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.
**Justin Martyr identifies the Gospel of Mark as “the memoirs of Peter.”
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.
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.]