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As to the discourses of Christ, he is not so full and particular as the other evangelists : But some miracles of our Lord are related by this writer with much more minuteness.
Early Christian writers assert, that the gospel written by Mark, was not only undertaken with the knowledge and approbation of St. Peter ; but that he dictated the matter and inspected it personally, so that it was sometimes called his gospel. As it was written at Rome for the benefit of those whom Peter had converted to Christianity, and as this apostle was then at Rome, preaching the doctrines of the gospel, there can be no reasonable doubt that he directed and superintended the undertaking. And it merits all the credit and importance as if it had been penned by this apostle himself.*
According to the concorrent opinion of ancient Christian historians, St. Mark was sent into Egypt by the apostle Peter, to preach the gospel. In Alexandria, and other parts of Egypt, his missionary labors were abundantly suecessful. He made numerous converts to the faith of Christ; and is styled the first Bishop of Alexandria, which, for many years, was the principal place of his residence. And here, at length, he suffered martyrdom in the cause of his divine Lord and Master.
* Papias, who wrote 1. D. 116, obserres that the Eller, (probably St. John) from whom he had divers-informations, said, Mark being the interpreter of Peter, wrote what he knew and remembered ; but nnt in the precise order in which things were spoken and done by Christ. Origen, an early Christian writer and apolo_ist, says, “the second Gos. pel is that according to Mark, who wrote as Peter dictated it to him.” Another early Christian Father says, “the Gospel published by Mark may justly be reckoned Peter's, whose interpreter he was:" We might quote much more to the same purpose from other ancient wri. ters in the Christian church ; but it is unnecessary.
1 THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger
before thy face, who shall prepare thy way 3 before thee; the voice of one crying in the
wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, 4 make his paths straight. John did baptize in
the wilderness, and preach the baptism of re5 pentance, for the remission of sins. And there
went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized
of him at the river of Jordan, confessing 6 their sins. And John was clothed with
camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about
his loins ; and he did eat locusts and wild 7 honey : And preached, saying, There cometh
one after me migintier than I,* the latchet of
whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down 8 and unloose. I indeed baptized you with
water : but he shall baptize you with the
* There cometh one after me greater than I--referring to Christ, for whose appearance be came preaching repentance. 9 Holy Spirit.* And it came to pass in those
days, that Jesus came from Nazareth in
Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.t 10 And immediately coming up from the water,"
he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like 11 a dove descending upon him.I And there
came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art
my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 12 And immediately the Spirit led him into 13 solitary places. And he was there in the
wilderness forty days tempted of Satan : and
was with the wild beasts; and the angels 14 ministered unto him. Now after John was
put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preach15 ing the gospel of the kingdom of God; il and
saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the 16 gospel. Now as he walked by the sea of
Galilee, he saw Simon, and Andrew lis brother, casting a net into the sea : for they
* The disciples of Christ were baptized with the Holy Spirit by effusion, or pouring it out upon them. The water baptism was probably by pouring also s otherwise it would not resemble the baptism of the Spirit.
+ John was six months older than Christ, and probably began his ministry only a few months before our Lord.
| The same word which is translated Ghost, in 8th verse, and it ought always to be rendered Spirii.
§ This account is more concise than that given by Mat. thew, but substantially the same.
1. Or preaching the good tidings of the reign of God.
q The reign of God is about to commence. It is worthy remark, that the Jews at that period were expecting the Messiah. Their prophecies pointed to that time for his coming.
17 were fishermen. And Jesus said unto them,
Come after me, and I will make you to become 18 fishers of men. And straightway they forsook 19 their nets, and followed him.* And when he
had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who
also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And immediately he called them : and they
left their father Zebedee in the ship, with the 21 hired servants, and went after him.t And
they went into Capernaum ; and immediately
on the sabbath-day he entered into the synago22 gue, and taught. $ And they were astonished
at his doctrine : for he taught them as one
that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with 24 an unclean spirit ; and he cried out, saying,
Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth ? art thou come to
destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the 25 Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked
him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out 26 of him. And when the unclean spirit had
* They had probably heard John's declaration concerning Christ. Besides, there was a general expectation at that time of the coming of the Messiah.
† We are not to consider the apostles as of the lowest of the people. They were of the common rank, but not learned, or belonging to powerful families.
It will be remembered, the Jews assembled in their synagogues every sabbath to worship, and hear the law of Moses read and explained.
The Jews despised and hated the people of Galilee ; and had a tradition, that the Messiah, when he should appear would destroy them, alluded to here probably.
torn him, * and cried with a loud voice, he came 27 out of him. And they were all amazed,
insomuch that they questioned one another, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority he com
mandeth even the unclean spirits, and they 28 obey him. And immediately his fame spread
abroad throughout all the region round about 29 Galilee. As soon as they were come out
of the synagogue, they entered into the house
of Simon and Andrew, with James and 30 John. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a
fever ; and immediately they tell him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand, and
lifted her up : and immediately the fever left 32 her, and she ministered unto them. And at
evening, when the sun did set, they brought
unto him all who were diseased, and them 33 who were possessed with devils. And all the 34 city was gathered together at the door. And
he healed many who were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils ; and suffered
not the devils to speak, because they knew 35 him. And in the morning, rising up a great
while before day, he went out and departed 36 into a solitary, place and there prayed. And
Simon, and they that were with him,, followed 37 after him. And when they had found him, 38 they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And
he said unto them, Let us go into the next
towns, that I may preach there also ; for there39 fore came I forth. And he preached in their
* Or had thrown him into convulsions,