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Mark The Evangelist

The widespread ancient tradition that the author of the second gospel was Mark is generally accepted today, but it is not so generally accepted that all the references to “Mark” in the NT refer to the same person, particularly as the Roman name “Marcus” must have been so common. John Mark, mentioned in Acts, was the son of Mary who played an important part in the earliest days of the church in Jerusalem and whose house was used for prayer (Acts 12:12,25). There is no mention of his father. Saul and Barnabas chose him as their companion on their first missionary journey in some subordinate role (Acts 13:5). He later left them and returned home (Acts 13:13), and after a quarrel with Paul, Barnabas took Mark with him on a tour of Cyprus (Acts 15:36-40). The Mark mentioned in the Pauline epistles was a cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10) who was a useful and faithful companion of Paul (Col. 4:11; Philem. 24; 2 Tim. 4:11). It does not seem hard to imagine that this is the same Mark, now reconciled to Paul. A Mark is also found with Peter at “Babylon” (almost certainly Rome) when 1 Peter was written. John Mark had dealings, with Peter as well as with Paul in Acts, so that this further identification seems natural enough and particularly as Papias connected Peter with the writing of Mark's gospel. Eusebius said Mark later became bishop of Alexandria.