Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why is the Gospel of Mark Ignored Until the Fourth Century?

I am just heading out of the office for a meeting but it struck again - after receiving Thomas C Oden's African Memory of Mark in the mail today - how rare the references to the Gospel of Mark are in the early Patristic literature. We 'know' that the Ebionites developed their 'Jewish-Christian' beliefs from a 'Hebrew' version of Matthew. The Marcionites allegedly were associated with a version of Luke. The Valentinians with an early version of John supposedly. Why no mention of Mark? My answer - it wasn't that the Gospel of Mark was insignificant or ignored. Rather it was the key to escape the lies perpetrated by the Church Fathers. In short, as modern science has already determined, Mark was the first of all gospels. The proper interpretation of Mark was at the heart of all controversies in antiquity. What is canonical 'John' but a bastard text of his namesake Mark? In other words, the Marcionite gospel was - as the Philosophumena already intimates - 'according to Mark.'

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