Today is the feast of St Mark the Evangelist.
He is attributed as the author of one of the four gospels.
St Mark is also known as the founder of the Christian Church in Alexandria in Egypt in North Africa.
Alexandria was one of the main centres of the early Christian Church until the Moslem invasion in the seventh century AD. Although a minority of the overall population they are still a vibrant and important Christian community.
He was born in Cyrene around 5 AD.
Died around 68AD in Egypt.
The Gospels are divided into two groups.
The Synoptic Gospels i.e. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and then John’s gospel.
The Synoptic gospels use an older common source. Then the three evangelists adapted them to particular congregations that they served.
John’s gospel was finalised several years after the other three.
All gospels are written from the preserved memories and writings of eyewitnesses who were with Jesus.
All reflect the faith of the early Christian community based around the apostles and other eyewitnesses who were with Jesus.
They are a much treasured and valuable source of information about Jesus and his core message.
For Christians who value all the bible, they are at the heart of the scriptures.
They certainly are a true record of the early church’s faith. However, they are very valuable also for Christians of all time and places. They are great resource for prayer, both private and communal.
They are divinely inspired and have been accepted as such from ancient times.