Life of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark

Severus Ebn-El-Mokafa (955-987AD) Coptic Bishop of Hermopolis Magna in his Life of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark wrote John Mark’s biography.

John Mark was from Pentapolis in Cyrene (Libya).  Aristobulus, John Mark’s father, and his uncle were both devout Jews who left Pentapolis and moved to Judea after the Berbers and Ethiopians ransacked their prosperous farm.  The wife of Simon Peter was their cousin, so it was Peter who introduced John Mark to Christianity and guided him.  John Mark’s mother was the sister of Barnabas.   It was Peter who sent John Mark to Africa about 15 years after the death of Jesus to spread The Word; then later John Mark rejoined Peter on other missions including the one to Rome.

John Mark had been well connected to key people of the Christian movement from very early on.   In the Coptic tradition it is believed that John Mark was the servant who poured the water for Jesus at Cana. Some also believe that John Mark was the young man in the white garment at the scene of Christ’s betrayal by Judas.    John Mark had traveled throughout the empire with Peter, Paul, and Barnabas on mission after mission; it was only natural for him to tell the story of the final mission of Barnabas and of the death and burial of his beloved uncle.

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