Tuesday, April 25, 2006
St. Mark the Clerk for St. Peter
St. Mark's Day has me thinking about St. Peter again, something Lutherans are customarily loath to do. I think it's Clement of Alexandria, or perhaps Eusebius, or Papias, or a few of these, who made the claim that St. Mark was the writer for St. Peter. It's pretty much accepted, I believe. That makes the second Gospel in effect Peter's Gospel. But why, we must ask, did not Peter write it himself? Who knows, but maybe it's because the Apostolic Band deemed that he, as the primus inter pares, ought to have someone writing things down for him, that he may attend to the matters which pressed upon his greater episcopacy. On the other hand, he did write epistles on his own. But maybe the Gospel of Mark is nevertheless a bit of evidence of the Apostolic primacy of Peter.
Why, for that matter, did St. John wait when he got to the tomb, for Peter to go in first? Same thing.
I don't mean to take things too far, as Rome certainly has, but there is something to be said for this. There is plenty of evidence for this primacy thing. And I think we Lutherans are sometimes afraid of discussing it at all. Historians know it's true. What can we learn from it? I'll be away from my desk for a few days, so I'll open this up for discussion if anyone's interested, and then come back and see whether anyone is.