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Matthew. Carpenter remarks that it is "peculiarly idiomatic, and sometimes abrupt in its construction. His Gospel displays much less of literary culture than that of Luke, and much less of general talent for composition than that of Matthew. The inartificial character of this Gospel, and the resources which the evangelist had for composing it, render it very valuable as an additional record, and especially in relating those details which strengthen the feeling of reality." Mark's order of events corresponds nearly to that of Matthew, and there are but few passages to which parallels may not be found in the other Gospels.
Written, as has always been supposed, and as the early Fathers unanimously testified, under the coöperation of Peter, this Gospel has ever been received as of the highest authority. Thus, from four different regions, and most celebrated countries of the ancient world, we have received the four histories of Jesus Christ,- Matthew writing from Judea, Mark from Rome, Luke from Greece, and John from Asia Minor, as if every quarter of the known world was to bear its part in rehearsing the life of Him whose kingdom was to surmount all territorial limits, and fill the whole earth, as "the waters cover the sea.'
The last few verses of this Gospel, chap. xvi. 9-20, have been regarded as spurious by some distinguished critics, but they are found in almost all of the ancient authorities.
GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK.
The Introduction of the Ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus.
THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee; 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way 4 of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance, for the remis5 sion of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river 6 of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and 7 he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose 8 shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
1. This verse constitutes an inscription or title to the book, such as authors are accustomed to prefix to their works. Hos. i. 2. Gospel signifies good news. It was joyful tidings to the Jews that their Messiah had come, and to the Gentiles that a Saviour had been sent from the God of love. - Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The evangelist puts forward, at the introduction of his history, the highest claim upon the attention of the reader, by asserting that the being whose life he records was the Son of God. On the definitions of Jesus and Christ, see Mat. i. 1.
2-6. See notes on Mat. iii. 1-5. - In the prophets. Griesbach, with many other critics, substitutes, on the authority of the most ancient manuscripts and versions, the reading Esaias the prophet. The received text is, however, more conformable
to the connexion; for the quotations are from the prophets Mal. iii. 1, and Is. xl. 3. — Behold, I send. Note on Mat. xi. 10. The baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins. He preached reformation, a token of which was baptism, and a consequence of which was forgiveness, or remission of sins. Both the Jewish and Christian dispensations, and John the Baptist, the connecting link between them, assure us of the divine pardon, when we have repented of and forsaken our sins. What a motive to penitence and reformation !
-In the river of Jordan. Mark, writing for those who were not acquainted with the geography of Judea, specifies that Jordan was a river.
7, 8. Compare Mat. iii. 11.-The latchet of whose shoes. Carpenter renders, the thong of whose sandals; for they are commonly worn in the
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from 9 Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the 10 heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art 11 my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 12 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of 13 Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Now, after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, 14 preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The 15 time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. -Now as he walked by the Sea of Gal- 16 ilee, he saw Simon, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come 17 ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them and they 20
and destiny. Was with the wild beasts. An intimation, that he was far in the uncultivated and wild region.
14-20. See Mat. iv. 12-22, and the notes. John was put in prison. Notes on Mat. xiv. 3-12.- Preaching. Proclaiming. Haynes pertinently asks, "Did any of the great philosophers attempt the like glorious embassy to mankind?"— The time is fulfilled, i. e. for the coming of the Messiah.. - Believe the gospel. Trust in, welcome these glad tidings. Forsook their nets, and followed him. "And now what a change, like the change of a dream, or of enchantment, has passed over their lives, dividing what was from what was to be! It was long before they themselves were aware how entire and how stupendous it was. In a few
left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the 22 Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one 23 that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who 25 thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, say26 ing, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the un
clean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came 27 out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even 28 the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately
years, they are to be the principal actors in the most extraordinary events of recorded time. A few years more, and the fame and the doctrine of these fishermen have gone out into all lands."
21-28. Parallel to Luke iv. 3137.
21. Capernaum. A town on the west shore of the Lake of Galilee, where Jesus lived after he left Nazareth.- Taught. It was customary to invite persons, particularly strangers, who attended at the synagogue, to address or exhort the people. Acts
22. Taught them as one that had authority. See note on Mat. vii. 29. 23, 24. A man with an unclean spirit. See note on Mat. iv. 24. The Jews attributed sickness and insanity to possession by evil spirits. This appears to have been a case of epilepsy, if we may judge from the convulsions into which he was thrown, ver. 26; Luke iv. 34.- Let us alone. By some construed as an interjection, ah!-Art thou come to destroy us? See on Mat. viii. 29. - The Holy
One of God, i. e. the Prophet or Messiah.
26. Torn him. As the disease left him, he was thrown into violent spasms, such as accompany that disorder.
27. What thing is this? We may see here the use of miracles in one respect. They arrested attention, they stimulated curiosity, they made the senses instruments of good to the soul. The people beheld in one, who could cure the most inveterate disorders, a being whose words were to be listened to with the most profound interest. The proofs of Jesus' miraculous power were indubitable. He did not choose objects upon which to exert it, but cured whoever was brought. He restored all without exception, and was never defeated. His cures were at the same time sudden and perfect, and extended to every kind of disorder. formed his wonders in broad day, in the presence of multitudes, under every variety of place and circumstance. Well might the spectators be amazed! The impulses communi
his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, 29 they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever; and 30 anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the 31 hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. And at even, when the sun did 32
set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered to- 33 gether at the door. And he healed many that were sick of 34 divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morn- 35
ing, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon, 36 and they that were with him, followed after him. And when 37 they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I 38 may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he 39
cated to them have never ceased to vibrate on the human soul. Jesus has vindicated his right to teach and command us, by doing the works which no man could do, except God were with him, as well as by speaking the words of the Father.
29-34. See on Mat. viii. 14-17. 32. At even, when the sun did set. Was set. It was the Sabbath, verse 21. The Jewish day ended at sunset, and accordingly after that hour, they would not be guilty of violating the Sabbath by bringing the sick. Devils, in this connexion, should always be rendered demons. No Jew supposed any one was possessed with devils, in our sense of that word, but with demons, the spirits of bad mena superstition which corresponds to the belief in witchcraft and ghosts of modern times.
34. To speak, because they knew him. Margin reads, to say that they knew him. It was not yet time for
his Messiahship to be proclaimed. To set up such a claim now, would equally embarrass his ministry, with the officiousness of aspiring friends, and the hate of exasperated enemies.
35-38. Departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Luke iv. 42, 43. We have a glimpse here into the more retired hours of our blessed Saviour, when the crowds had withdrawn, and diseases no longer vanished at his touch. While his habits of private devotion reveal to us the lustre of his piety, they indirectly recommend to us the imitation of his delightful example. If his pure spirit required prayer, and thirsted for communion with God, can it be viewed as any thing short of folly or madness in us, so imperfect and sinful as we are, to reject the high exercises of devotion, and never, or but rarely, address our Father in heaven? For therefore came I forth. The object