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by Editor - Joseph Exell
THE four living creatures mentioned in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:10), and which reappear in a modified form in the Apocalypse of St. John (John 4:7), are interpreted by very many Christian writers to signify the fourfold Gospel, the four faces representing the four evangelists. The face of a man is supposed to denote St. Matthew, who describes the actions of our Lord more especially as to his human nature. The face of an eagle is understood to indicate St. John, who soars at once into the highest heavens, and commences his Gospel with that magnificent declaration, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Then the face of an ox symbolizes St. Luke, who commences his narrative with the priesthood of Zacharias. While, lastly, the face of a lion represents St. Mark, because he opens his Gospel with the trumpet voice, like the roaring of a lion, the loud call of the Baptist to repentance. These four carried the chariot of the gospel throughout the world, and subdued the nations to the obedience of Christ, the mighty Conqueror.
Other interesting interpretations have been suggested for these symbols; amongst them "the whole animate creation," the number four being understood to symbolize the material world, as the number three represents the Divine Being. But the former interpretation is largely supported by early Christian antiquity, and has been made familiar to us through the ages past in the representations of ancient art, both sculpture and painting.
If early testimony is to have its due weight, St. Mark wrote his Gospel in Greek, and at Rome, and apparently for Gentiles, certainly not exclusively, or in the first instance, for Jews. There are explanations given here and there in his Gospel which would be superfluous if it were written only for Jews. Jordan, when he first mentions it, is called "the river Jordan." It is true that many good authorities read "the river Jordan" in St. Matthew (Matthew 3:6); but this may have been introduced to make his Gospel more clear to those who were unacquainted with the geography of Palestine. "John's disciples and the Pharisees used to fast" (ἦσαν νηστευìοντες); literally, "were fasting." This would have been unnecessary information for Jews. "The time of figs was not yet." Every inhabitant of Palestine would have known this. St. Mark alone preserves those words of our Lord," The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath," (Mark 2:27) — a great principle, belonging to all nations alike. He alone quotes the words (Mark 11:17), "of all nations," literally (πᾶσι τοῖς ἐìθνεσιν), "for all the nations," in connection with our Lord's cleansing of the temple.
Early writers speak of St. Mark as the "interpreter" of St. Peter; by which expression it seems to be meant that he put down in writing, what he had heard orally from St. Peter, the things relating to the life of our Lord. It seems also plain that he must have had access to St. Matthew's Gospel. But he was not a mere copyist. He was an independent witness. He often supplies a sentence, detailing some little incident which he could only have received from an eye-witness, and which forms an additional link to the narrative, explaining something which had been left obscure, and filling up the picture. If we imagine St. Mark with St. Matthew's Gospel at hand, and with copious memoranda of the observations and graphic descriptions of St. Peter, together with his own peculiar gifts as a writer, and the unerring guidance of the Holy Spirit, we seem to see at once the sources of St. Mark's Gospel.
St. Mark's Gospel is the shortest of all the four Gospels; and yet there is a unity about it which, as has been well said, "quite excludes the notion that it is either a mere compendium of some richer, or an expansion of some briefer, Gospel" ('Speaker's Commentary'). The writer avails himself of all the information that he can procure; at the same time, he is an independent witness, giving, as all the sacred writers are permitted to do, the colouring of his own mind, his own "setting," so to speak, to those great truths and facts which the Holy Ghost moved him to communicate. His frequent use of the present for the aorist; his constant repetition of the word εὐθεìως, "straightway"; his employment of diminutives, and his introduction of little details, imparting freshness and light to the whole narrative; — all these and many other circumstances give to St. Mark's Gospel a character of its own, distinct from, and yet in harmony with, the rest. It is a compendium of our blessed Lord's life upon earth; but it is a compendium with a peculiar richness and originality which differences it off from the other Gospels, making us feel that if we were called upon to part with any one of the four, we certainly could not spare that of St. Mark.
