Mark autograph as Latin or Graeco-Latin or two editions

Steven Avery

[TC-Alternate-list] Mark autograph as Latin or Graeco-Latin
Steven Avery - 2011-07
Hoskier - Paul-Louis Couchoud - Francis Crawford Burkitt - Francesco Carotta

Starting with this post from 2011. Tweaking it here.


The question of whether the NT documents were all written in Greek comes up occasionally. The Greek origin of the NT documents is close to axiomatic in textual criticism circles (Greek-Onlyism). And was generally supported by the Reformation-era and later scholars, including the Westminster Confession and John Gill, who emphasized the Greek and Hebrew-Aramaic originals. While these were references to the apographa, especially the Received Text, and not a reference to ethereal autographs, the use of the word originals often implied original apostolic language as well.

In considering whether the accepted is sound and proven, there are some theories that are a bit oddball. In that regard the Aramaic primacy folks (22 Peshitta books originally in Aramaic) have their niche. What is ironic in their theories is how much it is another perspective on Alexandrian corruptions. Many of their major arguments are the superiority of the Aramaic text over the Alexandrian! (Which is no surprise, since the Peshitta is predominantly Byzantine-equivalent.)

Putting that aside, we have in a general overview:



Disclaimer: There are being referenced en passant, without any special checking.

Historical questions about Matthew, in Hebrew, although by most reckonings that would not be about canonical Matthew, but a separate writing no longer extant.

Sometimes there are theories of a dual-language origin, as in Hebrews, with Paul and Luke corroborating in Hebrew to Greek (one theory, per Eusebius.)

Revelation, also special textually, has had some non-Greek theories.

There may be some others.
However the key question has been:



Mark has the largest series of questions. Apparently the unusual grammar fits a translation-Greek document well. Even in English translation I believe this can be felt and those savvy in Latin have commented on the Latin grammatical undercurrent consistency.

There have been some theories of an Aramaic origin. And this was probably the larger movement for a short period because of Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935), author of Was the Gospel of Mark Written in Latin? and Charles Cutler Torrey (1863-1956).

Yet more compelling arguments have been made of a Latin or Graeco-Latin original document. Historically, to begin with, it simply makes a lot more sense, fitting with various evidences and concepts and history of Mark and Peter in Rome. The two theories, Aramaic and Latin, have similarities in their strengths yet clearly are mutually exclusive.

Friedrick Bleek (1869)
Introduction to the New Testament (1869)
Several Catholic scholars - Bellarmine Baronius Salmero Lapide Hardouin

On the Latin source question, Herman Charles Hoskier (1853-1938) wrote on this topic in Codex B and its Allies.

Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879-1959), despite being a bit of a mythicist, is also a major figure in this discussion, with

Revue de l'histoire des religions, Vol. 94 (1926), pp. 161-192
L'évangile de Marc a-t-il été écrit en latin? (1926)
Paul-Louis Couchoud

...écrit en hébreu (έβραιστί), l'évangile de Marc en latin (ρ ω ραισ'τί), ceux de Luc et die Jean en grec (ελληνιστί) (ι). En suscription à la vál gate syriaque (Peschitto), à la version syriaque héracléemme et à plusieurs manuscrits grecs (2) on lit que l'évangile de Marc « a été écrit en latin, à Rome :...

and in 1930 Das Markusevangelium Ist in Lateinischer Sprache Verfasst Wordem. There may be another writing in 1927.

Klaus Schilling mentioning Couchoud on email lists. Burkitt wrote about Couchoud's ideas in 1928 in the article above Was the Gospel of Mark written in Latin?. One summary from Schilling is here.

In that period there are three other articles referenced in a bibliography, by Pernot, De Zwaan, not in English. The bibliography you can see at:

Gospel Origins - compiled by Alan Bill
"Latin as the Original Language of the Gospel of Mark."

