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15 Matt. 8. 14. 16 Or, to say that they knew him. 17 Matt. 8. 2. 18 Luke 5. 15.
MARK.-Although it has been questioned by some writers, there appears no sufficient reason to doubt that the author of this Gospel is the same Mark whose name so frequently occurs in the Acts of the Apostles. Matthew and John were apostles, Mark and Luke apostolic men, as Tertullian well distinguishes. St. Peter calls him his son; probably meaning his convert, or son in the faith: a fact which bears against the conclusion that he was one of the Seventy disciples sent forth by our Saviour. He was most probably converted, through St. Peter, at some time after our Lord's ascension. We know he was a Jew, and nephew to Barnabas. His Jewish name was John, to which Mark (Marcus) was a Roman addition, which was probably, as Michaelis supposes, assumed by him when he left Judea to go into foreign countries, a practice not unusual among the Jews of that age, who frequently assumed a name more familiar to the nations which they visited than that by which they had been distinguished in their own country. The passage which informs us of his original name (Acts xii. 12) also acquaints us that his mother's name was Mary, that she lived at Jerusalem, and that the Christians of that city frequently assembled at her house. We also collect that Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their visit to the Gentiles (Acts xii. 25), but that he left them at Pamphylia, and returned to Jerusalem (xiii. 13), in consequence of which Paul refused to take him on the next journey (xv. 36-40). This unhappily created a "sharp contention" between Paul and Barnabas, the result of which was that they separated, and Barnabas took Mark with him to Cyprus. Paul was however afterwards reconciled to Mark, who again became his fellow-labourer, and was with him during his imprisonment at Rome (Col. iv. 1. Philem. 24). That Mark was also at Rome with St. Peter (1 Pet. v. 13) is the only other particular concerning him which the Scriptures contain. The ancient tradition is, that he went to preach the Gospel in Egypt: and to this day the Coptic Christians of that country look upon St. Mark as the founder and first bishop of their church; and their patriarch styles himself "The unworthy servant of Jesus Christ, called by the grace of God, and by his gracious will appointed to his service, and to the see of the holy evangelist Mark." It is also added, that he remained in Egypt, and died at Alexandria, in the eighth year of Nero (A.D. 61 or 62). Some comparatively modern writers state that he suffered martyrdom; but this is not said by any ancient writer, and is contradicted by Jerome, whose expressions appear to imply that he died a natural death. All the ancient Christian writers, from the beginning of the second century downward, agree that Mark wrote his
Gospel at Rome, under the instructions of St. Peter. This statement agrees exceedingly well with the contents of the book, and afford an interesting indication of the great modesty of the apostle's character. The transactions in which he (Peter) was personally concerned are related with greater circumstantiality than in the other Evangelists, especially those in which he does not appear to advantage; while other circumstances which redound to his honour, and the high commendations which his Lord bestowed upon him, are entirely omitted.
The church at Rome, for the use of which the Gospel appears in the first instance to have been written, included some Jews, but was chiefly composed of Gentiles. Hence the Evangelist explains many little circumstances, concerning which a Jew would have needed no information; as when he does not simply name the Jordan, but says "the river of Jordan" (i. 5); explains "defiled," or common hands, by, "that is, unwashen" (vii. 2); subjoins to the word "Corban" the interpretation, "that is, a gift" (vii. 11); uses the clearer term "riches," instead of "mammon ;" and so on, in similar examples.
As there is much verbal agreement between Mark's Gospel and that of Matthew, many have thought that Mark did little more than set forth an abridgment of the narrative which Matthew had already published. This was first started as a probable opinion by Augustin, and his authority caused it to be received without much examination. Lardner, Koppe, Michaelis, and others, have however shown this opinion to be untenable. Mark has not always followed Matthew in the arrangement of events; and he furnishes several particulars which are not to be found in any other Gospel; while, in narrating the same facts which Matthew records, he is so far from abridging, that his account is often more full and circumstantial.
All antiquity affirms that St. Mark's Gospel was originally written in the Greek language; but it abounds in such Hebraisms as indicate the Jew by birth and education; and in such Latinisms as manifest that the author was conversant with and had sojourned among the Latins. "No writer of the New Testament," says Michaelis, "has neglected elegance of language and purity of expression more than St. Mark:" as to mere choice of words, this may be true, but taking the book as a whole, we would say with Blackwall (as cited by Horne), "Simplicity and conciseness are the characteristics of Mark's Gospel; which, considering the copiousness and majesty of its subjects-the variety of great actions it relates, and the surprising circumstances that attended them-together with the numerous and important doctrines which it contains-is the shortest, the clearest, the most marvellous, and at the same time the most satisfactory history in the world."
See the respective "Introductions" of Michaelis, Horne, and Hugg; with the "Prefaces" of Calmet, Campbell, and Bloomfield; most of which fully discuss the various points on which we have touched, as well as others from which we have been obliged to abstain.
29. "The house of Simon and Andrew."-Although we here find them having a dwelling at Capernaum, John (i. 9) informs us that Bethsaida was their native place.
38. "The next towns."-Campbell renders, "the neighbouring boroughs," for the sake of distinguishing that cities are not intended. Lightfoot has here a note explaining the Jewish distinctions between cities, towns, and villages. In conclusion he observes, "By napozóλus, here, we are to understand towns where there were synagogues, which nevertheless were not either fortified nor towns of trade: among us English called 'church towns."" His previous statement shows that by "cities," we are to understand towns girt with walls, or trading and market-towns, and such as were greater and nobler than others; while "villages" were country places which possessed no synagogue.
