9. The Petrine Kērygma and the Gospel according to Mark

By Eric D. Huntsman

Eric D. Huntsman, “The Petrine Kērygma and the Gospel according to Mark,” in The Ministry of Peter, the Chief Apostle, ed. Frank F. Judd Jr., Eric D. Huntsman, and Shon D. Hopkin (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 169–90.

The Petrine Kērygma and the Gospel acc​​ording to Mark

Eric D. Huntsman

Eric D. Huntsman is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly” (Acts 10:38–40).


Besides 1 and 2 Peter, no other canonical documents have been attributed to the Apostle Peter, and even in the case of the Petrine epistles there has been some question about their composition and authorship.[1] Nevertheless, the Lucan versions of speeches put in the mouth of Peter witness the strong tradition of Peter’s preaching in the early church, preaching that affected not only the early chapters of Acts but also may have been an important source for the earliest of the New Testament Gospels, Mark. Such proclamation of Jesus and his gospel by those who were his witnesses were of vital importance in the early Christian church, especially in the years between Jesus’ ministry and the writing of the Gospels.[2]

Early Christian discussions about the authorship of the Gospel of Mark had already connected it to the authority and figure of the chief Apostle, a connection that is further suggested by the prominence of Peter in that Gospel. This link may be further supported by the influence of Petrine preaching and testimony on the Gospel’s structure and content. The technical term for this kind of apostolic testimony is kērygma, a Greek term related to the word for “herald,” which has the general meaning of “proclamation.”[3] As used here, the adjective “Petrine” refers to a range of possibilities: material that originated with Peter himself, either directly or via his students and followers; that bore Peter’s authority and approval; that was generally apostolic, for whom Peter was a representative figure; or that was simply believed to have been from Peter. To the extent that Peter’s preaching—or at least the tradition of Petrine kērygma—can be shown to have influenced the composition, shape, and content of the Gospel according to Mark, Petrine authority may explain not only how Mark attained canonical status but also why it so strongly influenced the other synoptic Gospels.

Marcan A​​uthorship

Like the other canonical gospels, the Gospel according to Mark is formally anonymous, meaning that it does not directly reveal the identity of its author nor make any claims about him or his authority. The titles that now head each of the four Gospels do not seem to be original parts of the texts but began to appear later in the second century AD as attempts to distinguish the different Gospels when they began to be put together into collections.[4] Thus, attempts to identify the author—or to at least begin to know something about him and his original audience—must begin by looking at evidence from within the texts themselves. This evidence generally consists of indirect clues about the evangelists’ backgrounds, interests, and target audiences that can be discerned from the use of language and the specific content of each Gospel.

Mark, sometimes referred to as “the second Gospel” because of its position in the canon after Matthew, is written in passable, but not always good, Greek. On the other hand, the evangelist appears to have known Aramaic, was knowledgeable about Jewish customs, and frequently used quotations and ideas from the Hebrew Bible. Despite this, he does not appear to have been familiar with or always accurate about the geography of the Holy Land, at least not outside of Jerusalem and its immediate environs,[5] and sometimes his portrayal of certain Jewish practices was broad, perhaps even a bit inaccurate, as in the case of his description of practices regarding washing and the particular custom of qorbān (KJV, “Corban,” Mark 7:1–13).[6] Nevertheless, of the four Gospels, Mark in many ways most accurately portrays the different Jewish groups and the situation in Jerusalem before its destruction in AD 70. These factors point to an author who was a Jew, perhaps from Jerusalem, where many of the upper classes in the first century were Hellenized to some degree and could have some facility in Greek.[7]

Despite his own origins and background, the Marcan evangelist frequently explains Jewish customs and Aramaic terms, as when he translates the phrase talitha cumi (see Mark 5:41) or translates qorbān and tries to explain how the practice worked (see Mark 7:11), suggesting that these were not familiar to his readers. Mark also includes Latinisms—Latin words like legio (English, “legion,” in Mark 5:9) that are transliterated into Greek—and uses other terms suggestive of a Roman audience. Particularly because of this text’s emphasis on persecution and failed discipleship, it may have been originally written for Christians in the capital itself, where Christians were persecuted by the emperor Nero after the fire of AD 64, with some of them forsaking the faith under pressure.[8] The dating of the Gospel thus seems to fall between the death of Peter, traditionally placed at the time of the Neronian persecutions in AD 64, and the second phase of the Jewish War, which began after the suicide of Nero (AD 68) and the overthrow of Galba (AD 69).[9]

When titles did begin to appear with some manuscripts later in the second century, they consistently identified the text as euangelion kata Markon, or “the Gospel according to Mark.” Significantly, none of the titles ever read euangelion tou Markou, “the Gospel of Mark” or “Mark’s Gospel,” the sense being that there was only one proclamation of Jesus Christ and this was simply Mark’s version of it. Despite the fact that titles for all of the Gospels were not original, as soon as multiple gospels began to circulate and communities had more than one at hand, there was a need to distinguish between them. The fact that titles became common to each of the Gospels so quickly and were used so consistently is a good indication that there was widespread agreement among the early Christians about their identification.[10]

This consensus is attested by evidence from the writings of early church fathers. The first of these was Papias of Hierapolis, who wrote in the first third of the second century AD, but whose writing only survives in quotations by Eusebius, a church historian writing later in the fourth century. In one of these quotations, Papias cites an “elder” who had asserted the following about the authorship of the second Gospel:

Mark became Peter’s interpreter [hermēneutēs] and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement [syntaxin] to the Lord’s oracles [logion or “sayings”], so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them. (Papias ap. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.39.15; emphasis added)[11]