1927 PERNOT, H. Études sur la langue des évangiles. 1927, 11+226pp. [EB 1928: p103]
"Un prétendu original Latin du l'Évangile de Marc" Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 95 (1927) pp43-59

1928 DE ZWAAN, J. "Scrip serit ne Marcus latine evangelium suum?" Mnemosyne ns55 (1928) pp243-253.

1938 DE ZWAAN, J. "John wrote in Aramaic" Journal of Biblical Literature 57 (1938) pp155-172.

On the flip side:

Mélanges: II. L'évangile de saint Marc n'a pas été écrit en latin / Lagrange Marie-Joseph

Those are some of the major references. There is also Francesco Carotta (b. 1946), who has used those Mark Latin ideas for his kooky Jesus as Caesar theory. His discussion and references on that one issue of Mark should not be automatically genetic-fallacy dismissed. However, they may be comparatively superficial anyway.

Going to an earlier times Caesar Baronius (1538-1607) and Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) of the rcc used the idea of a Mark in Latin as part of their Vulgate position. Jean Hardouin (1636-1729) took a more extensive Latin original position and Palaeoromaica by John Black (1783-1855) created quite a stir c. 1822. There were many responses contra the gospels in Latin presentation, and a second book by Black. I would have to check, but he may have argued for all the Gospels in Latin.

Substantive discussions on textual forums are rare.
The late William L. Petersen (1950-2006) shared a bit in a thread on the tc-list in 1999.

tc-list Why Not Latin? - William Petersen - Feb 11, 1999


Jay Rogers

John Henry Ludlam - (196-2005)
Mark Latin Ph. D. from Yale in 1957.


NEIL GODFREY CONTRA MAURICE CASEY - "stopped clock tells time !"

Notice this blog post. It is by Neil Godfrey, a bit of a skeptic-mythicist and very uneven. Godfrey approached this from another angle, first countering the Aramaic Mark theories. Apparently because he wants to disagree with Professor Maurice Casey on things like the historicity of Jesus:)And Casey's early dating of Mark.

Make a Path: Maurice Casey's evidence of an Aramaic source for Mark's Gospel, or Creative Fiction? - Nov 10, 2010

Notice that I shared with Neil there about the Latin Mark ideas, apparently leading to:

Roll over Maurice Casey: Latin, not Aramaic, explains Marks bad Greek - Dec 6, 2010

A note of caution on Neil Godfrey, if you too strongly refute a position he takes, he may not post your note on his blog. This is not an open forum. Thus, I stopped posting there long ago. Nonetheless, occasionally there are some interesting blog entries, and I may try a round two.



A five page work of quotations.
Extracts from believers that Mark's Gospel was written in Latin.

David Bruce Gain

Proof that the Gospel of Mark was written in Latin.
David Bruce Gain.

Notice that in the bibliography above, a book on the topic was printed in 1978 in South Africa. As for David Bruce Gain's own textual reconstruction and translation techniques, and even the techie specifics of his arguments, that is not really the theme of this post. Even if the main gain from Gain is the early church writers quotes in the first article, that is helpful.



Usually all this about Mark in Latin gets minimal notice from textual writers. Despite the obvious significance to textual theories. However, I am told on a forum that Philip Wesley Comfort discusses Greek source documents being translations from Latin or other languages in :

Early Manuscripts & Modern Translations of the New Testament, Philip Wesley Comfort, 1996 pg. 115.

And I am hoping to get more information on what Comfort shares.

Plus there is real need for both an insightful discussion, and a web presentation where the chips fall as they may.

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Steven Avery

The Bellarmine text points to two other scholars, and one later, Gilbert Coles, who then quotes Bellarmine

Bellarmine - ending of Mark, doxology, heavenly witnesses, Mark in Latin

St Robert Bellarmine: Chapter Seven: On the Greek Edition of the New Testament
"Now that the book of Mark was written in Latin by Mark himself at Rome, and then was by the same turned into Greek at Aquileia, is taught by Adrianus Finus in Scourge of the Jews bk.6 ch.80 and bk.8 ch.62, and by Petrus Antonius Beuther who followed Finus in his notes 8 and 9 on Sacred Scripture. In the life also of St. Peter which holds first place in the Pontifical of Damasus, it is sufficiently openly indicated that Mark’s Gospel was initially written by him in Latin."

