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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Mark

- Mark

by John & Jacob Abbott

INTRODUCTION

A CERTAIN disciple, by the name of Mark, is several times alluded to in the book of the Acts, and in the Epistles. It was to his mother's house that Peter went, on the night when he was delivered from prison by the angel, and where Rhoda came to the door to hearken when he knocked. (Acts 12:12-44.12.17.) The circumstances of this case indicate that his mother was, at that time, an ardent, decided, and prominent friend of the Christians. In Acts 12:25, we are told that Barnabas and Paul took this Mark or John with them, when they left Jerusalem to go to Antioch; and that he set out with them afterwards from Antioch, to accompany them on their excursion through Asia Minor. (Acts 13:5.) At Pamphylia, however, he left them, and returned to Jerusalem, (Acts 13:13;) for what reason it is not stated; but we learn that Paul was very much dissatisfied with him on this account, for he refused, very strenuously, to be associated with him in another such an enterprise. (Acts 15:36-44.15.40.) They were, however, afterwards reconciled to each other; for, when Paul was a prisoner at Rome, he sent for Mark to come to him there, with Timothy,--speaking of him with an expression of confidence in his ministry (2 Timothy 4:11.) And, afterwards, Paul alludes to him repeatedly, as being with him at Rome. (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24.) This individual is undoubtedly, the same with the author of the Gospel before us.

John is a Hebrew name; Mark, or Marcus, is Roman. It was customary for those Jews who had much intercourse with Greeks and, Romans, to assume Greek or Roman names; as, Saul, Hebrew; Paul, or Paulus, Roman: Simon, Hebrew; Peter, or Petros, Greek.

Some of the early Christian writers say that Mark was associated with the apostle Peter, in many of his travels and labors; and that this Gospel was written under Peter's supervision and sanction. There seems to be nothing in the New Testament to confirm this idea, except that Peter once alludes to Mark, (1 Peter 5:13,) calling him a son; meaning, probably, a convert through his instrumentally.