Despite the fact that Papias wrote within two generations of the time that the Gospel was written and claims to have heard from those who knew the Apostles and other eyewitnesses, some scholars have questioned Papias’ testimony about both Mark and his connection with Peter.[12] Richard Bauckham, however, has reaffirmed Papias’ basic reliability, demonstrating that he drew his information about the Gospels from either eyewitnesses or those who knew them firsthand.[13]

Papias not only identified the author of the Gospel as a “Mark” but also claimed that this Mark was the interpreter of the Apostle Peter, though whether by hermēneutēs he meant that Mark interpreted for Peter when he spoke or translated for him as scribe is unclear.[14] Papias’ statement also suggests that because Peter preached according to what each situation demanded, Mark’s account, too, might not have been in strictly chronological or perhaps literary order (syntaxin).[15] Irenaeus, writing in the second half of the first century, confirmed Papias’ basic assertions when he wrote, “After [Peter and Paul’s deaths], Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter” (Adversus Haereses 3.1.1; emphasis added).[16] Another source, the Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Mark (ca. AD 160–180), supports the assertion that Mark wrote down Peter’s testimony in Italy only after the Apostle’s death.[17] On the other hand, Clement of Alexandria (ca. AD 150–216) wrote that

When Peter had publicly preached the word [kēryxantos to logon] at Rome, and by the spirit had proclaimed the Gospel, those present, who were many, exhorted Mark, as one who had followed him for a long time and remembered what had been spoken, to make a record of what was said; and he did this, and distributed the Gospel among those that asked him. And when the matter came to Peter’s knowledge, he neither strongly forbade it nor urged it forward (Clement of Alexandria ap. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.14.5–7; emphasis added).[18]

The Greek word here translated as “preached,” keryxantos, is a participial form of the verb kēryssō, from which comes the noun kerygma, or “proclamation.” According to Clement, when Peter learned that his preaching had been recorded by Mark, he neither disclaimed it nor encouraged it. But Eusebius, who preserved this quotation as he did that of Papias, elsewhere in his history “corrected” it, claiming that Peter was actually inspired to authorize Mark’s Gospel:

But a great light of religion shone on the minds of the hearers of Peter, so that they were not satisfied with a single hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation [tē agraphō tou theiou kērygmatos didaskalia], but with every kind of exhortation besought Mark, whose Gospel is extant, seeing that he was Peter’s follower, to leave them a written statement of the teaching given them verbally, nor did they cease until they had persuaded him, and so became the cause of the scripture called the Gospel according to Mark. And they say that the apostle, knowing by revelation of the spirit to him what had been done, was pleased at their zeal and ratified the scripture for the study of the churches. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.15.2; emphasis added)[19]

Likewise, Origen (ca. AD 184–254) maintained that the second Gospel was written by Mark, “who wrote it following Peter’s directives” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.25.5).[20]

None of these sources clearly associates the Mark who wrote the Gospel with any known biblical figure, but his close association with Peter made the companion of Peter mentioned in 1 Peter 5:13, a Mark whom Peter refers to as if he were his son, a likely candidate. This seems to be the same figure as the John Mark whose mother, Mary, gave Peter refuge after he escaped from prison in Jerusalem (see Acts 12:12). Yôḥanan was a Jewish name, and his surname, Marcus, was a very common Roman name that was also becoming a Greek name (Markos), suggesting a situation perhaps comparable to the Pharisee Saul who, as a Roman citizen, also had the name Paul. If Mary’s owning a substantial house in Jerusalem is indicative of her family’s status, John Mark could easily meet many of the characteristics that the Gospel of Mark suggests for its author—namely, a member of the Jerusalem upper class who may have known some Greek. This Mark is further mentioned in Acts as a missionary companion to Barnabas and Paul (12:25), though he later left the mission (13:13), which led to a disagreement between Barnabas and Paul and kept Paul from taking Mark on his next mission (15:36–39). Apparently Paul and Mark were reconciled, since Mark appears in the Pauline correspondence as a “fellow worker” (see Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24).

While giving Mark an association with Peter might have been the result of early Christian attempts to validate the second Gospel,[21] the prevalence and relative consistency of such early postapostolic sources on the Petrine connection suggest that this connection was, in fact, based upon an early, probably reliable, tradition.[22] Because Papias received his information from an “elder” who was part of the second generation of Christians who had known the Apostles, the tradition connecting the second Gospel with the figures of Mark and Peter is one that originated within a few decades of its composition. Further, if one were manufacturing a figure to serve as an anonymous document’s author, he is not likely to have selected as minor a figure as John Mark.[23]

This account of Petrine preaching followed by Marcan composition is repeated with little variation by other patristic sources, the only significant discrepancy being whether the evangelist composed the Gospel before or after Peter’s death.[24] But this memory of a Petrine connection with Mark and the second Gospel does not necessarily mean that the evangelist in fact wrote down directly what he had heard Peter say. In many ways Peter served as a representative figure for all of the Apostles, in which case the attribution of Peter as the authority or source for Mark may simply have meant that early Christians recognized the content of this Gospel as having come from the apostolic preaching tradition.[25]