St Robert Bellarmine: Chapter Fifteen: On Vernacular Editions

A second proof is from the use of the Apostles; for the Apostles preached and established Churches through the whole earth, as is plain from Paul Romans ch.10 and Colossians ch.1, and from Mark last chapter. Again from Irenaeus bk.1 ch.3, who although he was close to Apostolic times yet says that in his time there were already Churches founded in the Orient, in Libya, in Egypt, in Spain, in Germany, and in the middle regions, that is in Italy and Gaul. And yet they did not write their Gospels or epistles in the languages of the nations they preached to but only in Hebrew or Greek and, as some wish, Latin. For there are those who reckon that Mark’s Gospel, as we also advised above, was written at Rome in Latin by Mark himself, and was afterwards by him translated into Greek, about which see Damasus in his Life of Blessed Peter, Adrianus Finus Scourge against the Jews bk.6 ch.80 and bk.8 ch.63, and Peter Antonius Beuter note 90 on Sacred Scripture.

Now that they did not write in any other languages, although they were not ignorant of them, since they had the gift of tongues, can be shown in many ways.

First, because there is no trace extant of any Apostolic writing save in Greek, nor does any of the ancients hand on that they wrote save in Hebrew or Greek or Latin. Further, Paul wrote in Greek to the Romans, although however not Greek but Latin was the vernacular of the Romans; again Peter and James wrote in Greek to the Jews scattered over the earth, to whom however neither Greek nor Hebrew was maternal but the tongue of the region where they were living, as is plain from the verse of Acts ch.1, “Are not these who speak Galileans? And behold we hear them speaking in our own tongues, etc.” For thus did the Jews speak who had come from various regions to the city of Jerusalem. For thus does Luke say in Acts ch.2, “But there were in Jerusalem Jews, religious men, from every nation under heaven.” Again John wrote his first letter to the Parthians in Greek, as Blessed Higinus testifies in epist.1, and Blessed Augustine Evangelical Questions bk.2 q.39, and Pope John II in epist. to Valerius, although however Greek was not maternal to the Parthians.

In Judaeos flagellum ex sacris scripturis excerptum (1538)
Adrianus Finus

Annotationes decem ad Sacram Scripturam.
Pedro Antonio Beuter - Beuther

Gilbert Coles (1679)

The First Pontiff: Pope Damasus I and the Expansion of the Roman Primacy (2015)
Thomas J. McIntyre
97 Ambrosius...and the rest of the holy bishops assembled in the great city of Rome” that recognized “the most religious Flavian” as rightful bishop of Antioch.333The most troubling result of the Council of Constantinople was not its fifth canon but its third. It stated, “The Bishop of Constantinople, however, shall have the prerogative of honourafter the Bishop of Rome, because Constantinople is New Rome.”334 This canon was problematic for Damasus on a number of levels. It demoted Alexandria and Antioch, which had long enjoyed status just behind Rome. Moreover, despite maintaining the primacy of Rome, Damasus worried that it ultimately threatened the foundation of that primacy. The authority of bishops had been said to derive ultimately from the mission of the apostles....In contrast, by elevating to a position above Alexandria and Antioch a city that was only recently founded and did not claim for its church an apostolic origin in the same way that those cities did, I Constantinople’s third canon seemed to base primatial authority upon the mere secular circumstance that Constantinople happened to be the new capital of the Roman Empire.335The response of the Roman synod, under the leadership of Damasus, indicates that he well knew the possible implications of the canon. Damasus made the argument that the rank of each should be based on the founding of those churches by apostles rather than the founding of the cities by emperors. Therefore first is the seat at the Roman church of the apostle Peter 'having no spot or wrinkle or any other [defect]'. However the second place was given in the name of blessed Peter to Mark his disciple and gospel-writer at Alexandria, and who himself wrote down the word of truth directed by Peter the apostle in Egypt and gloriously consummated [his life] in martyrdom. Indeed, the third place is held at Antioch of the most blessed and honourable apostle Peter, who lived there before he came to Roma and where first the name of the new race of the Christians was heard.336

333 Theodoret, V.ix

334 Canon III

335 William Henn, “The Honor of My Brothers: A Brief History of the Relationship Between the Pope and theBishops,” (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 200), 59-60.

