HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

WHO WROTE MARK?

Mark’s Gospel is the simplest and the least elaborate of the gospels which gives it a deceptive aura of authenticity.  Jesus in this gospel only uses parables to teach the crowds, "He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone" (Mark 4:34).  That is why Mark has no Sermon on the Mount or Lord's Prayer.  They were invented later.  Mark only has parables so clearly there is no excuse for the Churches trying to water down what the verse is saying and the magnitude of what it is saying.  It also proves that Mark was the first gospel we have.  Mark 4 teaches the embarrassing doctrine that when people become good children of God he harvests - that is kills them! 

But as Luke said, there were a lot of gospels. He did not like or trust them which was why he wrote his own and stealing info from them to do it. So Luke who knew of Mark was not impressed by that gospel or by whoever wrote it.

Mark must have been sheltered from the world when it claimed to be the first gospel for it calls itself the beginning of the gospel. It is the oldest gospel we have but not necessarily the oldest gospel there is.

Nobody believed that Mark wrote the gospel maybe until Papias seemingly said it between 120-138 AD. Papias was all Eusebius, who gave us the only history we have of the Church up to the 300s, had to go on in the early fourth century. Even then the gospel of Mark could be a revision of the memoirs of the Lord’s sayings which was what Papias was on about. Papias said that Mark was Peter’s companion (Mark is thought to be mentioned in 1 Peter) and researched for his book through Peter (The History of the Church, 2:15; 39:15). The
Mark meant may have been John Mark who is in Acts (12:12) who was an associate of some of the apostles.

Even Papias never said that Mark wrote our present gospel. He only said that Mark took notes that were not put into order. So whatever Mark wrote was a mess. The current gospel called Mark is very orderly. The gospel could have been revised and altered by anybody. Moreover, it would have been. Ascribing the gospel then to Mark is just a waste of time when any old crank could have been rewriting it after the time of Papias. Papias gives no indication that the messy notes were anything like the gospel of Mark.

Papias would not record that Mark left a messy book if the edited version, the version we have, existed in his time without mentioning the completed version for that was the important one.

Papias said that reading things out of books is not as helpful as listening to what Peter and John and the apostles said and hearing it from people who would tell you (The History of the Church, 39:2). For some reason he did not trust the books that were available and these books might include the four gospels or some of them. He knew they were lies. Papias knew that things are better written down. He was not that stupid and Eusebius wants to use him while calling him stupid which indicates that he was more confident in him than one would be led to believe or that he just did not like the things the man wrote that were unfavourable to the theological climate of Eusebius’ day and that was why he called him stupid. Papias significantly gives us no indication that the writings had scriptural authority. In fact he indicates the opposite.

If Mark had written the gospel he would have said who he was especially if he was close to Peter so that we could be confident that the gospel was agreeable with apostolic doctrine. It would have been better if one of the witnesses had written the first ever gospel rather than one who never experienced what they experienced. Gospel writing was not Mark’s job. It is like getting a bishop to tell the world what to believe when that is the pope’s job. Whoever the author was I would not trust him.

He wrote too little for somebody that knew the apostles and worked with Peter. He did not record Jesus’ clever insights but just concentrated on stupid parables that often repeated the same moral. It looks like the effort of somebody who was making it all up. Papias might explain that Mark only wrote as he heard Peter preach the Jesus story. But if Mark was so anxious about Peter’s memories then why did he not get more stories out of him? He would have.

The real Mark would have remembered to put in the Lord’s prayer and the “Do this in remembrance of me” after the last supper and he would not have written about John the Baptist being Elijah in such a way that one would think that Elijah who had ascended into Heaven had come back or had been reincarnated.

Mark was not an associate of Peter’s because his Jesus operates only in Galilee and goes to Judea once and that is to die (page 141, The Jesus Mysteries) which would suggest that if Mark was using an eyewitness he could only get one person – which is not good news for believers in the gospel Jesus being historical - and that person who had rarely been out of Galilee. Peter resided in Judea after Jesus died. Luke’s saviour flits to and from them both equally and the Jesus of John spends most of his time in Jerusalem – which is remarkable for all the Jews would have had to do if they didn’t like him was to bar him from the city and is so remarkable that John simply had to be a liar.

