Who Wrote Mark?


To whom was the gospel written? The internal evidence affirms the belief that it was written to the Christians in Rome. Mark takes time to explain Jewish customs and translates Aramaic expressions into Greek. Mark also employs Roman time keeping, uses Roman military terminology which would have been understood by his audience and (as mentioned above) references two particular people–Rufus and Alexander–the sons of Simon of Cyrene–one of whom many scholars believe is included in St Paul’s epistle to the Romans.(Romans 16:13)

Finally, and most telling, those who argue for a late date and non-Marcan authorship need to prove their case. These are the folks who constantly tell us that they demand “evidence”. Where is the positive evidence that the gospel was written later by someone other than Mark? Virtually all of the documentary evidence from the early church supports an early date and Marcan authorship. The burden of proof is on those who wish to challenge the early evidence. It is not good enough to simply pick holes in the evidence that exists. They must offer evidence that their theory is correct.

The atheists tell us to trust the evidence, yet all the evidence we have from the New Testament and from those who lived within the same culture and within two hundred years of the events supports early Marcan authorship. None contradicts it. Furthermore, all the internal textual details, all the archeology of ancient Rome and all the traditions of the early church in Rome fit with the early, simple and straightforward tradition that the gospel was written by Mark at an early date.

Rather than use the evidence we do have, the first thing (and only thing) they do is pick the evidence apart in order to destroy it if they can. For their case to stand they must first dismiss the name of Mark at the beginning of the gospel, then dismiss the internal evidence, then dismiss the witness of all the early church fathers, then dismiss the witness of the rest of the church throughout the Roman Empire as well as the archeological evidence in favor of a theory which has never been proved and for which there is no evidence. And they laugh at us for being people of blind faith?

If their theory that Mark was written later by someone else they must produce someone somewhere in the early years who suggested such a thing, but they can’t. There is no evidence. There are no documents that suggest someone else wrote Mark’s gospel. There is no evidence that the date is later than around the late 60’s AD. Instead all the evidence–documentary and archeological supports the tradition that John Mark wrote the gospel of Mark based on the sermons and accounts of Peter, and that it was addressed to Peter’s community of Christians in Rome before the year 70AD.

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