336 Decretum Gelasianum III.iii.

We are looking for his Life of Blessed Peter? Is there such a work. Here we have Decretum Gelasianum.
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Steven Avery

Are there cogent debunkings or counterpoint?

Introduction to the New Testament

Michaelis page given here

Southern Review

An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.., Volume 2
Thomas Hartwell Horne (1818)



1 This seems to be indicated in a note appended to St. Mark's Gospel in the Peschito: “ This is the end of the holy Gospel preached by Mark, who preached in Roman at Rome",—a remark which probably has reference to a written version of the Gospel; and it occurs at the end of some Greek MSS. also. As to the Epistle to the Romans, it is said in a note at the end of some Syrian mss. that it was written in Roman. (Hebrew), i.e. in Latin. But these notes and additions, though wide- spread, are not to be relied upon : they are the work of later copyists or readers, and were based ujon the opinion that writings addressed to Roman Christians must have been written in Latin. It was generally supposed—and, as we shall hereafter see, not wholly without reason—that St. Mark’s Gospel was written for Romans. It must at least be granted that these books might first have been written in Latin. But they might just as probably have been written in Greek, because Greek was well known and in use, as in other countries, so also in Rome at the time: it was understood by all educated persons, and was spoken by many. ( Vid. Wetstein, N. T. ii. p. 18; CREDNER, pinL i. 2, p. 883.) The authors of the Christian Scriptures might therefore reasonably take it for granted that their works in Greek could be read and understood by all Romans. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans is written in Greek, and Dionysius of Corinth wrote his work adversus Haereses in this language. It is evident, however, from the character of the Greek itself in the two N. T. books named, that they are not translations from a Latin original, and there is no hint whatever of their existence during the first century in Latin. In the case of St. Mark’s Gospel, the existence of such an original at a later period was asserted, and it was supposed that certain fragments in the libraries of Prague and Venice were in Mark's own handwriting. But this opinion is now generally acknowledged untenable, because the fragments there are only parts of an old Latin translation of Mark. (Fit/. Jos. Dobuowsky, Fragmentum Pragcnse Ev. S. Marci, vulgo autographi, Prag 1778.)

1 Vid., in answer to Harduin, S. J. Baumgarten, Vindiclas textus Graeci N. T. contra Hard.,Halle 1742, 4to; Michaelis, Einl. i. p. 107 sqq.



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Steven Avery

Aramaic origin.
Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) Was the Gospel of Mark Written in Latin? and
Charles Cutler Torrey (1863-1956).

Maurice Casey (Aramaic) and Neil Godfrey (considers possible Latin pro)

Lagrange Marie-Joseph contra

Many Black contras

Friedrick Bleek (1869)
Introduction to the New Testament (1869)
Several Catholic scholars -



Caesar Baronius (1538-1607)
Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
Jean Hardouin (1636-1729)

Adrianus Finus in Scourge of the Jews bk.6 ch.80 and bk.8 ch.62, and by
Petrus Antonius Beuther

Gilbert Coles

John Black (1783-1855)
Herman Charles Hoskier
(1853-1938) wrote on this topic in Codex B and its Allies.

Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879-1959), despite being a bit of a mythicist, is also a major figure in this discussion, with

Francis Crawford Burkitt

Klaus Schilling
Frans-Joris Fabri

De Zwaan,

Francesco Carotta

Philip Wesley Comfort

Ludlum, John Henry (Jr.) - (1916-2005) Messiah's Kingdom - Mark Latin Ph. D. from Yale in 1957.

