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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

Mark Overview





THE General Editor does not hold himself responsible, except in the most general sense, for the statements, opinions, and interpretations contained in the several volumes of this Series. He believes that the value of the Introduction and the Commentary in each case is largely dependent on the Editor being free as to his treatment of the questions which arise, provided that that treatment is in harmony with the character and scope of the Series. He has therefore contented himself with offering criticisms, urging the consideration of alternative interpretations, and the like; and as a rule he has left the adoption of these suggestions to the discretion of the Editor.

The Greek Text adopted in this Series is that of Dr Westcott and Dr Hort with the omission of the marginal readings. For permission to use this Text the thanks of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press and of the General Editor are due to Messrs Macmillan & Co.


January, 1910.


OUR estimate of the historical and critical value of the Second Gospel has risen enormously during the last thirty or forty years, and it is possible that further study will cause the estimate to rise even higher than it is at present. But the unique value of this Gospel is still very imperfectly realized by many of those who often read and to some extent study it; and it is one of the objects of this new edition of St Mark to make the knowledge of its unique character more widely diffused, and to enable more readers of the New Testament to see for themselves some of the particulars in which this hitherto underrated Gospel brings us closer than any other to our Lord, as He was known to those who watched His acts and listened to His teaching.

During the period in which the inestimable character of the Gospel according to St Mark has been more and more appreciated, a number of critical and controversial works have appeared in England and elsewhere which raise, or bring into greater prominence, questions respecting Christian doctrine that produce perplexity in many minds. With regard to not a few of these questions, the Second Gospel, fairly and intelligently used, will show the way, if not to a solution, at least to the direction in which a reasonable answer to doubts can be found. These Notes on the Gospel will do good service, if in any degree they render aid to such a quest.

The titles of some of the books which the writer of the Notes has found very helpful are given at the end of the Introduction, and the list might be greatly enlarged. Among English works he has found nothing equal to Dr Swete’s Commentary, and among foreign ones nothing equal to that of Lagrange, who had the advantage of coming after Dr Swete. He has also to express his obligations to the General Editor for vigilant care in reading the proofs and for many valuable suggestions and criticisms.

The Greek Index is not a Concordance. It does not contain all, or even nearly all, the Greek words which occur in the Gospel; and in the case of many words only a selection of the references is given.

A. P.


Easter, 1914.




THE name “Mark” occurs four times in Acts and four times in the Epistles. In Acts we are told three times of a Jew at Jerusalem named John who had Mark as an alternative or additional name (Mark 12:12; Mark 12:25, Mark 15:37), and once he is called simply Mark, τὸν ΄ᾶρκον, “the Mark just mentioned” (Mark 15:39). The same person is twice called simply “John,” without mention of an alternative name (Mark 13:5; Mark 13:13). In the Epistles the name “John” is dropped, and the person in question is called simply “Mark,” ΄ᾶρκος without the article, as if those who are addressed would know who was meant (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11; 1 Peter 5:13). The identification of the John in Acts with the Mark of the Epistles is probable on other grounds (see below), and it is confirmed by the fact that in Colossians 4:10 St Paul, after mentioning that Mark is the cousin (not “sister’s son,” as A.V.) of Barnabas, reminds the Colossians that they have been told that they need have no hesitation in receiving him, if he should visit them; which looks like an allusion to the defection of John Mark), as related in Acts 15:37-39.

To speak of him as “John Mark,” as if the combined names were analogous to “John Smith,” is misleading. “Whose surname was Mark” (Mark 12:12; Mark 12:25) encourages us to regard the cases as analogous, but in the modern combination the two names are intended to be used together and in some cases must be used together, whereas in the other case the two names were rarely, if ever, used together, but were alternatives; the second name was an alias. Although under the name of Simon, or Peter, or Kephas, the chief Apostle is mentioned more than 180 times in N.T., only three times is he called Simon Peter (Matthew 16:16; Luke 5:8; 2 Peter 1:1) by any writer except John, who commonly gives both names. “Saul, otherwise Paul” (Acts 13:9) is never called “Saul Paul.” The Evangelist would be called “John” among Jews and “Mark” among Gentiles. “Then it was the fashion for every Syrian, or Cilician, or Cappadocian, who prided himself on his Greek education, to bear a Greek name; but at the same time he had his other name in the native language, by which he was known among his countrymen. His two names were the alternative, not the complement of each other; and the surroundings of the moment determined which name he was called by” (Ramsay, Paul the Traveller, p. 81). Acts 13:5 is against Deissmann’s suggestion that in Mark 13:13 Mark is called “John” purposely, because he had forsaken the Apostle and had returned to Jerusalem, whereas in Mark 15:39, when he goes with Barnabas to Cyprus, he is called simply “Mark” (Bib. St., p. 317). If the change is not purely accidental, the reason would rather be that at Antioch and Jerusalem he was in Jewish society and was known as “John,” whereas in travelling he would use the Gentile alias. The employment of a Roman praenomen to serve as a single name is found again in the case of Titus and of several persons who bore the name of Gaius. In “Jesus, called Justus” (Colossians 4:11) we have a combination of a Hebrew and a Latin name. Philo had a nephew named Mark, son of Alexander the Alabarch (Joseph. Ant. XVIII. viii. 1, XIX. Colossians 4:1), but the name was rare among Jews. ΄ᾶρκος is the right accentuation; ΄άαρκος occurs in inscriptions.

With regard to the identification, the connexion between the mentions of Mark in three different Epistles is of importance. In Colossians 4:10 St Paul commends him to a Church of proconsular Asia; in 1 Peter 5:13 Mark sends a salutation to Churches in that region; in 2 Timothy 4:11 he is found in that region. “The Scriptural notices suggest that the same Mark is intended in all the occurrences of the name, for they are connected together by personal links (Peter, Paul, Barnabas); and the earliest forms of tradition likewise identify them” (Lightfoot on Colossians 4:10).

Mark was the son of Mary (Mariam), who was a Jewish convert, who seems to have been well-to-do, and to have been a Christian of some importance. Her house at Jerusalem has a “porch” (πυλών) and an upper room, and she has at least one female slave. As soon as the chief of the Apostles is released from prison he goes to her house to report his freedom, for there members of the Church of Jerusalem were accustomed to meet. It is probable that her son John was already a believer, like herself. If he was not already known to Peter, this nocturnal visit of the released Apostle may have been the beginning of intimacy. St Peter may have converted both mother and son. As the father is not mentioned in Acts, we conclude that he was dead, a conclusion which is against the identification of the father of Mark with “the goodman of the house” (see on Mark 14:14), but the conclusion may be wrong. Severus, a writer of the tenth century, gives the father the name of Aristobulus.

That Mark was one of the Seventy or Seventy-two disciples (Luke 10:1) is a worthless tradition for which the credulous and uncritical Epiphanius gives no authority. The same statement is made about St Luke. There was a natural desire to show that all four Evangelists were personal disciples of the Lord. That Mark was a Levite is a reasonable conjecture from the fact that he was a “cousin” (ἀνεψιός) of the Levite Barnabas; but we are not sure that they were the sons of two brothers. There is more to be said for the theory that he was the young man mentioned in Mark 14:51-52; see notes there.

Even if his parents were Jews of the Dispersion, it is probable that they had been settled in Jerusalem for some years, and the names Mary and John point to the family being Hebrews rather than Hellenists (Zahn, Introd. to N.T. II. p. 487). Assuming that at any rate the married life of his mother had been spent in Jerusalem, Mark must have been familiar with the sensation which was caused there and in Judaea when, after centuries of silence, first one Prophet and then a second began to proclaim the coming of the reign of God. If Mark did not himself hear either of these new Prophets, he may often have talked to those who had listened to John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. That he had often been with some who had known Jesus, and in particular with Peter, may be regarded as certain.

His cousin Barnabas came to Jerusalem with Saul to bring alms from the Christians in Antioch to the Christians in Judaea during the famine of A.D. 45, 46; and when the work of relieving the poor in Jerusalem was over, the two missionaries took Mark with them on their return to Syria. There can be little doubt whose doing this was. Of the two missionaries, Barnabas was as yet very decidedly the chief. He had introduced the notable convert, Saul of Tarsus, to the Church at Jerusalem and had been his sponsor and patron (Acts 9:27; Acts 11:25). He and Saul needed helpers in their work, and when it came to selecting one, it would be Barnabas that would decide who should be chosen, and he chose his young cousin, who had probably been useful in distributing relief at Jerusalem: 2 Timothy 4:11 indicates that Mark had powers of organization. Consequently, when Barnabas and Saul were again sent forth by the Church at Antioch, they had him as their “attendant,” which probably means that he was the courier of the party and managed the details of the journey. That he baptized converts (Blass on Acts 13:5) is not improbable, but it is not likely that this was his only, or even his chief duty. He was not a missionary chosen by the Holy Spirit and solemnly sent forth by the Church at Antioch, but the two Apostles (as we may now call them) who were thus chosen “had got him as an attendant.” This is a more probable meaning of εἶχον δὲ καὶ Ἰωάνην ὑπηρέτην than “And they had [with them] also John, the synagogue minister” (cf. Luke 4:20). [1] has ὑπηρετοῦντα αὐτοῖς, which gives the more probable meaning to ὑπηρέτην, which is of more importance than the exact force of εἶχον.

It is evident from what follows that Mark did not consider himself under any obligation either to Divine commands or to the Church at Antioch in this service. He was free to decide for himself how long he would continue to attend on his cousin and Saul. With them he sailed to Cyprus. They stay at Salamis, working among the Jews there, and then go through the island to its western extremity, and at Paphos come into conflict with Elymas the sorcerer, whose discomfiture leads to the conversion of the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus. After this success they cross to Pamphylia, and at Perga Mark refuses to go further and returns to Jerusalem. Possibly the risks and hardships of a journey into the interior frightened him; he felt that he could no longer do his work as dragoman satisfactorily under such conditions. Or he may have thought that home ties were more binding than those which attached him to Barnabas and Paul. Or he may have seen that it was becoming more and more difficult to work with both the Apostles, for Paul’s teaching, especially with regard to the Gentiles, was now far in advance of that of his colleague, and was becoming more so. And the more advanced Apostle was now taking the lead. It is no longer “Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 13:2; Acts 13:7) but “Paul and his company” or “Paul and Barnabas” (Acts 13:13; Acts 13:43; Acts 13:46). For any or all of these reasons Mark may have turned back. Whatever the reasons were, they were such as could be better appreciated, if not actually approved, by his cousin than by his cousin’s energetic colleague, who condemned Mark severely (Mark 15:38). After an interval there is the so-called “Council” at Jerusalem (c. A.D. 49 or 50). Paul and Barnabas are again at Antioch, and Peter joins them there. Was Mark there also, and was he one of “the rest of the Jews” who “dissembled with Peter, insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation”? Galatians 2:13. That is not unreasonable conjecture; but it has against it the silence of both St Luke in Acts and St Paul in Galatians. When St Paul absolutely refused to give Mark another trial, and parted from Barnabas rather than do so, the only reason given is Mark’s withdrawal from Pamphylia (Mark 15:38). The result was that he took Silas as a colleague and went on a mission through Syria and Cilicia, while Barnabas and his cousin sailed back to Cyprus, in which island both of them had connexions. This would be about A.D. 52. It is worth while noting in passing how these two incidents—Mark’s separating from Barnabas and Paul, and Paul’s separating from Barnabas—illustrate the saying that travel tests character. If you want to know a man, travel with him for a few months.

The frequently mentioned tradition that St Mark founded the Church of Alexandria may, with much reserve and uncertainty, be allowed to come in at this point. There is here a considerable gap of about ten years in what Scripture tells us about Mark, and it is credible that, during the period about which Scripture tells us nothing, he went from Cyprus to Alexandria and helped to make it a Christian centre. But it does not follow that, because the tradition helps to fill this gap, therefore the tradition is true. The Alexandrian Fathers, Clement and Origen, in all their various writings, nowhere allude to Mark’s preaching at Alexandria. Another tradition makes Barnabas the founder of the Alexandrian Church, and it is not impossible that both went from Cyprus to Alexandria and worked there. On the whole, however, it is more probable that the connexion of St Mark with Alexandria, if it be historical, did not begin until after the death of St Peter.

