Mark, Gospel according to: 1 . 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.
2. 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 (comp.)
(Mark 15:21; Acts 11:20)
3. 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,
b. "Talitha cumi"
f. "Eloi," etc.
Jewish usages are also explained
(Mark 7:3; 14:3; 14:12; 15:42) Mark
also uses certain Latin words not found in any of the other
Gospels, as "
(Mark 6:27) rendered, A.V., "executioner;" R.V.,
"soldier of his guard"),
b. "xestes" a corruption of sextarius, rendered "pots,"
(Mark 12:42,) rendered "a farthing",
He only twice quotes from the Old Testament
(Mark 1:2; 15:28)
4. The characteristics of this Gospel are:
a. the absence of the genealogy of our Lord,
b. whom he represents as clothed with power, the "lion of the
tribe of Judah."
c. Mark also records with wonderful minuteness
1. The very words
(Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:11,34; 14:36)
2. The position
(Mark 3:5,34; 5:32; 9:36; 10:16)
of our Lord.
d. He is also careful to record
1. particulars of person
(Mark 1:29,36; 3:6,22) etc.,
(Mark 5:13; 6:7) etc.,
(Mark 2:13; 4:1; 7:31) etc.,
(Mark 1:35; 2:1; 4:35) etc.,
which the other evangelists omit.
e. 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.'"
5. 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."