Alan Bill

David Bruce Gain

Jay Rogers
quite a long argument in favor of the Latin original for Mark. Three chapters were given over to stating textual data and analyzing it in order to show the likelihood of a Latin original for Mark. The book is Codex B and Its Allies by H. C. Hoskier, London, Bernard Quaritch, 1914, 2v. The three chapters are the fourth, fifth and sixth. The fourth chapter is titled: “Concerning the Latin Version of St. Mark.” I would copy the entire first page, page 126, into this footnote, if it were not aside from our main purpose to do so. The fifth chapter is titled: “Two or More Greek Recensions of St. Mark.” It is described in the table of contents as follows: “Selected examples of varieties of readings and renderings throughout the Gospel.” Chapter six is titled: “Concerning the Latin base of St. Mark.”

William L. Petersen (1950-2006)

Jay Rogers
Another question is that as to the language in which Mark wrote. The original language of the second Gospel is rarely mentioned. Whenever it is mentioned, as far as I have been able to learn, it is always said to be Latin,l4 This may come to you as a surprise, as it also did to me.15 The important point to watch is the alleged fact that Mark did not write in Greek. If he used Latin, then, in such a case, one or more translations would have been made into Greek, Coptic, and Syriac. And of course the Gospel could also have been translated later into any one of the languages mentioned from any of the others. It could also have been translated back again into Latin.16 I

“Those who translated the Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek can be counted, but the Latin translators are out of all number. For in the early days of the faith, every man who happened to gain possession of a Greek manuscript and who imagined he had any facility in both languages, however slight that might be, dared to make a translation.”
(De Doctrina Christiana, II, 11, 16)

Alan Bill

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Steven Avery

Some of those (up to Couchoud) who say Mark's
Gospel was written in Latin.
by David Bruce Gain
author of: Proof that the gospel of Mark was written in Latin
(Those who did not write in English are given in English translation).

The authors of the colophons of some early Peshitta (Syriac) MSS: "This is the end of the Holy Gospel preached by Mark, who preached in Latin at Rome", of the colophons of several Arabic and many Armenian MSS, of the colophons of Greek MSS 160 (of 1123) and 161 (10th century) and 124 (11th century).

Ephraem Syrus (306?-373) in his commentary on Tatian's Diatessaron (written in Syriac) App 1.1: "Mark wrote the Gospel in Latin".

Gregory Nazianzen (329-390) (wrote in Greek) AP 319: "Matthew wrote of the wonderful works of Christ for the Hebrews, Mark for Italy, Luke for Greece" (i.e. Matthew in Hebrew, Mark in Latin, Luke in Greek).

Anastasius bibliothecarius (810?-878?) in the life of Peter in his "Liber pontificalis" (Account of the Popes): "He {Peter} wrote two letters which are called "catholic" and the Gospel of Mark (because Mark was his listener and son through baptism) ... one {Evangelist} wrote in Greek, one in Hebrew, one {Mark} in Latin".

Eutychius (877-940) Patriarch of Alexandria, pp 35-6 of the edition of John Selden (London 1642); Selden entitles the work "Ecclesiae suae origines" (Origins of his church) (the work is in Arabic): "In the time of Nero Caesar Peter, the leader of the apostles, wrote, with Mark, the Gospel of Mark
in Latin at Rome, but he ascribed it to Mark".

Agapius of Hierapolis (?-941) "Universal History" (written in Arabic) Part 2: "Mark wrote the Gospel in Latin for the inhabitants of greater Rome" (i.e. Rome, not Constantinople).

Dionysius bar Salibi (?-1171) "Commentaries on the Gospels" (written in Syriac): "Mark wrote his Gospel at Rome in Roman, that is Latin".

Jacobus de Voragine (1230?-1298) Archbishop of Genoa, in "Sermones de Sanctis per totius anni circulum" (Accounts of the Saints celebrated throughout the year) page 193 of the 1573 edition, under "St Mark the evangelist": "He went to Aquileia... He left there a great treasure, namely the work which he wrote in Greek at Rome but there in Latin".