We are on sure ground once more when we find St Mark at Rome during the first Roman imprisonment of St Paul (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24); but we cannot safely infer that it was the Apostle’s imprisonment which brought Mark to Rome. What is certain is that he and the Apostle are now completely reconciled, and that the latter seems to have become anxious to show Mark that he now has complete confidence in him. He declares him to be one who joined in alleviating his sufferings as a prisoner. He claims him as a fellow-worker, and he inserts salutations from him in the letters to the Colossians and Philemon. Mark, Aristarchus, and Jesus who is called Justus are the only Jewish Christians who cleave to St Paul in his captivity, and the Apostle seems to have sent Mark back to Asia. A few years later, in the latest of the Pauline Epistles (2 Timothy 4:11), Timothy, who was probably at Ephesus, is charged to “pick up Mark” and bring him with him to Rome.

And it is in Rome that we next hear of St Mark. It was probably after the deaths of the two Apostles with whom he had of old been associated that Mark attached himself to the old friend of the family, St Peter; and it is in 1 Peter 5:13 that we have the last mention of him in the N.T.—“Mark, my son, saluteth you.” “My son” may be a mere expression of affection; but it is not impossible that it means that Peter was instrumental in converting Mark to Christianity (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:14-15). It is not fatal to this view that St Paul commonly uses τέκνον and not υἱός of the relationship between himself and his converts (1 Corinthians 4:14; Philippians 2:22; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:1; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:10; cf. 3 John 1:4), although it makes it a little less probable than the other view. But the sense in which ὁ υἱός μου is used does not affect the probability that Mark was instructed in the Gospel first by St Peter. One thing may be regarded as certain, that when 1 Peter was written, the Evangelist was with the Apostle in Rome. Beyond reasonable doubt “Babylon” is Rome (Hort, 1 Peter, p. 6; Lightfoot, Clement, II. p. 492; Bigg, 1 and 2 Peter, pp. 22, 76).

That both St Peter and St Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome under Nero may be accepted as a sufficiently attested tradition. That they suffered at the same time is less probable; but, when we abandon this tradition, it is difficult to determine which Apostle suffered first. On the whole, it is safer to place the martyrdom of St Paul before that of St Peter, and to suppose that the death of the former was one reason for Mark’s becoming closely connected with the latter; but the friendship of St Peter with Mark’s family would account for this close connexion, even if St Paul were still alive.

The Author of the Second Gospel

That Mark was the writer of the Second Gospel, and that in what he wrote he was largely dependent upon the teaching of St Peter, may also be accepted as sufficiently attested. That St Peter is the probable source of a great deal that we find in this Gospel can be shown in detail from the Gospel itself; but the evidence with regard to the exact relation between the Apostle and the Gospel of Mark is not harmonious. We begin with Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis. Irenaeus tells us that Papias was “a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp.” The first statement may be true, but it is perhaps only an inference from the second. After the destruction of Jerusalem some Christians migrated from Palestine to Hierapolis. Among these were Philip the Apostle and his daughters, two of whom lived to a great age, and from them Papias obtained various traditions about the Apostles and their contemporaries. He also obtained information from two disciples of the Lord, Aristion and John the Presbyter or the Elder. The former is interesting to us in connexion with the longer ending of this Gospel (Mark 16:9-20), while the latter is connected with our present purpose. Papias collected traditions about Christ and His Apostles and used them to illustrate the Gospel narrative in a treatise called An Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord, some precious fragments of which have been preserved by Eusebius. He quotes the passage which concerns us H. E. iii. 39; and it will be seen from the opening words that in it Papias is quoting “the Presbyter” or “the Elder,” which almost certainly means the Presbyter John. After the first sentence which is attributed to the Presbyter we cannot be quite sure whether we are reading his statements or those of Papias; but this is not of much moment, for Papias is certainly passing on information which he had received on what he believed to be good authority.

“This also the Presbyter used to say. Mark, having become Peter’s interpreter, wrote accurately, though not in order (τάξει), all that he remembered of the things which were either said or done by Christ. For he was neither a hearer of the Lord nor a follower of Him, but afterwards, as I said, [followed] Peter, who used to adapt his instructions to the needs [of his hearers], but without making a connected report of the Lord’s Sayings. So that Mark committed no error when he wrote down some things just as he remembered them; for of one thing he made a purpose from the first, not to omit any one of the things which he heard or state anything falsely among them.”

This is evidence of the highest importance. Papias can hardly have got this information much later than A.D. 100, and he gets it from one who was contemporary with Apostles and the earliest Christian traditions. We shall have to return to the difficult statement that Mark, in contrast with other Evangelists, did not write “in order.”

Irenaeus (III. i. 1) says that “after the death of Peter and Paul, Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, delivered to us in writing the things which had been preached by Peter.”

Tertullian (Adv. Marcion. iv. 5) says much the same as Irenaeus; that Mark was Peter’s interpreter, and reproduced his teaching.

Clement of Alexandria (Hypotyposeis), as quoted by Eusebius (H. E. ii. 15), states that Peter’s hearers were so impressed by his teaching, that they “were not content with this unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties besought Mark, a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been communicated to them orally. Nor did they cease till they had prevailed with the man, and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of Mark. And they say that Peter, when he had learned through the Spirit that which had been done, was pleased with their zeal, and that the work won the sanction of his authority for the purpose of being used in the Churches.” Elsewhere (H. E. vi. 25) Eusebius quotes Clement as having written that, when Peter learnt what Mark had done, “he neither directly forbade it nor encouraged it.”

Origen, as quoted by Eusebius (H. E. vi. 25), states that Mark wrote as Peter dictated to him; and Jerome (Ep. 120, Ad Hedibiam 11) repeats this.

Where these writers disagree, the earlier witnesses are to be preferred. Papias was a contemporary of Mark; i.e. he was a boy about the time when Mark wrote his Gospel. His narrative states that Mark wrote down what he recollected of the teaching of Peter, which almost implies that he did not write until after Peter’s death; and Irenaeus expressly states that this was the case. This is more probable than Clement’s statement that Peter approved of the work, and much more probable than Origen’s statement that Peter dictated it. Such enhancements of the value of the Gospel of Mark would be likely to be imagined in Alexandria, where Mark was believed to have laboured, and even to have founded the first Christian community.

What those who call Mark the “interpreter of Peter” mean by the expression is explained by none of them. The most natural, and not improbable, meaning of “Peter’s interpreter” would be that Peter’s knowledge of Greek was not equal to giving addresses to those whom he instructed in Rome, and that Mark translated into Greek what Peter said in Aramaic. It is true that Peter had probably been bilingual from childhood, speaking both Aramaic and Greek, as many Welsh peasants speak both Welsh and English. But such casual use of Greek would not necessarily enable him to preach in Greek any more than a Welsh peasant’s casual use of English would enable him to preach in English. If this is the correct explanation of “interpreter,” it is easy to see how Mark’s services in this direction would impress Peter’s teaching on his memory. According to any explanation, the term can hardly mean less than that in some way Mark acted as an instrument for conveying Peter’s teaching to those who either did not hear it or could not understand it.

Hippolytus (Philos. vii. 30) says that Mark was called ὁ κολοβοδάκτυλος, “the stump-fingered,” which implies that one of his fingers was defective through malformation or amputation. Various guesses have been made as to the origin of this nickname, which is repeated in Latin Prefaces to the Gospel. Some take it literally: he had only a stump in place of a finger, either [1] because he was born so or had been accidentally maimed, or [2] because, being a Levite and not wishing to become a priest, he cut off one of his fingers. Others take it metaphorically: he was called stump-fingered, either [3] because, like a malingerer, he had deserted in Pamphylia, or [4] because his Gospel is maimed in its extremities, having lost its conclusion, and (as some think) its beginning. Of these four conjectures the first and fourth are most worthy of consideration.

We do not know either when, where, or how St Mark died. Jerome places his death in the eighth year of Nero at Alexandria; but we have no means of confirming or correcting this. The apocryphal Acts of Mark make him die a martyr’s death; but these Acts are Alexandrian, and a desire to glorify the reputed founder of the Alexandrian Church may be the origin of the statement. No writer of the second, third, or fourth century says that Mark suffered martyrdom, and their silence may be regarded as decisive.

Shortly before his own martyrdom St Paul wrote of Mark that he was “useful for ministering” (2 Timothy 4:11). This statement “assigns to Mark his precise place in the history of the Apostolic Age. Not endowed with gifts of leadership, neither prophet nor teacher, he knew how to be invaluable to those who filled the first rank in the service of the Church, and proved himself a true servus servorum Dei” (Swete).



One chief source has already been mentioned, the Apostle St Peter. The evidence for this goes back to the Presbyter John as quoted by Papias, who evidently gives his assent. It is confirmed by Irenaeus, Tertullian and many other writers; and it is by no means improbable that by the “Memoirs of Peter” (Ἀπομνημονεύματα Πέτρου) Justin means the Gospel of St Mark. These Memoirs contained the words ὄνομα Βοανεργές, ὅ ἐστιν υἱοὶ βροντῆς, words which occur Mark 3:17 and in no other Gospel (Justin, Try. 106; comp. Try. 88 with Mark 6:3). Nearly everything which Mark records might have been told him by St Peter, for St Peter was present when what is recorded was done and spoken. But no one supposes that Peter was Mark’s only source. Even some things which Peter might have told him may have been derived by Mark from others, for when he wrote other eye-witnesses still survived and there was abundance of oral tradition. On three occasions, however, only three disciples, Peter, James, and John, were present as witnesses, and on two of these—the Transfiguration and the Agony—they were the only witnesses, for it cannot be regarded as probable that the “young man” of Mark 14:51 was present at the Agony and saw and listened while the Three were sleeping. From which of the Three, did Mark obtain information? James is excluded by his early death, and we know of no special relations between Mark and John. Peter is much more likely to have been Mark’s informant. It is true that some very interesting things about Peter are omitted by Mark, e.g. Christ’s high praise of his confession of faith, his walking on the sea, his paying the tribute with the stater from the fish; but these are things about which Peter might wish to be reticent, and which he himself omitted in his public teaching. See Eusebius, Demonstr. Evang. iii. 5. Although Mark is so much shorter than Matthew or Luke, yet he mentions Peter nearly as often (Mk 25 times, Matthew 28, Lk. 27); and Mark mentions Peter in four places where Matthew and Luke do not mention him, and in all four passages we seem to have personal recollections (Mark 1:36, Mark 11:21, Mark 13:3, Mark 16:7). If we had no information as to the authorship of the Second Gospel or the connexion of Mark with Peter, we should never have had any reason for supposing that Mark might have written it; but the Gospel itself would have suggested that Peter was connected with it.

The number of graphic details which are found in Mark, and in Mark alone, has often been pointed out as a characteristic of this Gospel. While Mark omits many sections which are found in Matthew and Luke, yet in those sections which are common to all three Mark almost always gives us something which is not in either of the other two; and often these additional touches are of great value. Many of them are pointed out in the notes, and the whole of them can be seen very conveniently in the first column of Abbott and Rushbrooke, The Common Tradition of the Synoptic Gospels. It is of course possible that these details are in many cases mere literary embellishments supplied by Mark himself, who has a manifest liking for fullness of expression; but a good many of them look like the recollections of an eye-witness. They bear out what the Presbyter John, as quoted by Papias, said of Mark, that in writing things down from memory he “made it his purpose from the first, not to omit any of the things which he heard or state anything falsely among them.” This is praise which could not so justly be given to Matthew, who rather often either omits or alters what he does not like. When we see how wanting in literary skill Mark often is, we are inclined to think that the graphic descriptions which he gives us are due less to exuberance of style than to conscientious or accidental retention of what one who was there had told him. The expansions and descriptive touches in the apocryphal Gospels are of a very different character. The student will be able to come to some conclusion for himself on this point, if he compares the Synoptic narratives of the three occasions when Christ took Peter, James, and John apart, or of Peter’s denials. The passages peculiar to Mark, having no parallel in Matthew or Luke, are Mark 1:1, Mark 3:20-21, Mark 4:26-29, Mark 7:2-4; Mark 7:33-37, Mark 8:22-26, Mark 14:51-52. Study of these will also help the attainment of some conclusion.

It is probable that, in addition to the teaching of St Peter and much oral tradition of a general kind, Mark also used documentary evidence; e.g. notes on the teaching and death of John the Baptist, and on the last days of Christ’s life on earth. But beyond this vague probability it is not safe to go.