Another thought which is impressed upon us by the study of this Gospel is the shortness of the time within which the amazing mystery of our redemption was actually wrought out, and the marvellous activity of the earthly life of the Son of God. St. Mark's narrative, giving for the most part the salient facts and events, without the discourses and parables which enrich the other Gospels, presents us with a comprehensive conspectus, which is of special use in its relation to the other Gospels, in which we are led rather to dwell upon the details, and to linger over the Divine words, instructive as they are, until we almost lose sight of the grand outline of the history. St. Mark, by the structure of his narrative, helps us mere readily to grasp the whole of the sublime and impressive record.
Take, for example, St. Mark's account of our Lord's ministry in Galilee. How it revolves around the familiar Lake of Gennesaret! A series of striking miracles at Capernaum and in that neighborhood, commencing with the casting out of the "unclean spirit," excites the attention of the whole Jewish population, and exalts the fame of Jesus even amongst the heathen beyond the Jewish borders, so that they flock to him from every quarter. But the miracles were only intended to challenge attention to the words of Jesus; and therefore we find him continually preaching to the dense masses on the seashore, until they thronged him so that he was obliged to direct a boat to be always in attendance upon him, into which he might retreat, and which he might use as his pulpit when the pressure of the crowd became inconveniently great. Then there is the frequent crossing over the lake to and fro, from west to east, and back from east to west — the sea itself ministering to him, gathering into a storm at his bidding, and at his bidding becoming still. Then there are the miracles and the preaching on this side and on that, amongst a Jewish population here and a Gentile population there. And then there is the jealousy of the chief priests and scribes, sent purposely from Jerusalem to watch him, and to find grounds for accusation against him, while the mass of the people recognize him as the great Prophet that should come into the world. A few short chapters suffice to exhibit all this to us, and to present us with a striking and vivid illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecy quoted by St. Matthew (Matthew 4:15, Matthew 4:16): "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up."
The connection of St. Peter with this Gospel has already been noticed; and, assuming the correctness of the supposition that St. Mark, in writing his Gospel, was to a great extent the "interpreter" of St. Peter, it is interesting to observe how the internal evidence supplied by this Gospel tends to confirm this view. Instead of being put prominently forward, as in the other Gospels, in this the Apostle Peter falls as much as possible into the background. When his name first occurs, it appears as Simon. It is not until the third chapter that he is spoken of as Peter, and then only in the simplest terms: "Simon he surnamed Peter" (Mark 3:16). In the eighth chapter, while our Lord's severe rebuke of him is recorded, there is no mention of the noble confession which he had made just before. In the fourteenth chapter, while we are informed that our Lord sent two of his disciples to prepare the Passover, the names of the two are not given, although we know from another evangelist that they were Peter and John. In the same chapter, when they were in the Garden of Gethsemane, we read that our Lord singles out Peter as one who was heavy with sleep, and applies his remonstrance specially to him, addressing him as Simon, and saying, "Simon, sleepest thou?" The particulars of this apostle's denial of Christ are, as we might expect, given also with great minuteness. The only other notice that we find of him is that message sent to him by the angel after our Lord's resurrection, "Go tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee" — a message which, while it would recall to him his sin, would also assure him of his forgiveness. Now, all this manifestly confirms the ancient traditions that St. Peter influenced the compilation of this Gospel. He had said (2 Peter 1:15), "Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance" — a sentence which shows his great anxiety that there should be a trustworthy record preserved for all future ages from the lips and pens of those who were eye-witnesses of Christ's majesty. Thus all that we read leads us to the conclusion that we have in St. Mark a faithful exponent of what St. Peter heard and saw and communicated to him; so that if we wanted another title for this Gospel, we might call it "The Gospel according to St. Peter."
1. THE LIFE OF ST. MARK THE EVANGELIST.
The name of Mark is by some supposed to be derived from the Latin "marcus," a hammer; not "marcellus," a little hammer, but "marcus," a strong hammer, able to crush the flinty rock, and thus indicative of the spiritual power wielded by the evangelist, and enabling him to break the stony hearts of the Gentiles, and to rouse them to penitence and faith and a holy life. The prae-nomen Marcus was in frequent use amongst the Romans, and often given to those who were the firstborn. Cicero was called Marcus Tullius Cicero, because he was the firstborn of his family. So St. Mark was in a spiritual sense the firstborn and well-beloved of St. Peter. "The Church that is at Babylon [literally, ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι, 'she that is in Babylon'], elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son" (1 Peter 5:13). St. Mark drew his spirit and his ardor from St. Peter. St. Peter, as his father in Christ Jesus, impressed his wisdom and holiness upon him.