1 Matt. 9. 1.
20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
23 'And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the High Priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the Priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Job 14. 4. Isa. 43. 25. 3 Matt. 9.9. ♦ Or, at the place where the custom was received. Matt. 9. 14. Luke 5. 33. Or, raw, or, unwrought, 7 Matt. 12. 1.
Verse 19. "The children of the bridechamber.”—This alludes to the young men, friends of the bridegroom, who accompanied him and remained in attendance upon him at his marriage. The expression conveys nearly the meaning which we should express by "bridesmen." Among the Hebrews their attendance continued for seven days, during which they were exempt from the customary observances. They were not required to attend to the stated times of prayer, or to the use of phylacteries; nor were they expected to dwell in booths during the feast of tabernacles: much less were they obliged to observe the occasions of fasting, which were so entirely unsuitable to the nature of the duties they had undertaken. These exemptions of the children of the bride-chamber were sanctioned, or indeed provided, by the Pharisees-the "strictest sect" of the Jewish religion-to some of whom our Lord adduces this illustration.
1 Christ healeth the withered hand, 10 and many other infirmities: 11 rebuketh the unclean spirit: 13 chooseth his twelve apostles: 22 convinceth the blasphemy of casting out devils by Beelzebub 31 and sheweth who are his brother, sister, and mother.
AND 'he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the 'hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judæa,
8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumæa, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.
10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying,
Thou art the Son of God.
16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;
17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphæus, and Thaddæus, and Simon the Canaanite,
19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as cat bread.
21 And when his 'friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
22 And the Scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, 'He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith socver they shall blaspheme:
12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but 13 And he goeth up into a mountain, is in danger of eternal damnation : "Or, blindness. 3 Or, rushed, • Matt. 10. 1. ♪ Or, home. 6 Or, kinsmen. 7 Matt. 9. 34.
1 Matt. 12.9.
8 Matt. 12. 31.
30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
9 Matt. 12. 46.
Verse 6. "The Herodians.”—No party or sect of this name occurs in any of the Jewish writers; and the Herodians are therefore only known by being mentioned in three places of the New Testament, none of which throw any light upon their distinguishing tenets and opinions. In the first we are told that they came with the Pharisees to ask Christ whether it were lawful to pay tribute to Cæsar (Matt. xxii. 16, 17); the second is before us; and the third is that in which our Lord bids his disciples to beware of the leaven of Herod (Mark viii. 15). In the parallel text to this last (Matt. xvi. 6), we read instead of this, "the leaven of the Sadducees;" which seems to render it probable that the Herodians were Sadducees in their religious opinions, and therefore not forming by themselves a religious sect, as some suppose; and this, together with the name which they bore, may rather induce the conclusion that they formed a political party or faction, attached to Herod and advocating his principles. This opinion is sanctioned by the Syriae version-the authors of which must have had valuable opportunities of learning the truth-which renders "Herodians” by the servants of Herod." The Herod, whose name was taken by this party, was doubtless Herod the Great. To estimate therefore their principles, is to inquire in what particulars their founder differed from the Jewish nation at large; as in these we may expect to find the points in which his followers also differed from them. By this process we may collect that the Herodians concurred with Herod in his scheme of subjecting the country to the Romans, and of obtaining their favour by compliances with many of their idolatrous usages and customs. In the desire of keeping the country subject to the Romans, they were diametrically opposed to the Pharisees, who from the view they took of Deut. xvii. 15, maintained that it was unlawful to submit to the Roman emperor or to pay taxes to him; whereas Herod and his followers, alleged, and no doubt justly, that the rule in question applied only to voluntary choice, and not to a necessary submission where choice was overpowered by force. This opposition of views between the Pharisees and Herodians, affords light to distinguish the snare which was laid for Christ, when they both applied to know whether tribute might lawfully be paid to Cæsar. (See the note on Matt. xxii. 16.) As our Saviour's decision seems rather to favour the Herodian view in this matter, it becomes probable that "the leaven of Herod" lay in that accommodation to idolatry, from views of interest and worldly policy, which Herod, his family, and followers, very notoriously manifested, and which they held to be lawful under the circumstances in which they were placed. Thus Herod, imitated on a smaller scale by his descendants, sought to ingratiate himself with the emperor and the people of Rome, by erecting temples with images for idolatrous worship, raising statues, and instituting games in honour of Augustus; evil things, which, to the Jews, he pretended that he did against his will, and in obedience to the imperial command. This statement also fully explains why the "leaven of Herod" is in another place "the leaven of the Sadducees;" for, as we have stated on a former occasion, the doctrines of the Sadducees were most prevalent in the higher classes of society, and formed, in fact, the court religion, when a court existed. Hence the Herodians, if they were such as we suppose, were doubtless, in general Sadducees, in their doctrinal opinions. See Prideaux's 'Connection,' vol iii. 516-520; ed. 1725. Jennings's Jewish Antiquities,' 328-330.
33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
1 The parable of the sower, 14 and the meaning thereof. 21 We must communicate the light of our knowledge to others. 26 The parable of the seed growing secretly, 30 and of the mustard seed. 35 Christ stilleth the tempest on the sea.
AND 'he began again to teach by the sea side and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it
sprang up, because it had no depth of
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables :
1 Matt. 13. 1.