The question whether Mark used the lost document, commonly designated “Q,” which was abundantly used by Matthew and Luke, and of which there are no sure traces in Mark, is one to which no sure answer can be given. Mr Streeter thinks that he has been able to “establish beyond reasonable doubt that Mark was familiar with Q,” and Dr Sanday thinks that his arguments “seem to compel assent” (Studies in the Synoptic Problem, pp. xvi, 165–183). On the other side see Stanton, The Gospels as Historical Documents, II. pp. 109–114; Moffatt, Introd. to the Literature of the N.T., pp. 204–206. It may be doubted whether there is any clear instance in which it is necessary to assume that Mark derived his material from Q. The items which are supposed by some critics to come from Q are small in amount. No doubt Mark knew of the existence of Q, and had a general knowledge of its contents. He may have seen it, and here and there may have been influenced by what he had seen, but it is difficult to believe that he worked with it at his side as Matthew and Luke must have done. Q is certainly earlier than any date which can reasonably be given to Mark, and therefore the hypothesis that he had seen it is reasonable. We are on sufficiently safe ground when we assert that what Mark gives us comes from Peter and cognate sources of information. Peter’s teaching may have contained nearly all the Sayings of Christ which are reported by Mark.

It is not necessary to examine what is called the “three-stratum hypothesis” respecting the origin of this Gospel, either in the form advocated by E. Wendling, or in the much more moderate form put forward by Mr E. P. Williams (Studies in the Syn. Pr., pp. xxv, 388). The theory of three editions of Mark, whether issued by the Evangelist himself, or by him with two subsequent editors, with considerable additions in the second and third issues, needs to be supported by more substantial arguments than those which are at present advanced in its favour, before it becomes necessary for ordinary students of the Gospel to pay attention to it. The hypothesis of an Ur-Marcus, a first edition considerably shorter than our Mark, is not required. Burkitt, The Gospel History and its Transmission, pp. 40 f.; Swete, St Mark, p. lxv; Jülicher, Introd. to N.T., p. 326.

It is more to the point to remember that for some things in the Gospel Mark’s own experience may be the chief source. The fullness of the narrative of the last week of our Lord’s life in all the Gospels has often been remarked in contrast to the scantiness of the record respecting the previous thirty years. It is quite possible that some of that fullness is the outcome of what St Mark himself could remember. Some events in the Holy Week he may well have witnessed and never forgotten; at some points he may have been present when Peter was not.



Critics are not agreed as to the analysis of this Gospel. Even their main divisions are not always the same. Yet certain broad features stand out clearly, although there is sometimes room for difference of opinion as to the exact point at which the dividing lines should be placed. There is a short Introduction. Then come two main divisions: the Ministry in Galilee and the neighbourhood, and the Ministry in Judaea. These are followed by the beginning of the Conclusion, and the Conclusion remains unfinished.

The Introduction may be made to contain the first eight verses (WH.), or the first thirteen (Salmond, Swete, Moffatt), or the first fifteen (Zahn). There is something to be said for each of these arrangements. The preparatory work of the Forerunner ends at Mark 14:8; then he is eclipsed by the Messiah. On the other hand, the Messiah’s own work does not begin till Mark 14:14; but it does begin there in a real sense, although in the fullest sense it may be said to begin with the call of the first pair of disciples. The purely introductory portion ends with the Temptation, which prepared the Messiah for the work of the Ministry, just as the Baptist’s preaching prepared the people for the reception of the Messiah’s Ministry.

The line between the two main divisions may also be drawn at different places; either just before or just after ch. 10, or at Mark 10:31. There is an interval of transition between the Galilean and the Judaean Ministries, and we can either attach the interval to the latter (Moffatt), or give it a place by itself (Swete), or divide it at the point where the Messiah begins His last journey to Jerusalem (WH., Salmond). Perhaps the last is the most satisfactory arrangement, but the question is not a matter of great moment.

It is obvious that thus far the order is chronological; Introduction, Galilee, Judaea, Conclusion. But are the sections and sub-sections which make up the main divisions chronologically arranged? That question cannot be answered with certainty. Any narrator would endeavour to avoid confusing what took place in Galilee with what took place in Judaea and Jerusalem. Peter and others would remember fairly well where things of moment took place and where Sayings of still greater moment were spoken: and Mark, with the tenacious memory of an Oriental who had not ruined his powers of remembering by misuse, as we ruin ours, would recollect with general accuracy how things had been told to him. But we cannot assume that Peter would always care to insist upon the exact sequence of what took place either in Galilee or Judaea, or that Mark would regard exact sequence as a thing which he must be careful to preserve. A single perusal of the Gospels is enough to show that chronology is not a thing on which the writers lay a great deal of stress. Notes of time are few, and events are often grouped according to subject-matter rather than according to time. In the grouping of the contents of the main divisions of this Gospel it is not often possible to determine whether the sequence is chronological or not, but it is likely that Mark would follow a chronological order in the main, so far as he knew it. In the main, for it might sometimes seem to be instructive to group incidents together and Sayings together which in time were separated; and Mark’s knowledge of the time would sometimes be nil. Tradition often preserves a memory of what has been done or said without any definite setting of time or place; and when unframed material of great value was known to the Evangelists they had to find a place for it by conjecture; and they sometimes differ considerably as to the place in the Ministry to which they assign this or that event or Saying. This at times is very disconcerting to the student, but it detracts very little from the supreme usefulness of the Gospels. Their value would not be greatly increased if we could put exact dates to everything.

But, when all allowance has been made for this, the statement of the Presbyter in Papias, that Mark “wrote accurately, though not in order,” is perplexing, because, with all its defects, his order is remarkably good. Its sufficiency was evidently recognized at once; Matthew follows it, and so does Luke, and though each of them deviates from it somewhat, yet they never deviate from it together, Mark always has the support of either Matthew, or Luke, or both. We never have to balance the order of Matthew and Luke against that of Mark. Mark gives us what is really an orderly and intelligent development. Jesus is at first enthusiastically welcomed as a great Teacher and Healer worthy of being ranked with the greatest of the Prophets. Gradually His opposition to the formalism and perverse exegesis of the Scribes provokes the hostility of the hierarchy and many of the upper classes. This hostility becomes so intense, and the popular misconception of His aim becomes so embarrassing, that at last He almost confines Himself to the training of the Twelve in regions remote from the influence of His enemies and from the disturbance caused by unspiritual crowds. Finally the time comes for open conflict with His implacable enemies in their headquarters; and in this conflict He is apparently vanquished and destroyed.

We can explain the perplexing criticism of the Presbyter when we consider the extract from Papias as a whole, and recognize that the purpose of it is to defend the Gospel of St Mark against objections which have been made to it. Now that there are three other Gospels, Mark is becoming discredited, as being very inferior. The Presbyter admits some inferiority, but calls attention to conspicuous merits. He is evidently contrasting Mark with some other Gospel which he regards as a model, and there is little doubt that the model Gospel is the Fourth. It must be confessed that in the matter of arrangement Mark differs widely from John. Therefore, if the Fourth Gospel is written “in order,” the Second Gospel is not so written. In this way we get an intelligible meaning for the Presbyter’s criticism.

Dr Abbott suggests that by “not in order “is meant “without appropriate beginning and end.” In defence of this interpretation he quotes from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Judic. de Thucyd. § 10, what is said respecting criticisms on Thucydides; “Some find fault also with his order, since he has neither taken for his history the beginning that he ought to have taken, nor adjusted it to the end that is suitable.” Obviously, this fits the statement that Mark did not write “in order”; for his Gospel begins very abruptly with the preaching of John, and we are not told who “the Baptizer” is or whence he comes; and it ends still more abruptly with the words “for they were afraid.”

But, however we may explain “not in order,” which may after all be due to an unintelligent misunderstanding of the Presbyter by Papias, we are not driven to the extreme conclusion that the Gospel which is thus criticized is not the Mark which we possess.

St Mark does not aim at giving us either history or biography in the technical sense. And his work is so incomplete that we cannot suppose that he aimed at giving us a complete Gospel. We are tempted to think that he wrote to supplement what had already been written. Just as the desire to supplement, and in some particulars to correct, the Synoptics, was the reason which induced John to write his Gospel, and just as the desire to combine and supplement, and perhaps supersede, Mark and Q, was the chief reason which induced Matthew and Luke to write, so we might conjecture that one of Mark’s reasons for writing was to supplement Q. Q, so far as we can ascertain its character and contents, seems to have supplemented what was well remembered in the infant Church. The contemporaries of Jesus Christ were not likely to forget the homely life at Nazareth, the Ministry consisting of much teaching and many miracles, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. But the details of the homely life and the details of the Ministry, especially what was said by Jesus in His teaching, were likely to be forgotten, unless they were written down. Whether of the life at Nazareth before the Baptism many notes were taken, we do not know. But notes were taken of many of Christ’s Sayings and of a few of His miracles, and these were the main contents, if not the only contents, of Q. How soon these notes were taken cannot be determined; but there is no great improbability in supposing, with Salmon and Ramsay, that some were written during the Ministry. Within ten years of the Ascension, especially after the Twelve had become dispersed and one or two of them had died, there would be a demand for something of the kind; and missionaries who had never seen or heard our Lord would need some such record badly. What we call Q was an early attempt to meet this demand.

When experience showed that Q was inadequate for mission work, and that lapse of time was causing some precious facts to become blurred, Mark wrote his Gospel, not to supersede Q, and perhaps not directly and deliberately to supplement it, but to save from oblivion a great deal that was not yet written down and must not be allowed to perish. It has been stated already that Mark probably knew the contents of Q, and we may feel confident that there is at least this much of truth in the statement that he wrote his Gospel in order to supplement Q—he generally omitted what he knew to be in Q, because space was precious. That is the answer to those who argue against Mark’s having any knowledge of Q by asking, If he knew it, why does he make so very little use of it? We may be sure that the writers of all four Gospels knew a great deal more than they record, and indeed John 21:25 tells us so. Books in those days had to be of very moderate length, and Luke and Acts reach extreme limits. When it was believed that Christ would return in a year or two at the latest, men’s memories of what He had said and done sufficed. When a few years had passed, Q was produced, mainly to preserve precious Sayings. When thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years passed, and still the Lord did not return, more and more full records were required, ending in the Fourth Gospel. That Gospel, when added to its predecessors, has satisfied Christendom.

But Mark is too original to be a mere recorder of what Peter used to say or a mere supplier of what Q had omitted to say. His Gospel does not read like a series of notes strung together; nor does it read like a supplement to another work. It is an early attempt to bring what we should call “the power of the press” to aid the living voice in making the good tidings known to the world. Mark had had years of experience with Saul of Tarsus, with Barnabas, and with Peter, in preaching the Gospel, and he knew well incidents and Sayings which again and again went home to the hearts of men. Of these he has put together enough to give, by means of a series of anecdotes, a movingly vivid picture of what the Messiah was to those who knew Him. He does not describe or interpret the Messiah; His greatness is sufficiently demonstrated by His own works and words. People who find in his Gospel controversial aims read into it what is not there. The Evangelist evidently takes delight in reproducing what he knows; and, simple as his language is, it is that of a writer—one might almost say, of a talker—to whom narrating is a pleasure. Nothing of subtle suggestion or insinuation, in the interests of any school of thought, is to be detected in it. Those who profess to find such things do not discover but invent. “These touches in a host of cases are fresh, lifelike, inimitably historical. Nowhere in the Gospels do we stand so near to the eye-witness of Jesus’ healings as in the two stylistically connected incidents, peculiar to this Gospel, Mark 7:31-37 and Mark 8:22-26. The sign language of Jesus to the deaf and dumb man interprets His thought as if He stood before us. The blind man’s description of his returning sight is inimitable” (B. W. Bacon, Introd. to N.T., p. 206).


Mark 1:1-8. Preparatory Ministry of the Baptizer.

Mark 1:9-11. The Messiah is baptized by John.

Mark 1:12-13. The Messiah is tempted by Satan.

Mark 1:14-15. The Messiah begins His Ministry.

Mark 1:16-20. The Messiah calls His first Disciples.

Mark 1:21-28. Cure of a Demoniac at Capernaum.

Mark 1:29-31. Healing of Simon’s Wife’s Mother.

Mark 1:32-34. Healings after Sunset.

Mark 1:35-39. Departure from Capernaum; Circuit in Galilee.

