The Basis for Luke Primacy
Mark Borrows from Luke-Acts
Mark Borrows from Luke-Acts

Mark Borrows from Luke-Acts

Mark’s Reliance on Luke-Acts

There is much evidence that Mark borrowed from various sources. The Midrashic method that the author of Mark employed is one of homologizing and blending terminology from various sources in the composition of the work. Mark’s principal method was to replace about half of Luke’s earlier and more authentic wording with a variety of synonyms and expressions he culled from certain Old and Net Testaments. 

The author of Mark rewrote various Lukan pericopae using vocabulary Mark had picked up from the sections of Luke that Mark had omitted, from Acts, from the Pauline Epistles and from the Epistle of James. These “Markan pick-ups” allowed Mark to show how the stories about Jesus resonated in the experiences of the later Church.  Mark further exhibits a pattern of replacement, chiastic change, synonymity and word expansion.

In the sections below, a review of Mark’s editorial methodology is shown in reference to the first chapter. The final section below is numerous examples throughout Mark that exhibit borrowing from other contexts in Luke-Acts.

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The Examination of Mark 1 Reveals Mark’s Editorial Method

An examination of Mark chapter 1 reveals the author’s editorial method. Although the parallel with Mark 1 is Luke 3, there is an indication that Mark knew of the first two chapters of Luke and lifted from them.

  • In the parallel of Mark 6:3 with Luke 4:22, Luke states, “This is, after all, the son of Joseph” while Mark states “Is not this man the craftsman, the son of Mary…?” Mark’s changing of this indicates an acquaintance with Luke’s Infancy narrative.
  • Mark 7:31-37 indicates familiarity with a variant reading of Luke 1:63-64. According to the variant (likely original) reading of Codex Bezae, “Zechariah’s tongue was loosed and all were amazed.” That is, the people were amazed because Zecharias tongue was loosed, not because he called his son John. In the story of the def mute of Mark 7:31-37, the author shows knowledge of Luke 1:64 by incorporating its vocabulary in the composition of his story of the healing of the deaf mute.

Now let’s look at various places in Mark chapter 1 which show signs of Mark’s methodology.

Mark 1:1 ← Luke 3:1-4, Hosea 1:2

  • Luke 3:1-3 is consistent with the opening we find in the Hebrew prophets. Haggai 1:1 is an example beginning with “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the hand of Haggai the prophet… saying… ” In the opening verse of Mark’s Gospel
  • In revising Luke 3:1-4, the method of the author of Mark was to base his revisions on other written models when making changes. Mark 1:1 can be explained by the author doing the following:
  • The author noted that Luke 1:2 mentions “from the beginning”, and “those who have become servants of the word”
  • The author was reminded of the opening of Hosea 1:2 in the Lxx. “the beginning of the word of the LORD”—an uncommon way for a Hebrew prophet to begin.
  • Logos (word) is the equivalent of evangelion (gospel) so the author of Mark decided to begin his book as Hosea did but substituting “word” with “gospel” and “LORD” with “Jesus Christ” resulting in “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ”

Mark 1:2 ← Luke 3:3-4, Malachi 3:1, Exodus 23:20, Luke 7:27

  • Luke 3:3 states that John the Baptist came into “all the region of the Jordan preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” and then, in Luke 3:4, quotes from “the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet.”
  • Mark 1:2 exhibiting the habit of deliberate change, moves the quotation to a description of John and what he preaches in reverse order (creating a sort of chiasm, a literary device in which after a sequence of ideas are presented, they are then repeated in reverse order)
  •  In the editing of Mark 1:2, the author is reminded of another context of Jesus mentioning John and then combines references to Malachi 3:1 and Exodus 23:20 resulting in “Behold, I send my messenger before your face who will prepare your way”
  • Although not an exact quotation, the author picks up the statement in Luke 7:27 and adds it to the other quotation from Isaiah, not bothering to change the reference to Isaiah.
  • Mark changes up Luke’s more Hebraic phrasing “the words of the book of Isaiah” and rather states “in Isaiah”—a syntax not paralleled in Hebrew literature.

Mark 1:5 ← Luke 3:7, Acts 26:20, Acts 19:18, James 5:16

  • Mark 1:5 omits most of Luke 3:7-14 while only keeping “to go out” of Luke 3:7
  • Acts 26:20 is picked up as the model for “the entire country of Judea and all the Jerusalemites”
  • The author likely recalls Acts 19:18 where the people were “confessing… their actions” in conjunction with James 5:16, “confess therefore to one another the sins” in portraying the people as “confessing their sins.

