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ST. MARK WRITES HIS GOSPEL-CHAP. X.
Julian Pe- for his having written his Gospel about this time, at the rc- Jerusalem. riod, 4756. quest, and for the use of the converts in that city. It will appear, Vulgar Era, I think, that the internal evidence arising from the Gospel
itself, and from the concurrent testimony of the fathers of the
Michaelis has collected, in a very perspicuous manner, the
"Further, as St. Mark wrote for the immediate use of the Romans, he sometimes gives explanations which were necessary for foreigners, though not for the inhabitants of Palestine. For instance, chap. vii. 2. he explains the meaning of kavaïs xepoi: and ver. 11. of Kopbav. In the same chapter, ver. 3, 4. he gives a description of some Jewish customs; and chap. xv. 42. he explains the meaning of wapaσKEVŋ. At chap. xvi. 21. he mentions that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus, a circumstance not mentioned by the other Evangelists; but to St. Mark's readers the circumstance was interesting, because Rufus was at that time in Rome, as appears from Rom. xvi. 13. See also Wetstein's notes to chap. vii. 26. xi. 22."
St. Mark has more Latin words than the other evangelists: and these numerous Latinisms, not only show that his Gospel was composed by a person who had lived among the Latins, but also that it was written beyond the confines of Judea. That this Gospel was designed principally for Gentile believers (though we know that there were some Jewish converts in the Church at Rome), is further evident from the explanations introduced by the Evangelist, which would have been unnecessary, if he had written for Hebrew Christians exclusively. Thus, the first time the Jordan is mentioned, the appellation "river," is added to the name, (Mark i. 5.) and instead of the word mammon, he uses the common term xonpara, "riches." Again, the word Gehenna, which in our version is translated hell, (ix. 43.) ori
Julian Pe- ginally signified the valley of Hinnom, where infants had been Jerusalem. riod, 4756. sacrificed by fire to Moloch, and where a continual fire was Vulgar Era, aferwards maintained to consume the filth of Jerusalem. As about 43. this word could not have been understood by a foreigner, the Evangelist adds the words "unquenchable fire," by way of explanation. These particularities corroborate the historical evidence above cited, that St. Mark designed his Gospel for the use of Gentile Christians.
Lastly, the manner in which St. Mark relates the life of our Saviour, is an additional evidence that he wrote for Gentile Christians. His narrative is clear, exact, and concise, and his exordium is singular; for while the other Evangelists style our Saviour 'the Son of Man,' St. Mark announces him at once as the Son of God, (i. 1.) an august title, the more likely to en. gage the attention of the Romans; omitting the genealogy of Christ, his miraculous conception, the massacre of the infants at Bethlehem, and other particulars, which could not be essentially important in the eyes of foreigners.
Many things seem to prove that St. Mark's Gospel was written, or dictated, by a spectator of the actions recorded. Chap. i. 20. They left their father in the ship with the hired
i. 29. The names of James and John, omitted by Matt.
viii. 14. are mentioned.
The crowd at the door.
Comp. Matt. viii. 16.
and Luke iv. 40, 41.
His disciples seeking him when Christ had risen
The conduct of the leper after his cure.
ii. 2. The cure of the paralytic. See Matt. ix. 1. Luke
v. 18, 19.
Mr. Jones, in his work on the Canon, notices many circumstances omitted by St. Mark, which reflected honour on St. Peter. Compare Matt. xvi. 16-20. with Mark viii. 29, 30. Matt. xvii. 24-28. and Mark ix. 30-33. Luke xxii. 31, 32. John xiii. 6. and xviii. 10. compared with Mark xiv. 47. See also John xxi. 7. 15. 18, and 19.
Dr. Townson too has fully proved, from a variety of minute
Chap. iii. 5. Christ's looking round on the people. See Matt.
iii. 17. The names omitted by the other Evangelists are
iii. 21. This is peculiar to St. Mark.
iv. 26. Parable of the growing corn, so applicable to
iv. 34. Compared with Matt. xiii. 31-34.
iv. 36. St. Mark relates the cause of our Lord's sleep in
"Other little ships" with them.
iv. 38. He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on
a pillow, are omitted by the others.
The particularities mentioned by St. Mark in his account of the Gadarene dæmoniacs, see Matt. viii. 28-34. Mark v. 1-19. Luke viii. 26-39.-The number of the swine-the mentioning of the very words which our Lord spake to the daughter of Jairus, Talitha cumi, (chap. v. 31.)-the blind man casting
USE OF THE ROMAN CONVERTS-CHAP. X.
