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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by

ABIEL ABBOT LIVERMORE, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.





A few particulars respecting Mark have been gleaned from the New Testament and early ecclesiastical history, but not enough to fo a very distinct portrait of his life and character.

This evangelist was also called John, his surname being Mark, by which, as living at Rome, he would best be known, for Marcus is Latin. Acts xii. 12. His mother, whose name, like that of the mother of Jesus, was Mary, resided at Jerusalem. She was sister to Barnabas, and the apostles and disciples often resorted to her house. Maternal piety was blessed with a son, who was to be one of the four immortal historians of Jesus Christ. Col. iv. 10.

Some of the Fathers affirmed that Mark belonged to the Seventy, sent out by our Lord, during his ministry; but the account is doubtful. For he is supposed to have been converted to Christianity by Peter. 1 Pet. v. 13. He was the companion of Paul and his uncle Barnabas, in their travels, Acts xii. 25, but left them in Asia Minor, and returned, much to the displeasure of Paul, Acts xiii. 13, xv. 37–39, who was, however, afterwards reconciled to him, as would appear from 2 Tim. iv. 11. Mark sailed to Cyprus with Barnabas, Acts xv. 39, and still later went to Rome, Col. iv. 10, Phil. 24, where, according to the unanimous voice of Christian antiquity, he composed his Gospel under the sanction and aid of Peter. Thence, we are told, on slighter authority, he sailed to Egypt, became bishop of the church of Alexandria, and was martyred, vindicating, by his death, the great cause to which he had long given his life.

His Gospel is conjectured to have been written after that of Matthew, and probably about A. D. 64 or 65. It was designed for the Christians of Rome and Italy. Hence it contains some Latin terms in the original ; also, explanations of Jewish manners and customs; but has few references to the Jewish Scriptures, and omits the genealogy of Christ. Mark is understood to have drawn his information chiefly from Peter; and it has been observed that none of the Gospels is more full upon the faults of that apostle, and none more chary of his praise. His name is more often mentioned in this Gospel than in the others, in the same narrations.

Mark has given a briefer and more imperfect history of Jesus than his co-workers, but his account abounds with kindred impressions of truth and reality, contains all the essential facts of our Lord's mission and ministry, and from its brevity was none the less adapted to be circulated in a foreign land, and to gain the favorable attention of the busy crowds of the mistress of the world. In style, it is plain and unadorned, but more diffuse than Matthew. Carpenter remarks that it is “peculiarly idiomatic, and sometimes abrupt in its construction. His Gospel displays much less of literary culture than that of Luke, and much less of general talent for composition than that of Matthew. The inartificial character of this Gospel, and the resources which the evangelist had for composing it, render it very valuable as an additional record, and especially in relating those details which strengthen the feeling of reality." Mark's order of events corresponds nearly to that of Matthew, and there are but few passages to which parallels may not be found in the other Gospels.

Written, as has always been supposed, and as the early Fathers unanimously testified, under the coöperation of Peter, this Gospel has ever been received as of the highest authority. Thus, from four different regions, and most celebrated countries of the ancient world, we have received the four histories of Jesus Christ, — Matthew writing from Judea, Mark from Rome, Luke from Greece, and John from Asia Minor, as if every quarter of the known world was to bear its part in rehearsing the life of Him whose kingdom was to surmount all territorial limits, and fill the whole earth, as " the waters cover the sea."

The last few verses of this Gospel, chap. xvi. 9-20, have been regarded as spurious by some distinguished critics, but they are found in almost all of the ancient authorities.



CHAPTER I. The Introduction of the Ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus. THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messen

ger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee; 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way 4 of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the

wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance, for the remis5 sion of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea,

and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river 6 of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with

camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and 7 he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying,

There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose 8 shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed

have baptized you with water : but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

of God.

1. This verse constitutes an in- to the connexion; for the quotations scription or title to the book, such are from the prophets Mal. iii. 1, and as authors are accustomed to prefix Is. xl. 3. — Behold, I send. Note on to their works. Hos. i. 2. Gospel Mat. xi. 10. - The baptism of resignifies good news. It was joyful pentance, for the remission of sins. tidings to the Jews that their Mes. He preached reformation, a token of siah had come, and to the Gentiles which was baptism, and a consethat a Saviour had been sent from the quence of which was forgiveness, or God of love. -Jesus Christ, the Son remission of sins. Both the Jewish

The evangelist puts for- and Christian dispensations, and John ward, at the introduction of his the Baptist, the connecting link behistory, the highest claim upon the tween them, assure us of the divine attention of the reader, by asserting pardon, when we have repented of that the being whose life he records and forsaken our sins. What a mowas the Son of God. On the defi- tive to penitence and reformation! nitions of Jesus and Christ, see Mat. - In the river of Jordan. Mark, i. 1.

writing for those who were not ac2-6. See notes on Mat. iii. 1-5. quainted with the geography of Ju- In the prophets. Griesbach, with dea, specifies that Jordan was many other critics, substitutes, on the river. authority of the most ancient man- 7, 8. Compare Mat. iii. 11. - The uscripts and versions, the reading latchet of whose shoes. Carpenter Esaias the prophet. The received renders, the thong of whose sandals ; text is, however, more conformable for they are commonly worn in the


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