time.

1. “St. Mark The Apostle, Evangelist”. Coptic Orthodox Church Network. Retrieved 21 November 2012.

2. Senior, Donald P. (1998), “Mark”, in Ferguson, Everett, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (2nd ed.), New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., p. 720, ISBN 0-8153-3319-6

3. Lane, William L. (1974). “The Author of the Gospel”. The Gospel According to Mark. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. pp. 21–3. ISBN 978-0-8028-2502-5.

4. Mark: Images of an Apostolic Interpreter p55 C. Clifton Black – 2001 –“… infrequent occurrence in the Septuagint (Num 36:11; Tob 7:2) to its presence in Josephus (JW 1.662; Ant 1.290, 15.250) and Philo (On the Embassy to Gaius 67), anepsios consistently carries the connotation of “cousin,” though …“

5. Hippolytus. “The same Hippolytus on the Seventy Apostles”. Ante-Nicene Fathers.

6. Finegan, Jack (1998). Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-56563-143-4.

7. “Egypt”. Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-14. See drop-down essay on “Islamic Conquest and the Ottoman Empire”

8. Bunson, Matthew; Bunson, Margaret; Bunson, Stephen (1998). Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division. p. 401. ISBN 0-87973-588-0.

9. “Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Mark”. Retrieved 1 March 2013.

10. “Acts 15:36–40”. Bible Gateway.

11. “2timothy 4:11 NASB – Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and – Bible Gateway”. Bible Gateway.

12. “Philemon 1:24”. Bible Gateway.

13. E P Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, (Penguin, 1995) page 63 – 64.

14. Bart D. Ehrman (2000:43) The New Testament: a historical introduction to early Christian writings. Oxford University Press.

15. Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford University Press. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-19-518249-1.

16. Nickle, Keith Fullerton (1 January 2001). The Synoptic Gospels: An Introduction. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-664-22349-6.

17. Witherington, Ben (2 June 2004). The Gospel Code: Novel Claims About Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci. InterVarsity Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-8308-3267-5. Note: Witherington, while not agreeing that the author of the Gospel of Matthew is unknown, he recognizes that this is what most scholars think.

18. Ehrman, Bart D. (1 November 2004). Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code : A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-19-534616-9.

19. Ehrman, Bart D. (1 September 2006). The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot : A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-19-971104-8.

20. Hierapolis, Papias of. “Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord”.

21. Harrington, Daniel J. (1990), “The Gospel According to Mark”, in Brown, Raymond E.; Fitzmyer, Joseph A.; Murphy, Roland E., The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, p. 596, ISBN 0-13-614934-0

22. D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament (Apollos, 1992), 93.

23. University of Navarre (1992), The Navarre Bible: Saint Mark's Gospel (2nd ed.), Dublin: Four Courts Press, pp. 55–56, ISBN 1-85182-092-2

24. University of Navarre (1992), The Navarre Bible: Saint Mark’s Gospel (2nd ed.), Dublin: Four Court’s Press, p. 172, ISBN 1-85182-092-2

25. University of Navarre (1992), The Navarre Bible: Saint Mark’s Gospel (2nd ed.), Dublin: Four Court’s Press, p. 179, ISBN 1-85182-092-2

26. H.H. Pope Shenouda III, The Beholder of God Mark the Evangelist Saint and Martyr, Chapter One.

27. “About the Diocese”. Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States.

28. “Saint Mark”. Retrieved 2009-05-14.

29. H.H. Pope Shenouda III. The Beholder of God Mark the Evangelist Saint and Martyr, Chapter Seven.

30. Donald M. Nicol, Byzantium and Venice: A Study in diplomatic and cultural relations (Cambridge: University Press, 1988), p. 24

31. “St. Marks Basilica”. Avventure Bellissime – Italy Tours. Retrieved 21 November 2012.

32. Nicol, Byzantium and Venice, pp. 24–6

33. Okey, Thomas (1904), Venice and Its Story, London: J. M. Dent & Co.

34. “Section dedicated to the recovery of St. Mark's body”. Retrieved 2010-02-17.

35. Meinardus, Otto F.A. (March 21, 2006). “About the Laity of the Coptic Church” (PDF). Coptic Church Review. 27 (1): 11–12. Retrieved 22 November 2016.

mark_the_evangelist.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/27 17:25 (external edit)