Julian Pe- away his garment, (chap. x. 50.)-the mentioning of the names Jerusalem. riod, 4756, of those who came to him privately, (chap. xiii. 3, 4.) all which Valgar Era, minutiæ could have been known only to a spectator and hearer
of our Lord's words and actions.
The Gospel of St. Mark contains much internal evidence that it was written at the time when the devout Gentiles were first admitted into the Church. In chap. vii. 14-23. The spirituality of the law is compared with St. Peter's address to Cornelius.
Chap. vii. 24-30. The Syrophenician women received; a Greek having faith in Christ-so Cornelius was not a Jew, but accepted.
Chap. xii. 1-12. The parable of the vineyard, descriptive of the calling of the Gentiles; the event which had now taken place.
Chap. xiii. Prediction of the fate of the temple-the reresult of the rejection of the Jews.
In chap. xiv. 24. is the expression, "My blood, which is shed for many;" which Dr. Lardner refers to the calling of the Gentiles.
Chap. iv. 30-32. The grain of mustard-seed, descriptive of the rapid progress of the Gospel which St. Mark had witnessed. Chap. xvi. 15. St. Mark, says Dr. Lardner, evidently understood the extent of the apostolic mission.
Dr. Townson observes further, in confirmation of the opinion that St. Mark wrote for the Christians at Rome. St. Mark having followed St. Matthew in saying ppayeλwoas, (Mark xv. 15.) then speaks of the prætorium: And the soldiers led him away into the hall, that is, the prætorium. Avλ, and prætorium, as here used, are synonymous terms in Greek and Latin, and denoted the palace of a governor or great man. This is certainly a better proof that he composed his Gospel at Rome, than that he composed it in Latin. For what translator, as Dr. Mill justly asks, would have rendered the Latin word "spiculator," (or speculator,) by Σπɛɛλáтwρ, which would so easily have been expressed in proper Greek? St. Mark attends to the Roman division of the day in relating our Lord's prophecy to St. Peter, (xiv. 30.) Verily I say unto thee, that this, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
St. Mark, to explain the meaning of this day, adds, even in this night; as the prediction was delivered before midnight, but fulfilled probably between two or three in the morning, these being parts of one and the same day in Judea, but not at Rome (e).
The testimony of the fathers confirms the internal evidence, that St. Mark wrote his Gospel at Rome, under the inspection of St. Peter; and that it was even dictated by that apostle, and might with great justice have been called, as it has actually been, the Gospel of St. Peter.
Eusebius, Histor. Eccles. lib. ii. c. 15. asserts that the Gospel of St. Mark was composed at Rome, in the reign of Claudius, at the request of the people in that city. He refers to Clemens, 6th book of Institutions, as his authority.
Clement of Alexandria (194,) says, that Peter's hearers at Rome intreated Mark, the follower of Peter, to leave a memorial with them of the doctrine which had been delivered to them by word of mouth, nor did they desist till they had prevailed with him (f).
Clement states that Mark's Gospel was written at Rome, at the request of the Christians there, who were hearers of Peter..
Julian Period, 4756. Vulgar Era, about 43.
Tertullian observes (200,) the Gospel of St. Mark may be Jerusalem. considered as that of St. Peter, whose interpreter he was.
Origen, Peter dictated his Gospel to him.
Eusebius (315,) Mark is said to have recorded Peter's relation
The synopsis attributed to Athanasius, fifth century, says, the
Gregory Nazianzen-Mark wrote his Gospel for the Italians,
Ebedjesu-the second Evangelist is Mark, who preached (or wrote) in Latin, in the city of Rome.
Theophylact (1070,) and Euthymius (1110,)—the Gospel of St. Mark was written at Rome, ten years after Christ's ascension. These testimonies seem to be sufficient to prove the early date of St. Mark's Gospel, and that it was probably written at Rome for the use of the proselyted Gentile converts, under the inspection of St. Peter.