Mark 1:40-45. Cleansing of a Leper,

Mark 2:1-12. Healing of a Paralytic at Capernaum. The Forgiveness of Sins.

Mark 2:13-14. The Call of Levi.

Mark 2:15-17. The Feast in Levi’s House.

Mark 2:18-22. The Question of Fasting.

Mark 2:23-28. Plucking Corn on the Sabbath,

Mark 3:1-6. Healing of a Withered Hand on the Sabbath.

Mark 3:7-12. Withdrawal to the Sea of Galilee.

Mark 3:13-19. The Appointment of the Twelve.

Mark 3:19-30. By whose Power are Demons cast out?

Mark 3:31-35. Who are Christ’s true Relations?

Mark 4:1-9. Teaching by Parables; The Sower.

Mark 4:10-12. Reasons for the Use of Parables.

Mark 4:13-20. Interpretation of the Parable of the Sower.

Mark 4:21-25. The Responsibility of Hearing the Word.

Mark 4:26-29. The Seed growing secretly and automatically.

Mark 4:30-32. The Mustard Seed.

Mark 4:33-34. The Principle of Christ’s Parabolic Teaching.

Mark 4:35-41. The Stilling of the Wind and the Waves.

Mark 5:1-20. Cure of the Gadarene Demoniac.

Mark 5:21-34. The Petition of Jairus and Healing of the Woman with the Issue.

Mark 5:35-43. Raising of the Daughter of Jairus.

Mark 6:1-6. Christ is despised at Nazareth.

Mark 6:7-13. The Mission of the Twelve.

Mark 6:14-29. The Murder of the Baptizer.

Mark 6:29-44. Return of the Twelve. Feeding of Five Thousand.

Mark 6:45-52. Walking on the Water.

Mark 6:53-56. Ministry in the Plain of Gennesaret.

Mark 7:1-13. Questions of Ceremonial Cleansing.

Mark 7:14-23. The Source of real Defilement.

Mark 7:24-30. The Syrophenician Woman.

Mark 7:31-37. Return to Decapolis. Healing of a Deaf Stammerer.

Mark 8:1-9. Feeding of Four Thousand.

Mark 8:10-13. Another Attack of the Pharisees.

Mark 8:14-21. The Leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.

Mark 8:22-26. Healing of a Blind Man at Bethsaida.

Mark 8:27-30. The Confession of Peter.

Mark 8:31-33. The Passion foretold; Peter rebuked.

Mark 8:34 to Mark 9:1. The Duty of Self-Sacrifice.

Mark 9:2-8. The Transfiguration.

Mark 9:9-13. The Discussion about Elijah.

Mark 9:14-29. Cure of a Demoniac Boy.

Mark 9:30-32. Another Prediction of the Passion.

Mark 9:33-37. The Question of Precedence.

Mark 9:38-40. Mistaken Zeal for the Name.

Mark 9:41-50. Results of Helping and of Hindering the Cause of Christ.

Mark 10:1-12. The Question of Divorce.

Mark 10:13-16. Christ blesses Little Children.

Mark 10:17-31. The Rich Man’s Question; Christ’s Answer and Comments.

Mark 10:32-34. The Last Prediction of the Passion.

Mark 10:35-45. The Request of the Sons of Zebedee.

Mark 10:46-52. Blind Bartimaeus restored to Sight.

Mark 11:1-11. The Messiah’s Entry into Jerusalem.

Mark 11:12-14. The Braggart Fig-Tree.

Mark 11:15-19. The Cleansing of the Temple.

Mark 11:20-25. The Lesson of the Withered Fig-Tree.

Mark 11:27-33. The Sanhedrin’s Question about Authority.

Mark 12:1-12. The Wicked Husbandmen.

Mark 12:13-17. The Pharisees’ Question about Tribute.

Mark 12:18-27. The Sadducees’ Question about Resurrection.

Mark 12:28-34. A Scribe’s Question about the Great Commandment.

Mark 12:35-37. The Lord’s Question about the Son of David.

Mark 12:38-40. Christ’s Condemnation of the Scribes.

Mark 12:41-44. The Widow’s Two Mites.

Mark 13:1-2. The Destruction of the Temple foretold.

Mark 13:3-13. The Disciples’ Question and the Lord’s Answer.

Mark 13:14-23. Events connected with the Destruction of Jerusalem.

Mark 13:24-27. The Close of the Age foretold.

Mark 13:28-29. The Lesson of the Fig-Tree.

Mark 13:30-32. Certainty of the Event; Uncertainty of the Time.

Mark 13:33-37. The Necessity for Watchfulness.

Mark 14:1-2. The Malice of the Sanhedrin.

Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at Bethany.

Mark 14:10-11. The Compact of Judas with the Hierarchy.

Mark 14:12-16. Preparations for the Passover.

Mark 14:17-25. The Paschal Supper.

Mark 14:26-31. Desertion and Denial foretold.

Mark 14:32-42. The Agony in Gethsemane.

Mark 14:43-50. The Traitor’s Kiss and the Arrest of Jesus.

Mark 14:51-52. The Young Man who fled naked.

Mark 14:53-65. The Trial before the High-Priest.

Mark 14:66-72. Peter’s Three Denials.

Mark 15:1-15. The Trial before the Procurator.

Mark 15:16-20. The Mockery by Pilate’s Soldiers.

Mark 15:20-22. The Road to Calvary.

Mark 15:23-32. The Crucifixion and the first Three Hours.

Mark 15:33-41. The last Three Hours and the Death.

Mark 15:42-47. The Burial.

Mark 16:1-8. The Visit of the Women to the Tomb.

[Mark 16:9-11. The Appearance to Mary Magdalen.

Mark 16:12-13. The Appearance to Two Disciples.

Mark 16:14-18. The Appearance to the Eleven.

Mark 16:19-20. The Ascension and After.]

The relation of the plan of Mark to Matthew and to Luke may be seen from the following table:





Mark 1:1-13

Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11

Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:13

Galilee and Neighbourhood

Mark 1:14 to Mark 9:50

Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 18:35

Luke 4:14 to Luke 9:17

Journey to Jerusalem

Mark 10:1-52

Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 20:34

Last Work in Jerusalem

Mark 11:1 to Mark 15:41

Matthew 21:1 to Matthew 27:56

Luke 19:28 to Luke 23:49


Mark 15:42 to Mark 16:8

Matthew 27:57 to Matthew 28:9

Luke 23:50 to Luke 24:11

For some reason, probably deliberate, the matter contained in Mark 6:45 to Mark 8:26 is not much used by Luke, and Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:14 is for the most part independent of Mark. Possibly, or even probably, the great insertion is wholly independent of Mark, for even in the thirty-five verses which are more or less parallel to some of the contents of Mark it is quite possible that Luke got his material from some other source. See Sir John Hawkins in Studies in the Synoptic Problem, pp. 29–74.



Almost all early writers—Papias, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome—either state or imply that St Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome. Chrysostom is alone in saying that Mark put together his Gospel in Egypt at the request of his disciples; but it is incredible that on such a point he was better informed than Clement and Origen. If the Alexandrians could with any probability have claimed the Gospel as having been written in and for their Church, they would have done so. Other possibilities do not merit discussion. In the Gospel itself there are a few features which harmonize with the tradition that it was written in Rome, primarily for Roman readers, and there is nothing which militates against this. What are called the “Latinisms of Mark” are a slight confirmation of this; but they are not numerous, and they are such as were being adopted in various parts of the Roman Empire by such as spoke and wrote Greek. The mention of Rufus (see on Mark 15:21) may be a more substantial confirmation. That the Evangelist began his Gospel in Rome, and probably wrote the whole of it there, is the most tenable theory. It is just possible that the abrupt conclusion at Mark 16:8 is due to his being obliged to fly, leaving his MS. unfinished.

We may safely set aside the theory that St Mark wrote his Gospel about A.D. 43 at the dictation, or under the personal supervision, of St Peter. This theory is based upon the statement of Eusebius (H. E. ii. 14) and Jerome (De Vir. ill.) that Peter came to Rome early in the reign of Claudius; whence comes the famous tradition that he was Bishop of Rome for twenty-five years. This statement, and with it the supposition that “interpreter of Peter” means “writer of a Gospel for Peter,” may be treated as untenable. That either Peter or Mark was in Rome at this early date is incredible. St Paul, writing to the Romans A.D. 58, declares Rome to be virgin soil for Apostolic ministrations, and it was probably not till five years later that St Peter reached Rome and was there joined by Mark. As stated above, it is safest to abide by the express statement of Irenaeus that Mark wrote his Gospel after both St Peter and St Paul were dead. That means not earlier than A.D. 65, for Nero’s persecution did not begin until the second half of 64, and perhaps both Apostles were not dead until 67. The Gospel itself, especially ch. 13, indicates that it was written before A.D. 70, for there is no hint that Jerusalem had been destroyed in accordance with Christ’s prediction, while there is a hint that an enemy is close to it (Mark 13:14). A.D. 65–70 would seem to be the time of composition, and nearer to 70 than to 65. See on Mark 13:14. Allen and Grensted (Int. to N.T. pp. 8, 13) favour the early date.

The question of language is simple. Assuming, as we have a right to assume from the evidence which exists, that the Second Gospel was written in Rome and primarily for Roman believers, we may be sure that it was written, as we possess it, in Greek, and that our Gospel is not a translation from an Aramaic original. St Paul wrote to Roman Christians in Greek; Clement writing in the name of Roman Christians wrote in Greek; and the early Roman liturgy was in Greek. That Mark wrote for Gentile Christians is evident; for [1] he only once quotes the O.T.; [2] explains Jewish usages (Mark 7:3), regulations (Mark 14:12), and technical terms (Mark 9:43, Mark 15:42); and [3] translates the expressions which he sometimes gives in the original Aramaic (Mark 3:17, Mark 7:11, Mark 10:46, Mark 14:36, Mark 15:34). What use would an Aramaic Gospel be to Gentile Christians? Again, if Mark wrote in Aramaic, and our Gospel is a translation, why did the translator sometimes preserve the Aramaic in Greek letters and add a translation? This last argument is not a strong one, for the freaks of translators are endless, but other arguments are strong. The book nowhere reads like a translation. The writer has his own characteristic way of expressing things, and these characteristics appear again and again throughout. The intelligent use of tenses and prepositions, and the general freedom of narration, are decided marks of originality; and Wellhausen remarks that it is impossible, with any confidence, to re-translate Mark into Aramaic. We may translate, but we cannot feel sure that we are restoring the original language. Mark knew both Aramaic and Greek, and in writing his Gospel he used material which came to him in Aramaic; but what he writes comes from his pen in easy, and sometimes rather slipshod, conversational Greek. As Jülicher says, “the suggestion that there is an original Hebrew or Aramaic document at the bottom of our Gospel is conspicuously ill-judged. No translator could have created the originality of language shown by Mark” (Introd. to N.T. p. 322). And it is certain that the Mark which Matthew and Luke used was in Greek. That either or both of them had an Aramaic Mark and translated it, is incredible. Such frequent and striking coincidences in wording as exist could not have come into existence if either of them had been an independent translator.

It is true that in Mark’s Greek there are more traces of Semitic idioms than even in Matthew or John; e.g. δύο δύο (Mark 6:7), συμπόσια συμπόσια and πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ (Mark 6:39-40), the oath formula with εἰ (Mark 8:12), the pleonastic αὐτοῦ, αὐτῆς, &c. (Mark 1:7, Mark 7:25), and the use of καί rather than ἀλλά in cases of contrast (Mark 6:19, Mark 12:12). See on Mark 1:9. But these features are sufficiently accounted for by the fact that he spoke both Aramaic and Greek, and that in writing he often translated Aramaic oral tradition, and possibly Aramaic notes, into Greek. See on the one side Allen, Expository Times, 1902, xiii. pp. 328 f., and on the other, Lagrange, S. Marc, pp. lxxxii f.

