Mark the Evangelist
|Born||c. 12 AD|
Cyrene, Pentapolis of North Africa, according to Coptic tradition
|Died||c. 68 AD (aged c. 56)|
Alexandria, Egypt, Roman Empire
|Venerated in||All Christian churches that venerate saints|
|Major shrine|| St Mark's Basilica (Venice)|
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria)
|Patronage||Barristers, Venice, Egypt, Copts, Mainar|
|Major works||Gospel of Mark|
Mark the Evangelist (Latin : Marcus; Greek : Μᾶρκος, translit. Mârkos; Aramaic : ܡܪܩܘܣ, romanized: Marqōs; Ge'ez: ማርቆስ; Hebrew : מארק), also known as Saint Mark, is the person who is traditionally ascribed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark. According to Church tradition, Mark founded the episcopal see of Alexandria, which was one of the five most important sees of early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion.
According to William Lane (1974), an "unbroken tradition" identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark,and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. 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). According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the "Seventy Disciples" who were sent out by Jesus to disseminate the gospel (Luke 10:1ff.) in Judea.
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 Peter 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 (AD 43).
According to the Acts 15:39, Mark went to Cyprus with Barnabas after the Council of Jerusalem.
According to tradition, in AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark travelled to Alexandria and founded the Church of Alexandria – today, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and the Coptic Catholic Church trace their origins to this original community.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.
According to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 2.24.1), Mark was succeeded by Anianus 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.
Some modern Bible scholars argue the Gospel of Mark was written by an anonymous author, rather than direct witnesses to the reported events.
Evidence for Mark the Evangelist's authorship of the Gospel that bears his name originates with Papias.Scholars of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School are "almost certain" that Papias is referencing John Mark. Modern mainstream Bible scholars discard Papias's information as unreliable. Eusebius had a "low esteem of Papias' intellect".
Identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark also led to identifying him as the man who carried water to the house where the Last Supper took place (Mark 14:13),or as the young man who ran away naked when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:51–52).
The Coptic Church accords with identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, as well as that he was one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Christ (Luke 10:1), as Hippolytus confirmed.Coptic tradition also holds that Mark the Evangelist hosted the disciples in his house after Jesus's death, that the resurrected Jesus Christ came to Mark's house (John 20), and that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost in the same house. Furthermore, Mark is also believed to have been among the servants at the Marriage at Cana who poured out the water that Jesus turned to wine (John 2:1–11).
According to the Coptic tradition, Mark was born in Cyrene, a city in the Pentapolis of North Africa (now Libya). This tradition adds that Mark returned to Pentapolis later in life, after being sent by Paul to Colossae (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24. Some, however, think these actually refer to Mark the Cousin of Barnabas), and serving with him in Rome (2 Tim 4:11); from Pentapolis he made his way to Alexandria.When Mark returned to Alexandria, the pagans of the city resented his efforts to turn the Alexandrians away from the worship of their traditional gods. In AD 68, they placed a rope around his neck and dragged him through the streets until he was dead.
The Feast of St Mark is observed on April 25 by the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. For those Churches still using the Julian Calendar, April 25 according to it aligns with May 8 on the Gregorian Calendar until the year 2099. The Coptic Orthodox Church observes the Feast of St Mark on Parmouti 30 according to the Coptic Calendar which always aligns with April 25 on the Julian Calendar or May 8 on the Gregorian Calendar.
Where John Mark is distinguished from Mark the Evangelist, John Mark is celebrated on September 27 (as in the Roman Martyrology) and Mark the Evangelist on April 25.
Mark is remembered in the Church of England and in much of the Anglican Communion, with a Festival on 25 April.
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Mark the Evangelist is most often depicted writing or holding his gospel.In Christian tradition, Mark the Evangelist is symbolized by a lion.
Mark the Evangelist attributes are the lion in the desert; he can be depicted as a bishop on a throne decorated with lions; as a man helping Venetian sailors. He is often depicted holding a book with pax tibi Marce written on it or holding a palm and book. Other depictions of Mark show him as a man with a book or scroll, accompanied by a winged lion. The lion might also be associated with Jesus' Resurrection because lions were believed to sleep with open eyes, thus a comparison with Christ in his tomb, and Christ as king.
Mark the Evangelist can be depicted as a man with a halter around his neck and as rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.
Barnabas, born Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) or Joses (Ἰωσής), was according to tradition an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36, Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts, and participated in the Council of Jerusalem. Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.
Matthew the Apostle, also known as Saint Matthew and possibly as Levi, was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. According to Christian traditions, he was also one of the four Evangelists as author of the Gospel of Matthew, and thus is also known as Matthew the Evangelist, a claim rejected by most biblical scholars, though the "traditional authorship still has its defenders."
Matthias was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, chosen by the apostles to replace Judas Iscariot following the latter's betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent death. His calling as an apostle is unique, in that his appointment was not made personally by Jesus, who had already ascended into heaven, and it was also made before the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the early Church.
John the Apostle or Saint John the Beloved was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother James was another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder, and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and was the only one to die of natural causes, although modern scholars are divided on the veracity of these claims.
Papias was a Greek Apostolic Father, Bishop of Hierapolis, and author who lived c. 60 – c. 130 AD. He wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord in five books. This work, which is lost apart from brief excerpts in the works of Irenaeus of Lyons and Eusebius of Caesarea, is an important early source on Christian oral tradition and especially on the origins of the canonical Gospels.
Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.
