Michael Kok: John Mark as a Composite Creation of the Author of Acts

Michael J. Kok, The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century (Fortpress Press, 2015), 158-159.

The John Mark of the book of Acts is a composite creation, the result of harmonizing the earlier accounts of Mark as a Pauline coworker and the later association of Mark with Peter. Like 1 Peter 5:13, John Mark bridges the divide between Peter (Acts 12:12) and Paul (12:25). I have advanced the theory that the author of Acts was aware of the tradition about the evangelist Mark: John Mark’s service was to handle the catechetical traditions, traditions that may have formed the raw material for a Gospel. The ambivalent depiction of John Mark in Acts matches the intention of the author of Luke to supersede the prior faulty Gospel text with a more orderly version. If the reader is not persuaded on this last point, it is enough for me to stress that the connection between Mark and Peter in Acts 12:5 is a late development that post-dates the first written evidence of such a connection in 1 Peter by a few decades.

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