Latter-day Saints do not need to assume that restoration scripture or theology directly supports traditional authorship for the Gospel according to Mark,[26] let alone its direct connection to the Apostle Peter. Not only are the Joseph Smith Translation changes of the titles of the Gospels from “Gospel” to “Testimony” of each evangelist not necessarily direct evidence of authorship,[27] but the original Joseph Smith Translation manuscripts only changed the titles for Matthew and John, not for Mark or Luke.[28] Further, it is not clear that Joseph Smith’s maintenance of the figures named in the titles was necessarily a prophetic endorsement of them. As Kent Jackson has observed: “Neither the New Testament nor modern scripture identifies Mark as the author of the second Gospel. No scriptural passage says Mark wrote Mark. . . . I do not know of any way in which the restored gospel has anything at stake in whether he did or did not. Thus it seems that this matter—unlike the issue of Jesus’ Resurrection—is fair game for continued exploration, interpretation, and examination of the evidence.”[29] Nevertheless, as Frank Judd has observed, the early tradition of Petrine authority behind Mark’s Gospel might, in fact, reflect the possibility that “in this particular case, the scribe rather than the source of the information received credit for the Gospel. Thus this Gospel might have been called the Gospel of Peter, [even though] it is traditionally called the Gospel of Mark.”[30]

Peter i​​n Mark

Mark mentions Peter twenty-five times, so given the length of the Gospel, it mentions the chief Apostle more frequently than the other three texts.[31] Peter is also always the foremost of the Twelve discussed in Mark and the only one with whom Jesus speaks one-on-one and addresses by name.[32] But it is Peter’s prominence at the beginning and conclusion of the body of Mark—starting with the call of Peter and Andrew (see Mark 1:16–20) and ending with the angel’s directive that the women at the empty tomb go to the disciples and Peter (see Mark 16:7)—that is perhaps the most significant. These references to the chief Apostle frame the body of the Gospel,[33] and because such framing in contemporary popular biographies was used to denote the witnesses behind that material, Bauckham takes this as being a possible sign that Peter’s eyewitness is the authority behind much of its content.[34]

Bauckham further notes that an often overlooked narrative device in Mark also suggests that an eyewitness was behind much of the material in the Gospel. This device, the shift from a plural verb to a singular whenever Jesus and his disciples travel around Galilee or arrive at a specific place and Jesus then proceeds to do or say something (see Mark 5:1–2; 8:22; 11:12; 14:32), suggests that the source was traveling with Jesus.[35] Peter is either explicitly mentioned or assumed to be part of the group in most of these instances, but some of Peter’s appearances in Mark can be even more clearly explained as personal recollections of Peter.[36] These include his call from his nets (see Mark 1:16), Jesus entering his house after synagogue and then healing his mother-in-law (see Mark 1:29–31), and times when only he or a small group was present to witness something Jesus said or did, such as the raising of Jairus’ daughter (see Mark 5:37–43), the Transfiguration (9:2–10), the Olivet Discourse (13:3–37), and Gethsemane (14:33–42). In this regard, the story of Peter’s denials stands out, since in the synoptics no other disciple was present (see Mark 14:66–72; parallels Matthew 26:69–75; Luke 22:56–62).

Some, however, maintain that if Mark were truly a “Petrine Gospel,” then it should feature Peter even more, noting, for instance, that there are significant traditions about the Apostle in Matthew that are missing in the second Gospel.[37] The Matthean additions, however, may well be explained by that Gospel’s Christology, ecclesiology, structure, and even perhaps its author’s own deference to Peter. For instance, the expansion of Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi in Matthew 16:16 can be understood to be a result of Matthew’s more developed, or at least more explicit, Christology, and Jesus’ further discourse about the rock on which the church would be built and the role of the keys in the kingdom (see Matthew 16:17–19) could have resulted from Matthew’s interest in the church as a body, which is unique among the Gospels. Even the inclusion of the rather minor story of tribute (temple tax) and the fish with the coin in its mouth (see Matthew 17:24–27) may have resulted from its serviceability in connecting the previous section of Matthew, Jesus’ growing rejection by Israel (see Matthew 13:53–17:27), with the following Sermon on the church (see Matthew 18:1–35).

Another surprising aspect of Marcan passages featuring Peter is the inclusion of episodes that are critical of Peter. These include how the disciples, including Peter, repeatedly fail to understand Jesus (e.g., Mark 8:14–18); Jesus’ personal rebuke of Peter after the first passion prediction, when he actually says to Peter, “get thee behind me Satan” (Mark 8:33); and of course the entire denial sequence, coming as it does after Peter’s steadfast boast that he will never be offended in Jesus (see Mark 14:29).[38] Rather than being indications of an anti-Peter source, such passages portraying Peter negatively might represent the candid admissions of the Apostle himself, who, until the cross and the empty tomb, could not understand Jesus, adequately follow him, or find forgiveness.[39] If this represents humility on the part of Peter, who might have preferred to focus on proclaiming Jesus and only use himself as a negative example to illustrate how all needed the Lord, this might explain why Matthew, for instance, portrays Peter better than Mark does. If Peter, representing not only the Apostles as a group but perhaps also the authority of the church, served as more of a positive example in Matthew’s Gospel, this might account for more hagiographic anecdotes, such as the fact that in the Matthean account of Jesus walking on water Peter actually begins to walk on water (see Matthew 14:22–33; parallels Mark 6:45–52; John 6:16–21).