Ricaldo da Monte di Croce (1243?-1320) in "Confutatio Alcorani seu legis Saracenorum" (Refutation of the Koran or the law of the Saracens): "Matthew wrote in Hebrew in Judaea, John in Greek in Asia, Luke in the same language in Greece, Mark in Latin in Italy".

Joannes Cantacuzenus (1292?-1383) Byzantine emperor, in his "Nine Books against the Jews" (written in Greek).

Richard Fitzralph (1295?-1360) Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, in Book 9 of his "Quaestiones Armenorum" (Quesions concerning the Armeni): "Matthew wrote the Gospel in Hebrew, John in Greek, Mark in Latin ... each without doubt taught that the consecration should be made in those languages in which they wrote).

Mar Odisho (?-1318) Metropolitan of Nisibis and Armenia, who wrote in Syriac, on page 95 of Mar Eshai Shimm "Book of Marganitha" (2007): "Mark who wrote in Latin at Rome". Ibn Kaldun (1337-1406) in "Muqaddima" (written in Arabic) 1.476-7 (translated by F. Rosenthal, 1958) says Mark wrote in Latin.

Ibrahim al Barradi (14th century) in "Kitab al Jawahir..." (written in Arabic) volume 1, book 1, chapter 19, says Mark wrote in Greek and Latin.

Pietro di Natale (?-1406?) Bishop of Aquileia in "Catalogus Sanctorum et gestorum eorum" (An account of the Saints and their works) book 4, chapter 86 (1543 edition): "Peter ordained that Mark should be the Protobishop of Aquileia; it was there that his Gospel, which he had previously written in Latin at Rome, was fashioned again, in Greek utterance". Fino Fini di Adria (1431?-1517) in "In Judaeos flagellum ex sacris scripturis excerptum" (Excerpts from sacred scripture whipping the Jews), 1538, Book 6 chapter 80: "Mark wrote his Gospel twice, first at Rome in Latin from the Blessed Apostle Peter, the shepherd of the church, when he talked of the Lord's passion and other things concerning him; and, begged by his friends, he wrote this Gospel again in Aquileia, but in Greek, and it is this Greek version that the Blessed Jerome talks of when he says: 'Or we do not understand Mark's meaning', because the Blessed Peter saw it in Latin".

Pedro Anton Beuter (1490-1554) in "Adnotationes decem ad sanctam scripturam" (Ten annotations on sacred scripture), 1547 p.116: "Mark wrote his Gospel at Rome ... this Gospel is said to have been given in Latin, reproducing what he had heard from Peter".

Cardinal Gugliemo Sirleto (1514-1585) Volume 15 of Cornelius a lapide (1567-1637) (1891 edition) p.666 (introduction to Mark) (written in Latin): "Cardinal Sirleto, a very learned man, had noticed several strange words in the Greek text of Mark's Gospel which appeared from the Latin exemplar or, as they {Sirleto and Baronius} say, the Latin original, to have been translated into half-Latin Greek" (see "Cardinal Caesar Baronius" below).

Onofrio Panvinio (1529-1568) in "Epitome pontificum Romanorum a S. Petro usque ad Paulum llll" (A brief account of the Roman pontiffs from Saint Peter to Paul 4th) 1558 p.1: "Matthew wrote in Hebrew, Luke in Greek, Mark in Latin".

Cardinal Caesar Baronius (1538-1607) in "Annales ecclesiastici" (Annals of the church) (1593) on the year 45: "One with a good knowledge of Greek who reads the Greek text of Mark carefully will find several strange words which he will easily recognize as translated from Latin into half-Latin Greek".

Alphonsus Ciaconius (1540-1601) in "Vitae et res gestae summorum pontificum a Christo Domino usque ad Clementem VIII" (Lives and deeds of the supreme pontiffs from the Lord Christ to Clement 8th) 1601, in the life of Peter: "All the Syrians and reason persuade that a Gospel written for the use of Latin speakers was written in Latin".

Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) in "Controversiae de verbo Dei" (Controversies concerning the word of God), 1607, book 2, chapter 8: "It is clearly indicated that Mark's Gospel was originally written by him in Latin".

