Mark The evangelist; "John whose surname was Mark" (Act 12:12, Act 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 Act 13:5, Act 13:13, and Mark in Act 15:39, Ti2 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 (Act 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" (Pe1 5:13). It is probable that the "young man" spoken of in Mar 14:51, Mar 14:52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Act 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 (Act 12:25; Act 13:13). Three years afterwards a "sharp contention" arose between Paul and Barnabas (Act 15:36), 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; Plm 1:24). At a later period he was with Peter in Babylon (Pe1 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 (Ti2 4:11). He then disappears from view.
Mark, Gospel According to It is the current and apparently well-founded tradition that Mark derived his information mainly from the discourses of Peter. In his mother's house he would have abundant opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles and their coadjutors, yet he was "the disciple and interpreter of Peter" specially. As to the time when it was written, the Gospel furnishes us with no definite information. Mark makes no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before that event, and probably about A.D. 63. The place where it was written was probably Rome. Some have supposed Antioch (Compare Mar 15:21 with Act 11:20). It was intended primarily for Romans. This appears probable when it is considered that it makes no reference to the Jewish law, and that the writer takes care to interpret words which a Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as, "Boanerges" (Mar 3:17); "Talitha cumi" (Mar 5:41); "Corban" (Mar 7:11); "Bartimaeus" (Mar 10:46); "Abba" (Mar 14:36); "Eloi," etc. (Mar 15:34). Jewish usages are also explained (Mar 7:3; Mar 14:3; Mar 14:12; Mar 15:42). Mark also uses certain Latin words not found in any of the other Gospels, as "speculator" (Mar 6:27, rendered, A.V., "executioner;" R.V., "soldier of his guard"), " xestes " (a corruption of sextarius, rendered "pots," Mar 7:4, Mar 7:8), " quadrans " (Mar 12:42, rendered "a farthing"), "centurion" (Mar 15:39, Mar 15:44, Mar 15:45). He only twice quotes from the Old Testament (Mar 1:2; Mar 15:28). The characteristics of this Gospel are, (1.) the absence of the genealogy of our Lord, (2.) whom he represents as clothed with power, the "lion of the tribe of Judah." (3.) Mark also records with wonderful minuteness the very words (Mar 3:17; Mar 5:41; Mar 7:11, Mar 7:34; Mar 14:36) as well as the position (Mar 9:35) and gestures (Mar 3:5, Mar 3:34; Mar 5:32; Mar 9:36; Mar 10:16) of our Lord. (4.) He is also careful to record particulars of person (Mar 1:29, Mar 1:36; Mar 3:6, Mar 3:22, etc.), number (Mar 5:13; Mar 6:7, etc.), place (Mar 2:13; Mar 4:1; Mar 7:31, etc.), and time (Mar 1:35; Mar 2:1; Mar 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit. (5.) The phrase "and straightway" occurs nearly forty times in this Gospel; while in Luke's Gospel, which is much longer, it is used only seven times, and in John only four times. "The Gospel of Mark," says Westcott, "is essentially a transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged in it with the clearest outline." "In Mark we have no attempt to draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially characterizes this evangelist, so that 'if any one desires to know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'". The leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed in the motto: "Jesus came... preaching the gospel of the kingdom" (Mar 1:14). "Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51 peculiar to itself." (See MATTHEW.)
Market-place Any place of public resort, and hence a public place or broad street (Mat 11:16; Mat 20:3), as well as a forum or market-place proper, where goods were exposed for sale, and where public assemblies and trials were held (Act 16:19; Act 17:17). This word occurs in the Old Testament only in Eze 27:13. In early times markets were held at the gates of cities, where commodities were exposed for sale (Kg2 7:18). In large towns the sale of particular articles seems to have been confined to certain streets, as we may infer from such expressions as "the bakers' street" (Jer 37:21), and from the circumstance that in the time of Josephus the valley between Mounts Zion and Moriah was called the Tyropoeon or the "valley of the cheesemakers."