In Mark’s Gospel, Peter becomes a type for discipleship generally, including negative discipleship. While the original followers of Jesus eagerly gave up all to follow Jesus, they nonetheless frequently failed to understand his teachings or his mission, exhibited improper behavior, and increasingly fell short in their faithfulness—failing to support Jesus adequately during his Passion, abandoning him at his arrest, and, in the case of Peter, even denying knowing him.[40] In this sense, the earliest disciples, foremost represented by Peter, serve as models for the original presumed audience of Roman Christians and the modern reading audience, both of whom are prone to falter in their discipleship. Indeed, Martin Hengel has directly asserted that in these instances, “Mark has a lively witness of Peter as his source, one that is theologically stylized and dramatically described.”[41]

The Preaching o​​f Peter

In considering the preaching of Peter as a possible source or influence on the Gospel according to Mark, we must first recognize that the term kērygma presents a certain ambiguity: it can indicate both the act of preaching and the content of such preaching.[42] If, however, the major thrust of the term consists of what was preached, particularly about who Jesus was and what he did, it might help account for greater emphasis on the acts of Jesus in the first half of the Gospel and the passion account in the second. Although too much distinction can be made between the terms kērygma (proclamation) and didachē (teaching),[43] seeing kērygma as representing the early preaching of the saving message of Jesus and didachē as the body of Christian moral instruction and ethical admonition is still useful.[44] Mark certainly contains teaching in the form of the parables and sayings of Jesus, but the emphasis in this shorter Gospel is in its first half more on the deeds and then, in the second half, on the salvific acts and significance of Jesus. If this is due in part to its being dependent upon the kērygma of Peter, it might help account for one of the major differences between Mark on the one hand and Matthew and Luke on the other, inasmuch as these latter two Gospels contain significantly more didachē in the form of extended sermons and other teachings of Jesus.

Presuming that the Lucan speeches of Peter reflect to some degree what Peter said on those occasions,[45] it next remains to be considered which of these represent a distinct pattern of apostolic preaching that may be termed kerygmatic and what the content of this kerygma, or preaching, was. Forms of the noun kērygma itself are actually rare in the New Testament, appearing only once in Matthew and Luke each and six times in the Pauline epistles.[46] The verb kēryssō, however, appears much more frequently: nine times in Matthew, fourteen in Mark, nine in Luke, eight in Acts, nineteen in the Pauline epistles, and once in 1 Peter 3:19 and Revelation 5:2 each.[47] Although this preaching may have included historical content, including the deeds of Jesus, its main emphasis in most instances is “proclaiming Christ.”[48] Perhaps significantly, kēryssō appears most frequently in Mark, even though it is the shortest of the Gospels. In this regard, the apostolic kērygma roughly equals euangelion, or “good news,”[49] which Mark uses seven times—four times in Jesus’ mouth as the pre-Easter good news of the kingdom, but otherwise as the saving story of Jesus.[50]

For Paul, the essence of the gospel message was “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (see 1 Corinthians 2:2), and presumably this was the heart of the message that he had initially preached not only among the Corinthians but also in each of the cities he visited.[51] Indeed, it is in Paul’s discourse on the Resurrection to the Corinthians that we see one of the earliest versions of the kērygma:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached [euēngelisamēn] unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. . . .

Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach [kēryssomen], and so ye believed. (1 Corinthians 15:1–8, 11; emphasis added, with italics representing the main kerygmatic points and bold text emphasizing the role of witnesses in the proclaiming the kērygma)

Here, the “good news” that Paul preached to the Corinthians (euēngelisamēn) was that Christ died for our sins and rose again, which Peter (Cephas), the Twelve, five hundred other brethren, James, and Paul were all witnesses, each having actually seen the risen Lord. This was the core message that Paul and the other witnesses proclaimed (kēryssomen), which led the Corinthians, and others, to believe in Jesus. Other Pauline passages contribute to a slightly fuller view of his kērygma: prophecies in the scriptures have been fulfilled in Christ, who was born of the seed of David, died, was buried, rose again, has been exalted to heaven, and will come again as judge.[52]

All of this is part of the Petrine kērygma as discerned in Acts, which, however, contains one notable addition in the form of references or allusions to Jesus’ acts in his ministry. While the five speeches of Peter in Acts that most clearly reflect the kērygma (see Acts 2:14–36, 38–39; 3:12–26; 4:8–12; 5:29–32; 10:34–43) may reflect as much patterns of apostolic preaching familiar to Luke as they do the original preaching of Peter,[53] they were nonetheless accepted as representative of the kind of preaching that Peter and the Apostles proclaimed.[54] F.F. Bruce has identified four elements that characterize them as kerygmatic: the time has come for the fulfilment of God’s promises; Old Testament prophecies confirm the good news; this has been done through the ministry, death, and Resurrection of Jesus; and repentance is incumbent upon those who hear the proclamation.[55]

The first of these apostolic proclamations of Jesus occurs at the climax of Peter’s sermon at Pentecost. After connecting the events of the good news to the promises made to Joel, Luke has Peter proclaim:

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (Acts 2:2224; emphasis added)

After demonstrating that David had prophesied Jesus’ Resurrection and exaltation, Peter continued:

This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:32–36; emphasis added)

When the crowd listening responds to this proclamation by asking what they should do, Peter’s call is that they repent and be baptized, which some three thousand do (see Acts 2:37–42).

In this first kerygmatic speech, the only reference to any of the historical actions of Jesus is found in the statement that he was “a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs.” Nevertheless, this is different from Paul, who rarely talks about the actions of the historical Jesus (his institution of the sacrament the night he was betrayed in 1 Corinthians 11 being a notable exception). Presumably this is because Paul himself was not a witness of the mortal ministry of Jesus; Peter was. Nevertheless, in the Petrine kērygma, the emphasis is on the Lord’s Crucifixion, Resurrection, and exaltation to heaven. As with Paul, Peter and the rest of the Twelve are held up as witnesses, they being the ones who are to proclaim the saving message.

