In: The Order of the Synoptics by Harold Riley and Bernard Orchard (1987), page 166 was devoted to short key quotations from some of the ancient historians. Later, Orchard issued a revised page, which we refer to as: 166r. The page contained Orchard’s translations of some passages. As a second edition of the book was not published, these are not widely known. So we print them below so they are not lost.
For other quotations see our items: [G 215] and [G 319].
So Matthew brought out a written Gospel among the Jews in their own style, when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel at Rome and founding the Church. But after their demise, Mark himself the disciple and recorder of Peter, has also handed on to us in writing what had been proclaimed by Peter.
Prologue to Mark
... Mark who was also called "Stubfinger" because he had short fingers in relation to the size of his body.
He had been the disciple and recorder of Peter, whom he followed, just as he had heard him relating. Having been asked by the brethren in Rome he wrote this short gospel in the region of Italy. When Peter heard about it, he approved and authorized it to be read to the church with [his own] authority.
But after the demise of Peter, taking this gospel that he had compiled, he journeyed to Egypt and being ordained the first bishop of Alexandria he founded a church there, preaching Christ.
He was a man of such great learning and austerity of life that he induced all the followers of Christ to follow his example.
Clement of Alexandria
in Ep. Can.
Mark, the follower of Peter, while Peter was publicly preaching the Gospel at Rome before some of Caesar's knights and producing many testimonies about Christ, being begged by them that they should be able to record what was said, wrote the gospel which is called the Gospel of Mark from the things said by Peter — just as Luke is recognized as the pen that wrote the Acts of the Apostles and as the translator of the Letter of Paul to the Hebrews.
1. Thus when the divine word made its home with them [the citizens of Rome], the power of Simon dwindled away and was suddenly destroyed together with the man himself.
To such [a degree] did the flame of true piety illuminate the minds of Peter's hearers that not being satisfied adequately with having just one hearing — [that is] not [satisfied] with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation —but with every sort of entreaty they begged Mark — whose Gospel it is reputed to be, being the follower of Peter — to bequeath to them also in writing the record of the teaching handed to them by word [of mouth], nor did they let up before convincing the man; and by this means they became the cause of the Gospel writing that is said to be 'according to Mark'.
2. And they say that when the Apostle learnt what had happened, through the revelation of the Spirit being pleased with the enthusiasm of the men, he authorised the writing for reading in the churches.
Clement in the Sixth Book of The Outlines relates the story, and the Bishop of Hierapolis, Papias by name, bears joint witness to this [him], for Peter mentions Mark in [his] First Letter, which he also says was composed in Rome itself, and that he indicates this speaking figuratively of the City as Babylon by these words: “The Elect [Lady] in Babylon greets you, and my son Mark ”
16.1. They also say that this Mark was the first to journey to Egypt to preach the Gospel which he himself had written down, and the first to set up churches in Alexandria itself.
Dial. Tryph. 106.9-10
And when it is said that he [Jesus] changed the name of one of the apostles to Peter, and when it is written in his memoirs that this happened, as well as that he surnamed another two brothers, who were the sons of Zebedee, with the name of Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder, this was a signification of ...
5. And again in the same books [The Outlines], Clement states a tradition of the earliest presbyters about the order of the gospels; and it has this form.
He used to say that the earlier-written of the gospels were those containing the genealogies,
6. but that according to Mark has had this formation: Peter having preached the Word publicly in Rome and proclaimed the Gospel by the Spirit, the many who had been present begged Mark, as one who had followed him for a long time and recollected what had been said, to record what he had spoken; and he did so, handing over the Gospel to those who had asked for it.
7. And when Peter got to know about it, he exerted no pressure either to forbid it or to promote it.