Mark 1:6 ← Luke 1:17, 2 Kings 1:8

  • Luke 1:17 “in the spirit of Elijah” likely motivated the author of Mark to describe John being dressed like Elijah and borrowed details from 2 Kings 1:8 in the Lxx of Elijah having worn a belt of leather around his waist.

Mark 1:9-11 ← Acts 10:11-16

  • Mark 1:9-11 exhibits the rewriting of the Baptism of Jesus’ pericope and borrows words from Acts 10:11-16.
  • One of the most famous Markan stereotypes of “immediately” (occurring over 40 times in Mark) is taken from Acts 10:16.

Mark 1:12-13 ← Luke 4:1-2, T. Naph. 8:1-6

  • In Mark 1:12-13, in which the Temptation narrative is substantially shortened, two synonyms are exhibited including “to drive out” from Mark 1:12 and “Satan” from Mark 1:13 to replace the phrase of Luke 4:1 “to be led” and “devil” of Luke 4:2.
  • The “wild beasts” and “angels” of Mark 1:13, are likely adopted from the apocryphal Testament of Naphtali: “And behold, my child, I have shown to you the last times, that everything will come to pass in Israel…If you work that which is good, my children, both people and angels will bless you, and God will be glorified among the nations through you, and the devil will flee from you, and the wild beasts will fear you, and the Lord will love you, and the angels will help you.” (T. Naph. 8:1-6)

Mark 1:14 ← Luke 3:19-20, Luke 7:18-23

  • Luke 3:19-20 regarding John the Baptist notes that Herold the tetrarch put John in prison. Luke did not likely intend to give the impression that this was chronological but included the information about John’s imprisonment as a side note. 
  • The author of Mark, seeing this as chronological, refers to John’s imprisonment as if it preceded Jesus’ departure for Galilee

Mark 1:15 ← Luke 4:14-15, Luke 10:9, Luke 4:21, Rom 15:16, 1 Thess 2:2, 8, 9 Rom 1:16

  • A summary of Jesus’ early ministry appears in Luke 4:14-15: “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee,” and his fame increased “and he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” 
  • The equivalent to the Lukan summary developed in Mark 1:14-15 is Jesus went “declaring” the “Gospel of God” (his terminology for “Word of God” (1) saying “the time has been fulfilled”; (2) ”the kingdom of God has arrived”; (3) “repent”; and (4) “believe in the gospel.” Apart from Luke 10:9 where Jesus taught the disciples, he sent out to say, “the kingdom of God has come near,” Mark generated the rest of these expressions from non-contextual models:
  • “The gospel of God” is Pauline (Rom 15:16, 1 Thess 2:2, 8, 9)
  • “The time has been fulfilled”—We don’t find time in an expression that means “fulfilled time,” elsewhere, although the idea may have been picked up from Luke 4:21 
  • “Repent”—We have no other example of Jesus using the exact word “repent” in an exhortation to repentance. 
  • “Believe in the gospel” is probably generated from Paul’s “the gospel, for it is the power of God to everyone who believes’ of Rom 1:16. 

Mark 1:16 ← Luke 5:1, Luke 6:13-16

  • Mark 1:16 employs a synonym “Sea of Galilee” in exchange for “Lake of Gennesaret” of Luke 5:1
  • According to Luke 6:13-16, the call of the disciples focuses first on Simon. Mark wrote Andrew into the story, probably because the author knew that Simon had a brother named Andrew (Luke 6:14).
  • Mark also writes James and John into the story compared.

Mark 1:17 ← Luke 5:1-11, Jeremiah 16:16

  • Luke 5:10 reports that Jesus said to Peter, “you will be catching (taking alive) men” 
  • Mark 1:17 rephrases this with a synonym, “I will make you to be fishers of men”
  • In making this change, the author may be alluding to Jeremiah 16:16 which suggests the idea of God’s hunting out and fishing the people of Israel. The author apparently adopted the word “fishers” as a synonym for “hunters.”

Mark 1:19 ← Luke 5:1-11

  • Luke 5:3 uses the word “a little, a bit” in connection with a boat moving out a bit. 
  • Mark 1:9 exhibits a change in the use of this word to “Jesus going forward a little.”

