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John Mark is a character in the Bible, possibly the same as Apostle Mark.[1] John Mark is mentioned several times in the Acts of the Apostles. First mention is in Acts 12:12, when Peter is coming to his mother's house:

When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.

John Mark himself appears a bit later in the same chapter, in Acts 12:25, as the travel companion of Saul (Apostle Paul) and Barnabas:

When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

John Mark is mentioned for the last time soon after the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:37-41. Paul (Saul) does not have a too flattering impression of his former associate, arguing over him with Barnabas in Antioch:

Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

This is apparently the same occurrence that was earlier mentioned in Acts 13:13, this time referring to John Mark simply as "John":

From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.

This John had joined their mission in Antioch. Acts 13:4-5 says:

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.

Barnabas' and Paul's showdown in Antioch is probably the same incident that Paul mentions in his Epistle to the Galatians.[2] According to Paul, however, the ultimate reason was a dispute with Peter over acceptance of Gentiles, in which Barnabas had sided with Peter against Paul.


  • Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

the evangelist; "John whose surname was Mark" (Acts 12:12, 25). Mark (Marcus, Col 4:10, etc.) was his Roman name, which gradually came to supersede his Jewish name John. He is called John in Acts 13:5, 13, and Mark in 15:39, 2 Tim 4:11, etc.

He was the son of Mary, a woman apparently of some means and influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother resided (Acts 12:12). Of his father we know nothing. He was cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10). It was in his mother's house that Peter found "many gathered together praying" when he was released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that he was converted by Peter, who calls him his "son" (1 Pet 5:13). It is probable that the "young man" spoken of in Mk 14:51, 52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about A.D. 47) as their "minister," but from some cause turned back when they reached Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Three years afterwards a "sharp contention" arose between Paul and Barnabas (15:36-40), because Paul would not take Mark with him. He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle, for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col 4:10; Philemon 1:24). At a later period he was with Peter in Babylon (1 Pet 5:13), then, and for some centuries afterwards, one of the chief seats of Jewish learning; and he was with Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second imprisonment (2 Tim 4:11). He then disappears from view.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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