Maurice Casey (Professor of NT literature & language at Nottingham): “The early church would not have attributed its first gospel to someone simply called Marcus, who was not a follower of Jesus, unless both points were known facts.” <[Jesus of Nazareth (T&T Clark, 2010), 67.]
The author of the gospel of Mark was known to early Christians. This several early souces identify Mark as the author, and there is no trace of an alternative author.
“The Elder [John] (AD ??-100)1reported that Mark got his information from Peter,” and Bishop Papias of Hierapolis (c. AD 60-130) approvingly quoted him.
Papias: “And the Presbyter used to say this, ‘Mark became Peter’s interpreter 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 of the Lord’s oracles, 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.’” [Exegesis of the Lord's Oracles] It seems unlikely that Papias lied here. Ben Witherington (NT professor at Asbury): “Here is not the place to get into a lengthy discussion about the Elder John, but the point to be made is that Papias is relying on first-century testimony that claims to be connected with the original apostolic testimony. Papias did not dream up the summary he offered, and indeed it is hard to imagine anyone making up the notion of Mark, a noneyewitness, nonapostle, as the author of this important and earliest Gospel. The burden of proof must lie with those who deny that some early Christian named Mark wrote this work. [The Gospel of Mark (Eerdmans, 2001) 24.] It also seems unlikely that he was mislead. Richard Bauckham (NT professor, senior scholar at Cambridge): “Papias was collecting traditions about Jesus originating from named disciples of Jesus, a few of them still alive and resident not from from his hometown, in the late first century, around the time when the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John were being written. He wrote (or at least completed) his book some years later, but it was in the late first century that he assembled his material. (I have argued this in ibid., pp. 12-21). So he was in a position to know something about how the Gospels originated,.” [_Jesus Research: Methodologies and Perceptions eds. Charlesworth & Pokorny (Princeton, 2007), 499.]
**Justin Martyr identifies the Gospel of Mark as “the memoirs of Peter.”
Justin Martyr: “And when it is said that [Jesus] changed the name of one of the apostles to Peter; and when it is written in his memoirs that this so happened, as well as that he changed the names of two other brothers, the sons of Zebedee, to Boanerges, which means sons of thunder.” [Dialogue with Trypho 106.3] This is relevant because, compare:
Mark 3:17 ―James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder. Specifically, notice:
Maurice Casey (NT professor of lit. & language atNottingham): Justin refers not to the Gospel according to Mark, but to the ‘memoirs’ of Peter. One reference to Peter's memoirs has the sons of Zebedee called ‘Boanerges,’ which is “sons of thunder”’ (Dial. 106). The word ‘Boanerges’ is known only from Mk 3.17, where Mark says that Jesus gave Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, ‘the name “‘Boanerges”, which is “sons of thunder”’. This reference is not merely unique. The term ‘Boanerges’ is a mistaken attempt to transliterate into Greek letters the Aramaic words BeNERe'EM, which means ‘sons of thunder’. The possibility that two independent sources made almost identical mistakes in the transliteration of these words is negligible. It follows that by ‘the memoirs of Peter’ Justin met the Gospel of Mark. [Jesus of Nazareth (T&T Clar, 2010), 66.]
Note also that elsewhere Justin writes: “The Apostles in their memoirs, which are called Gospels, have handed down what Jesus ordered them to do” [First Apology 66]
The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Mark (A.D. 160-180) testifies that Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark.
Irenaeus (c. 130-202) testified that Mark wrote his Gospel from Peter’s teaching. This is relevant because Irenaeus's belief was justified.
Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215) testified to knowing that Mark got his information from Peter
But so what? Plausibly… …Clement is simply repeating Papias's information? [See response]1
Eusebius: “The Gospel according to Mark had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it.” [Church History 6.14]
The Muratorian Canon (c. AD 200) says so.1
There is a noticeable correlation between being a section in which Peter is involved, and being described in an unusually detailed or vivid way.1
Mark 1:16-20,29-31,35-38; 5:21-24,35-43; 6:39,53-54; 9:14-15; 10:32,46; 14:32-42
Mark 1:35-37 -- In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
Mark 2:1-5 -- When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. 4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 1:21, 29-31 -- They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. ... And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them.
Mark 11:20-21 -- As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”
J. Werner Wallace (Famous homicide detective): “notice these inclusions are relatively minor and don’t seem to add much to the narrative. Their incidental nature is an indicator the author lacked a motive other than to simply include Peter’s perspective in the account. Peter’s involvement appears to have been faithfully recorded by his scribe and assistant, Mark: • Peter’s search for Jesus (Mark 1:35-37) • Peter’s house in Capernaum (Mark 2:1-5 and 1:21, 29-31 compared to Matthew 4:13-16) • Peter’s identification of the fig tree (Mark 11:20-21 compared to Matthew 21:18-19) • Peter’s identification of the disciples (Mark 13:1-4 and Matthew 24:1-3)”
The Gospel of Mark forms an inclusio1 around Peter's name (intentionally ensuring it appears first2, and last).3 This is relevant because the technique was used by biographers to denote its primary eyewitness source.
Mark 1:16-18 -- As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon [Σίμωνα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν Σίμωνος],… Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. • Richard Bauckham: “There is a particular emphasis here on Simon's name. Mark could have written ‘Simon and his brother Andrew,’ just as in the following verse he refers to ‘James the son of Zebedee and his brother John’ (1:19). Elsewhere Mark does indeed say, ‘James and John the brother of James’ (5:37; cf. 3:17), and so the repetition of the first brother's name seems to be an aspect of Markan style. But he does not always follow this practice, and in 1:16 it helps to give particular prominence to Simon.[Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2006), 125.]
Mark 16:7 -- But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” • Richard Bauckham: “The rather surprisingly specific mention of Peter (who after all was one of the disciples) surely points ahead to the resurrection appearance of Jesus to Peter individually. Both Paul (1 Cor 15:5) and Luke (Luke 24:34) refer to such an appearance, so that its presence very early in the traditions is certain, but oddly it is nowhere narrated. Mark's reference to it, in the penultimate verse of his Gospel, pointing beyond the end of his own narrative, is designed to place Peter as prominently at the end of the story as at the beginning. The two references form an inclusio around the whole story, suggesting that Peter is the witness whose testimony includes the whole.[Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2006), 125.]
8:29,32-33; 9:5-6; 10:28-30; 14:29-31,66-72
Compare broad outlines: Galilee, Jerusalem, Passion, Resurrection, Commission See Acts 10:34-43
There is a noticeable tendency in the gospel of Mark to omit or tone down parts of the narrative which are especially embarrassing to Peter.1
The Gospel of Mark was seen as reliable/authoritative.
Raymond Brown (NT professor at NY): “Papias could, then, be reporting in a dramatized and simplified way that in his writing about Jesus, Mark reorganized and rephrased a content derived from a standard type of preaching that was considered apostolic. That could explain two frequently held positions about Gospel relationships; first, that the Marcan Gospel was so acceptable within a decade as to be known and approved as a guide by Matthew and Luke writing in different areas; second, that John could be independent of Mark and still have similarities to it in outline and some contents.” [An Introduction to the New Testament (Yale, 1997), 161.]