Maroth Bitterness; i.e., "perfect grief", a place not far from Jerusalem; mentioned in connection with the invasion of the Assyrian army (Mic 1:12).
Marriage Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen 2:18). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Mat 19:4, Mat 19:5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Mat 19:5; Co1 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Gen 4:19; Gen 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen 16:1; Gen 22:21; Gen 28:8, Gen 28:9; Gen 29:23, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practiced all down through the period of Jewish history to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record. It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen 24:3; Gen 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Exo 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Gen 24:51; Gen 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (Gen 31:15; Gen 34:12; Exo 22:16, Exo 22:17; Sa1 18:23, Sa1 18:25; Rut 4:10; Hos 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change. In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Gen 24:63). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (Gen 29:22, Gen 29:27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home. Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Mat 22:23), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18, Col 3:19; Pe1 3:1). Marriage is said to be "honourable" (Heb 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (Ti1 4:3). The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:1; Hos 2:9, Hos 2:20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph 5:25). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev 19:7).
Marriage-feasts (Joh 2:1) "lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Mat 15:27; Mar 7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room, perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins hung up on pegs on the wall. (Compare Psa 119:83.) To some such marriage-feast Jesus and his five disciples were invited at Cana of Galilee." Geikie's Life of Christ. (See CANA.)
Mars' Hill The Areopagus or rocky hill in Athens, north-west of the Acropolis, where the Athenian supreme tribunal and court of morals was held. From some part of this hill Paul delivered the address recorded in Act 17:22. (See AREOPAGUS.)
Martha Bitterness, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and probably the eldest of the family, who all resided at Bethany (Luk 10:38, Luk 10:40, Luk 10:41; John 11:1-39). From the residence being called "her house," some have supposed that she was a widow, and that her brother and sister lodged with her. She seems to have been of an anxious, bustling spirit, anxious to be helpful in providing the best things for the Master's use, in contrast to the quiet earnestness of Mary, who was more concerned to avail herself of the opportunity of sitting at his feet and learning of him. Afterwards at a supper given to Christ and his disciples in her house "Martha served." Nothing further is known of her. "Mary and Martha are representatives of two orders of human character. One was absorbed, preoccupied, abstracted; the other was concentrated and single-hearted. Her own world was the all of Martha; Christ was the first thought with Mary. To Martha life was 'a succession of particular businesses;' to Mary life 'was rather the flow of one spirit.' Martha was Petrine, Mary was Johannine. The one was a well-meaning, bustling busybody; the other was a reverent disciple, a wistful listener." Paul had such a picture as that of Martha in his mind when he spoke of serving the Lord "without distraction" (Co1 7:35).
Martyr One who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the cause of Christ (Act 22:20; Rev 2:13; Rev 17:6). In this sense Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all other cases is translated "witness." (1.) In a court of justice (Mat 18:16; Mat 26:65; Act 6:13; Act 7:58; Heb 10:28; Ti1 5:19). (2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has seen or known (Luk 24:48; Act 1:8, Act 1:22; Rom 1:9; Th1 2:5, Th1 2:10; Jo1 1:2).
