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and many Protestants, we have then hence a farther confirmation of the truth of the antients' account of the occasion of St. Mark's writing, viz. his writing from Peter's directionat Rome; viz. it will hence appear, that St. Mark was with Peter at Rome, and that he made use of him in the service of the Gospel, because he calls him his son-The words are, The Church which is at Babylon [at Rome], elected together with you, faluteth you, and so doth Mark my fon (or aslistant in the Gospel-work.)
CHA P. VIII. Concerning the Language in which St. Mark wrote his Gospel.
The Arguments of Baronius and Bellarmine, to prove that he wrote in Latin, refuted. Concerning the Time of St. Mark's writing. Two different Opinions proposed. St. Peter was · at Rome. When he came first thither; viz. not till the ninth or tenth of Nero, or the Year of Christ, LXIII. or LXIV.
THUS I have given the best account I can of the original
1 of St. Mark's Gospel, and added such remarks, as appear to me illustrating and confirming of it. I proceed now to consider,
II. In what language this Gospel of St. Mark was written.
Besides Baronius and Bellarmine, and a few zealous Papists who have followed them, I know no one but subscribes to the common report of antiquity, that St. Mark wrote in Greek. These Cardinals pretend he wrote in Latin; but nothing can be pretended upon more weak arguments : all their reasoning may be reduced to the three following heads, which I shall briefly refute ; 1. They urge, that St. Mark, writing his Gospel at Rome, F 2
must be supposed to write it in the language, which was most in use there at that time; i. e. in Latin. But it is easy to reply;
.(1.) That the Greek language was very much known and in use at Rome, when St. Mark wrote. This was the universal language, as Cicero, Seneca, and other writers of that time, assure us; and even the very women at Rome spake in that language b.
(2.) The converts at Rome were, for the most part, of the Jews (as they also were in other countries), and these generally understood Greek, and made use of the Greek Bibles. Grotius's words are as remarkable as true”; “ The Jews, “ who dwelt at Rome, were for the most part ignorant of the “ Latin tongue, but by means of their long abode in Asia and • Greece, had learnt the Greek; and of which language “ there were scarce any of the Romans ignorant.”
(3.) Hence St. Paul, writing an Epistle to the Romans, wrote it in Greek, and not in Latin. . 2. It is urged, that there are several Latin words made Greek in St. Mark's Gospel, and thence concluded, that the · whole Gospel was wrote in Latin.
What can be more absurd ? The argument proves nothing, unless it be the directly contrary to what it is brought for. He who was translating out of Latin into Greek, can never be supposed to put Latin words for Latin words. Accordingly Dr. Mill has justly made this an argument to prove St. Mark wrote first in Greek '; and there are Latin words in each of the Evangelists, as well as Mark.
3. It is urged, that the Syriack, Arabick, and Perfick Verfions affirm St. Mark to have wrote in Latini To which I answer,
a Orat. pro Arch. Poet. $. 23. Senec. Consolat. ad Helv. c. 6.
b. See Du Pin's Canon of the New Teft. ch. 2. 5. 4. p. 42. .
° See above, Vol. I. Part I. Ch. II. p. 26.
d'Græce autem fcripfit Marcus, quanquam in gratiain præcipue Romanorum, ficut et Paulus ad Ro avanos epistolam Græca fcripfit lin..
gua; quia Judæi qui Romæ age bant, plerique Latini sermonis ignari, longa per Græciam et Afiam habitatione Græcam linguam didia cerant, et Romanorum vix quisquam erat' non Græce intelligens. Annot. in Titul. Marci.
e Prolegom. in Nov. Teft. $. M.
(1.) That . (1.) That these epigraphs, or postscripts, at the end of these Versions, are of very uncertain authority
(2.) That the Arabick and Perfick Versions are generally agreed, by those who have examined them, to be made out of the Syriack Version; and Lud. de Dieu has, by a very ingenious and solid criticism on the Epigraph at the end of the Arabick Version of Mark, proved that Version to be very
(3.) That the Epigraph of the Syriack Version, does not affirm Mark to have wrote in Latin, as is generally taken for granted, but only faith, that he spoke and preached in Latin at Rome; the words are, 200 USG He spake his Gospel, and preached it.
As to the testimony of Eutychius Alexandrinus, urged by Baronius, to prove St. Mark to have wrote in Latin, I think there is nothing needful to be said, he being so late a writer ; and besides, Mr. Selden a has largely shewn that the Arabick word ädos, Romana, may be very well taken to denote the Greek language, and then Eutychius's testimony will be, that Mark wrote in Greek. Concerning this whole matter, see Father Simon's Crit. Hift. of the New Test. Part I. ch. ii.
