The Apostles: John Mark

John Mark is mentioned in Acts as accompanying Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey’s.

We are often told that John whose other name is Mark. One of these names is his Hebrew name and the other would be his Roman name.  We see time and again where they have two names such as Simon Peter.

The name John means God is gracious and the name Mark means warlike.

Paul and Silas left Barnabas and John Mark

“When [Peter] realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.”  {Acts 2:12}

This tells us his mother is named Mary and she lived in Jerusalem, where Peter was able to escape to.

And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark.  {Acts 12:25}

Barnabas and Saul {also known as Paul} are returning on their first missionary voyage and bring John Mark with them.

When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. {Acts 13:5}

John Mark is with Barnabas and Saul {Paul} and proclaiming the gospel.

And Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp contention, so that they separated from each other; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.   {Acts 15:37-40}

We are not told why Paul did not want to bring John Mark with him, but it clearly caused some tensions and led to Barnabas and Paul parking ways. Barnabas took John Mark with him on his missionary voyage. Acts does not mention either man again.

As Paul closes out his books of Philemon, Colossians and 2 Timothy he mentions Barnabas and his cousin, Mark. While we cannot be sure, most scholars believe this refers to John Mark. This would show that whatever the issue may have been, the two men eventually resolved it.

John Mark and Mark the evangelist are believed to be the same person and the writer of the Gospel of Mark.

Ancient sources style John Mark as the Bishop of Byblos, which is the largest city in Lebanon.

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