Similar features appear in the other four Petrine kerygmatic speeches. The last of these five speeches, the sermon to Cornelius and his household, serves as perhaps the most comprehensive summation of this apostolic preaching. [56] After introductory verses connecting the immediate situation, the faith of Cornelius and his acceptance by God, to the sermon he is about to preach, Peter then proclaims:

The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace [euangelizomenos eirēnēn] by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

And he commanded us to preach [kēryxai] unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:36–43; emphasis added).

The Holy Ghost immediately fell upon all who heard Peter’s preaching, and the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, leading Peter to command that they be baptized (see Acts 10:44–48).

In this last example of Petrine preaching, the notice that Jesus “went about doing good” represents the ministry of Jesus, in which his healings and exorcisms are seen as confirmation that God was with him. Even more than in previous speeches, the apostolic role as witness is emphasized and linked with the prophetic witness of scripture. In addition, the Apostles are explicitly commanded to preach (kēryxai, from the verb kēryssō). Still at the heart of Peter’s preaching is the crucified and risen Lord, but it is supported by a recollection of the ministry of Jesus (see Acts 10:38; see also 2:22) and the Old Testament prophecies and expectations concerning the Messiah. As O’Grady has observed, “The purpose of this preaching was to effect a religious experience in the listener, a call to repentance, to change his or her way of living, to turn over a new leaf by making an act of faith which was then to be sealed by the acceptance of baptism.”[57]

Although there are other slight differences between this Petrine kērygma and that of Paul,[58] the most significant unique elements are references to the miracles and teachings of Jesus.[59] Significantly, this very addition is the point of content that most notably separates the narrative Gospel of Mark from the basic Christ message of the Pauline epistles, with the miracles that play such a prominent role in the second Gospel representing the “doing good.” Indeed, the deeds of Jesus, including and especially the miracles, receive more emphasis in Mark than do his teachings,[60] as opposed to Matthew, who prioritizes the teachings, and Luke, who balances the teachings and miracles.[61] With the exception of the emphasis on the miracles, and perhaps other deeds, of Jesus, the Lucan speeches and the Gospel according to Mark do not provide enough information to allow us to glean from them a distinctive “Petrine theology,” but, as C. H. Dodd observes, “The theme of Mark’s Gospel is not simply the succession of events which ended in the crucifixion of Jesus. It is the theme of the kerygma as a whole.”[62]

Marcan Structu​re and Content

The outline of Mark is, in fact, parallel to Peter’s speech to Cornelius in Acts 10:36–41: it begins with prophecies of Jesus (see Mark 1:1–2) that are followed by the baptizing activity of John the Baptist (1:3–8), God’s proclaiming Jesus his Son (1:9–11), narratives that are dominated by Jesus’ mighty deeds (1:16–10:52), and then accounts of Jesus’ Jerusalem ministry (11–14), which focuses on his death on the cross (15) and finally his Resurrection (16:1–8).[63] A clear dividing point in the Gospel occurs with Peter’s declaration at Caesarea Philippi that Jesus was the Christ (see Mark 8:27–30). Immediately thereafter, the text shifts from Jesus the doer of mighty deeds (dynameis, or “miracles”) to the suffering Son of Man, who three times predicts his coming Passion (see Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33–34) and then suffers, dies, and rises again.

With a little more nuance, the second Gospel has also been described as a drama that is divided into a heading (see Mark 1:1), a prologue (1:2–23), and then three distinct acts—Jesus’ authoritative mission in Galilee (1:14–18:30), his road to Jerusalem (8:31–10:52), and the Gospel’s climax in Jerusalem (11:1–16:8).[64] The first, and to some extent the second, acts of this drama can be seen as extended forms of the historical part of the kērygma, consisting of the deeds of Jesus, though this is not separate from the general proclamation.[65] The third act then focuses on the heart of the apostolic preaching: that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again.

Regardless of what structure one adopts in analyzing Mark, it is apparent that it represents a geographic, not a strictly chronological, progression, following Jesus in a path from Galilee to Jerusalem. This is evident in the fact that Mark, followed by Matthew and Luke, only has Jesus go to Jerusalem once at the end of his earthly ministry, when it is more likely that the historical Jesus, as an observant Jew, would have gone to the Holy City frequently for pilgrimage festivals, as is the case in the Gospel according to John. This, perhaps, may be partly what Papias meant when he reported that Mark wrote accurately but not in order, following “Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement to the Lord’s oracles.” By asserting that Mark wrote accurately (akribōs egrapsen), Papias seems to be defending the accuracy and the correctness of the material in the second Gospel without defending, among other things, its chronology. Further, he seems to attribute the lack of order, at least partly, to the nature of Peter’s preaching.[66] This may well have been because the preaching of all the Apostles, including and especially that of Peter, regularly culminated in the salvific acts of Jesus, in which case the progression in the second Gospel is theological as well as geographic, showing that all of his mission led to the cross.

Inasmuch as the kerygmatic function of the Gospel was to get people to respond to the message of Jesus and what he has done, Mark’s emphasis on the Passion and his conclusion, focusing on the empty tomb as it does in the short ending, may well have resulted from his intent not so much to inform people about Jesus as to lead them to believe in him and then share that message with others.[67] Thus the words of the angel to the women at the tomb can be seen as summarizing the central message of the kērygma, together with an injunction for the listeners to respond to it: “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you” (Mark 16:6–7; emphases added).