Mary Hebrew Miriam. (1.) The wife of Joseph, the mother of Jesus, called the "Virgin Mary," though never so designated in Scripture (Mat 2:11; Act 1:14). Little is known of her personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3. She was of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David (Psa 132:11; Luk 1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of the lineage of Aaron (Luk 1:36). While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luk 1:35). After this she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was living with her husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah, Jos 15:55; Jos 21:16, in the neighbourhood of Maon), at a considerable distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the mother of her Lord, and then forthwith gave utterance to her hymn of thanksgiving (Luk 1:46; compare Sa1 2:1). After three months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home. Joseph was supernaturally made aware (Mat 1:18) of her condition, and took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus (Luk 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were there they found shelter in the inn or khan provided for strangers (Luk 2:6, Luk 2:7). But as the inn was crowded, Mary had to retire to a place among the cattle, and there she brought forth her son, who was called Jesus (Mat 1:21), because he was to save his people from their sins. This was followed by the presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and their return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matt. 2). There for thirty years Mary, the wife of Joseph the carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering over the strange things that had happened to her. During these years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, viz., his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his being found among the doctors in the temple (Luk 2:41). Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not again mentioned. After the commencement of our Lord's public ministry little notice is taken of Mary. She was present at the marriage in Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum (Mat 12:46, Mat 12:48, Mat 12:49), where Christ uttered the memorable words, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!" The next time we find her is at the cross along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and other women (Joh 19:26). From that hour John took her to his own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room after the Ascension (Act 1:14). From this time she wholly disappears from public notice. The time and manner of her death are unknown. (2.) Mary Magdalene, i.e., Mary of Magdala, a town on the western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. She is for the first time noticed in Luk 8:3 as one of the women who "ministered to Christ of their substance." Their motive was that of gratitude for deliverances he had wrought for them. Out of Mary were cast seven demons. Gratitude to her great Deliverer prompted her to become his follower. These women accompanied him also on his last journey to Jerusalem (Mat 27:55; Mar 15:41; Luk 23:55). They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph's tomb. Again, in the earliest dawn of the first day of the week she, with Salome and Mary the mother of James (Mat 28:1; Mar 16:2), came to the sepulchre, bringing with them sweet spices, that they might anoint the body of Jesus. They found the sepulchre empty, but saw the "vision of angels" (Mat 28:5). She hastens to tell Peter and John, who were probably living together at this time (Joh 20:1, Joh 20:2), and again immediately returns to the sepulchre. There she lingers thoughtfully, weeping at the door of the tomb. The risen Lord appears to her, but at first she knows him not. His utterance of her name "Mary" recalls her to consciousness, and she utters the joyful, reverent cry, "Rabboni." She would fain cling to him, but he forbids her, saying, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala, who now returned to Jerusalem. The idea that this Mary was "the woman who was a sinner," or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless. (3.) Mary the sister of Lazarus is brought to our notice in connection with the visits of our Lord to Bethany. She is contrasted with her sister Martha, who was "cumbered about many things" while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen "the good part." Her character also appears in connection with the death of her brother (Joh 11:20, Joh 11:31, Joh 11:33). On the occasion of our Lord's last visit to Bethany, Mary brought "a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus" as he reclined at table in the house of one Simon, who had been a leper (Mat 26:6; Mar 14:3; Joh 12:2, Joh 12:3). This was an evidence of her overflowing love to the Lord. Nothing is known of her subsequent history. It would appear from this act of Mary's, and from the circumstance that they possessed a family vault (Joh 11:38), and that a large number of Jews from Jerusalem came to condole with them on the death of Lazarus (Joh 11:19), that this family at Bethany belonged to the wealthier class of the people. (See MARTHA.) (4.) Mary the wife of Cleopas is mentioned (Joh 19:25) as standing at the cross in company with Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Jesus. By comparing Mat 27:56 and Mar 15:40, we find that this Mary and "Mary the mother of James the little" are on and the same person, and that she was the sister of our Lord's mother. She was that "other Mary" who was present with Mary of Magdala at the burial of our Lord (Mat 27:61; Mar 15:47); and she was one of those who went early in the morning of the first day of the week to anoint the body, and thus became one of the first witnesses of the resurrection (Mat 28:1; Mar 16:1; Luk 24:1). (5.) Mary the mother of John Mark was one of the earliest of our Lord's disciples. She was the sister of Barnabas (Col 4:10), and joined with him in disposing of their land and giving the proceeds of the sale into the treasury of the Church (Act 4:37; Act 12:12). Her house in Jerusalem was the common meeting-place for the disciples there. (6.) A Christian at Rome who treated Paul with special kindness (Rom 16:6).