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The beast coming out of the sea is like a leopard, with feet like a bears and a mouth like a lions. In Daniels vision of the four beasts, the first was like a lion with eagles wings , the second was like a bear , and the third was like a leopard . John sees these beasts consummated in Daniels fourth beast, which is the beast he describes here . This beast is not autonomous but derives its totalitarian rule from the dragon, and thus its governing authority is demonic .
Did Mark Know Jesus
Mark is never mentioned by name before identifying Mary whose house Peter went to after his prison break as his mother. But there is a curious reference in that may point to him. When Jesus was arrested in the garden, a young man was there who had been following Jesus, wrapped only in a sheet. When Jesus was arrested, all his disciples fled, but this young man hung around too long, and the arresting crowd seized him. But he managed to escape, leaving his sheet behind and fleeing naked.
I understand this to likely be a reference by the author of the gospel of Mark to himself. Its a way of saying, “I was there!” While it is speculation, I can see Jesus and his disciples celebrating the Passover at Marys home. After they left for the garden, it is possible that Judas first led the authorities to Marys home looking for Jesus before going out to the garden. Mark saw the crowd looking for Jesus, threw a sheet around himself, and ran for the garden to warn Jesus. But he arrived too late to provide the warning.
Whether the above was true or not, it is clear that Marks family is a part of the early church. As a young man, Mark grew up in the early days of the church. There is no way to know what kind of role he might have played. But he would have been familiar with all that was going on there. And, speculation again, it could have been Marys home the believers were gathered in at Pentecost. That would have been an exciting time for a young man and follower of Jesus.
Did Paul And Barnabas Reconcile
What about the rift between Barnabas and Paul regarding Mark? Was it ever resolved? The Bible doesnt indicate whether Barnabas and Paul ever met again. Paul mentioned Barnabas in his letter to the Galatians, which was probably written around A.D. 53-54 during Pauls second evangelistic journey. He also mentioned Barnabas in his first letter to the Corinthian church, which was written approximately A.D. 55-57 during Pauls third journey.
So, about five years after his separation from Barnabas, Paul wrote, Do we have no right to eat and drink? Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working? Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? .
Paul spoke of Barnabas in a favorable way as an equal or colleague. It is interesting to note that Paul and Barnabas did not visit Corinth during their journey together. Paul made his first visit to Corinth in A.D. 52-53 during his second evangelistic journey.
Did the Corinthian church know Barnabas? Had he visited them prior to when Paul wrote his letter? We simply dont know.
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Papias & Christian Traditions
This is what Christian tradition has handed down, however, and to be fair, it’s a tradition that dates back pretty far to the writings of Eusebius around the year 325. He, in turn, claimed to be relying upon work from an earlier writer, Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who wrote about this around the year 120:
“Mark, having become Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately whatever he remembered of what was said or done by the Lord, however not in order.”
Papias’ claims were based upon things he said he heard from a “Presbyter.” Eusebius himself is not an entirely trustworthy source, though, and even he had doubts about Papias, a writer who evidently was given to embellishment. Eusebius does imply that Mark died in the 8th year of Nero’s reign, which would have been before Peter died a contradiction to the tradition that Mark wrote down Peter’s stories after his death. What does “interpreter” mean in this context? Does Papias note that things were not written “in order” to explain away contradictions with other gospels?
Ibn Battuta In Alexandria
In reference to Alexandria, speaks of a number of great saints that resided in the city one such saint was Imam Borhan Oddin El Aaraj, who was said to have the power of working miracles. He told Ibn Battuta that he should go find his three brothers, Farid Oddin, who lived in India, Rokn Oddin Ibn Zakarya, who lived in Sindia, and Borhan Oddin, who lived in China. Battuta then made it his purpose to find these people and give them his compliments. Sheikh Yakut was another notable figure who lived in Alexandria the disciple of Sheikh Abu Abbas El Mursi, Abu Abbas was the author of the Hizb El Bahr and was famous for piety and miracles. Abu Abd Allah El Murshidi was a great interpreting saint that lived secluded in the Minyat of Ibn Murshed. He lived alone but was visited daily by emirs, viziers, and crowds that wished to eat with him. The Sultan of Egypt visited him, as well. Ibn Battuta left Alexandria with the intent of visiting him.