The Penitent Thief, also known as the Good Thief, Wise Thief, Grateful Thief or the Thief on the Cross, is one of two unnamed thieves in Luke's account of the crucifixion of Jesus in the New Testament. The Gospel of Luke describes him asking Jesus to "remember him" when Jesus comes into his kingdom. The other, as the impenitent thief, challenges Jesus to save himself and both of them to prove that he is the Messiah.
James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord, was "a brother of Jesus", according to the New Testament. He was an early leader of the Jerusalem Church of the Apostolic Age. Traditionally, it is believed he was martyred in AD 62 or 69 by being stoned to death by the Pharisees on order of High Priest Ananus ben Ananus.
An apostolic see is an episcopal see whose foundation is attributed to one or more of the apostles of Jesus or to one of their close associates. In Catholicism the phrase, preceded by the definite article and usually capitalized, refers to the See of Rome.
The brothers of Jesus or the adelphoi are named in the New Testament as James, Joses, Simon, and Jude, and unnamed sisters are mentioned in Mark and Matthew. They may have been: (1) the sons of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph (2) sons of the Mary named in Mark 15:40 as "mother of James and Joses", whom Jerome identified with the wife of Clopas and sister of Mary the mother of Jesus; or (3) sons of Joseph by a former marriage. Those who uphold the perpetual virginity of Mary reject the idea of biological brethren and maintain that the brothers and sisters were either cousins of Jesus or children of Joseph from a previous marriage.
Cleopas, also spelled Cleophas, was a figure of early Christianity, one of the two disciples who encountered Jesus during the Road to Emmaus appearance in Luke 24:13–32.
In Christian tradition, the Four Evangelists are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors attributed with the creation of the four canonical Gospel accounts which are anonymous. In the New Testament, they bear the following titles: the Gospel of Matthew; the Gospel of Mark; the Gospel of Luke; and the Gospel of John. These names were assigned to the works by the early church fathers in the 2nd century CE; none of the writers signed their work.
According to the Gospel of John, Mary of Clopas was one of the women present at the crucifixion of Jesus and bringing supplies for his funeral. The expression Mary of Clopas in the Greek text is ambiguous as to whether Mary was the daughter or wife of Clopas, but exegesis has commonly favoured the reading "wife of Clopas". Hegesippus identified Clopas as a brother of Saint Joseph. In the Roman Martyrology she is remembered with Saint Salome on April 24.
The Augustinian hypothesis is a solution to the synoptic problem, which concerns the origin of the Gospels of the New Testament. The hypothesis holds that Matthew was written first, by Matthew the Evangelist. Mark the Evangelist wrote the Gospel of Mark second and used Matthew and the preaching of Peter as sources. Luke the Evangelist wrote the Gospel of Luke and was aware of the two Gospels that preceded him. Unlike some competing hypotheses, this hypothesis does not rely on, nor does it argue for, the existence of any document that is not explicitly mentioned in historical testimony. Instead, the hypothesis draws primarily upon historical testimony, rather than textual criticism, as the central line of evidence. The foundation of evidence for the hypothesis is the writings of the Church Fathers: historical sources dating back to as early as the first half of the 2nd century, which have been held as authoritative by most Christians for nearly two millennia. Adherents to the Augustinian hypothesis view it as a simple, coherent solution to the synoptic problem.
John Mark is named in the Acts of the Apostles as an assistant accompanying Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journeys. Traditionally he is regarded as identical with Mark the Evangelist, the traditional writer of the Gospel of Mark.
James, son of Alphaeus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less and commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labelled "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation. He is distinct from James, son of Zebedee and in some interpretations also from James, brother of Jesus. He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles.
The Epistle to the Hebrews of the Christian Bible is one of the New Testament books whose canonicity was disputed. Traditionally, Paul the Apostle was thought to be the author. However, since the third century this has been questioned, and the consensus among most modern scholars is that the author is unknown.
Mark the cousin of Barnabas is a figure mentioned in the New Testament, usually identified with John Mark.
Saint Peter, also known as Peter the Apostle, Peter the Rock, Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon, or Cephas, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and one of the first leaders of the early Church. He is traditionally counted as the first bishop of Rome—or pope—and also as the first bishop of Antioch. Based on contemporary historical data, his papacy is estimated to have spanned from AD 30 to his death, which would make him the longest-reigning pope, at anywhere from 34 to 38 years; however, the length of his reign has never been verified.
The name John is prominent in the New Testament and occurs numerous times. Among Jews of this period, the name was one of the most popular, borne by about five percent of men. Thus, it has long been debated which Johns are to be identified with which.
St. Mark is the patron saint of the Copts.
We do not know who wrote the gospels. They presently have headings: ‘according to Matthew’, ‘according to Mark’, ‘according to Luke’ and ‘according to John’. The Matthew and John who are meant were two of the original disciples of Jesus. Mark was a follower of Paul, and possibly also of Peter; Luke was one of Paul's converts.5 These men – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – really lived, but we do not know that they wrote gospels. Present evidence indicates that the gospels remained untitled until the second half of the second century.
Finally it is important to realize that none of the four gospels originally included an attribution to an author. All were anonymous, and it is only from the fragmentary and enigmatic and—according to Eusebius, from whom we derive the quotation—unreliable evidence of Papias in 120/130 CE that we can begin to piece together any external evidence about the names of their authors and their compilers. This evidence is so difficult to interpret that most modern scholars form their opinions from the content of the gospels themselves, and only then appeal selectively to the external evidence for confirmation of their findings.
St. Mark iconography.