The Early Christian Church - Vol. 1

By Philip Carrington | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA

The disagreement over Mark, p.108. Silas and Timothy, p.109. The new Pauline mission, A.D. 49, p.112. The journals of Luke, p.113. Paul in Macedonia, p. 113. The church in Thessalonica, p. 115. Questions from Thessalonica, p.117. The catechism of holy love, p.118. Athens, p.119. Corinth, p.121. The Corinthian church, p.122. Gallio, A.D. 52, p. 123.


THE DISAGREEMENT OVER MARK

Immediately after the Jerusalem council, Paul and Barnabas resolved to visit their churches in Galatia and deliver the decisions of the council; but a serious difference of opinion ended in their parting company. It concerned Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, who had been their assistant when they left Antioch on their first mission, but had parted from them at Perga of Pamphylia and returned to Jerusalem. Paul felt that he could not accept his services, and so the two cousins went off to Cyprus where they had family connexions, leaving the Galatian field open to Paul. It was approached through Cilicia, where he had family connexions.

Luke is now approaching the point at which he has immediate personal knowledge; and when we consider how careful he has been to pass over disagreements among the Christian leaders, we find it hard to understand why he allows this one to come to the surface. He does not conceal the fact that Paul was not satisfied with Mark, and we know from our reading of Galatians that he had not been pleased with Barnabas either. The storms of controversy had not completely subsided. Something occurred which Luke felt could not be entirely omitted even if it did seem to cast a slur on Mark. Why did he feel obliged to mention it at all? Possibly to make it clear that the situation was no worse? There may have been impressions abroad which he thought should be corrected? It is one of the many indications that Acts was written not long after the events with which it deals in its second half.

Barnabas and Mark are not mentioned again in Acts; but Mark came back again into the Pauline orbit about ten years later. When

-108-

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