Ibn Battuta also visited the Pharos lighthouse on 2 occasions in 1326 he found it to be partly in ruins and in 1349 it had deteriorated further, making entrance to the edifice impossible.
Greek Alexandria was divided into three regions:
In ‘s time , the principal buildings were as follows, enumerated as they were to be seen from a ship entering the Great Harbour.
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Dioceses Parishes Organizations And Institutes
Individual countries, regions, or major cities are served by known as in the Latin Church, or in the Eastern Catholic Churches, each overseen by a bishop. As of 2008, the Catholic Church has 2,795 dioceses. The bishops in a particular country are members of a national or regional episcopal conference.
Dioceses are divided into , each with one or more , , or . Parishes are responsible for the day to day celebration of the sacraments and pastoral care of the laity. As of 2016, there are 221,700 parishes worldwide.
In the Latin Church, Catholic men may serve as deacons or priests by receiving sacramental . Men and women may serve as , as readers ” rel=”nofollow”> lectors), or as . Historically, boys and men have only been permitted to serve as altar servers however, since the 1990s, girls and women have also been permitted.
Ordained Catholics, as well as members of the , may enter into either on an individual basis, as a or , or by joining an in which to take confirming their desire to follow the three of , and obedience. Examples of institutes of consecrated life are the , the , the , the , the , the and the .
“Religious institutes” is a modern term encompassing both “” and “,” which were once distinguished in . The terms “religious order” and “religious institute” tend to be used as synonyms colloquially.
By means of and beyond, the Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of and in the world.
Context Of Mark 1: 24
In the final days of his earthly ministry, Jesus discussed with his disciples the importance of showing strong faith in God. He reinforced this lesson by means of an illustration. While traveling to Jerusalem, he noticed a fig tree that had sprouted early leaves. However, the tree turned out to be fruitless, so Jesus cursed it. The deceptive appearance of that tree illustrated how the ancient nation of Israel, appearing to worship God, actually showed a lack of faith. Soon after, the fig tree withered, which was an indication of what would soon happen to faithless Israel..
In contrast, Jesus was convinced that his followers could develop the faith needed to overcome challenges and accomplish amazing things. Jesus advice on the topic of prayer was especially timely for his followers because their faith would soon be tested. They would have to cope with Jesus death and with increasing opposition to their ministry. Today, Jesus followers can also overcome challenging circumstances when they demonstrate faith in God and in the power of prayer.James 2:26.
Read in the study edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This easy-to-read Bible contains audio recordings, explanatory notes, cross-references, pictures, videos, and maps.
Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Mark.
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The Beasts Opposition To God
The beast is full of himself, uttering haughty and blasphemous words against God, just as Antiochus IV Epiphanes did in his day, functioning as a type of the coming beast . Such activity fits also with the man of lawlessness, who exalts himself as divine . The beast is allowed to exercise his authority for forty-two months. Some understand this to be a literal three and one-half years before Jesus returns. But John is more likely describing the entire period between Jesus first and second coming John wrote not of days far removed from his readers but of the impact of the Roman Empire on them. All totalitarian governments arrogating to themselves divine authority reveal that they too are the beast.
The Mark Of The Beast
The second beast also enforces the power of the first through economic discrimination. No one, no matter his social class or influence, will be able to buy or sell unless he has a mark upon the forehead or hand to signify devotion to the beast. The number signifies the name of the beast . Many interpreters take this literally, as if a literal mark will be imprinted in some fashion on foreheads and hands, but the language is likely symbolic. Just as the seal on the foreheads of the 144,000 is not literal, neither should this mark be understood literally. In any case, the two beasts conspire to exclude believers from the marketplace.
John closes this section with a statement that has fascinated and puzzled interpreters throughout history. He summons the readers to be wise so that they can calculate the number of the beast. We are told the number is the number of a man: 666. Some manuscripts read 616, but the best reading is 666. If the number refers to a particular individual, the best guess is Nero. If Nero Caesar is transliterated from Greek to Hebrew, the letters calculate to 666, though it is doubtful the original audience would have understood this complex solution.
This article is adapted fromedited by Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr, and Jay Sklar.
Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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A Companion Of Paul And Barnabas
Later in Acts 12, Luke mentions John Mark again. This time, hes hitting the road with Paul and Barnabas:
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark. Acts 12:25
John Mark doesnt play a prominent role in any of the events on this missionary journey, but Luke does mention that he was their helper . The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary speculates he may have been something like a recorder, catechist, and travel attendant.
