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on the secret gospels gospel of thomas ..

Mk. 4:21-25 are interesting because they show the problems that confronted the writers of the gospels. These verses give us four different sayings of Jesus. In Mk. 4:21 there is the saying about the lamp. In Mk. 4:22 there is the saying about the revealing of secret things. In Mk. 4:24 there is the saying which lays it down that we shall receive back with the same measure as we have given. In Mk. 4:25 there is the saying that to him who has still more will be given. In Mark these verses come one after another in immediate succession. But Mk. 4:21 is repeated in Matt.5:15; Mk. 4:22 is repeated in Matt.10:26; Mk. 4:24 is repeated in Matt.7:2; and Mk. 4:25 is repeated in Matt.13:12 and also in Matt.25:29. The four consecutive verses in Mark are scattered all over Matthew. One practical thing emerges for our study. We must not try to find any connection between them. Clearly they are quite disconnected and we must take them one by one.

Straight away in Mark’s Gospel, in the first section it talks about spreading the Good news....

Reginald Fuller states the following on the provenance of Mark (, p. 107): "Irenaeus' statement (see above) that Mk was written in Rome has been widely accepted by modern scholars (e.g. Streeter). Attempts have been made to support it by internal evidence (e.g. Latinisms like 'denarius', 'legion'). Such Latinisms, however, are the vocabulary of military occupation and speak as much for Palestinian provenance as for Rome. The connection Mark-Peter-Rome looks like second-century guessword based on 1 Pet 5:13. Remove the Petrine connection, and the question of provenance becomes wide open. Mk is a Hellenistic gospel. Its language is Gk, and, as we shall see, its traditions, especially in their christology, contain Hellenistic elements, which Mk qualifies in a Pauline direction. Yet its traditions are also in close touch with Palestinian tradition, not only with earlier tradition as in the miracle stories (Jesus as the eschatological prophet), but in such recent material as parts of the Little Apocalypse. We are drawn to suggest Antioch as the most likely place of origin."

The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Matthew Gross ..

This is important to include as Mark's Gospel was written at a time when Christians endured much persecution....

Concerning v. 9-13, Robert Funk writes in : "The sayings in Mark 13:9-13 all reflect detailed knowledge of events that took place - or ideas that were current - after Jesus' death: trials and persecutions of Jesus' followers, the call to preach the gospel to all nations, advice to offer spontaneous testimony, and the prediction that families would turn against one another are features of later Christian existence, not of events in Galilee or Jerusalem during Jesus' lifetime. The note about children betraying their parents may be an allusion to the terrible calamities that took place during the siege of Jerusalem (66-70 C.E.)"

By its own declaration, the is a sacred text intended to be shared only with individuals properly prepared to receive its revelation. In second-century Christian communions circulation of the text probably remained restricted. Amazingly, despite limited circulation and the effective later efforts by evolving Christian orthodoxy to destroy all such “heretical” scriptures, four separate manuscripts of the SBJ have survived into our own age. Three of these were found among the Nag Hammadi codices discovered in 1945, while a fourth copy was independently recovered fifty years earlier from another site in Egypt. All four versions date to the fourth century. Three of the four appear to be independently produced Coptic translations of an original text in Greek. Two of the four manuscripts (NHC II and NHC IV) are so similar that they most likely represent copies of a single common source.

To put in context the uniqueness of finding four complete copies of a document of this extreme antiquity, note that we possess only two fairly complete manuscripts of the canonical gospels of equal age (the and ). Only a few fragments of canonical texts with dates of creation earlier than the fourth century have survived. These four manuscripts of the Apocryphon of John represent some of the oldest known surviving books. From the ancient sands of Egypt, they come to our modern age bearing a timeless message.

The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003), ..

John Mark wrote the Gospel for non-Jewish Christians, who were being persecuted because of their faith in Rome.

Nineham states the following on the provenance of the Gospel of Mark (, pp. 42-43): "of all the places suggested Rome has been by far the most popular, and, so far as the evidence permits of any conclusion, it is perhaps the most likely. The Gospel of Mark was clearly intended for a church consisting largely of Gentile members (see e.g. 7:3f., 11:13, 12:42), and one which had known, or was expecting, persecution for faith (cf. 8:34-38, 10:38f., 13:9-13); all this is compatible with Roman origin, and if the Gospel circulated from the beginning with the authority of the Roman church it is easier to explain how it so soon won an authoritative position."

John P. Meier provides an example in which the author of Mark shows himself to be dependent on oral tradition. The story of the feeding of the multitude is found twice in Mark and once in John. Meier writes (, v. 2, pp. 965-6): "This suggests a long and complicated tradition history reaching back to the early days of the first Christian generation. Prior to Mark's Gospel there seems to have been two cycles of traditions about Jesus' ministry in Galilee, each one beginning with one version of the feeding miracle (Mk 6:32-44 and Mk 8:1-10). Before these cycles were created, the two versions of the feeding would have circulated as independent units, the first version attracting to itself the story of Jesus' walking on the water (a development also witnessed in John 6), while the second version did not receive such an elaboration. Behind all three versions of the miracle story would have stood some primitive form."

It was important in Mark's Gospel because Christians were being persecuted for their beliefs in Jesus.
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Essay review of The Secret Gospel of Mark ..

So, then, we have two great reasons why Mark is a book of supreme importance. First, it is the earliest of all the gospels; if it was written just shortly after Peter died its date will be about A.D. 65. Second, it embodies the record of what Peter preached and taught about Jesus; we may put it this way--Mark is the nearest approach we will ever possess to an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus.

Essay review of The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled, by Peter Jeffery

Towards the end of the second century there was a man called Papias who liked to obtain and transmit such information as he could glean about the early days of the Church. He tells us that Mark's gospel is nothing other than a record of the preaching material of Peter, the greatest of the apostles. Certainly Mark stood so close to Peter, and so near to his heart, that Peter could call him "Mark, my son." (1Pet.5:13.) Here is what Papias says:

BEYOND BELIEF - The Secret Gospel of Thomas ..

There is a very interesting thing about Mark's gospel. In its original form it stops at Mk. 16:8. We know that for two reasons. First, the verses which follow (Mk. 16:9-20) are not in any of the great early manuscripts; only later and inferior manuscripts contain them. Second, the style of the Greek is so different that they cannot have been written by the same person as wrote the rest of the gospel.

The "Secret Gospel of Mark" Content of ..

When we study the matter closely we find that Mark can be divided into 105 sections. Of these 93 occur in Matthew and 81 in Luke. Only four are not included either in Matthew or in Luke. Even more compelling is this. Mark has 661 verses; Matthew has 1,068 verses; Luke has 1,149 verses. Of Mark's 661 verses, Matthew reproduces no fewer than 606. Sometimes he alters the wording slightly but he even reproduces 51 per cent. of Mark's actual words. Of Mark's 661 verses Luke reproduces 320, and he actually uses 53 per cent. of Mark's actual words. Of the 55 verses of Mark which Matthew does not reproduce 31 are found in Luke. So the result is that there are only 24 verses in Mark which do not occur somewhere in Matthew and Luke. This makes it look very like as if Matthew and Luke were using Mark as the basis of their gospels.

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