It is stupid to argue that Mark really wrote the gospel and revealed his authorship for he was too unimportant for people to attribute it to him otherwise. People forged stuff for Barnabas who was just as unimportant. If Mark knew the apostles as Acts says then he was a possible candidate for forgery. And the story of Mark’s connection to Peter meant that it didn’t matter who was pushing the pen as long as the data was Peter’s. If the author heard of people who knew or believed that the apostles never wrote their gospel down he would have had to use Mark’s name for protection.

Mark gives lots of clues, one of which is its whitewashing the Romans, that it was written in Rome (page 34, Jesus, the Evidence) though it could be somewhere else in Italy (Concordance). The most ancient tradition says that it is Roman and that takes precedence over any other ascription.

The Peter connection is a lie for Peter was never in Rome. And Peter would not preach or allow to be published a gospel that said there would be trouble in Palestine culminating in the destruction of the Temple. Rome would take that to mean that the Church was saying that God wanted a battle between the Romans and the Jews which would lead many Jews to try to start one. Mark could not have been written in Peter’s time but after the prophecy of turbulence in Palestine was allegedly fulfilled in 70 AD and without the knowledge of the apostles.

Mark was a Jew from Palestine. The author of the gospel was neither Jewish or Palestinian for though he knew quite a bit about Palestine and Judaism probably through books for he did not know enough. He said Jesus told the Jews that the woman who divorces her husband and marries another is an adulteress. But the Jews gave women no right to divorce. Mark evinces some ignorance of the Palestinian geography (page 195, Jesus One Hundred Years Before Christ).

The Jesus Papyrus says that if the consensus that Mark was composed in 70 AD and the rest after that is right the tags on the gospels would have identified the authors and it is hard to believe that these tags would have been lies for there were people who knew the truth (page 55). This argument is pure speculation for how do the authors know that the gospels were well-enough known in Palestine? Besides Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not popular writers like Jeffrey Archer. If Mark produced tagged gospels then why was the end of his gospel lost? This can happen with books but this was a scroll which was all in one piece. When the end was lost it shows that there were so few scrolls that nobody could find what the missing piece said let alone what lies it told or if Mark did not write the gospel.

The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke have a lot of stories about Jesus and his sayings in common. Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source and when you compare the stories, you see a disturbing tendency to omit some things they didn't like, correct Mark and add in new bits (page xvii, Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography, John Dominic Crossan, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994). The Christian boast that the gospels were not altered by Christians to suit their prejudices and to corrupt the original story is simply a lie. Matthew and Luke would not correct the work of an apostle or a work approved by an apostle. This shows that early tradition is lying about Mark being the writer for Peter.


Some of the following information has been acquired from the entry, Mark, Gospel of, in the Biblical Dictionary and Concordance of the NAB – New American Bible, Catholic Edition.

People who knew John Mark would have known that he could and would have written in better Greek and had people to help him if he was stuck. He could not even get the past, present and future tenses right. He ran about with Paul on his missionary journeys so his Greek must have been good (Acts 12). He just wrote the gospel and forgot about it and trusted nobody to read it or correct it which is a sure indication of a guilty conscience and that it was issued in a place where there were hardly any Christians. The author was no a missionary like Mark for he didn’t know how to get the gospel to a place where it could be fixed and take off better. It was written for non-Jews because it explains Jewish terms and translated Aramaic words into Greek. If this gospel was thought to have been Mark’s work it would have been taken to him for correction and for the missing portion unless he was dead but Peter was allegedly killed in 67-8 AD and Mark was head of the Christians in Alexandria after that. Mark could have died in 70 AD suggesting the gospel was written after that.

Only a forger would make a gospel and want nothing more to do with it. Mark’s gospel should be treated as an anonymous letter should be – ignored.

This is the gospel that makes the least claim to having eyewitness verification (page 34, Jesus, the Evidence) which is very very important because it was such an important detail that it was unlikely to have been left out by mistake – it was left out because no witnesses were involved. The author never says he can be checked out so it is written in a climate that made this possible when there was nobody to interview to back up his story or one in which nobody was disputing the Jesus story for it had not been made up yet. It is the rock the other two gospels are built on so if Mark falls the other two gospels fall as well. It stands as evidence that there is no evidence but only gossip. Luke said that he used eyewitnesses and yet he used this gospel proving he was not telling the truth. Perhaps his gospel largely arises from this misunderstanding that Mark was eyewitness testimony.