For reasons already stated, the “Latinisms” in the Gospel are insufficient to show that St Mark knew Latin, or to give any support to the marginal note contained in two Syriac Versions that he preached in Rome in Latin. The theory that he wrote his Gospel in Latin need be no more than mentioned. The Latinisms are chiefly these: κεντυρίων (Mark 15:39; Mark 15:44-45), κῆνσος (Mark 12:14), ξέστης (Mark 7:4; Mark 7:8), σπεκουλάτωρ (Mark 6:27), φραγελλόω (Mark 15:15). More remarkable are the two cases in which Mark explains Greek by Latin, λεπτὰ δύο, ὅ ἐστιν κοδράντης (Mark 12:42), and ἔσω τῆς αὐλῆς, ὅ ἐστιν πραιτώριον (Mark 15:16). Perhaps συμβούλιον διδόναι (Mark 3:6), ῥαπίσμασιν αὐτὸν ἔλαβον (Mark 14:65), and ποιῆσαι τὸ ἱκανόν (Mark 15:16) may be added to the list.



Those who possess Sir John Hawkins’ Horae Synopticae need very little information in addition to what is given there respecting the characteristic words and phrases in Mark. For the use of others some of the more important facts, taken largely from those collected by him and those collected by Dr Swete, are given here.

[1] Of course not all the 80 words which are found in Mark and nowhere else in N.T., nor all the 37 words which are found in Mark and nowhere else in either N.T. or LXX., are characteristic of Mark. Indeed, very few of them are such. Adopting the standard suggested by Hawkins, we may count as characteristic expressions those which occur at least three times in Mark and are either not found at all in Matthew or Luke, or are found more often in Mark than in Matthew and Luke together. Of such expressions 41 have been collected; but on five of these very little stress can be laid, while seven are remarkable as being in a high degree characteristic. These are:

ἐκθαμβέομαι, four times in Mark, and nowhere else.

περιβλέπομαι, six times in Mark, and nowhere else.

ἔρχεται, ἔρχονται (hist. pres.), 24 times in Mark, 19 elsewhere.

εὐθύς (εὐθέως), 41 times in Mark, 45 elsewhere.

ὅ ἐστιν, six times in Mark, once or twice elsewhere.

πολλά (adverbial), nine times in Mark, five elsewhere.

συνζητέω, six times in Mark, four elsewhere.

To these seven must be added the curious combination of the aor. ἀποκριθείς or -θέντες with the pres. λέγει or -ουσιν, which occurs eight times in Mark (Mark 3:33, Mark 8:29, Mark 9:5; Mark 9:19, Mark 10:24, Mark 11:22; Mark 11:33, Mark 15:2; cf. Mark 7:28) and only twice elsewhere (Luke 13:8; Luke 17:37). Cf. Matthew 25:40 and Luke 13:25, where we have aor. and fut. combined. Apparently ἀποκριθείς is timeless.

Other words for which Mark seems to show a preference are ἐκπορεύομαι, ἐπερωτάω, ἤρξατο or ἤρξαντο, πάλιν, πρωί, and ὑπάγω.

[2] There are also some expressions, the avoidance of which is characteristic of Mark. They are frequent in the other Gospels, but Mark seldom or never has them. He never uses καὶ ἰδού or (in narrative) ἰδού, or νόμος, or the form ἑστώς. While Matthew has πορεύομαι 28 times, Luke 50, Acts 37, John 13, Mark has it only once (Mark 9:30), and there it is a somewhat doubtful reading. Οὖν is freq. in Matthew and Luke, very freq. in John [194], but Mark has it only four times; and καλέω, freq. in Matthew and Luke, is rare in both Mark [4] and John [2].

[3] Among the 80 words, not counting proper names, which are peculiar to Mark in N.T., a considerable number are non-classical. Seven are found nowhere else in Greek literature; ἐκπερισσῶς, ἔννυχα, ἐπιράπτω, ἐπισυντρέχω, κεφαλιόω, προμεριμνάω, ὑπερεκπερισσῶς. But none of these are out-of-the-way expressions coined for a special purpose. Most of them are quite common words with a preposition prefixed, and probably all of them were current in the language of the people, although only the word without the prefix is current in literature. Mark has a fairly extensive vocabulary and can find an unusual word when he wants it, yet in ordinary narrative he has no great command of language, either as regards variety of words or correct constructions. He is like a man who can talk freely and with tolerable correctness in a foreign language, but cannot make a speech or write an essay in it. The word which best describes his style is “conversational.” He writes, as people often talk even in their own language, without much regard to niceties of style, or, in some cases, even of grammar. Mark uses the language of common life, rather than that which is employed in literature, whether secular or religious.

Among his colloquial expressions may be reckoned σχιζομένους of the opening of the heavens (Mark 1:10), ἀμφιβάλλοντας without an acc. (Mark 1:16), ἐπιράπτει (Mark 2:21), ἐσχάτως ἔχει (Mark 5:23), μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε (Mark 13:11), εἷς καθʼ εἷς (Mark 14:19), ἀπέχει (Mark 14:41), ἐπιβαλών (Mark 14:72).

[4] Many broken or imperfect constructions are found; see notes on Mark 1:27, Mark 2:22, Mark 3:16-18, Mark 4:15; Mark 4:26; Mark 4:31, Mark 5:23, Mark 6:8-9 (a glaring instance), Mark 7:2-5; Mark 7:11; Mark 7:19, Mark 8:2, Mark 9:20, Mark 10:30, Mark 13:13; Mark 13:34.

[5] Combinations of participles are very common, often in pairs, and sometimes in triplets: Mark 1:15; Mark 1:26; Mark 1:31; Mark 1:41, Mark 2:6, Mark 3:5; Mark 3:31, Mark 4:8, Mark 5:25-27 (seven participles in three verses), 30, 33, Mark 6:2, Mark 8:11, Mark 10:17; Mark 10:50, Mark 12:28, Mark 13:34, Mark 14:23; Mark 14:67, Mark 15:21; Mark 15:36; Mark 15:43.

[6] Repetition of the negative is often found in Greek literature, but Mark is specially fond of it. We sometimes find that, where Mark repeats the negative, Matthew in the parallel passage does not. Repetition occurs with μή (Mark 1:44, Mark 2:2, Mark 3:10, Mark 11:14), but far more often with οὐ (Mark 3:27, Mark 5:3; Mark 5:37, Mark 6:5, Mark 7:12, Mark 9:8, Mark 11:2, Mark 12:34, Mark 14:25; Mark 14:60-61, Mark 15:45, Mark 16:8).

[7] The frequency of the historic present in Mark is often noticed; but it is nearly as common (allowing for the different length of the Gospels) in John. Hawkins gives Mark 151, Matthew 78, Luke 4 or 6, John 162. The vividness which the historic present gives in Mark and John is produced in Matthew and Luke to a large extent by the use of ἰδού, which neither Mark nor John employs in narratives. The most common instance of the historic present in Mark is λέγει or λέγουσιν. Matthew and Luke, in the parallel passages, generally either omit the verb or substitute an aorist. Thus, where Mark has λέγει (Mark 2:5; Mark 2:8; Mark 2:17; Mark 2:25, Mark 3:4; Mark 3:34, Mark 8:29, Mark 9:5; Mark 9:19, Mark 10:23; Mark 10:27; Mark 10:42, Mark 14:13), Matthew and Luke have εἶπεν, or in a few cases ἔφη.

[8] In Mark’s own narrative asyndeton is rare (Mark 9:38, Mark 10:27-29, Mark 12:24, and a few other places), but it is very frequent in his terse and vigorous reports of sayings (Mark 1:27, Mark 5:39, Mark 8:15, Mark 10:14; Mark 10:24-25, Mark 12:9-10; Mark 12:17; Mark 12:20; Mark 12:23; Mark 12:27; Mark 12:37, Mark 13:6-9, Mark 14:6, Mark 16:6). In nearly all these cases there is a connecting particle (καί, or γάρ, or δέ, or οὖν) in the parallel passages in Matthew and Luke; and scribes have often inserted a connecting particle in inferior texts of Mark. In the true text of Mark οὖν is very rare.

[9] Mark greatly prefers καί to δέ, but in a number of cases scribes have changed καί to δέ (Mark 1:14; Mark 1:28, Mark 2:5, Mark 9:9, Mark 10:42, Mark 11:4; Mark 11:8, Mark 12:3; Mark 12:14, Mark 13:11-12, Mark 15:33). Of 88 sections in Mark, 80 begin with καί and only six have δέ in the second place. Hawkins estimates that δέ occurs 156 times in Mark, 496 in Matthew, 508 in Luke.

[10] A somewhat superfluous fulness of expression is a constant feature in Mark’s colloquial style; Mark 1:16; Mark 1:32; Mark 1:42, Mark 2:20; Mark 2:23; Mark 2:25, Mark 3:26-27, Mark 4:2; Mark 4:39, Mark 5:15, Mark 6:4; Mark 6:25, Mark 7:13; Mark 7:20-21; Mark 7:23, Mark 8:17; Mark 8:28, Mark 9:2-3, Mark 10:22; Mark 10:30, Mark 11:4, Mark 12:14; Mark 12:44, Mark 13:19-20; Mark 13:29; Mark 13:34, Mark 14:15; Mark 14:43; Mark 14:58; Mark 14:61; Mark 14:68, Mark 15:1; Mark 15:26, Mark 16:2. Some of these may be Semitic. Matthew and Luke evidently noticed this feature, for they often omit what is superfluous when they reproduce Mark’s expression, and cases are pointed out in the notes in which each of them takes a different portion of Mark’s complete statement.

With this trait may be connected such pleonastic expressions as ἀπὸ μακρόθεν, which is rare elsewhere, but freq. in Mark (Mark 5:6, Mark 8:3, Mark 11:13, Mark 14:54, Mark 15:40), and ἐκ παιδιόθεν, Mark only (Mark 9:21).

[11] The imperf. tense is much used by Mark, and “it conveys the impression of an eye-witness describing events which passed under his own eye; e.g. Mark 5:18, Mark 7:17, Mark 10:17, Mark 12:41, Mark 14:55” (Swete). Moreover, Mark regards conversation as a process, and therefore he often uses ἔλεγεν or ἔλεγον, where what is said is neither interrupted nor repeated, and where εἶπεν or εἶπαν (which Matthew often substitutes) would have been quite as exact. In other respects he handles his tenses with ease and accuracy, interchanging pres., imperf., perf., and aor. quite correctly according to the shade of meaning to be expressed; e.g. Mark 1:30-31; Mark 1:35, Mark 2:2; Mark 2:13, Mark 3:1-2; Mark 3:10-11; Mark 3:21, Mark 4:8, Mark 5:24, Mark 6:41; Mark 6:56, Mark 7:26; Mark 7:35-36, Mark 8:25, Mark 9:15, Mark 12:41, Mark 15:44.

[12] Mark is rather fond of diminutives, but there is only one that he alone uses among N.T. writers: θυγάτριον (Mark 5:23, Mark 7:25). Other instances are—κοράσιον, Mark five times, Matthew three; κυνάριον, Mark two, Matthew two; παιδίσκη, Mark two, Matthew one, Luke two, John one; ἰχθύδιον, Mark one, Matthew one; ψιχίον, Mark one, Matthew one; ὠτάριον, Mark one, John one; βιβλίον, Mark one, Matthew one, Luke two, John two, &c.; παιδίον freq. in Mark, Matthew, Luke, rare in John. On the other hand, there are several diminutives which are used by one or more of the other Evangelists, but are not used by Mark: κλινίδιον, τεκνίον, ὀνάριον, παιδάριον, ὠτίον, and (in Acts) κλινάριον.

[13] We may attribute it to Mark’s want of literary skill that he employs the same framework for different narratives. In the case of very similar events, such as the feeding of the 5000 (Mark 6:34-44) and the feeding of the 4000 (Mark 8:1-9), this might occur in any writer. But Mark exhibits a striking parallelism in recording the healings of the deaf stammerer (Mark 7:32-34) and of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26), which are among the chief passages peculiar to Mark; and even in recording miracles so different as the cure of a demoniac at Capernaum (Mark 1:25; Mark 1:27) and the calming of the storm on the Lake (Mark 4:39; Mark 4:41). Compare also the narrative of Christ sending two disciples to fetch the colt (Mark 11:1-6) with that of His sending two to prepare the Paschal Supper (Mark 14:13-16); also the narrative of His preaching at Capernaum and its effects (Mark 1:21-22; Mark 1:27) with that of His preaching at Nazareth and its effects (Mark 6:1-2). In such cases we do not need the suggestion that the second narrative has been inserted by a later writer who has imitated the work of the original Evangelists. Such repetitions are common in the simpler forms of literature, e.g. in Homer and in folklore. Compare Job 1:6-12 with Job 2:1-6, and the reports of the different messengers, Job 1:14-19.