Who, then, was St. Mark? He appears to have been a Hebrew by nation and of the tribe of Levi. Bede says that he was a priest after the order of Aaron. There is very good reason to believe (although Grotius, Cornelius a Lapide, and others, think differently) that he is the same person who is mentioned in the Acts (Acts 12:12, Acts 12:25) as "John whose surname is Mark." John was his original Jewish name; and Mark, his Roman prefix, was added afterwards, and gradually superseded the other name. We can trace the process of the change very clearly in the Acts and in the Epistles. We find John and John Mark in the earlier part of the Acts; hut in Acts 15:39 John disappears altogether, and in the Epistles he is always called Mark. His surname appears to have gradually taken the place of his other name, just as Paul takes the place of Saul. Then further we find him associated with St. Peter; which furnishes another evidence of his identity, as also does the fact that he was sister's son, or cousin (ἀνεψιοÌς) to Barnabas, who was himself on terms of close fellowship with St. Peter. Moreover, the general consensus of the early Church identifies John Mark with the writer of this Gospel, which Eusebius informs us was written under the eye of St. Peter. The substitution of a Roman name for his family Jewish name was probably intentional, and designed to indicate his entrance upon a new life, and to prepare him for intercourse with Gentiles, especially Romans.
Assuming, then, that "John whose surname was Mark" was the writer of this Gospel, we have the following particulars respecting him: — He was the son of a certain Mary who dwelt in Jerusalem. She appears to have been well known, and to have been in a good position. Her house was open to the friends and disciples of our Lord. It is possible that hers may have been the house where our Lord "kept the Passover" with his disciples on the night of his betrayal; perhaps the house where the disciples were gathered together on the evening of the Resurrection; perhaps the house where they received the miraculous gifts on the day of Pentecost. It was certainly the house to which Peter betook himself when he was delivered out of prison; certainly the first great center of Christian worship in Jerusalem after our Lord's ascension, and the site of the first Christian church in that city. It is probable that it was to the sacred intercourse of that home that John Mark owed his conversion, which may very probably have been delayed in consequence of his having been by birth of the family of the Jewish priesthood. It is more than probable that St. Mark, in Mark 14:51, Mark 14:52, may have been relating what happened to himself. All the details fit in with this supposition. The action corresponds with what we know of his character, which appears to have been warm-hearted and earnest, but timid and impulsive. Moreover, the linen cloth, or sindon, cast about his body, answers to his position and circumstances. It would not have been worn by a person in very humble life. Indeed, nothing but the name is wanting to complete the evidence of the identity of "John whose surname was Mark" with Mark the writer of this Gospel. It will be remembered that St. John in his Gospel evidently speaks of himself more than once without mentioning his name, calling himself" another disciple." St. Mark, if the hypothesis be correct, speaks of himself as "a young man," probably because he was not yet a disciple.
We may assume, then, that the events of that terrible night and of the following day, followed by the great event of the Resurrection, so wrought upon the mind of John Mark, that they brought him to a full acceptance of Christ and his salvation. Hence we are not surprised to find that he was chosen at an early period in the history of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 13:5) to accompany Paul and Barnabas as their minister, or attendant (ὑπηρεìτης), on their first missionary journey. But we next read of him that when they reached Perga, in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13), John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. The sacred narrative does not give the reason for this defection. Pamphylia was a wild, rough district; and St. Paul and his companions may have encountered some dangers before reaching Perga, if Strabo's account of the Pamphylians is to be relied upon. Then John Mark may have felt a longing for his mother's home at Jerusalem; and some good opportunity for leaving them may have offered itself to him at Perga, which was not far from the sea. At all events, it is consistent with what we know of his character that he should have suddenly determined to leave the apostles. However, if any unworthy motive influenced him, he soon recovered himself; for not long after, we read of his having been again associated, not indeed with Paul, but with Barnabas, his cousin, in missionary labor. Indeed, Mark was the cause of a temporary estrangement between Paul and Barnabas, although, in the providence of him who is ever bringing good out of evil, this estrangement led to a still wider diffusion of the gospel.