III. It remains, that some enquiry be made into the time when St. Mark wrote his Gospel. In this matter it is exceeding difficult to come to any clear determination. That which occasions the difficulty, is the uncertainty we are under as to the time when St. Peter came to Rome. Some have absolutely denied that he ever was there ; and as they endeavour from Scripture to shew, that during the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius, he was either at Jerusalem, Samaria, or Antioch ; so from St. Paul's Epistles, which were written from Rome, and that which was written to Rome, all of them in the reign of Nero, they finding no falutations sent to Peter, nor from Peter, they conclude, that he never was at Rome b. But these seem to be arguments too weak to counterbalance
the universal testimony of antiquity: there is scarce any fact which is more generally attested; so that for my part, I know not how to deny St. Peter's having been at Rome, without afserting at the same time, that the most universal concurrence of the primitive Christians in relating a fact, is not to be depended upon. The question therefore before us now is, When St. Peter was at Rome? I shall briefly lay down the differing opinions, and then, what appears more probable.
1. The Popish writers generally assert, that St. Peter came to Rome in the second year of Claudius, or the year of Christ XLIV. This is well known: the foundation of their opinion is, that Eusebius in his Ecclefiaftical History faith ; Peter, by the direction of Providence, came to Rome in the reign of Claudius, to contend with, and overcome Simon Magus; and in his Chronicon, that after he had been at Antioch, he went to Rome, in the second year of Claudius, i. e. the year of Chris XLIV. Those who are of this opinion, suppose the Gospel of St. Mark to be written at this time, as Eusebius seems also to have thought; and so it is asserted at the end of the Arabick Version', and of many antient manuscripts of this Gospel, particularly one mentioned by Dr. Hammond ', two referred to by Father Simon", and thirteen cited by Dr. Millf, as it is also by Theophylacts, and others of the Greek Scholiasts.
2. Most Protestants, and some learned writers among the Papists, fuppofe Peter's coming to Rome not to have been till many years after, viz. not till Nero's reign, and the ninth or tenth year of that reign, i. e. about the year of Christ 63, or 64.
The foundations of this opinion are, ! (1.) That St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, does not salute Peter, though he spends almost a whole chapter in faluting particular persons at Rome, and this Epistle is supposed to be wrote about the year 53, or after, viz. in the end of Claudius's reign a.. .
1. Vid, inter alios Dionyf. Petav. Rationar. Tempor. Par. 1. lib. v.c. 3. & Achill. Primin. Gaffar. Epit. Hift. & Chronic. Mundi, p. 93.
b Lib. 2. c. 14.
Annot. in Titul. Matth.
* In Marc. cap. ult.
(2.) That upon St. Paul's coming to Rome first, which was about the year of Christ 58, or 59, viz. in the beginning of Nero, be neither met with Peter there, nor any signs of his having been there, but on the contrary, found the people there ignorant of, and much unacquainted with, Christianity". See Acts xxvüi. 21, 22, &c. 28.
For my own part, I cannot but suspect the validity of this argument in part; for it is certain; that, before St. Paul's coming to Rome, there were many converts made there to the Christian religion. The Epistle to the Roman converts, was wrote four or five years before Paul was at Rome ; and when he came there, the brethren met him, fome at Appii Forum, some at the Three Taverns; Acts xxviii. 15. yet, on the other hand, all this may be supposed, without any Apostle's having been there to preach to them; for the Gospel having been now preached five or fix and twenty years, it is no way unreasonable to suppose it should in this time reach Rome, where there was a general conflux of all sorts of people. See Dr. Whitby on Acts xxviji. 15.
(3.) That Paul makes no mention of Peter in any one of those Epistles, which he wrote from Rome to the churches; which in all probability he would have done, had Peter been there any part of that time.
(4.) That on the contrary, in his Epistle from Rome to the Colossians, St. Paul tells them, that (of the Jews) Mark, fifter's fon to Barnabas, and Jesus, called Justus, were the only fellow-labourers which he had in promoting the kingdom of God, Col. iv. 10, II. This evidently excludes Peterd. .
These, with some other reasons, make it evident to me, that St. Peter was not at Rome till the ninth or tenth year of Nero; i. e. till the year of Christ 63, or 64. and conse
See Dr. Cave's Life of Peter, Sect. II.
b Cleric. Hift. Ecclef. Secul. I. Ad Ann. 61. p. 412. and Dr. Cave loc. cit.
- Cleric. Hift. Eccles. Secul. 1.
ad Ann. 62. p. 422. et ad Ann. 68. p. 447. Cave, ubi fupra. Ea. chard's Ecclef. Hift. b. 2. c. 6. $. 5.
Cave & Cleric. loc. cit.