Not only the structure but also some of the content of Mark might reflect the preaching of Peter. With the exception of Mark 13, the Olivet Discourse, Jesus’ teaching in the second Gospel is rarely lengthy, never occurring in long sermons as in Luke or especially in Matthew. Rather, it consists mostly of short parables and chreiai, which are short anecdotes comprised of the words or deeds of a subject chosen to reveal his character or significance.[68] This rhetorical form, in fact, leads Ben Witherington to interpret Papias’ statement about Peter’s preaching differently: rather than reading it as “Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded [pros tas chreias] but not making, as it were, an arrangement to the Lord’s oracles,” he sees it as meaning “Peter who composed his teachings according to the chreiai [revealing anecdotes] and not as a rhetorical arrangement of the Lord’s sayings.”[69]

While the vivid, fast-moving style of Mark is often attributed to the possibility that it was composed for oral recitation in Christian meetings, the fact that Peter—or whoever the second Evangelist’s source was—necessarily only told anecdotes or short stories about Jesus when he preached might help explain why Mark usually only includes short dominical sayings. As R. T. France notes, “If Papias’ information is correct, Peter . . . must have been a lively preacher. The vivid narrative style and content of the Marcan stories may well derive as much from the way Peter used to tell them as from Mark’s own skill as a raconteur [one skilled in relating stories and anecdotes].”[70]

On the other hand, while Mark is the shortest of the four canonical Gospels, its descriptions of Jesus’ actions are often the most fulsome. This is particularly the case in regard to the miracles of Jesus. In total, Mark records nineteen miracles stories, four summaries of miracles, and one miracle report, which together make up a full third of his Gospel.[71] Because of its shorter length, this represents the highest frequency of miracles in the Gospels even though the other synoptics actually record a slightly larger number. These miracles are related very descriptively, with the same miracle story in Mark often being twice long as it is in Matthew or even Luke. Part of this may be the result of the redactional activity of Matthew and Luke, but it may also reflect the proclivity of Mark—or his source.[72]

The Canonical Position of Mar​​k, the Memory of Peter, and the Power of Kērygma

Among the criteria that Raymond Brown deduced to determine whether early Christians preserved and eventually accepted texts as canonical includes the idea that “scripture” should have apostolic origin, whether “real or putative.”[73] Whereas the authors of Matthew and John were early identified with the Apostles of those names, the Gospels of Mark and Luke did not carry as much inherent authority. The association of the figure of Luke with the Apostle Paul, plus the third Gospel’s reference to many (though unnamed) eyewitnesses, helped bolster the credentials of that text. The second Gospel, however, could have been more at risk. Not only did it not make any specific claims about the authority of its source or sources, but so much of its material was successfully reworked and expanded upon by the Gospel according to Matthew that it might have been totally eclipsed by what quickly took pride of place as the “first” Gospel. The connection of Peter with Mark’s Gospel, whether real or assumed, may have thus secured for Mark a permanent place in the canon.

Nevertheless, long before such canonical decisions were being made, Petrine authority may well explain the deference of the authors of Matthew and Luke to Mark as those Gospels were being composed.[74] Particularly in the case of Matthew, the fact that a Gospel either written by or held to be so closely associated with one of the Twelve would follow Mark even when his chronology is not likely to have been accurate is striking. And assuming the traditional authorships are correct, why would an Apostle have deferred to a minor figure such as John Mark? This could be either because the other synoptic Evangelists were in fact deferring to the testimony and authority of Peter or simply because the Christology of Mark had already been widely preached and was already accepted.[75] It could also be a testament to the literary genius of the Marcan evangelist, who in setting the Petrine kērygma into a narrative form succeeded in telling the story of Jesus in such a powerful and effective way that he effectively created a new genre that subsequent Gospel writers could build and expand upon.[76]

Short of newly discovered materials or revealed insights, the patristic claims of a Petrine connection to the Gospel according to Mark cannot be proven. But the possibility that the second Gospel contains early Petrine memories, perhaps from the Apostle himself, remains intriguing and important. Mark 14 in particular includes features that may be reminiscent of the individual memory of Peter as an eyewitness. These include his being singled out, along with James and John, to be near Jesus in Gethsemane; his individual rebuke for not staying awake; and his being the only disciple (in the synoptics, at least) to follow Jesus after his arrest. But overall, Markus Bockmuehl observes that the Marcan depiction of Peter constitutes “a profile that does not conceal the volatility of a flawed and fallible character but nonetheless assigns immense importance as both confidant of Jesus and authentic point of access to his tradition.”[77] Likewise, from the various pieces of evidence found throughout the New Testament, Hengel not only sees Peter as “a theologically powerful thinker, an impressive proclaimer, and a competent organizer” but also sees his preaching as the base of the kērygma and the Christian ethos that developed so quickly after Jesus’ Resurrection.[78]

Perhaps nowhere else in the extant canon can this be seen than in the assumption of Petrine material in and Peter’s authority behind the Gospel according to Mark.[79] Yet regardless of how Petrine either the second Gospel or the Lucan speeches of Peter in Acts ultimately turn out to be, the proclamation of the divinity of Jesus and the power of his salvific acts is something that Peter himself, the Marcan evangelist, the author of Acts, the early Christians, and we, as modern believers, can all accept as truthful, vital, and saving.


[1] Markus Bockmuehl, Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2012), 30–32.

[2] C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments (New York: Harpers & Brothers, 1960), 7–24.

[3] Walter Bauer, “kērygma,” in A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2000), 543.

[4] Joel Marcus, Mark 1–8, Anchor Bible 27 (New York: Doubleday, 1999), 17; John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark, Sacra Pagina 2 (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002), 38.

[5] Apparent mistakes appear in Mark’s descriptions of the northern part of the land, as seen in assumptions about the distances from Gadara (or Gerasa) from the Sea of Galilee (see Mark 5:1–13), the relative positions of Bethsaida and Gennesaret on that same sea (see Mark 6:45–53), or the geographical relationships of Tyre, Sidon, and the Decapolis (see Mark 7:31). See Raymond E. Brown, Introduction to the New Testament (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997), 160, n. 83.