There are two considerable objections to this early date of St. Mark's Gospel. One that he is said (Acts xii. 25.) to have gone to Antioch with Saul and Barnabas; the other, the allusion to the progress of the apostles, in the last verse of his Gospel. In reply to the first, it may be said that it is probable he would leave Rome immediately on hearing of the death of Herod, and arrive there at the time when Saul and Barnabas were about to return to Antioch; which event is placed by Dr. Lardner at this period. It appears from the manner in which ver. 8. of chap. xvi. so abruptly terminates, and the evident commencement of a new summing up of the evidence, that some extraordinary interruption took place while St, Mark was composing his Gospel. The verse terminates with the words ¿pobovvro yàp ; and many critics (as I have already shewn in the notes to the eighth Chapter of this arrangement,) have, from the rapid transition to the subject of the following verse, impugned the authenticity of the remaining verses of St. Mark's Gospel. I am inclined to impute this abrupt ending of the eighth verse of the sixteenth chapter, and the subsequent introduction of the contents of ver. 9. to the circumstances I have just related.
In all probability St. Mark returned to Jerusalem after the death of Herod with his unfinished Gospel; that he afterwards accompanied Saul and Barnabas, on their return to Antioch, (Acts xv. 35-37.); and after having attended the latter on his journey, he was finally settled at Alexandria, where he founded a church of great note.
We are told by Jerome-Mark, at the desire of the brethren at Rome, wrote a short Gospel, according to what he had heard related by St. Peter. Taking with him the Gospel he had composed, Mark went to Egypt, and founded a Church at Alexandria. He died in the eighth year of Nero, and was succeeded at Alexandria by Anianus.
Chrysostom-Mark wrote his Gospel in Egypt, at the request of the believers there.
Eusebius also relates of St. Mark, that he went into Egypt,
The accounts are so brief, that the exact period of his leaving
Jalian Period, 4757.
RELIEF IS SENT TO JERUSALEM-CHAP. X.
Vulgar Æra, The Converts at Antioch, being forewarned by Agabus,
to the progress of the Gospel, is supposed to be of a later date
The conclusion to which Dr. Townson has arrived, after con-
After considering the whole evidence respecting the Gospel of St. Mark, I cannot but conclude that it was written at a much earlier date than has been generally assigned to it by Protestant writers. The Gospel of St. Matthew was written in the first persecution, when the tidings of salvation were preached to the Jews only. The Gospel of St. Mark was published during the second persecution of the Christian Church, when the devout Gentiles, such as Cornelius, were appealed to. Both were mercifully adapted to these two stages of the Church's progress. The Gospel of St. Luke was addressed to the Gentiles of Asia; and that of St. John was the supplement to the rest, and completed and perfected the canon of the New Testament. Each was fitted to the condition of the Church at the time of their respective publication; and they now form unitedly one sublime and perfect system of truth, the immoveable foundation of the temple of God.
(a) Bishop Burgess' Inquiry into the Origin of the Christian Church; reprinted in the Churchman armed against the Errors of the Times, vol. i. p. 319. (b) Wetstein in loc. and Kuinoel in lib. N. T. Hist. Comment. vol. iv. p. 419. (c) Clem. Strom, lib. vi. p. 636. Cave's Historia Literaria, tom. i. p. 5. Grabes Spic. tom. i. p. 67. Ap. Lardner, vol. iii. p. 167-8. (d) That St. Peter was certainly at Rome, is fully proved by the learned Pearson, in his Dissertation de Serie, et successione Primorum Romæ Episcoporum, Diss. i. cap. vii. Romæ fuisse S. Petrum probatur veterum Testimoniis, p. 33. Cave, however, remarks upon the theory of his going to that metropolis upon the present occasion-Quod vero de hoc Romam adventu somniant, gratis omnino dictum est. Altum de eo apud veteres silentium. Silet imprimis historia apostolica, quæ de hoc aliove adventu ne verbulum habet, &c. &c.-See Cave, Historia Literaria, vol.i. p. 8. Bishop Burgess quotes with approbation the opinion of Bishop Stillingfleet, which is founded on a passage in Lactantius, that St. Peter was never at Rome till the period of his martyrdom. Stillingfleet's Origines Britannica, fol. edit. p. 48.-Barrow on the Pope's Supremacy, folio edit. p. 83. (e) See Bishop Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. p. 212.; and vol. i. chap. iv. sect. x. p. 163.-Dr. Campbell's preface to Mark, vol. ii. p. 82, 83.-Horne's Critical Introduction on Mark, -Dr. Townson's Works, vol. i. p. 151. 163. (f) Ap. Lardner's Works, vol. iii. p. 177. vol. ii. p. 552. and vol. iii. p. 179. (g) Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 16 and 24.-Ap. Lardner's Supplement to the Credibility.