Mary Ann Beavis: Mark Offers No Information About His Identity

Mary Ann Beavis, Mark, Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), 6.

Unfortunately, the author gives us no explicit information about his identity, location, or circumstances. Like the other Gospels, Mark is anonymous in that the author does not identify himself in the body of the text; in this commentary, the name “Mark” (and the assumption that the author was male) will be used by convention – although as Virginia Woolf quipped, in literary history, “anonymous” has often been a woman. The titles of the Gospels are dated to the second century, when early Christian authors begin to mention Gospels “according to” Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The term “gospel” or “good news” (euangelion) to refer to these books was no doubt derived from Mark 1:1, which announces the “gospel/good news of Jesus Christ, Son of God.”

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