Mark 1:20 ← Luke 5:32

  • Luke 5:32 exhibits the proper use of the Hebrew verb to call to something (καλέσαι), “I have not come to call saints but sinners to repentance.”
  • Mark 1:20 uses this verb in a non-Hebraic way, “and immediately he [Jesus] called them”

Mark 1:20 ← Luke 4:31

Another Markan addition of “immediately”  occurs in Mark 1:21 expanding Luke 4:31. Here the Greek syntax of Mark is less Hebraic than Luke.

Mark 1:22 ← Luke 4:32

  • Luke 4:32 states, “and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.”
  • Mark 1:22 replaces this with, “he taught them as one having authority, but not as the scribes.” The scribes were looked up to as authorities, so this statement is suggesting the theological opinion of the author. Mark is embellishing it a step by suggesting that not only is Jesus’ fame already that of a teacher, but the people are amazed that not only does Jesus teach with a different methodology from the scribes, but he has authority where they do not.

Mark 1:26 ← Luke 7:33

Mark has “unclean spirit” or “spirit” in numerous places that Luke has a demon:

  • Mark 1:26 vs. Luke 4:35
  • Mark 5:2 vs. Luke 8:27 and Matt. 8:28
  • Mark 5:13 vs. Luke 8:33 and Matt. 8:31
  • Mark 6:7 vs. Luke 9:1
  • Mark 9:20 vs. Luke 9:42
  • Mark 3:30 has no Lukan or Matthean parallel, Mark 3:30 was likely influenced by Luke 7:33 

The above redactions appear to be due to Mark’s editorial activity. Although “unclean spirit” appears in some places in Luke, it can be classified as “Markan Redactional Vocabulary” on account of the higher frequency in Mark, as compared with Luke and Matthew.

Mark 1:27 ← Luke 4:36, Acts 17:19, 2 Cor 13:10

  • In Luke 4:36, the people say “What is this word, that in authority and power he commands the impure spirits, and they come out?”
  • Mark 1:27 is revised to say “What is this? A new teaching with authority, he even commands impure spirits and they obey him!”
  • The author, understanding that teaching (didachē) and word (logos) were treated as synonymous, produced the phrase “What is this teaching?” The author, trying to preserve something of the idea of logos, wrote “What is this? A new teaching…”
  • The Markan phrase is likely inspired by Acts 17:19, where the Athenians ask Paul, “What is this new teaching… ?” and thus Mark is describing Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue as “new”. 
  • Luke used the more Hebraic greek term en exousia  (a literal rendering of the rabbinic בִּרְשׁוּת [bireshūt, “with permission,” hence, “with authority”]). Mark wrote kat’ exousian, a more sophisticated Greek equivalent similar to kata tēn exousian of 2 Cor 13:10.

Mark 1:30 ← Acts 28:8

Differing Greek words are used in Luke, Mark and Matthew in parallel passages:

  • Luke 4:38—ἦν συνεχοµένη
  • Mark 1:30—κατέκειτο
  • Matt 8:14—βεβληµένην

Mark may have recalled the description of a sick man in Acts 28:8 as inspiration for changing the wording of Mark 1:30.  Drawing from the similar vocabulary in Acts 28:8, it appears that Mark exchanged συνεχοµένη of Luke 4:38 for κατέκειτο in Mark 1:30.

Mark 1:31 ← Luke 8:54, Luke 24:16, Acts 2:24, Acts 3:11, Acts 24:6

Mark’s phrase “to grasp the hand” in the context of healing, was inspired by usage in the story of Luke 8:54. Although the parallel of Luke 4:39 lacks this phrase, Luke shows a willingness to use the same word in other places in his gospel in Luke 8:54 and Luke 24:16 and in Acts 2:24, Acts 3:11, Acts 24:6, and Acts 17:13, nowhere else does Mark and Luke agree to use the verb “to grasp,” to seize.” 

What is telling is that both Luke and Matthew lack this word in passages that parallel Mark, including:

  • Luke 4:39 and Matt 8:15 vs. Mark 1:31
  • Luke 9:42 and Matt 17:18 vs. Mark 9:27

This pattern strongly suggests that it was the author of Mark who added hand-grasping to these healing narratives.