Mark not only repeats the framework of his narratives, he repeats also the grouping of his narratives; thus Mark 8:1-26 follows the grouping in Mark 6:30 to Mark 7:37. In each section there is a voyage on the Lake, a feeding of a multitude, and a healing by means of spittle and touch.

Mark also repeats the same word when it suits his purpose. He has a favourite word for multitude, crowd, populace, people; and he does not even vary it, as Matthew and Luke do, with an occasional plural. With one exception (Mark 10:1), it is always ὄχλος (37 times). In this he resembles John. Λαός, freq. in Matthew, Luke, and Acts, occurs in Mark only once in a remark of the hierarchy (Mark 14:2) and once in a quotation (Mark 7:6); never in Mark’s own narrative (not Mark 11:32). Δῆμος is used in Acts, but nowhere in the Gospels. Πλῆθος, so freq. in Luke and Acts, occurs twice in Mark (Mark 3:7-8).

[14] When we come to more general characteristics, we may say, with Bruce, that the leading one is realism, by which is meant the unreserved manner in which Mark gives us pictures of Christ and His disciples. He is not reticent; what he has been told he retells without scruple. He neither omits startling facts, nor does he shrink from startling ways of telling them. “The Spirit driveth Him forth” (Mark 1:12); the cleansed leper disobeyed Him (Mark 1:45); “I came not to call the righteous” (Mark 2:17); “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27); “He looked round about on them with anger, being grieved” (Mark 3:5); “guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:29) “he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath” (Mark 4:25); “He could there do no mighty work, save &c.” (Mark 6:5); “He marvelled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:6); the Apostles’ “heart was hardened” (Mark 6:52); “whatsoever goeth into the man cannot defile him” (Mark 7:18); “He could not be hid” (Mark 7:24); the healed deaf-stammerer disobeyed Him (Mark 7:36); the Apostles “understood not the saying and were afraid to ask Him” (Mark 9:32); “Why callest thou Me good? none is good save one, even God” (Mark 10:18). While the other Evangelists give us, to a large extent, what the Christians of the Apostolic age believed about Christ, Mark gives us what Peter and others remembered about Him. In Mark “we get nearest to the true human personality of Jesus in all its originality and power. And the character of Jesus loses nothing by the realistic presentation. Nothing is told that needed to be hid. The homeliest facts only increase our interest and admiration” (Expository Greek Testament, I. p. 33).



The early history of St Mark’s Gospel is curious. That the Gospel which bears his name was written by him was never doubted from the time when it was first published, and we need have no doubt about the fact now. No rival claimant has ever existed. No good reason for assigning the Gospel to Mark can be suggested, except the fact that he wrote it. If a distinguished name was wanted for an anonymous writing of this character, Peter’s name would be the obvious one to select. In the Apostolic age Mark is a person of quite secondary importance, and, if he had not written a Gospel, he would have remained as undistinguished as Silas. His two claims to distinction are his having written the earliest of the four Gospels which were accepted by the whole Church, and his having the honour of both assisting and being assisted by the chief of the Apostles. He helped St Peter in supplying an oral Gospel, and St Peter helped him in supplying a written one. Yet the abiding monument of their mutual service did not meet with much recognition in the Church. Neither its being first in the field, nor its known connexion with St Peter, secured its supremacy. Its authority was admitted wherever it was known; but, before it became widely known, it was superseded by Gospels which answered, much better than it could do, the cravings and needs of Christians. The unique merits of St Mark’s work could not be appreciated until all four Gospels had been placed under the searchlight of modern criticism.

Among the Apostolic Fathers, Hermas is the only one who gives anything like clear evidence of being acquainted with Mark. The Pastor of Hermas may be dated c. A.D. 155, and by that time all four Gospels were recognized as being authoritative and having unique authority. Twenty-five years later we have Irenaeus treating the number four as not only appropriate but necessary; there must be four Gospels, neither more nor less. Evidently Irenaeus had never known a time when the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not generally accepted. That carries us back beyond the probable date of Hermas.

Within ten years of the publication of St Mark’s Gospel, that which bears the name of St Matthew was given to the world; and within twenty years that which rightly bears the name of St Luke was published. The result was comparative neglect of Mark. The Gospel acc. to St Matthew quickly drove Mark almost into oblivion; and the neglect of Mark became still more complete after St Luke’s Gospel appeared. Although Luke did not attain to the popularity which Matthew enjoyed, yet it at once became far more popular than Mark. That Matthew and Luke should be preferred to Mark was inevitable. They contained nearly everything that Mark contained, with a great do more; and what they added to Mark was just what was not precious, viz. records of what the Lord had said. That Matthew should be preferred to either Mark or Luke was also inevitable, for it was believed to have been written by an Apostle, whereas it was known that St Mark and St Luke were not Apostles.

The depreciation of Mark seems to have arisen early. Presbyter (see p. xvi) is evidently answering objections. He quotes the high authority of the Presbyter John in answer to criticisms that had been passed on Mark, viz. that he was wanting in fullness and accuracy. The mistaken view that Mark is a mere abbreviation of Matthew seems to have arisen early; and when this error received the weighty sanction of Augustine, it was adopted without question. This of course helped to throw Mark into the background, for of what value was a greatly abbreviated copy of Matthew, when the complete Gospel was to be obtained as easily? Indeed, more easily; for copies of Matthew were more numerous than copies of Mark. Evidence of the preference for Matthew is abundant. One has only to look at the number of references to Matthew in any early writer and compare it with the references to Mark, and even with those to Luke, to see how much more frequently Matthew is quoted. Tertullian is a partial exception with regard to Luke. In his treatise against Marcion he goes through Luke almost verse by verse, and therefore in his writings the references to Luke slightly exceed the references to Matthew. But his references to Mark are only about a tenth of his references to either Matthew or Luke. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that at one time Mark was in danger of being lost as completely as that other document which was used by both Matthew and Luke side by side with Mark, the document which is now called Q. That was regarded as valueless after its contents had become embedded in Matthew and Luke, and no copy of it survives. Not even the fact, if it be a fact, that it was written by the Apostle Matthew saved it from perishing of neglect. And we may suppose that it was mainly because Mark was believed to be in substance the Gospel according to St Peter, that Mark did not suffer the same fate. It is not an unreasonable conjecture that St Mark’s autograph was preserved with so little care that it lost its last portion, and hence the abrupt termination at Mark 16:8.

In different MSS. and catalogues the order in which the four Gospels are placed varies considerably. The common order is probably meant to be chronological, for it was believed that Matthew was written first. Irenaeus states this erroneous opinion as a fact. Often in lists the two Gospels which were attributed to Apostles were placed first, either Matthew, John, or John, Matthew; and after them were placed those which were not written by Apostles, Mark, Luke, or Luke, Mark. But in no arrangement is Mark ever placed first in the quaternion.

Another fact seems to show that Mark appeared to the primitive Church to be not only a defective, but also a perplexing Gospel; and a perplexing book is not likely to be popular. Christian students seem to have found a difficulty in deciding as to the distinctive character of St Mark’s Gospel, Irenaeus and other writers make the four Cherubim in Ezekiel 1:5-10, and the four Living Creatures in Revelation 4:6-8, symbols of the four Gospels, but they do not always agree as to which Living Creature is the best representative of the respective Evangelists. The Man is generally assigned to Matthew, the Ox to Luke, and the Eagle to John, while the assignment of the Lion varies. But every one of the four symbols is by one writer or another assigned to Mark. Evidently there was something puzzling in the simplicity and objectivity of his Gospel, for no symbol seemed quite clearly to represent it to the exclusion of any other symbol. Its inestimable value as contemporary evidence, free from speculative or doctrinal colouring, was not understood. While the refusal to put it in its proper place as first among the four Gospels is intelligible, perhaps the giving to it each of the evangelical emblems in turn may be justified. It is in this primitive record that the elements of what each of these emblems represents can be found.



This question is simply the question of the genuineness of the alternative endings. That from Mark 1:1 to Mark 16:8 we have the Gospel almost as the Evangelist wrote it, need not be doubted. Here and there a doubt may reasonably be raised as to the genuineness of a few words, and these cases are pointed out in the critical notes; but, as has been stated in Ch. 2 of this Introduction, we have no sufficient grounds for supposing that considerable additions to the original Gospel have been made by subsequent editors. In discussing the integrity of our Gospel acc. to St Mark we may confine ourselves to the last twelve verses found in our Bibles (Mark 16:9-20) and to the much shorter duplicate found in four uncial MSS., two of which are mere fragments. That neither of these endings is part of the original Gospel is one of those sure results of modern criticism which ought no longer to need to be proved. Few who have even a moderate acquaintance with the subject would care to maintain the text about the Three Heavenly Witnesses, or the paragraph about the Woman taken in Adultery, or the words about the Angel troubling the water at the pool of Bethesda, as genuine portions of the writings in which they are found; and the same ought to be true of the existing endings of Mark. It is true of the shorter ending, for no one defends that as even possibly genuine; and we may hope that the time is near when it will be equally true of the longer and much more familiar ending.

The shorter ending may be dismissed with few words. It is found in Fragm. Sinaiticum (7th cent.), Fragm. Parisiense (8th cent.), Codex Regius, [2] (8th cent.), and Codex Athous Laurae, [3] (8th or 9th cent.). In all four MSS. it is given not as a substitute for the familiar ending, but as an alternative to it, and in front of it, between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9. The archetype of the first three of these MSS. evidently ended at Mark 16:8 with the words ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ, for in each MS. there is a break and a few words are inserted between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9. This shows that the scribes knew of the two endings and thought both of them worth preserving; also that they thought the shorter ending preferable to the longer one, which is not surprising, for the shorter fits the rough edge of Mark 16:8, whereas the longer one does not. In [4] there is no break after Mark 16:8, and it was probably copied from a MS. which had the shorter ending only. The Old Latin k (Bobiensis) is the only witness which has the shorter ending as the only ending to Mark. In all four of the Greek MSS. there is a note separating the shorter from the longer ending; but in several MSS. of the Ethiopic Version the shorter is found between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9, without any separation. It is also found in the margin of one cursive [274], of Syr.-Hark., and of two MSS. of the Memphitic or Bohairic Version.

According to the best attested text the wording runs thus:

Πάντα δὲ τὰ παρηγγελμένα τοῖς περὶ τὸν Πέτρον συντόμως ἐξήγγειλαν. ΄ετὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς καὶ ἄχρι δύσεως ἐξαπέστειλεν διʼ αὐτῶν τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ ἄφθαρτον κήρυγμα τῆς αἰωνίου σωτηρίας.

“And they reported briefly to Peter and his friends all the things they were charged to tell. And after these things Jesus Himself sent forth through them from the East even to the West the holy and incorruptible message of eternal salvation.”

This was evidently written as an ending, to finish the unfinished Gospel. Some scribe, feeling that ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ was intolerably abrupt as a last word, and that readers ought to be told that the women obeyed the Angel’s command, added these few lines. It has little resemblance to anything in N.T., but the preface to Luke may be compared, i.e. the next four verses in the Bible. It is not certain that τοῖς περὶ τὸν Πἐτρον means more than Peter. In late Greek οἱ περί τινα may mean simply the man himself.

For Fragm. Sinaiticum, see Biblical Fragments edited by J. R. Harris; for Fragm. Parisiense, Amélineau, Notices et Extraits; for Cod. [5] see the facsimile in Burgon, Last Twelve Verses, p. 112; for Cod. [6] see Gregory, Prolegomena, p. 445; for the Memphitic, Sanday, Appendices ad N.T., p. 187. Swete gives the text of the four Greek MSS. in full.

