Handy Quick Quotes


Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 - c.215) became head of religious teaching in the diocese of Alexandria. This diocese had been founded by Mark following Peter’s death. So Clement had access to its important archives. It also provided easy access to books and articles written by earlier historians. By Clement quoting from them, he preserved important information for later generations. Alexandria was at the centre of the intellectual world, so Clement would have met many of the greatest historians of his time.


Eusebius Pamphili (c 260 – c 340) was the bishop of Caesarea in Palestine and very active in the early church. He was a friend of Pamphius, who founded the large library at Caesarea. In his ten volume: History of the Church, Eusebius passes on some of Clement of Alexandria’s historical information. He is known as ‘The Father of Church History.’


We have used: The Kirsopp Lake translation of: ‘The Ecclesiastical History’ by Eusebius (1980 edition). Alternative translations are available in: The Christian Classical Ethereal Library and from:


Justin Martyr (c100 – 165) in his Latin: Dialogue with Trypho 106. 9-10.

[Quoted by Eusebius [EH v. 8].


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 memoires that this happened, as well that he surnamed other two brothers, who were the sons of Zebedee, with the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder,.….


[Neither Jesus nor Peter wrote personal memoirs so this must be referring to Peter’s oral memoires recorded by Mark].


Eusebius book II chapter 15, verses 1– chapter 16, verse 1

Quoted from Clement of Alexandria’s book: Hypotyposes (Outlines).


… A great light of religion shone on the minds of the hearers of Peter, so that they were not satisfied with a single hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with every kind of exhortation besought Mark, whose Gospel is extant.  Seeing that he was Peter’s follower, to leave them a written statement of the teaching given them verbally, nor did they cease until they had persuaded him. And so became the cause of the Scripture called the Gospel according to Mark. And they say that the Apostle, knowing by the revelation of the spirit to him what had been done, was pleased at their zeal, and ratified the scripture for study in the churches.


Clement quotes the story in the eighth book of the Hypotyposes, and the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias, confirms him. He also says that Peter mentions Mark in his first Epistle, and that he composed this in Rome itself, which they say that he himself indicates, referring to the city metaphorically as Babylon, in the words, “the elect one in Babylon greets you, and Marcus my son.” They say that this Mark was the first to be sent to preach in Egypt the Gospel which he had also put into writing, and was first to establish churches in Alexandria itself.

EUSEBIUS book III chapter 39, 15


[This quotation does not directly concern Peter’s special talk in Rome. But it does tells us it was normal for Mark to record/remember Peter’s talks accurately (i.e. in shorthand) when he was telling a story in Greek. It was not possible to accurately record a talk in Hebrew because it didn’t have a form of shorthand].


We are now obliged to append to the words already quoted from him a tradition about the Mark who wrote the Gospel, which he expounds as follows. “And the Presbyter used to day this, Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making as it were an arrangement of the Lord’s oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.’ “This is related by Papias about Mark, and about Matthew this was said, “Matthew collected the oracles in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could.”


EUSEBIUS book V chapter 8, 2-3

[Quoted from the Latin book: Adversus Haereses III.I.I.

by Irenaeus (c115 – c180)].


Now Matthew published among the Hebrews a written gospel also in their own tongue, while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and founding the church. But after their death Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the things which was preached by Peter, …


[Footnote of translator says the Greek word used for ‘also’ ment that it was a written as well as a spoken gospel.]



EUSEBIUS book VI. 14. 1-7.

And in the Hypotyposeis, …… Clement has inserted a tradition of the primitive elders with regard to the order of the Gospels, as follows. He said that those Gospels were first written which include the genealogies, but that Mark came about into being in this manner: When Peter had public preached the word at Rome, and by the Spirit had proclaimed the Gospel, that those present, who were many, exhorted Mark, as one who had followed him for a long time and remembered what had been spoken, to make a record of what had been said; and he did this; and distributed the Gospel amongst those that asked him. And that when the matter came to Peter’s knowledge, he neither strongly forbade it nor urged it forward.

[Editor’s Note: It should be noticed that Clement uses the plural: the primitive elders.]


JEROME (331 – 420): When he compiled his book: On Illustrious Men, did so in the order of Matthew (chapter 3), Luke (7) Mark (8).

In Chapter 8) Jerome reports that Philo, the famous Jewish historian, wrote of: ‘learned Mark’. [So Mark, would not normally have written in ‘poor’ Greek].


Bishop Papias was a child when Peter was killed, so grew up with the early church.



Augustine wrote: ‘De Consensu Evangelistarum’. In his first volume he wrote that the received order was Matthew-Mark-Luke-John, but the order of dignity was: Matthew-John-Mark-Luke. (AH 1 Book 1:1-3).

As he mentioned Matthew-Mark-Luke, this is sometimes referred to as: ‘The Augustinian Tradition’. This is a misnomer because in his fourth volume Augustine had developed his thoughts regarding both Matthew and Luke

‘Mark … either appears rather as one who goes with Matthew … or, more probably, he goes in step with both. For although he agrees with Matthew in many things, yet in some things he agrees with Luke, (AH 4 Book 4:10. 11).

11th November 2014 [G 319]