In the Gospel of Luke, use of the same word (κρατεῖν) does not occur in the sense of “to arrest.” In Mark, this word is used eight times.  Compare the following:

  • Luke 3:20 vs. Mark 6:17
  • Luke 20:19 vs. Mark 12:12
  • Luke 22:2 vs. Mark 14:1
  • Luke 22:47 vs. Mark 14:44
  • Luke 22:53 vs. Mark 14:49

Luke in other places, such as Acts 24:6, is willing to use the word κρατεῖν in the sense of “to arrest.” However, Mark adds this word to areas where it originally wasn’t used. Thus, the pattern is all the more curious, and the increased frequency of the word in Mark’s Gospel compared to Luke’s is an indication of κρατεῖν being a Markan stereotype. 

Mark 1:41← Luke

Luke and Mark never agree in the use of “to have compassion” (σπλαγχνίζεσθαι). It appears that Mark observed Luke’s use of σπλαγχνίζεσθαι in the portions of Luke that he omitted and used the word four times in dramatic elaborations of Lukan pericopae including Mark 1:41, Mark 6:34, Mark 9:22 and Mark 8:2. This suggests that Mark is remixing terms from various contexts to deliberate change things up with respect to the Lukan readings.

Mark 1:41← Luke 9:22

The word “much” (πολλά) occurs twelve times in Mark (Mark 1:45, Mark 3:12, Mark 5:10, 23, 38, 43, Mark 6:20, 34, Mark 8:31, Mark 9:12, 26, and Mark 15:3). Only in one instance in Luke 9:22 does Luke validate Mark’s use of the word for “much.” Clearly, the adverbial use of “much” is a Markan stereotype added in many places for embellishment.


Examples of borrowing from other contexts of Luke-Act

While Markan sources include Pauline epistles and James, the most prominent of these sources is Luke-Acts. Mark followed Luke, rewriting and revisiting Luke’s wording, but also re-appropriating the wording taken from other passages Luke-Acts into contexts they were not originally in. The borrowing of wording from other parts of the New Testament in Mark resulted in an innovative remix or mashup, rather than the relaying of primitive Gospel tradition recorded in Luke. Some examples of Mark borrowing from Luke-Acts were given in the section above in reference to Mark chapter 1, below are additional examples throughout Mark starting from chapter 2. These Markan passages are influenced by passages taken from a different context in Luke-Acts.

Mark 2:2 ← Acts 4:29

The statement “to speak the word” (λαλεῖν τὸν λόγον) appears 8 times in Acts (Acts 4:29, 31; Acts 8:25; Acts 11:19; Acts 13:46; Acts 14:25; Acts 16:6, 32) and three times in Mark (Mark 2:2; Mark 4:33; Mark 8:32). Neither Matthew nor Luke agree to write “speak the word” opposite Mark.

Usually in Acts when we encounter λαλεῖν τὸν λόγον, “the word” is qualified by “your” or “of God/the Lord,” however in three instances of λαλεῖν τὸν λόγον “the word” is unqualified as in the three Markan examples (Acts 11:19; 14:25; 16:6). Mark 8:32 “and he spoke the word plainly” appears to have been inspired by Acts 4:29, which reads, “grant that your servants may speak your word with all boldness”; cf. Acts 4:31).

Mark 2:4 ← Acts 9:33, Acts 5:15

The following factors indicate that the Greek word for pallet (κράβαττος) in Mark is a pick-up from Acts.
  • κράβαττος does not occur in Matthew or Luke.
  • The story in Mark 2 and the story in Acts 9:33 are about the healing of a paralyzed man
  • In both Acts 5:15 and Mark 6:55 κράβαττος appears in stories about the healing of many people

Mark 3:11 ← Luke-Acts

The verb saw (θεωρεῖν) occurs 7 times in Mark, but never in agreement with Luke despite the fact, it also occurs 7 times in Luke’s Gospel. θεωρεῖν also occurs 14 times in Acts indicating that the author of Luke had no aversion toward this verb. The frequency in Mark combined with the complete lack of agreement with Luke indicates that θεωρεῖν is Markan stereotype. This fits the pattern of Mark being a remix of the more primitive tradition, swapping the contexts in which certain words are used. 

Mark 4:1 ← Acts 1:1

The phrase “he began to teach” (ἤρξατο διδάσκειν) appears 4 times in Mark (Mark 4:1; 6:2, 34; 8:31). The combination does not occur in Matthew or Luke. It appears that Mark picked up “began to teach” from Acts 1:1, the only other place in NT where we find ἤρξατο + διδάσκειν.