The next notice that we have of Mark is in St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, written by him from Rome during his first imprisonment. At the close of that letter St. Paul writes (Colossians 4:10), "There saluteth you,... Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him." It is probable that these Christians at Colosse had heard of the temporary separation of Paul and Barnabas, and of its cause; and if so, there is something very pathetic in this allusion to Mark in this Epistle. It is as though the apostle said, "You may have heard of the separation between Barnabas and myself on account of Mark. You will therefore now rejoice to know that Mark is with me, and a comfort to me, and that he sends you Christian greetings by my hand. I have already given you directions concerning him: if he come unto you, receive him." (See Wordsworth, in loc.)
Nor is this all. Later on, in his Second Epistle to Timothy, written during his second imprisonment at Rome, St. Paul (2 Timothy 4:11) desires his own son in the faith, Timothy, to come to him; and he adds, "Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is profitable to me for the ministry;" literally, "he is useful to me for ministering" (ἐìστι γαìρ μοι εὐìχρηστος εἰς διακονιìαν). It would seem as though these words had reference rather to Mark's useful qualities as an attendant (ὑπηρεìτης), though possibly the higher service may be included. This is the latest notice that we have of Mark in the New Testament. But St. Peter, writing from Babylon, perhaps about five or six years before St. Paul sent this message to Timothy, alludes to Mark as having been with him there at that time, and calls him, "Marcus my son," as has already been noticed.
It will be seen, then, from hence that Mark had close and intimate relations with both St. Peter and St. Paul; and that he was with the one apostle at Babylon, and with. the other at Rome. I am quite unable to accept the view that St. Peter, when mentioning Babylon, is referring mystically to Rome. This is not the place in which to look for figurative language. Nor is there anything remarkable in St. Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, having gone to Babylon, where we know there was a large colony of Jews, or in his having Been accompanied thither by Mark himself, also a Jew of the family of Aaron. The whole is consistent with the idea that Mark wrote his Gospel under the direction of St. Peter. Ancient writers, as Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Jerome, and others, with one consent make him the interpreter of St. Peter. Eusebius, quoting from Papias, says, "Mark, being the interpreter of St. Peter, wrote down exactly whatever things he remembered, yet not in the order in which Christ either spoke or did them; for he was neither a hearer nor a follower of our Lord, but he was afterwards a follower of St. Peter." St. Jerome says, "St. Mark, the interpreter of the Apostle St. Peter, and the first bishop of the Church of Alexandria, related what things he heard his master preaching, rather according to the truth of the facts, than according to the order of the things that were done."
St. Augustine calls Mark the "breviator" of St. Matthew, not because he made an abridgment of St. Matthew's Gospel, but because he relates more Briefly, according to what he had received from St. Peter, those things which St. Matthew relates more at length.
According to the testimony of St. Jerome, he wrote a short Gospel at Rome at the request of the brethren there; and St. Peter, when he had heard it, approved of it, and appointed it to be read in the churches by his authority. St. Jerome says, further, that St. Mark took this Gospel and went into Egypt; and, being the first preacher of Christ at Alexandria, established a Church with so much moderation of doctrine and of life, that he constrained all those who had opposed Christ to follow his example. Eusebius states that he became the first bishop of that Church, and that the catechetical school at Alexandria was founded under his authority. It is further stated that he ultimately died a martyr's death at Alexanchria. But the evidence upon this latter point is not sufficiently trustworthy.
Tradition says that the body of St. Mark was translated by certain merchants from Alexandria to Venice, A.D. 827, where he was much honored. The Venetian Senate adopted the emblem of St. Mark the lion — for their crest; and when they directed anything to be done, they affirmed that it was by the order of St. Mark.