Jacobus Gretser (1562-1625) in "Defensio controversiarum Roberti Bellarmini" (A defence of Robert Bellarmine's "Controversies") (1609) Book 2, chapter 7.

Petrus Kirstenius (1577-1640) in "Vitae evangelistarum quatuor nunc primum ex antiquo codice manuscripto Arabico Caesario erutae" (Lives of the four evangelists now for the first time extracted from an old Caesarian Arabic manuscript), 1608, p.36: "I do not find in these writings any clear statement about the language in which Saint Mark wrote his Gospel, but the general opinion seems to be correct, that it was in Latin. If he wrote at Rome, there is no doubt that he wrote primarily for Romans, and so in Latin, and so Saint Peter first proclaimed it in Rome".

Jacobus Tirinus (1580-1636) in "Commentarii in sacram scripturam" (Commentaries on sacred scripture), 1632, Volume 3 p.86 (introduction to Mark): "He wrote his Gospel from what he had heard from St Peter his teacher, in Latin, since he was at Rome".

Melchior Inchofer (1584?-1648), one of Galileo's adversaries at his trial, in "Historia sacrae Latinitatis" (The story of sacred Latin), 1638, Book 5, chapter 8, p.147: "We think that there was one of the evangelists who wrote for the Romans and in Latin. He was Mark. Not only the authority of many but also reason itself indicate that he must be most renowned among Latins on this account".

Joao da Sylveira (1592-1637) in "Opuscula varia" (Various works) 1728, the first work, section 5 (the Evangelists), enquiry 5 (on Saint Mark the evangelist and his Gospel): "Since he wrote it for the Romans, he wrote it in Latin".

Paganino Gaudenzio (1595-1649), a friend of Galileo's. Cornelius a lapide (see quotation under "Cardinal Gugliemo Sirleto): "Pagnini Gaudentius, a professor at the University of Pisa, has written a dissertation on this question, dedicated to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in which he maintains that Saint Mark first wrote his Gospel in Latin at Rome".

Jean Hardouin (1646-1729) in "Commentarius in Novum Testamentum" (Commentary on the New Testament), 1741, beginning of preface: "Latin, in which we consider and know that the writers of the New Testament wrote"; p.142: on Mark 15.15: the learned know that the Greek IKANON POIHSAI comes from the Latin satisfacere; FRAGELLWSAS is made up from the Latin flagellis caesum; on 15.39: KENTURIWN has been inexpertly made up from the Latin centurio.

John Black (1783-1855), editor of the "Morning Chronicle", in "Palaeoromaica, or historical and philological disquisitions inquiring... whether the many new words in the Elzevir Greek testament are not formed from the Latin" (1822). On p.86: "What is singular, on the hypothesis that Mark wrote in Greek, is, that he should have thought it necessary to explain Greek by Latin words: chap. xii 42: LEPTA DUO O ESTI KODRANTHS; xv 16: ESW THS AULHS O ESTI PRAITWRION, - 42: PARASKEUH O ESTI PROSABBATON".

L'Abbe Blaviel in "La Tribune sacree" (The sacred Tribune) 1863, p. 106 (from "A speech given by the Abbe Blaviel, vicar general of the diocese" {of Montauban}: "The Gospel ... of St Mark, written in Latin".

John Barber Lightfoot (1828-1889), Bishop of Durham, in "St Clement of Rome" (Apostolic Fathers, Vols. 1 & 2), 1890, excursus on St Peter at Rome, pp. 481-502: "When Mark is called the ERMHNEUTHS 'the interpreter' of Peter, the reference must be to the Latin not the Greek language. The evidence that Greek was spoken commonly in the towns bordering on the Sea of Galilee is ample, even if this had not been the necessary inference from the whole tenour of the New Testament".

Cardinal James Gibbons (1834-1921), Archbishop of Baltimore and Primate of the United States, in "The light of the cross in the twentieth century" (1905) Vol 3: "St Mark, who wrote the second Gospel, followed him {Peter} to Rome ... It was written in Latin, the common language of the Romans at that time".