Mark 4:8 ← Acts 6:7, Acts 12:24, Acts 19:20

Matthew and Luke agree against Mark and lack reference to the seed “increasing” (αὐξάνειν). Mark likely added the word to allude to the three instances of this verb in Acts where it refers to the word of God increasing (Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20).

Mark 4:31 ← Luke 17:6

Mark reads  “as a mustard seed,” vs Luke 13:19, “it is like a mustard seed” (ὁµοία ἐστὶν κόκκῳ σινάπεως); (Luke 13:19). Luke 17:6, a verse omitted by the author of Mark, exhibits the phrase “as a mustard seed” (ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως) in the boy delivered from demon pericope. Mark apparently made up for the omission by including the phrase in his paraphrase of the mustard seed parable.

Mark 5:16 ← Acts 9:27, Acts 12:17

The phrase of Mark 5:16 “he described to them how” (διηγήσαντο αὐτοῖς πῶς) occurs in Acts 9:27 and Acts 12:17, where people describe how the Lord had miraculously intervened in their lives. Mark likely had picked up this phrase from Acts.

Mark 5:21 ← Acts 21:2

Mark likely picked up “crossing over… in the boat” from Acts 21:2, where Paul finds a ship and crosses over to Phoenicia.

Mark 5:22 ← Luke-Acts

Eleven times, the author of Mark used the formula εἷς + genitive to designate an individual belonging to a particular group. Eight times, the Gospels of Luke and Matthew agree together against Mark’s use of this formula. Despite the overwhelming Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark’s εἷς + genitive formula, neither author was against this construction in principle. Luke has it 3 times without Mark’s support and it appears once in Acts. The high frequency in Mark, combined with the almost total lack of agreement with Luke despite Luke’s willingness to use the formula elsewhere, indicates that it is a Markan stereotype inspired by the use of the formula in differing contexts in Luke-Acts.

Mark 5:40 ← Acts 9:40

Mark and Matthew describe Jesus sending everyone outside (Mark 5:40; Matt. 13:25) in the account of the Raising of Yair’s Daughter. This detail is absent in Luke (Luke 8:53), however, Acts 9:40 describes Peter sending everyone outside in the story of Dorcas (Tabitha). It is likely that Mark picked up the idea of sending everyone outside from Acts 9:40 and that Matthew, written last, copied this detail from Mark.

Mark 5:41 ← Acts 9:40

“Little girl, arise!” stems from a Greek transliteration of an Aramaic phrase. The addition of this to Mark 5:41 was likely inspired by a similar command, “Tabitha, arise!”, in Acts 9:40.

Mark 5:43 ← Acts 15:24

“To command” (διαστέλλειν) is one of Mark’s stereotypical words, as it occurs 5 times in Mark. There are no occurrences in Luke but διαστέλλειν occurs in Acts 15:24 and Heb. 12:20. The author of Mark likely borrowed this word from Acts. 

Mark 6:9 ← Acts 12:8, Exodus 12:11

Luke 10:4 and Matt. 10:10 record a prohibition against wearing shoes. In the Markan version of Mark 6:9, the apostles are permitted to wear sandals. This phrase “strap on sandals” (ὑποδεδεµένους σανδάλια) only occurs twice in the NT: in Mark 6:9 and Acts 12:8. Scholars have suggested that Mark modified the list of prohibited items in the pericope to permit the items mentioned in Exodus 12:11 that the Hebrew slaves had with them when they ate the Passover lamb. The story of Peter’s escape in Acts 12 not only takes place at Passover, but it draws heavily on the vocabulary of Exodus 12. Thus, it appears the author of Mark borrowed “strap on sandals” from Acts 12:8 to point back to the Exodus in a way that also parallels the story of Peter.

Mark 6:48 ← Acts 27:4

“Against” does not occur in Luke but does occur in Acts 27:4 which reads “for the winds were against us.” It appears that Acts 27:4 was the inspiration for Mark picking up the phrase “the wind was against them.”

Mark 7:6 ← Acts 28:25

The words of Mark 7:6 “Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites” are similar to Paul’s introduction of an Isaiah quotation in Acts 28:25 “Well did the Holy Spirit speak through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers.” It appears that Mark’s introductory formula in Mark 7:6 was inspired by the syntax he found in Acts 28:25.