2. OBSERVATIONS ON THE GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE LAST TWELVE VERSES OF ST. MARK'S GOSPEL.
These verses have been admitted by the Revisers of 1881 into the text, but with a space between ver. 8 and ver. 9, to show that they have received them with some degree of caution and reserve, and not without having carefully weighed the evidence on both sides. The most important features in the evidence are the following: —
1. The Evidence of Manuscripts.
(1) Of the Uncial Manuscripts. The two oldest, namely, the Sinaitio and the Vatican, omit the whole passage, but under different conditions. The Sinaitic omits the passage absolutely. The Vatican omits it, but with a space left blank between the eighth verse of Mark 16., and the beginning of St. Luke, just sufficient for its insertion; as though the writer of the manuscript, hesitating whether to omit or to insert the verses, thought it safest to leave a space for them.
But there is another and much later Uncial Manuscript (1), of about the eighth century. Of this manuscript it may be said that, although some four centuries later, it bears a strong family resemblance to the Sinaitic and the Vatican. This manuscript does not omit the passage, but it interpolates between it and the eighth verse an apocryphal addition, and then goes on with ver. 9. This addition is given at p. 538, second edition, of Dr. Scrivener's admirable work on the 'Criticism of the New Testament.'
It should be added here that there is a strong resemblance between the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts; so that practically the evidential value of these three manuscripts amounts to little more than one authority.
With these three exceptions, all the Uncial Manuscripts maintain the twelve verses in their integrity.
(2) The Cursive Manuscripts. The evidence of the Cursives is unanimous in favor of the disputed verses. It is true that some mark the passage as one of which the genuineness had been disputed. But against this there has to be set the fact that the verses are retained in all but two old manuscripts, and those two in all probability not independent. It has been dearly shown by Dean Burgon that the verses were read in the publio services of the Church in the fourth century, and probably much earlier, as shown by the ancient Evangelisteria.
2. Evidence of Ancient Versions
The most ancient versions, both of the Eastern and of the Western Churches, without a single exception, recognize this passage. Of the Eastern versions the evidence is very remarkable. The Peshito Syriac, which dates from the second century, bears witness to its genuineness; so does the Philoxenian; while the Curetonian Syriac, also very ancient, far earlier than the Sinaitic or Vatican manuscripts, bears a very singular testimony. In the only extant copy of that version, the Gospel of St. Mark is wanting, with the exception of one fragment only, and that fragment contains the last four of these disputed verses. The Coptic versions also recognize the passage.
The same may be said of the versions of the Western Church. The earlier version of the Vulgate, called the Old Italic, has it. Jerome, who used the best manuscript of the Old Italic when he prepared his Vulgate, felt himself obliged to admit this disputed passage, although he did not scruple to allege the objections to its reception, which were the same as these urged by Eusebius. The Gothic Version of Ulphilas (fourth century) has the passage from ver. 8 to ver. 12.
3. Evidence of the Early Fathers.
There are some expressions in the 'Shepherd of Hermas,' written in all probability not later than the middle of the second century, which are evidently taken from St. Mark (Mark 16:16).
Justin Martyr quotes the last two verses.
The evidence of Ireneeus is yet more striking. In one of his books ('Adv. Haer.,' 3:10) he quotes the beginning and the end of St. Mark's Gospel in the same passage, in the latter part of which he says, "But in the end of his Gospel Mark saith, 'And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God,' confirming what was said by the prophet, 'The Lord saith unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.'"
This evidence of Irenaeus is conclusive as to the fact that in his time there was no doubt as to the genuineness and authenticity of the passage in Asia Minor, in Gaul, or in Italy.
There yet remains the question of internal evidence.
Now, to begin with. If it is assumed that St. Mark's Gospel ended at the close of ver. 8, the abruptness of the conclusion is very stalking in the English, and still more so in the Greek (ἐφοβοῦντο γαìρ). It seems scarcely possible to suppose that it could have ended here. Renan says on this point, "On ne peut guere admettre que le texte primitif finit d'une maniere aussi abrupte."
