King James Version
MARK (Grk. Markos). The evangelist who was
probably the same as "John who was also called Mark" (Acts 12:12,25). He was the
son of a certain Mary in Jerusalem (12:12) and was, therefore, presumably a
native of that city. He was of Jewish parentage, his mother being a relative of
Barnabas (Col 4:10). It was to her house that Peter went when released from
prison by the angel (Acts 12:12). That apostle calls him his son (1 Peter 5:13),
probably because he was converted under his ministry. He accompanied Paul and
Barnabas on their first journey (Acts 12:25; 13:5) but left them at Perga and
returned to Jerusalem (13:13). Whatever the reason for this act, it seems to
have been sufficient in Paul's estimation to justify his refusing to allow Mark
to accompany him on his second journey. Barnabas was determined to take him, and
thus Mark was the cause of a "sharp disagreement" between them and a separation
(15:36-39). This did not completely estrange him from Paul, for we find Mark
with the apostle in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col 4:10; Philem 24). Later
he was at Babylon and united with Peter in sending salutations (1 Peter 5:13).
He seems to have been with Timothy at Ephesus when Paul wrote to him during his
second imprisonment and urged him to bring Mark to Rome (2 Tim 4:11), A.D. 66.
Tradition states that Mark was sent on a mission to Egypt by Peter, that he
founded the church of Alexandria, of which he became bishop, and suffered as a
martyr in the eighth year of Nero. In the gospel of Mark his record is
emphatically "the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (Mark 1:1), living and
working among men and developing the mission more in acts than by words.