The longer ending, as we have it in our Bibles, requires a longer discussion, because the strength of the case against the genuineness of the familiar words is still very imperfectly known, and because the other side has been fiercely defended by Burgon, and is still upheld as correct by Scrivener-Miller, Belser, and some others. It is perhaps worth while to state at the outset the judgment of some leading scholars. Tischendorf expunges the passage altogether. Alford, Tregelles, and Westcott and Hort emphatically reject it, separating it from the true text of the Gospel, with or without strong brackets as a mark of spuriousness. Lightfoot (On Revision, p. 28) discards it and thinks that placing it in brackets is the best way to treat it. Bruce, Credner, Ewald, Fritzsche, Keim, G. Milligan, Nestle, Schaff, B. Weiss, J. Weiss, A. Wright, and others, decide against it. Gould (p. 302), after summarizing the external evidence against the genuineness, says “But the internal evidence is much stronger than the external, proving conclusively that these verses could not have been written by Mark.” Moffatt (Introd. to the Lit. of N.T. p. 240) considers that we have “overwhelming proof from textual criticism, stylistic considerations, and internal contents, that this condensed and secondary fragment was not the Marcan conclusion.” Jülicher (Introd. to N.T. p. 328) says that the “only passage in the existing text of Mark that we must unconditionally reject is Mark 16:9-20.” So also Warfield (Textual Criticism, p. 203): “The combined force of external and internal evidence excludes this section from a place in Mark’s Gospel quite independently of the critic’s ability to account for the unfinished look of Mark’s Gospel as it is left, or for the origin of the section itself.” Swete (p. cxiii): “When we add to these defects in the external evidence the internal characteristics which distinguish these verses from the rest of the Gospel, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that they belong to another work, whether that of Aristion or of some unknown writer of the first century.” Zahn (Introd. to N.T. II. 467) calls the decision against the genuineness of the verses “one of the most certain of critical conclusions.” To these must be added those scholars who have adopted the conjecture of F. C. Conybeare, based on a statement in an Armenian MS. of A.D. 986, that these twelve verses were written by Aristion, who is mentioned by Papias as one of the disciples of the Lord. In this he has been followed by Chapman, Eck, Harnack, Lisco, Mader, Rohrbach, and Sanday.

When we examine the external evidence, the question seems at once to be decided in favour of the disputed twelve verses. With the exception of the four MSS. already mentioned which have the shorter ending between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9, and two other uncial MSS. which end at ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ, the longer ending follows Mark 16:8, without a break, in every known Greek MS. It is also found in seven representatives of the Old Latin (c ff g l n o q), in Syr.-Cur., in the Memphitic and the Gothic. Finally, the earliest Christian writings which exhibit clear evidence of the influence of Mark exhibit evidence that these verses were accepted as belonging to the Gospel. Irenaeus (III. x. 6) expressly quotes Mark 16:19 as being found at the end of Mark. “In fine autem evangelii ait Marcus; Et quidem Dominus Jesus, postquam locutus est eis, receptus est in caelos, et sedet ad dexteram Dei”; which Irenaeus regards as a fulfilment of Psalms 110:1. This external testimony to the genuineness of the twelve verses seems to be not only conclusive, but superabundant. On the strength of this evidence the passage has been defended by Bleek, Burgon, Cook, De Wette, Eichhorn, Lange, E. Miller, McClellan, Morison, Olshausen, Salmon, Scrivener, Wordsworth, and others.

And yet even this strong documentary evidence is very seriously shaken when we notice that the two uncial MSS. which end at ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ are by far the best that we possess, the Vaticanus ([7] and the Sinaiticus ([8]). When they agree, they are rarely wrong, and when they agree and are supported by other good witnesses, they are very rarely wrong. Here they are supported by Syr.-Sin., by the oldest MSS. of the Armenian and Ethiopic Versions, and by all the witnesses mentioned above which either place the shorter ending between ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ and the longer ending, or (as k) omit the longer ending altogether. Eusebius (Ad Marinum) says that the longer ending was not in the “accurate copies,” which ended at ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ: “For at this point the end of the Gospel according to Mark is determined in nearly all the copies of the Gospel according to Mark; whereas what follows, being but scantily current, in some but not in all (copies), will be redundant, and especially if it should contain a contradiction to the testimony of the other Evangelists.” There is reason for suspecting that Eusebius is here reproducing some earlier writer, probably Origen, and in that case his evidence is greatly increased in weight. It is quite certain that this statement of Eusebius, whether borrowed or not, is reproduced almost word for word by Jerome in his letter to Hedibia (Ep. 120), written at Bethlehem A.D. 406 or 407. In it he says that “nearly all Greek MSS. have not got this passage”; and he would hardly have reproduced this statement of Eusebius without comment, if his own experience had shown him that nearly all Greek MSS. had the passage. It is also the fact that Victor of Antioch ends his commentary at Mark 16:8. “On all the weighty matter contained in Mark 16:9-20 Victor is entirely silent; Mark 16:9-20 must have been absent from his copy of the Gospel” (WH. App. p. 34).

There is also the argument of silence, which needs to be carefully handled, for in some cases the silence may be accidental, owing to the loss of writings in which the passage was handled, or owing to the fact that the writer never had occasion to make use of the passage. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Basil, both Gregorys, both Cyrils, and Theodoret, in no writing quote these verses, although some of them must have known of their existence. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. A.D. 350), when lecturing on the session at the right hand of the Father, quotes eleven passages from N.T., but does not quote Mark 16:19. Among the early Latin Fathers, Tertullian and Cyprian exhibit no knowledge of these verses, and the same is true of Lucifer and Hilary.

But if the strong external evidence which favours the twelve verses is shaken by other documentary evidence, which tells heavily against them, it is completely shattered by the internal evidence, which by itself would be decisive.

The twelve verses not only do not belong to Mark, they quite clearly belong to some other document. While Mark has no proper ending, these verses have no proper beginning. They imply that something has preceded, and that something is not found in Mark 16:1-8 or anywhere else in the Gospel; Ἀναστὰς ἐφάνη implies that “Jesus” has immediately preceded; but in Mark 16:8 He is not mentioned. On the other hand, in the narrative immediately preceding the twelve verses, Mary Magdalen is mentioned three times (Mark 15:40; Mark 15:47, Mark 16:1) as a well-known person, yet in the first of these verses she is named as a new personage who needs to be described as one ‘from whom He had cast out seven devils.’

Not only does Mark 16:9 not fit on to Mark 16:8, but the texture of what follows is quite different from the texture of what precedes. A piece torn from a bit of satin is appended to the torn end of a roll of homespun. Instead of short paragraphs linked quite simply by καί, we have a carefully arranged series of statements, each with its proper introductory expression, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα, ὕστερον δέὁ μὲν οὖν, ἐκεῖνοι δέ. Other expressions, utterly unlike Mark, are pointed out in the notes, and some are not found elsewhere in N.T. “Both sides of the juncture alike cry out against the possibility of an original continuity” (WH. App. p. 51).

These considerations and conclusions remain unshaken by the interesting numerical facts pointed out by Professor Albert C. Clark in his Essay on The Primitive Text of the Gospels and Acts (Oxford, 1914). They show that the twelve verses were appended as a conclusion to the unfinished Second Gospel, without the shorter ending between them and Mark 16:8, at a very early date; but they prove nothing as to the genuineness of either ending.

This result does not imply that the verses are devoid of authority. They do not at all resemble the shorter conclusion in being evidently the composition of some scribe who desired to give a better conclusion to the Gospel. They were added to the Gospel so early as an appendix, that their composition as an independent document must have been very early indeed; and they probably embody primitive traditions, some of which may be Apostolic. The name of the writer of them is given in an Armenian MS. of the Gospels, discovered by F. C. Conybeare in the Patriarchal Library at Edschmiatzin in November 1891. The MS. is dated A.D. 986, and these twelve verses are preceded by a note in the handwriting of the writer of the MS., “Of the presbyter Ariston.” It is thought that the note may be correct, and that the presbyter in question is the same as Aristion, whom Papias mentions as a disciple of the Lord.



The authorities for the text are various and abundant. They are classified under three main heads: [1] Greek MSS., [2] Ancient Versions, [3] Quotations from the Fathers and other writers. In each of these three classes, the earlier witnesses are, as a rule, more valuable than the later ones. But this rule is liable to considerable modification in particular cases. A MS. of the 8th or 9th century may be more important than one of the 6th or 7th, because it has been copied from a MS. with a better text. The value of a version depends less upon the date at which it was made than upon the type of text from which it was taken. Similarly, quotations from the writings of a Father who exercised discrimination as to the MSS. which he used, e.g. Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, are more valuable than quotations from earlier writers who exhibit no such care. With regard to this third kind of evidence another consideration has to be weighed. Unless there is a critical edition of the Father whose quotation of Scripture is quoted, we cannot rely upon the wording of the quotation. Scribes in copying the writings of the Fathers freely altered the wording of quotations, whenever it differed from the wording with which they were familiar; and they put into the copies which they made the readings which were current instead of those actually used by the Father whose works they were copying. In some cases the comment made by the Father shows the reading which he knew, and perhaps had adopted in preference to some other reading which he knew, but such cases are exceptional. In other cases a quotation of a Father which agrees with the ordinary text is of much less weight than one which differs from it. Again, the Fathers generally quoted from memory, the process of consulting a MS. being difficult, and the same text is sometimes quoted by a writer in more than one form. It is only when a Father quotes a long passage, which must have been copied from a MS., that we can put much confidence in the wording. Once more, in the Gospels the Fathers sometimes used, not a MS. of any one Gospel, but a harmony of all four, and then the wording of different Gospels becomes mixed, and what the writer quotes as Matthew is really a blend of two or three Gospels. Nevertheless, in spite of these drawbacks, quotations from the Fathers are of great value, especially in determining the place in which a certain type of text prevailed; e.g. readings found chiefly in Tertullian and Cyprian tell us of a text which prevailed in Africa; readings found chiefly in Clement, Origen, and Cyril tell us of a text which prevailed in Alexandria, and that text is still a difficult problem. There is no pure Alexandrian text; it is mixed with elements which are called “Neutral,” because they belong to no one locality more than another, and therefore seem to be nearest to the readings of the autographs. Its chief representatives are [9] and [10] with the Memphitic or Bohairic Version and many quotations in Origen. [11] is perhaps the chief representative of the Alexandrian elements which are not Neutral. To [12] may be added [13] and many quotations in Origen. But the text which rivals the Neutral in claiming to be nearest to the autographs is that which is called “Western,” because it came to prevail chiefly in Latin writers in the West, but the name is unsatisfactory, for some of its early representatives do not belong to the West. These are [14] Old Syriac and Old Latin, and quotations in Irenaeus, Tertullian and Cyprian. It remains very doubtful whether the text which is supported by these authorities is really nearer to the autographs than that which is supported by [15]16]] Memph. and Orig.

The Greek MSS

These are divided into two classes, Uncials or Majuscules, and Cursives or Minuscules. Uncials are written in capital letters, and each letter is separate, but the words, as a rule, are not separate. Cursives are written in a running hand, the words separate, but the letters in each word connected as in modern writing. The common idea that, after some centuries of uncial writing, cursive writing gradually supplanted it, is only partly true. From very early times there was cursive writing, but it was not used for literary purposes, and hence was called “private.” Books were written and copied in uncial letters; but for correspondence, and business or household purposes, a cursive hand was used. This, as being so much more convenient, was at last used for literary purposes. Hence some prefer to call cursive MSS. of Scripture “minuscules,” because “cursive” might mean the running private hand which is as old as the earliest MSS. of Scripture. There are two or three thousand cursive MSS. of different parts of Scripture. Only one of them is quoted in these notes, No. 33, which Eichhorn called “the queen of the cursives.” It is of the 9th cent. and is at Paris. It has been copied from some excellent archetype.

Uncial MSS

The word “uncial” comes from Jerome’s preface to Job, in which he condemns the unnecessary size of the letters in some MSS. in his time. Books were written uncialibus, ut vulgo aiunt, litteris, “‘in inch-long letters,’ as people say.” Of course “inch-long” is popular exaggeration, and hence the qualifying “as people say.” The MS. called N has letters over half an inch, and capitals over an inch. The history of some of the uncial MSS. is of great interest, and in the case of the most important a few facts are here stated; but for the most part it will suffice to give the date and the portions of Mark which the MS. contains.

א. Codex Sinaiticus. 4th cent. Discovered by Tischendorf in 1859 at the Monastery of St Katharine on Mount Sinai. Now at St Petersburg. The whole Gospel, ending at Mark 16:8. Photographic facsimile, 1911.

A. Codex Alexandrinus. 5th cent. Brought by Cyril Lucar, Patriarch of Constantinople, from Alexandria, and afterwards presented by him to King Charles I. in 1628. In the British Museum. The whole Gospel. Photographic facsimile, 1879.

B. Codex Vaticanus. 4th cent., but perhaps a little later than [17]. In the Vatican Library almost since its foundation by Pope Nicolas V., and one of its greatest treasures. The whole Gospel, ending at Mark 16:8. Photographic facsimile, 1889.