[6] R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark, The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002), 281–83, 286–87.

[7] Martin Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, trans. John Bowden (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1985), 9–10, 29; Marcus, Mark 1–8, 19–21; Donahue and Harrington, Gospel of Mark, 38–39.

[8] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 29.

[9] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 7–14, 28.

[10] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 81–84.

[11] Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History I, trans. Kirsopp Lake, Loeb Classical Library 153 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1926, repr. 1998), 297.

[12] See, for instance, the doubts of Marcus, Mark 1–8, 22–23, and, to a lesser extent, the hesitancy to accept or reject Papias. Donahue and Harrington, Gospel of Mark, 41. Such suspicion seems, in part, to be a function of a larger trend in historical Jesus studies to be suspicious to varying degrees regarding the reliability of the Gospels, usually by questioning the reliability of their sources. Partly because Papias’ own description of how he gathered his information suggests that he preferred what he heard rather than what he could find in books (Papias at. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.39.4; Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History I, 293), some have in fact seen Papias as getting his information from a chain of possibly unreliable oral transmission.

[13] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 15–34, 202–4. Bauckham differentiates carefully between oral tradition, which is anonymous and usually spans many generations, and oral history, which is more immediate and includes eyewitnesses.

[14] Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 205–14.

[15] See Bauckham’s discussion as to whether syntaxin here refers to chronological order or an aesthetic, literary arrangement. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 217–21.

[16] Irenaeus, Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 1: The Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (Peabody, MA, 1885, repr. 2004), 414.

[17] R. G. Heard, “The Old Gospel Prologues,” Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 6 (1955): 4; Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 3.

[18] Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History II, trans. J. E. L. Oulton, Loeb Classical Library 265 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932), 49.

[19] Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History I, 143, 145.

[20] Eusebius, The Ecclesiastical History II, 75; see Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 4.

[21] Marcus, Mark 1–8, 22–24.

[22] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 3–4; William L. Lane, The Gospel according to Mark, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974), 7–10; Donahue and Harrington, Gospel of Mark, 40–41; Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 235–39.

[23] Brown, Introduction to the New Testament, 159.

[24] France, Gospel of Mark, 36–38.

[25] Brown, Introduction to the New Testament, 160. See, however, the recent arguments of Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 210–214.

[26] Frank F. Judd Jr., “Who Really Wrote the Gospels?,” in How the New Testament Came to Be, ed. Kent P. Jackson and Frank F. Judd Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006), 130–32, 135.

[27] Kevin L. Barney, “The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19, no. 3 (1987): 88.

[28] Barney, “The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible,” 88; Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts, ed. Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, 2004), 235, 314, 359, 442; Kent P. Jackson, “Asking Restoration Questions in New Testament Scholarship,” in How the New Testament Came to Be, 30.

[29] Jackson, “Asking Restoration Questions,” 29–30.

[30] Judd, “Who Really Wrote the Gospels?,” 132.

[31] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 10, 59. Of these times, Mark specifically names Peter (either as Simon or Peter) 20 times: Mark 1:16 (called from nets); 1:29 (Jesus enters his house); 1:36 (follows Jesus out of Capernaum); 3:16 (numbered among the Twelve and surnamed Peter); 5:37 (taken with James and John to witness the raising of the daughter of Jairus); 8:29 (declares Jesus to be the Christ at Caesarea Philippi); 8:32 (rebukes Jesus after the first passion prediction); 8:33 (rebuked by Jesus and told to “get behind him”); 9:2 (Jesus takes onto the Mount of Transfiguration); 9:5 (offers to build “tabernacles” for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah); 10:28 (claims to have left all); 11:21 (recalls Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree); 13:3 (with James, John, and Andrew hears the Olivet Discourse); 14:29 (claims he will not be offended in Jesus); 14:33 (taken with James and John into Gethsemane); 14:37 (found sleeping); 14:54 (follows Jesus to the palace of the high priest after his arrest); 14:67 (set up to first denial); 14:70 (set up to third denial); 14:72 (weeps after cock crows); 16:7 (to be told about the empty tomb).

[32] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 59; Bockmuehl, Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory, 132.

[33] Pheme Perkins, Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000), 57; Bockmuehl, Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory, 132.

[34] Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 124–27, 132–47. He makes similar arguments for the Beloved Disciple in John (127–129) and the women in Luke (129–32).

[35] Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 156–64.

[36] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 50. See, for instance, Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 106.3 on Mark 3:16 and the renaming of Peter.

[37] Marcus, Mark 1–8, 24.

[38] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 51.

[39] C. Emden, “St. Mark’s Debt to St. Peter,” Church Quarterly Review 154 (1953): 67; Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 177–79. See, however, Marcus, Mark 1–8, 24, for the opposite conclusion.

[40] Ben Witherington, The Gospel of Mark, A Socio-Rhetoridal Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmens, 2001), 54–56; Donahue and Harrington, Gospel of Mark, 30–34; France, Gospel of Mark, 27–29.

[41] Martin Hengel, Saint Peter: The Underestimated Apostle, trans. Thomas H. Tripp (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010), 43.

[42] James I. H. McDonald, Kerygma and Didache: The Articulation and Structure of the Earliest Christian Message (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 1.

[43] McDonald, Kerygma and Didache, 2–7.

[44] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 7.