When Paul and Barnabas reached Perga in Pamphylia , John Mark leaves them and returns to Jerusalem.
The Bible doesnt tell us why he left, but when Paul and Barnabas were discussing their second missionary journey, they were divided about bringing John Mark along, and ultimately parted ways because of him. Whatever the conflict was, if we assume Pauls letters refer to this Mark, it would seem that they repaired the relationship:
Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11
Did Paul And Mark Reconcile
Most scholars believe that if there was a significant disagreement between the men, they eventually reconciled. The evidence for this is that Paul mentions twice in later letters he wrote.
According to Philemon 24-25, Paul and Mark were together at a later date. And in Colossians 4:10, Paul goes so far as to commend Mark to the church at Colossae.
|Paul refers to him as a coworker||Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. Philemon 24-25|
|Paul commends him to the church at Colossae||Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas . Colossians 4:10|
The New Testament focuses on the person and work of Jesus Christ and the community of believers called the Church that he established after his Ascension into heaven and Pentecost. In other words, the purpose of it isnt to give readers fully-formed biographies of every character like John Mark, Barnabas, or Paul.
As a result, readers must piece together the information that is provided and be careful not to speculate beyond what is reasonable regarding what Scripture doesnt reveal about a person or event.
Paul And Mark Reconciled
Paul also mentioned Mark in his letters. During his first Roman imprisonment, which occurred around A.D. 61-63, Paul wrote to the members in Colosse.
As Paul concluded his letter, he wrote, Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas , and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision they have proved to be a comfort to me .
Approximately 10 years earlier, Paul had wanted nothing to do with Mark. Now he referred to Mark as one of his fellow workers for the kingdom and a comfort to me. What a wonderful change!
During the same time frame, Paul wrote Philemon and sent greetings from Mark and others and referred to them as my fellow laborers .
Paul was a prisoner in Rome, allowed to live in his own rented house for two years . He was given the freedom to write and send letters, receive visitors and preach the gospel to those who visited, but he was still guarded by a Roman soldier .
He apparently was not allowed freedom of movement, so perhaps Mark and others served as his eyes, ears and legsrecording, delivering and receiving messages. Paul mentioned that Mark might visit Colossepresumably on behalf of Paul .
Antiquity And Roman Empire
Conditions in the facilitated the spread of new ideas. The empire’s network of roads and waterways facilitated travel, and the made travelling safe. The empire encouraged the spread of a common culture with Greek roots, which allowed ideas to be more easily expressed and understood.
Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, however, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism . The Christians’ refusal to join celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christiansincluding government authoritiesto fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire. The were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding until Christianity was legalized in the 4th century.
Most of the Germanic tribes who in the following centuries invaded the Roman Empire had adopted Christianity in its form, which the Catholic Church declared . The resulting religious discord between Germanic rulers and Catholic subjects was avoided when, in 497, , the ruler, converted to orthodox Catholicism, allying himself with the papacy and the monasteries. The Visigoths in Spain followed his lead in 589, and the Lombards in Italy in the course of the 7th century.
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Arab And Ottoman Rule
Cyrenaica was conquered by Muslim Arabs under command of during the tenure of the second caliph, , in c.642, and became known as Barqah after its provincial capital, the ancient city of . After the breakdown of the it was essentially annexed to Egypt, although still under the same name, first under the caliphs.
In the middle of the 11th century, the Bedouin confederation devastated the North African coast under Muslim control. Barqa was ravaged by the Hilalian invasion and left to be settled by the while the Banu Hilal marched westwards. The invasion contributed to the decline of the port cities and maritime trade. The emir Qaraqush marched into the Maghreb and according to al-Maqrizi had taken control of Cyrenaica on orders of who wanted to use the province as an agricultural base. The were seemingly unable to exert any significant control and had to ally with the resident Bedouins to accept their indirectly while paying taxes. The later claimed suzerainty of Cyrenaica based on the Mamluk claim of suzerainty through alliance with the tribes. Cyrenaica was subsumed into .
In 1879, Cyrenaica became a of the Ottoman Empire. In 1888, it became a mutasarrfiyya under a mutasarrf and was further divided into five qadaas. The of however looked after the military and judicial affairs. The bureaucratic setup was similar to the one in Tripoli. The mutasarrfate existed until the Italian invasion.