On the other hand, having regard to the mode in which St. Mark opens his Gospel, we might suppose that he would condense at the close as he condenses at the beginning. The first year of our Lord's ministry is disposed of very briefly; we might, therefore, expect a rapid and compendious conclusion. Two or three important evidences of our Lord's resurrection are concisely stated; then, without any break, but where the reader must supply an interval, he is transported into Galilee. St. Mark had already recorded the words of Christ (Mark 14:28), "But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee." How natural, therefore, that he should refer in some way to our Lord's presence in Galilee after his resurrection; which he does in the most effective manner by quoting the words which St. Matthew (Matthew 27:16, etc.) tells us were spoken by him in Galilee. Then another stride from Galilee to Bethany, to the last earthly scene of all the Ascension. The whole is eminently characteristic of St. Mark. His Gospel ends, as we might expect it to end, from the character of its beginning. On the whole, the evidence as to the genuineness and authenticity of this passage seems irresistible.
III. ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS OF ST. MARK'S GOSPEL.
Mark 1:1-8 — Preaching of John the Baptist.
Mark 1:9-11 — Baptism of Jesus by John.
Mark 1:12, Mark 1:13 — Temptation of our Lord in the wilderness.
Mark 1:14, Mark 1:15 — Commencement of our Lord's public ministry.
Mark 1:16-18 — Call of Andrew and Simon.
Mark 1:19, Mark 1:20 — Call of James and John, sons of Zebedee.
Mark 1:21, Mark 1:22 — Our Lord preaches in the synagogue at Capernaum.
Mark 1:23-28 — The casting out of the unclean spirit in the synagogue.
Mark 1:29-34 — The healing of Simon's wife's mother, and many others.
Mark 1:35-37 — Retirement of our Lord for prayer.
Mark 1:38, Mark 1:39 — Missionary circuit throughout Galilee.
Mark 1:40-45 — Healing of a leper.
Mark 2:1-12 — Christ heals the paralytic at Capernaum.
Mark 2:13-17 — The call of Levi.
Mark 2:18-22 — Discourse with the Pharisees about fasting.
Mark 2:23-28 — The disciples pluck the ears of corn on the sabbath.
Mark 3:1-6 — The healing of the man whose hand was withered. The malice of the Pharisees and Herodians.
Mark 3:7-12 — Jesus withdraws to the sea, followed by a great multitude. A little boat waits upon him because of the crowd. He performs many miracles.
Mark 3:13-19 — Jesus goes into the mountain, and there appoints the twelve to be his apostles.
Mark 3:20-30 — Jesus returns to Capernaum. He is again thronged by a multitude. His friends come to lay hold of him. His miracles are ascribed to Beelzebub by his enemies. He warns them of the danger of resisting the Holy Spirit.
Mark 3:31-35 — His mother and his brethren come seeking him.
Mark 4:1-20 — The parable of the sower, and its explanation.
Mark 4:21-25 — Further discourse on the responsibility of hearing.
Mark 4:26-29 — Parable of the seed growing secretly.
Mark 4:30-34 — Parable of the grain of mustard seed.
Mark 4:35-41 — Our Lord stills the tempest, as he crosses the sea to the country of the Gerasenes.
Mark 5:1-20 — On landing on the eastern coast, our Lord is met by a man who is possessed. Our Lord heals him, and suffers the dispossessed evil spirits to enter into a herd of swine.
Mark 5:21-24 — Our Lord crosses over again to the western shore, where he is met by Jairus, who seeks healing for his little daughter.
Mark 5:25-34 — On his way to the house of Jairus he heals a woman with an issue of blood.
Mark 5:35-43 — He enters the house of Jairus, and raises to life again his daughter now dead.
Mark 6:1-6 — Our Lord visits Nazareth, where, being met with unbelief, he works but few miracles. He leaves Nazareth, and makes another missionary circuit.
Mark 6:7-13 — He now sends forth the twelve whom he had already appointed, and gives them instructions for their mission.
Mark 6:14-29 — Herod the tetrarch hears of the fame of Jesus. The account of the death of John the Baptist.
Mark 6:30-44 — Our Lord and his disciples again cross the sea, and are met by a great multitude. The five thousand are miraculously fed.
Mark 6:45-52 — Our Lord walks on the sea, and stills the tempest.
Mark 6:53-56 — Our Lord and his disciples reach the country of Gennesaret, where they are again met by great numbers wherever they go; and he heals many.
Mark 7:1-13 — The complaint of the Pharisees and scribes against the disciples for eating bread with unwashen hands. The traditions of the elders.
Mark 7:14-23 — The true sources of defilement.