[45] Acts 1:16–22 (speech about replacing Judas); 2:14–36, 38–39 (sermon at Pentecost); 3:12–26 (sermon after healing the lame man); 4:8–12 (speech to the Sanhedrin after first arrest); 5:3–4, 8–9 (words to Ananias and Saphira); 5:29–32 (speech to Sanhedrin after second arrest); 10:34–43 (sermon to Cornelius and his household); 11:5–17 (speech to the Judaizers); 15:7–11 (speech at the Jerusalem Council). While sayings of Peter dominate the first part of the book of Acts, it is unclear to what extent these speeches, sermons, and other words of the Apostle reflect what he actually said on the various occasions. In addition to not having been present in any of these instances, Luke, the traditional author of Acts, seems to have largely followed the literary conventions of Classical historiography, which allowed authors to compose speeches for their characters, which, following the method of the Greek historian Thucydides, tried to be as accurate as possible while reflecting what the author himself thought was appropriate for the occasion. See Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1919), 1.22.1–2. See also Ben Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 47, interprets the Thucydides passage slightly differently, suggesting that “what was fitting” (edokoun) may in fact be translated as “seems likely” was actually said.

[46] Matthew 12:41 and Luke 11:32, both referring to the preaching of Jonah; Romans 16:25 (x2); 1 Corinthians 1:21, 2:4, 15:14; 2 Timothy 4:17; Titus 1:3. See Gerhard Friedrich, “kēryx, kēryssō, kērygma, prokēryssō,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965), 704; O. Merk, “kēryssō,” in Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Horst Balz and Gerhard Schneider (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991), 2.288. It also appears in Mark only in the so-called shorter ending of Mark. See Bruce M. Metzger, Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 3rd ed. (Stuttgart, Germany: United Bible Societies, 1975), 122–26, an addition to Mark 6:18 that refers to “the holy and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation” (to hieron kai aphtarton kērygma tēs aiōniou sōtērias) that the risen Jesus sent out to the world through Peter and those with him.

[47] Merk, “kēryssō,” 288. With the exception of Revelation 5:2, neither the verb nor the noun appears in the Johannine writings, which prefer marytreō, or “witness.” See Friedrich, “kēryx, kēryssō, kērygma, prokēryssō,” 703.

[48] Friedrich, “kēryx, kēryssō, kērygma, prokēryssō,” 711.

[49] C.H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 8.

[50] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 53–54.

[51] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 9–17.

[52] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 17.

[53] Perkins, Peter, 33–34.

[54] See Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 20, who notes that the speech at 5:29–32 appears in an episode which may well be a doublet of the earlier arrest, and this speech largely recycles the earlier speeches without the telltale Aramaicisms that might suggest that is was based on a Semitic original.

[55] F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 63.

[56] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 54–56; Witherington, The Gospel of Mark, 359–68. Perhaps significantly this speech, though written in Greek, contain Semiticisms—constructions and even vocabulary that reflect the influence of Hebrew or Aramaic. In this instance, Luke may have been following a source rather literally, whether oral or written, that may have been quite close to Peter’s original words. See F. F. Bruce, The Book of Acts, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 213.

[57] John F. O’Grady, “The Origins of the Gospels: Mark,” in Biblical Theology Bulletin 9 (Sage, 1979), 157–58.

[58] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 25–26.

[59] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 27.

[60] Graham H. Twelftree, Jesus the Miracle Worker (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 57–58, 92–101.

[61] Eric D. Huntsman, The Miracles of Jesus (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013), 134–35.

[62] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 47.

[63] C. H. Dodd, “The Framework of the Gospel Narrative,” Expository Times 43 (1931–32): 399–400; Lane, The Gospel according to Mark, 10–11; Bruce, The Book of Acts, 212–13. France, Gospel of Mark, 8 n. 18, is less convinced by the correspondence, noting that the speech in Acts 10 corresponds to other kerygmatic outlines.

[64] France, Gospel of Mark, 11–14; see also Marcus, Mark 1–8, 63–64; Donahue and Harrington, Gospel of Mark, 46–50.

[65] Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching, 47.

[66] While the statement of Papias that Peter preached pros tas chreias has traditionally been taken to mean “as necessity demanded” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3.39.15), chreiai may also refer to the types of anecdotes that Peter related (see discussion below).

[67] If Mark ended with Mark 16:8, as the earliest and best Greek manuscripts do, the final response of the women to this charge after their initial uncertainty and fear is unknown: they may in fact be types of all readers and potential believers who must make a decision about how to respond to the proclamation. But even with the longer, probably reconstructed, ending (see Mark 16:9–20), the responses of others to the risen Lord serves the same function. See Eric D. Huntsman, God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior’s Life (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 111.

[68] Witherington, Gospel of Mark, 6, 9, 12–15; Donahue and Harrington, Gospel of Mark, 7.

[69] Witherington, Gospel of Mark, 22. See also Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 214–17.

[70] France, Gospel of Mark, 9.

[71] Miracle stories: Mark 1:21–28, 29–31, 40–45; 3:1–6; 4:35–41; 5:1–20, 21–24, 35–43, 25–34; 6:32–44, 45–52; 7:24–30, 31–37; 8:1–10, 22–26; 9:2–8, 14–29; 10:46–52; 11:12–14, 20–26. Summaries: Mark 1:32–34; 3:7–12; 6:2, 5; 53–56; Report: Mark 3:22.

[72] Huntsman, The Miracles of Jesus, 134.

[73] Brown, Introduction to the New Testament, 10–11.

[74] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 52; St. Peter, 43–44.

[75] Brown, Introduction to the New Testament, 156.

[76] Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark, 83.

[77] Bockmuehl, Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory, 134–35.

[78] Hengel, Saint Peter, 101.

[79] Lane, Gospel according to Mark, 8; France, Gospel of Mark, 41.