Edgar Simmons Buchanan (1872-1932), an editor of Old Latin Gospel texts, in "The search for the original words of the Gospel" (1914) pp.12-13: "St Mark, I believe, was originally written in Latin ... I believe myself that the Roman legionaries, the men who served under Caesar and the men who served under Augustus, did not speak Greek. I believe they spoke in Latin, and I believe that St Mark - Marcus is a downright Latin name - I believe that St Mark wrote in the Latin tongue for those ordinary people of Roman Italy".

Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879-1959) in "L'evangile de Marc a ete ecrit en Latin" (The Gospel of Mark was written in Latin), Revue de l'histoire des Religions 94 (1926) 161-92
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Steven Avery

Benjamin Wisner Bacon (1860-1932)

Is Mark a Roman Gospel? (1919) and 2009 edition
Benjamin Wisner Bacon
translation Greek refs

The Gospel of Mark: Its Composition and Date (1925)

Expositor (1905)
Again the Authorship of the Last Verses of Mark
p. 401-412
This gives the hint of the
Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus for the ending of Mark - Mark 16:14 - mentioning Celsus and Jerome
Mark 16:14 (AV)
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat,
and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart,
because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
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Steven Avery


Good question. Erasmus, Cajetan and Melchior Cano had expressed some doubts on the Mark ending, or noted it missing in some Greek mss. However that seems to based mostly on the Eusebius-Jerome comments. Bellarmine did work with Vaticanus, so that could have been a major influence. Still, the comment is surprising.

Some of Bellarmine's most interesting comments are on Mark in Latin. (I am using another site.)

St Robert Bellarmine: Chapter Seven: On the Greek Edition of the New Testament

"Now that the book of Mark was written in Latin by Mark himself at Rome, and then was by the same turned into Greek at Aquileia, is taught by Adrianus Finus in Scourge of the Jews bk.6 ch.80 and bk.8 ch.62, and by Petrus Antonius Beuther who followed Finus in his notes 8 and 9 on Sacred Scripture. In the life also of St. Peter which holds first place in the Pontifical of Damasus, it is sufficiently openly indicated that Mark’s Gospel was initially written by him in Latin."

Rarely have I seen a good study of the question of Mark writing in Latin (or two editions, or a Graeco-Latin dialect) despite the fact that this has been shared by solid scholars. The textual critics appear to have a blind-spot of Greek Onlyism :).

Steven Avery

The gospel according to St. Mark: the Greek text with introduction, notes and indices (1905)
Henry Barclay Swete
p. xxxix

"earlier than the summer of A. D. 70" - a late date

Argues for Greek

John Barbour Lightfoot in Clement argues Latin
subscriptions saying Rome and Latin Itala
autograph of Mark once believed in Vulgate ms
Blass - Aramaic - Papias - says Blass misses the internal translations!

p. xlii
When he adds that the Aramaic words in St Mark are “relics of the original, preserved by the translation,” Blass seems to overlook the fact that they are followed in almost every case by a rendering into Greek. A translator might have either translated the Aramaic or transliterated it; but transliteration followed by interpretation savours of an original writer.

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Steven Avery

Early Stuart Polemical Hermeneutics: Andrew Willet’s 1611 Hexapla on Romans -(2017)
Darren M. Pollock
Roman Catholic and Protestant exegetes held many beliefs about the textual basis of Scripture in common, with their dispute over the more authentic textual tradition boiling down to a disagreement over the level of corruption of the later Greek manuscripts.25 Each side acknowledged that the New Testament was originally penned in Greek and conceded that an error-free Greek original would, were there an extant copy, be the optimal basis for theological debate.26


p. 298
Andrew Willets 1611 Hexapla on Romans Darren M. Pollock,. .... Appended to Andrew Willet, Synopsis Papismi.... extracted out of His own
Speeches by Doctor Willet concerning Politique governement in England and Scotland.