Mark 8:3 ← Luke

The phrase  “in the way” (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ) occurs six times in Mark and Luke, but Mark never agrees in parallel with Luke. Yet, Matthew and Luke agree against Mark omitting this phrase four times. These findings indicate that the author of Mark picked up “in the way” from the portions of Luke he omitted, and inserted it at other points in his Gospel where it was absent in Luke’s parallel.

Mark 8:6 ← Luke

The phrase  “in the way” (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ) occurs six times in Mark and Luke, but Mark never agrees in parallel with Luke. Yet, Matthew and Luke agree against Mark omitting this phrase four times. These findings indicate that the author of Mark picked up “in the way” from the portions of Luke he omitted, and inserted it at other points in his Gospel where it was absent in Luke’s parallel.

Mark 8:6 ← Luke 22:12 Luke 24:35, Acts 2:43, Acts 27:35, 1 Cor 11:24

Mark’s version of the Feeding 4,000 appears to have been adapted to incorporate eucharistic language that is particularly characteristic of other contexts in Luke-Acts. For example, we find the term “breaking of bread” in Luke 24:35 and Acts 2:43, but nowhere else in the NT. 

Mark 8:6 picked up Eucharistic vocabulary from another context. The precise phrase “giving thanks he broke” (εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν) occurs in only two other NT passages, both pertaining to the Last Supper of Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor 11:24 (cf. Acts 27:35).

Mark 9:1 ← Luke 21:27

Mark 9:1, which parallels Luke 9:27, added “in power” (ἐν δυνάµει). The parallel of Matthew 16:28 agrees with Luke in not adding “in power.” It is likely that the author of Mark added “in power” as influenced by Luke 21:27, which reads, “they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power.”

Mark 9:15 ← Acts 3:11

The verb “to be alarmed” (ἐκθάµβεῖν) occurs 4 times in Mark and nowhere else in the NT. Mark 9:15 is likely modeled on the basis of Acts 3:11, where the only instance of the related adjective ἔκθαµβος in NT appears. The use of ἐκθάµβεῖν appears to have become a Markan stereotype after this initial usage. 

Mark 9:22 ← Acts 16:9

Mark 9:22 and Acts 16:9 are the only two places in the New Testament where we find the exact phrase “Help us!” (βοήθησον ἡµῖν). In Acts 16:9 we read of Paul’s dream in which a man from Macedonia says, “Help us!” The author of Mark may have wished to echo the words of Paul’s dream in his story of the boy afflicted by a demon.

Mark 11:12-14 ← Luke 13:6-9

Mark 11:12-14 appears to be the conversion of a parable regarding a fig tree of Luke 13:6-9 into a Jesus story of the cursing of the fig tree. The similarities between Mark and the non-parallel Lukan passage are: (1) a fig tree is mentioned, (2) a person is seeking fruit from it, (3) it is found not to be bearing fruit and (4) its fate is to be destroyed on account of a lack of fruit. Thus, it is likely that Mark crafted the fig tree narrative in relation to the parable of Luke.

Mark 13:9 ← Acts 22:19

The only other place in the NT where we find what is stated in Mark 13:9, “and in synagogues you will be beaten” (δέρειν + συναγωγή) is Acts 22:19. This appears to be another example of Mark inserting the experiences of later believers as described in Acts into his telling of Jesus’ story.

Mark 13:14 ← Luke 21:20

The combination of “the desolation” (ἡ ἐρήµωσις) in Luke 21:20 and “abomination of desolations” (o βδέλυγµα τῶν ἐρηµώσεων) in Dan. 9:27 is the likely inspiration of adding “the abomination of desolation” in Mark 13:14.

Mark 13:15 ← Luke 17:31

Mark appears to have used verses from Luke 17:22-37, describing the Day of the Son of Man, and changes Jesus’ prophecy concerning the destruction and redemption of Jerusalem into an eschatological discourse about the Second Coming. Mark 13:15 reads, “on that day whoever is on the housetop and his belongings are in the house, let him not go down to get them.” The author of Mark takes “let the one on the housetop not come down” from Luke 17:31 and recontextualizes it. 

Mark 13:20 ← Acts 1:2, 24

The phrase of Mark 13:20, “whom he chose” (οὓς ἐξελέξατο) is only found in two other places in the New Testament, both in Acts, where it appears as a description of the apostles (Acts 1:2, 24). Mark likely picked up this designation from Acts and utilized it in his remixed version of Jesus’ prophecy.

