Papias states, “Mark was an interpreter to Peter. Mark wrote the words and acts of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ as correctly as he could recollect them. But he did not write the words and acts of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ in a regular order. For he had not heard them from Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, nor had he ever been with him. As I have said, Mark was only a friend of Peter’s. In order to have a book containing his conversations with Peter and the words of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’, he related the events in a haphazard way, choosing the right time and the appropriate gathering for each event he was to tell about. For this reason, Mark should not be blamed for having written some parts of his book in a manner as if he had learned them from his master, Peter. For Mark did not consider it important to write what he had heard without forgetting or changing any parts.”
The early Christian scholars wrote explanations to the Gospel of Mark daily. Iren, one of them, states: “After the deaths of Peter and Paul, Mark wrote what he had memorized before.” Calman of Alexandria says: “As Peter was in Rome yet, Peter’s pupils asked Mark to write his Gospel. He did so. Peter heard of the writing of the book. But he did not say whether he should write it or not.” Eusebius, a historian, says: “Upon hearing of this, Peter was pleased about this effort of his pupils. He ordered that it be read in the church.” Nevertheless, the Gospel of Mark appears to be an imitation of the Gospel of Matthew, rather than the epistles of Peter. Accordingly, the book that Papias says was written by Mark must be another one, other than the existing second Gospel. The seventeenth and eighteenth verses of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Mark read: “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for He-ro’di-as’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.” (Mark: 6-17) “For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.” (ibid: 6-18) This is completely wrong. For the name of Herodias’ husband is given clearly as Hirius, not as Philippus, in the fifth chapter of the eighteenth book of the history of Eusebius. This error exists in the Gospel of Matthew, too. In fact, the translators who wrote the Arabic version which was edited in 1821 [1237 hijri] and 1844 changed this verse by having excised the word ‘Philippus’ from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, though it exists in the translations done in other years.
Again, the two statements in the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth verses of the second chapter of the Gospel of Mark bear the following meaning: “Hadrat Îsâ said unto his pupils: Haven’t you ever read about how Dâwûd (David) and those who were with him, when they were hungry and in need, entered the home of God and he and also those who were with him ate the sacred bread, which was not permissible for anyone except the rabbis to eat, in the days of Abiathar, the head rabbis?” These statements are wrong, erroneous for two reasons:
First, at that time hadrat Dâwûd was alone. No one was with him. Second, in those days the head of rabbis was not Abiatar, but perhaps his father, Ahimlik. [Members of the Congregation of Seventies that administer the Jews’ affairs are called Rabbi. Their preachers are called Scribes.]