Mark The Hermit

d. after 430. Eremite. He had been abbot of a monastery in Galatia, a contemporary and probably a disciple of John Chrysostom.* His extant works, written for the edification of the monks in his care, deal with theological questions in a manner which indicates Mark's ethical and practical rather than mystical approach, his independence of tradition, and his intention to base his arguments upon Scripture. He wrote opposing those who expect to gain grace by works, insisting like Paul that grace and justification are free gifts and that all good works are evidences of a prior work of grace. Both the Roman Catholic Bellarmine and the Protestant Ficker claimed to see a Protestant tone to his concept of justification, such that the former charged the Protestants with interpolating the text. Like Chrysostom, Mark accepted the doctrine of original sin, but denied that it utterly destroyed free will, which he felt was perfectly restored at baptism.