C. Codex Ephraemi. 5th cent. A palimpsest: the original writing has been partially rubbed out, and the works of Ephraem the Syrian have been written over it; but a great deal of the original writing has been recovered; of Mark we have Mark 1:17 to Mark 6:31, Mark 8:5 to Mark 12:29, Mark 13:19 to Mark 16:20. In the National Library at Paris.

D. Codex Bezae. 6th cent. Has a Latin translation (d) side by side with the Greek text, and the two do not quite always agree. Presented by Beza to the University Library of Cambridge in 1581. Remarkable for its frequent divergences from other texts. Contains Mark, except Mark 16:15-20, which has been added by a later hand. Photographic facsimile, 1899.

E. Codex Basiliensis. 8th cent. At Basle.

F. Codex Boreelianus. Once in the possession of John Boreel. 9th cent. At Utrecht. Contains Mk 1–41; Mark 2:8-23; Mark 3:5 to Mark 11:6; Mark 11:27 to Mark 14:54; Mark 15:6-39; Mark 16:19-20.

G. Codex Seidelianus I. 9th or 10th cent. Contains Mark 1:13 to Mark 14:18; Mark 14:25 to Mark 16:20.

H. Codex Seidelianus II. 9th or 10th cent. Contains Mark 1:1-31; Mark 2:4 to Mark 15:43; Mark 16:14-20.

K. Codex Cyprius. 9th cent. One of the seven uncials which have the Gospels complete, the others being [18][19][20][21][22]Ω. At Paris.

L. Codex Regius. 8th cent. An important witness. At Paris. Contains Mark 1:1 to Mark 10:15; Mark 10:30 to Mark 15:1; Mark 15:20 to Mark 16:20, but the shorter ending is inserted between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9, showing that the scribe preferred it to the longer one.

M. Codex Campianus. 9th cent. At Paris. Gospels complete.

N. Codex Purpureus. 6th cent. Full text in Texts and Studies v. No. 4, 1899. Contains Mark 5:20 to Mark 7:4; Mark 7:20 to Mark 8:32; Mark 9:1 to Mark 10:43; Mark 11:7 to Mark 12:19; Mark 14:25 to Mark 15:23; Mark 15:33-42. See below on [23].

P. Codex Guelpherbytanus. 6th cent. Contains Mark 1:2-11; Mark 3:5-17; Mark 14:13-24; Mark 14:48-61; Mark 15:12-37.

S. Codex Vaticanus. 10th cent. Dated A.D. 949.

U. Codex Nanianus. 9th or 10th cent. Gospels complete.

V. Codex Mosquensis. 9th cent.

X. Codex Monacensis. 10th cent. Contains Mark 6:47 to Mark 16:20. Many verses in 14, 15, 16 are defective.

Γ. Codex Oxoniensis. 9th cent. Contains Mark, except Mark 3:35 to Mark 6:20.

Δ. Codex Sangallensis. 9th or 10th cent. Contains the Gospels nearly complete, with an interlinear Latin translation. The text of Mark is specially good, agreeing often with [24][25] At St Gall.

Π. Codex Petropolitanus. 9th cent. Gospels almost complete. Mark 16:18-20 is in a later hand.

Σ. Codex Rossanensis. 6th cent. Mark 16:14-20 is missing.

Φ. Codex Beratinus. 6th cent. Contains Mark 1:1 to Mark 14:62.

Ψ. Codex Athous Laurae. 8th cent. Like [26] and [27], it is written in silver letters on purple vellum. Contains Mark 9:5 to Mark 16:20, and, as in [28] the shorter ending is inserted between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9. As in [29], the text of Mark is specially good.

The fragments which contain the shorter ending inserted between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9 have already been mentioned (p. xliii).

Fragm. Sinaiticum. 6th cent. Contains Mark 14:29-45; Mark 15:27 to Mark 16:10.

Fragm. Parisiense. 8th cent. Contains Mark 16:6-18.

Ancient Versions

The translations of the Greek N.T. which are of the highest value are the Latin, the Syriac, and the Egyptian. But in each of these three languages we have more than one version, and these versions in the same language sometimes differ from one another as much as our Revised Version differs from the Authorized.

In the Latin Versions it will suffice to distinguish the Old Latin from the Revised Version made by Jerome and commonly called the Vulgate. The Old Latin is represented by about twenty-seven MSS. in the Gospels, very few of which contain the whole of Mark. Among these is d, the Latin translation in Codex Bezae. Codex Palatinus (e) must be mentioned as of special importance. 5th cent. Now at Vienna. It contains Mark 1:20 to Mark 4:8; Mark 4:19 to Mark 6:9; Mark 12:37-40; Mark 13:2-3; Mark 13:24-27; Mark 13:33-36. In character it agrees with Codex Bobiensis (k), already mentioned as having the shorter ending, without the longer one appended as an alternative. 4th or 5th cent. Now at Turin. Said to have belonged to St Columban, the founder of the monastery of Bobbio, A.D. 613. Contains Mark 8:8-11; Mark 8:14-16; Mark 8:19 to Mark 16:8. These two MSS. differ considerably from other representatives of the Old Latin, and show that early translations into Latin must have been made in different places, or that considerable freedom was taken in copying. While e and k represent the African translation, a, b and i represent the European, f and g the Italic. Other MSS. exhibit a mixture of texts. Hence the necessity for Jerome’s revision and for the production of a uniform Latin Version, such as the Vulgate. As will be seen from details given in the notes, the revision in many places must have been rather perfunctory. Capriciously varying translations of the same Greek words abound.

In the Syriac Versions we seem to have three stages marked, which we may call Old, Middle, and Late. The Old Syriac is represented by the Sinaitic Syriac, the Curetonian, and Tatian; the Middle or Vulgate by the Peshitta; the Late by the Philoxenian (A.D. 508) and the Harklean (A.D. 616). The latter, which is a revision of the Philoxenian, as the Philoxenian of the Peshitta, has marginal notes which are more valuable than the slavishly literal text, for the notes represent an earlier and better Greek text. Our knowledge of the Old Syriac was greatly increased in Feb. 1892, when the twin-sisters, Mrs Lewis and Mrs Gibson, discovered at the monastery of St Katharine on Mount Sinai a palimpsest containing lives of female saints under which was the Gospels. After a second visit with other scholars in 1893, and a third by the two sisters in 1895, a revised and complete translation was published by Mrs Lewis in 1896 with the original Syriac. It is certain that this version (Syr.-Sin.) is derived from the same archetype as the Curetonian (Syr.-Cur.), and both may have been made in the 5th cent. Scholars are not agreed as to which is the older of the two; but the general view seems to be that Syr.-Sin. is nearer to the archetype, and may have been made in the 4th cent. This does not exclude the possibility that in some cases Syr.-Cur. retains the original reading, while Syr.-Sin. has been corrupted. Many of the remarkable readings of the latter are quoted in the notes.

In the Egyptian Versions we have to distinguish two dialects, the Sahidic or Thebaic, belonging to southern Egypt, and the Memphitic or Bohairic, belonging to northern Egypt. The latter is far the more valuable, the text which underlies it being Neutral or Alexandrian.

The Armenian, Aethiopic, and Gothic Versions are of less importance.

Even the very moderate amount of information which is given at the beginning of each chapter, respecting differences of reading, may easily give an exaggerated idea of the amount of uncertainty which exists respecting the text of the N.T. Can we be sure that we anywhere have got what the authors dictated or penned? It is worth while to quote once more the deliberate estimate of Westcott and Hort, I. p. 561. “If comparative trivialities, such as changes of order, the insertion or omission of the article with proper names, and the like, are set aside, the words in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the N.T.” For further information the reader is referred to that work, or at least to the handbooks of C. Hammond, F. G. Kenyon, E. Nestle, and Kirsopp Lake. The last (Rivington, 1900) gives a large amount of well sifted results, and costs one shilling.

In this volume the text of Westcott and Hort has generally, but not quite exclusively, been followed. The excellently printed text of A. Souter, with brief apparatus criticus, will be found useful, and for the Vulgate the handy little volume edited by H. J. White, Oxford, 1911.



The comparative neglect of the Gospel acc. to St Mark in the first few centuries has been already pointed out. This neglect had as a natural consequence an absence of commentaries upon it. Suidas says that Chrysostom wrote on St Mark, but we know nothing of any such work.

Victor, a presbyter of Antioch, who probably lived in the 6th cent., is the compiler of the earliest commentary on Mark that has come down to us. His work consists mainly of quotations from Chrysostom on St Matthew and from Origen, with occasional extracts from Basil, Apollinaris, Cyril of Alexandria, and a few others. Yet the work is not exactly a catena, though it is often quoted as such, for he adds something of his own, and he rarely gives the names of the writers whose words he adopts. It was first published in Rome in 1673 by Possinus in the Catena Graecorum Patrum in ev. sec. Marcum. It must have been very popular in the East, for it exists in more than fifty MSS. of the Gospels. It is often quoted in the commentaries of E. Klostermann, Lagrange, and Swete, all of which have been used in producing the present volume, the last two being the best that exist in French and in English respectively. Particulars will be found in Burgon, Last Twelve Verses of St Mark, pp. 60–65, 269–290.

Next comes the commentary of the Venerable Bede, who died on the Eve of the Ascension, A.D. 735. Migne, P.L. xcii.; Giles, xi.; ed. Colon. 1612, v. He thus describes his own work: “I have made it my business, for the use of me and mine, briefly to compile out of works of the venerable Fathers, and to interpret according to their meaning (adding somewhat of my own) these following pieces”—and then follows a list of his writings (H. E. sub fin). He says much the same in the Preface to St Mark. It is the added “something of his own” that is often the most attractive element. The reader will judge from the quotations in these notes.

Theophylact, Archbishop of Achridia (Ochrida) in Bulgaria (1071–1078). Migne, P.G. cxiii. If Chrysostom wrote on Mark, we probably have a good deal of him in Theophylact, who makes much use of Chrysostom elsewhere; but it is likely that, in this Gospel, we have a larger proportion of Theophylact’s own excellent comments.

Euthymius Zigabenus, a monk of Constantinople, died late than A.D. 1118. Migne, P.G. cxxix. He also is largely dependent on Chrysostom. His commentary on Mark is meagre, for he usually contents himself with a reference to his notes on Matthew. But where Mark is alone or differs from Matthew, we get some valuable comments. His terseness is not unlike that of Bengel.

Joannes Maldonatus, a Spanish Jesuit, died 1583. Very good of its kind. He rarely shirks a difficulty, though his solutions are not always tenable.

Cornelius a Lapide (van Stein), a Jesuit, died 1637. Voluminous including allegory and legend; often edifying but sometimes puerile.

Bengel, died 1751. His Gnomon N.T. is a masterpiece of insight and terseness. Eng. tr. Clark, 1857.

Wetstein, died 1754. His N.T. Graecum is a monument of criticism and learning. His abundant illustrations have been largely used by subsequent commentators.

Among the best modern commentaries on Mark are—in English, Alford, 5th ed. 1863; Morison, 1873; G. A. Chadwick, in the Expositor’s Bible, 1887; Gould, in the International Critical Commentary, 1896; Bruce, in the Expositor’s Greek Testament, 1897; Menzies, 1901; Swete, 2nd ed. 1902. The last is indispensable to all who read Greek.

In German, De Wette, 1839; Schanz, 1881; B. and J. Weiss, in the 8th ed. of Meyer, 1892; Holtzmann, in the Hand-commentar, 1892; E. Klostermann, in the Handbuch zum N.T., 1907; Wohlenberg, in Zahn’s Comm., 1910.

In French, Lagrange, 1911, of great excellence, especially in his criticism of Loisy.

Other works of great usefulness are—Abbott and Rushbrooke, The Common Tradition of the Synoptic Gospels, 1884; Deissmann, Bible Studies, 1901; Dalman, The Words of Jesus, 1902; Arthur Wright, A Synopsis of the Gospels in Greek, 2nd ed. 1903; Stanton The Gospels as Historical Documents, 1903, 1909; Burkitt, The Gospel History and its Transmission, 1906, The Earliest Sources for the Life of Jesus, 1910; Sir John Hawkins, Horae Synopticae, 2nd ed. 1909; J. M. Thompson, The Synoptic Gospels in Parallel Columns, 1910; Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 1906, 1908.


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Mark:4 Overview". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". 1896.

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