Mark is the Christian evangelist traditionally taken as the author of The New Testament Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of Mark was written in Greek and deals with the life and teachings of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his death and Ascension. Not all of the events recorded in Mark were necessarily written in their actual order of occurrence.
Most scholars say Mark was the first gospel to be written, making it the oldest (dated somewhere between 66-70 CE).
Mark is also one of the so-called synoptic gospels. The synoptic gospels are the first three gospels appearing in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Some of the details differ within each book but there is also significant overlap – in both content and style – among them.
To account for the material common to Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark, a great number of scholars hypothesize an undiscovered document which they have called Q (from the German: Quelle, meaning “source”).¹
Traditionally, a certain Papias (60-130 CE) the Bishop of Hierapolis wrote that Mark the evangelist composed his gospel based on St. Peter’s recollection of the life and sayings of Christ.
However, contemporary scholars mostly concur that Mark was written by an unknown Christian, possibly in Rome, Galilee or Antioch.
Mark the evangelist is said to have founded the first Christian Church at the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, which according to some traditions, the local pagans resented. His symbology as a winged lion is explained below:
Mark the Evangelist…is symbolized by a winged lion – a figure of courage and monarchy. The lion also represents Jesus’ resurrection (because lions were believed to sleep with open eyes, a comparison with Christ in the tomb), and Christ as king. This signifies that Christians should be courageous on the path of salvation.²
¹ Some scholars mention this entirely hypothetical text as if it definitely existed at one time. Formerly called the logia, it allegedly contains a collection of the sayings of Jesus.