Wednesday, March 08, 2017

"these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" - A Story of Mark the Evangelist

Tokyo in Summer

A Story of Mark the Evangelist

What was the later life of Mark the Evangelist?

In AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark travelled to Alexandria [cf. c. 49 [cf. Acts 15:36–41] and founded the Church of Alexandria – today, both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria claim to be successors to this original community. Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself.He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa.
According to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 2.24.1), Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (62/63), probably, but not definitely, due to his coming death. Later Coptic tradition says that he was martyred in 68.
Some scholars argue the Gospel of Mark was written by an anonymous author, rather than direct witnesses to the reported events

My theory is that Mark went to Rome from Alexandria with Peter to save and help Paul under arrest in the capital of the Roman Empire.

When Mark had first arrived at Alexandria, Peter must have been with him.  But Peter left for Jerusalem, which is not recorded in any documents including the Luke's Acts.   In Jerusalem, Peter knew that Paul had been sent to Rome for a trial.  So, he came back to Alexandria to meet Mark and they together sailed to Rome.

In Rome, they were prepared for the coming trail of Paul, writing some documents to be submitted to the Roman authority to prove Paul's innocence.  In this process, Mark wrote his Gospel and Luke also wrote his Gospel to tell what Christianity  was and who Christ Jesus was to the Roman authority.  In addition Luke wrote the Acts to have the Roman authority and influential Romans understand what Paul had done before coming to Rome.

Although Paul was acquitted for the charge he had been blamed for in Jerusalem, Nero executed both Peter and Paul after the great fire in Rome.  However, Mark must have survived this crisis.  But he seems to have died while the first Jewish-Roman War was being fought.

Mark seems to have ended his life before the fall of the temple in Jerusalem.  However, Luke might have lived longer to make some modifications in his Gospel after the  Jewish-Roman War.    

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Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.