Mark 13:32 ← Luke 9:26, Acts 1:7

It is likely that both Acts 1:7 and Luke 9:26 influenced Mark 13:32. The author of Mark likely picked up the idea that knowledge of the timing of the eschaton is reserved for the Father alone from Acts 1:7, where Jesus states, “It is not yours to know times or seasons which the Father has set in his own authority.” We also note that the Son of Man is associated with the Father and the angels in Luke 9:26. Thus, these two Lukan verses appear to have a combined influence on Mark 13:32. 

Mark 14:2← Acts 12:4

Luke’s more primitive parallel of Luke 22:2 makes no mention of the priests’ intention to delay. However, Acts 12:4 discloses circumstances in which Herod (Agrippa I) put Peter in prison during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and intended to deliver him up to the people after the Passover. It is apparent that the author of Mark incorporated elements borrowed from Acts 12:4 and implemented them into the narrative of chief priests scheming to kill Jesus in Mark 14:2. 

Mark 14:21← Luke 17:1-2

 In Luke 17:1-2 the woe pronounced for those who cause temptation is accompanied by an “it would be better statement.” This non-parallel context in Luke is the inspiration for Mark adding the “it would be better” statement in Mark 14:21. The parallel statement in Luke 22:22 lacks the “it would be better” statement. Here is another example of the author of Mark taking inspiration from non-parallel contexts in Luke-Acts.

Mark 14:46 ← Luke 21:12 + Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:1; 21:27

Five times, Luke describes the arrest of Jesus’ later followers using “they laid hands on” (ἐπιβαλειν + χείρ) including Luke 21:12; Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:1; 21:27. The phrase is not found in Luke’s description of the same story, where Mark 14:46 incorporates this terminology. This evidence suggests that the author of Mark wrote  “they laid hands on him” into his version of Jesus’ arrest, as influenced by Luke 21:12 and the stories of later believers as recorded in Acts.

Mark 14:58← Acts 6:13

Mark incorporates the testimony of false witnesses who claimed that Jesus threatened to destroy the Temple in Mark 14:55-60. This is not an episode that Luke substantiates. It is possible that the author of Mark 14:58 incorporated the episode and the claim of false witness against Jesus as inspired by the story of Stephen in Acts 6:13 who was falsely accused of speaking against the Temple.

Mark 14:63 ← Acts 14:14

Here is another case of a depiction added to Mark that is not substantiated by Luke but yet influenced by some other passage in Luke-Acts. In this case, it is Acts 14:14, where Barnabas and Paul tear their clothes. Other than the parallel of Matthew 26:65 which is derived from Mark 15:58, Acts 14:14 is the only other place in the New Testament where the tearing of garments is described. Thus, another instance of the author of Mark being influenced by another context of Luke-Acts and originating narration that later becomes incorporated by Matthew. 

Mark 14:64 ← Acts 6:11

Mark appears to have re-appropriated the charge of blasphemy from Luke’s account of Stephen’s trial in Acts 6:11 “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” The author of Mark inserted a similar blasphemy charge into his rewritten version of Jesus’ trial.

Mark 14:68 ← Acts 19:15

The verb “to know” (ἐπίστασθαι) occurs 7 times in Acts (Acts 10:28; 15:7; 18:25; 19:15, 25; 20:18; 22:19; 24:10; 26:26) and 14 times in the New Testament overall. The high frequency of use in Acts demonstrates that this is a Lukan term. Yet, Matthew 26:70 and Luke 22:57 mutually agree against Mark in omitting ἐπίστασθαι from their versions of Peter’s denial. Mark 14:68 exhibiting the embellishment demonstrates that this is another compelling case of the author of Mark, remixing his sources as he does, by utilizing Lukan vocabulary taken from another context to dramatize his version of Peter’s denial further. Likely, Acts 19:15 is the inspiration for Mark 14:68. 

Mark 14:72 ← Acts 10:15

The author of Mark likely got the inclination to add a mention to the narrative of Mark 14:72 of the rooster crowing “a second time” based on Acts 10:15, where the voice spoke to Peter a second time on the rooftop. Here again, the author of Mark is embellishing the narrative based on elements borrowed out of context from Acts. 

Flow Chart Diagram

The diagram below incorporates Markan dependency on Luke and Acts and is based on all the research of