Mark 7:24-30 — The Syro-phoenician woman.
Mark 7:31-37 — The healing of the deaf and dumb.
Mark 8:1-10 — The feeding of the four thousand.
Mark 8:11-13 — The Pharisees demand a sign from heaven.
Mark 8:14-21 — The leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.
Mark 8:22-26 — The healing of the blind man at Bethsaida.
Mark 8:27-33 — Simon Peter's confession. Our Lord rebukes him.
Mark 8:34-38 — The value of the soul.
Mark 9:1-13 — The Transfiguration.
Mark 9:14-29 — The healing of the epileptic child.
Mark 9:30-32 — Our Lord predicts his sufferings and death.
Mark 9:33-37 — Our Lord teaches the lesson of humility.
Mark 9:38-42 — How the disciples were to treat those who did miracles in Christ's Name, and yet followed him not. The danger of offending any who believed in him.
Mark 9:43-50 — Pain preferable to sin.
Mark 10:1-12 — On divorce.
Mark 10:13-16 — Little children brought to Christ.
Mark 10:17-31 — The rich young man.
Mark 10:32-34 — Christ again, predicts his sufferings and death.
Mark 10:35-45 — The request of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.
Mark 10:46-52 — Blind Bartinaeus receives his sight.
Mark 11:1-11 — The triumphant entry into Jerusalem-
Mark 11:12-14 — The cursing of the fig tree.
Mark 11:15-19 — The casting out of the profaners of the temple.
Mark 11:20-26 — The withered fig tree and its lessons.
Mark 11:27-33 — Jesus questioned by the chief priests as to his authority.
Mark 12:1-12 — The vineyard and the husbandmen.
Mark 12:13-17 — The tribute money.
Mark 12:18-27 — Christ reasons with the Sadducees.
Mark 12:28-34 — The first and great commandment.
Mark 12:35-40 — Christ warns the people against the scrims.
Mark 12:41-44 — The poor widow and her two mites.
Mark 13:1-34 — The destruction of the temple and the calamities of the Jews foretold.
Mark 13:35-37 — Exhortation and watchfulness.
Mark 14:1-9 — The anointing of our Lord at Bethany.
Mark 14:10, Mark 14:11 — The betrayal.
Mark 14:12-26 — The institution of the Lord's Supper.
Mark 14:27-31 — Our Lord's warning to his disciples, that they would forsake him when he was delivered up.
Mark 14:32-42 — The agony in the garden.
Mark 14:42-50 — Our Lord delivered up.
Mark 14:51, Mark 14:52 — The young man who fled naked.
Mark 14:53-65 — Our Lord arraigned before the high priest.
Mark 14:66-72 — Peter's threefold denial.
Mark 15:1-15 — Our Lord arraigned before Pilate, and condemned to be crucified.
Mark 15:16-36 — Our Lord mocked and crucified.
Mark 15:37-39 — The death of Christ.
Mark 15:40, Mark 15:41 — The ministering women from Galilee.
Mark 15:42-47 — The burial of Christ.
Mark 16:1-8 — Visit of the women to the empty tomb, and the appearance to them of an angel.
Mark 16:9-11 — Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene.
Mark 16:12, Mark 16:13 — Christ's appearance to two others.
Mark 16:14 — Christ's appearance to the eleven.
Mark 16:15-18 — Christ's last command to his apostles.
Mark 16:19 — Christ's ascension.
Mark 16:20 — The apostles go forth to preach, and with power to work miracles in proof of their mission.
Papias; Irenaeus; Tertullian; Origen; Clemens Alexandrinus; Ensebius; Jerome; Gregory; Augustine; Chrysostom; Cornelius a Lapide; the 'Catena Aurea' of Aquinas; Joseph Mede; Dr John Lightfoot; Bengel's 'Gnomon;' Dean Alford; Bishop Wordsworth; Meyer; Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine;' 'Speakers"Commentary;' Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible;' Dr. Morison's 'Commentary on St. Mark' (3rd edit.); Dr. Scrivener on the Criticism of the New Testament; Dean Burgon on the last twelve verses of St. Mark's Gospel
the Second Week of Advent