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Created 5927± 05 22 2023 [2007-08-06]

Updated 5925[(*??*)] 09 04 2029 [2012-12-17]

Added 5927[(*??*)] 05 14 2031 [2015-08-29] – A reference to Papias “describing how Mark accurately recorded the “recollections of Peter” .“

Revised 5927[(*??*)] 05 14 2031 [2015-08-29] – Clarifying my language re  Mary, the wife of Simon Peter, being distinct and separate from Mary Magdalene. (Cf. my last prior version.)





New Testament Families


Peter’s Family: Wife Mary & Son Mark

Peter’s brother-in-law: Barnabas



Are we missing valuable lessons re examples of family life extant within the Holy Scriptures?

Based upon NT texts and in the light of the within chronology discoveries we learn that the apostle Peter’s wife was named Mary and that they were married already at a time near the beginning of Yeshua’s ministry. - Who were the couple being celebrated at the wedding feast in Cana in Galilee?

We also may conclude that John, surnamed Mark, was Peter’s and Mary’s son, and that Barnabas was Mary’s brother and Peter’s brother-in-law.

If indeed the Gospel of Mark was written by this same John Mark, then Mark’s gospel would be based upon his own experiences and observations as a relatively small child (cf. Mark 14:51 KJV and Mark’s words “a certain young man…;” remember the words typically used by the other Gospel writers in reference to themselves!) in addition to his intimate knowledge of  Peter and Mary, as well as a very close relationship with his uncle Barnabas and with Paul, not to mention other disciples and eyewitnesses. Nevertheless, a comparison of Mark 14:51[1] at the time of crucifixion (19 CE,) and Mark’s still being under the tutorship of Barnabas during his travels with Paul and Barnabas (cf. Acts 12:21, which relates events that took place in 29-30 CE,) provides for us a fairly good idea of Mark’s age at the time…

However, what else is really the basis for believing that this Mark is the author of the Gospel of Mark? I do not find the name Mark mentioned anywhere in the gospels except in the title to the Gospel of Mark. Is the title “The Gospel of Mark” an original title?


Added 5927[(*??*)] 05 14 2031 [2015-08-29:]

Wikipedia (in the article about Justin Martin) notes that “Papias uses a… term meaning remembered (apomnemoneusen) when describing how Mark accurately recorded the “recollections of Peter” .“ Seems quite a likely for a son to pursue, does it not?!





Cleophas[2] & Mary

Matt 8:14; 27:56; 28:1

Mark 1:30-31; 15:40; 16:1

Luke 4:38; 24:10

John 19:25





 Matthew 16:17

John 1:42; 21:15-17












Joses = Barnabas

Acts 4:36; 13:1-2


James the less



1 Cor 9:5

Acts 12:13

Simon Peter Cephas Cleopas[3]

Luke 24:13, 18, 33-34; 1 Cor 15:5





















John Mark

1 Peter 5:13

Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37, 39

Col 4:10































What families can be identified in the New Testament?

1 Corinthians 9:5  Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

1 Corinthians 9:6  Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

As I stumbled upon Barnabas being mentioned by Paul in the above passage, wondering why Paul would mention Barnabas in this context [long after they parted ways per Acts 15:39] and wondering whether Barnabas was actually back together with Paul in Philippi when this epistle was being written [I found no further evidence for that,] while pursuing the answer to my question I came upon the following texts:


The origins of Barnabas:

Acts 4:36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,


The beginnings of Saul’s relationship with Barnabas:

Acts 9:27  But Barnabas took him [Saul,] and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Acts 11:22  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

Acts 11:25  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:


John Mark’s mother was Mary – Why would it be natural for Peter to head to Mary’s home in the middle of the night?:

Acts 12:12  And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

Acts 12:13  And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.


On what basis was John Mark brought by Barnabas on their journeys?

Acts 12:25  And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Acts 15:37  And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.


Why was it natural for Barnabas to bring along Mark? How old was Mark at this time?

Acts 15:39  And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;


What is the relationship between Mark and Barnabas? Why has Paul’s attitude to Mark changed with time?

Colossians 4:10  Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Mark, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

2 Timothy 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Philemon 1:24  Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.



What is the relationship between Peter and Mark?

1 Peter 5:13  The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.



So, who was Cephas’ wife?

Who was Peter’s wife? Well, from Peter’s own words above (1 Peter 5:13) it appears as though Mark is Peter’s son, does it not? But clearly, Mark’s mother was Mary, correct (Acts 12:12?) So for all I can tell Peter’s wife was Mary, and their son was Mark. So, is it any wonder then that Peter went to Mary’s place as soon has he was released from the prison in the middle of the night (Acts 12:11-13?)

Consider also the following text. Who is Clophas? Is this a transliteration error for Cephas? After all, the original language is likely to have been Hebrew, which was then likely first translated to Aramaic before being further translated into Greek and later English:

John 19:25  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.


Confirmation for Cleophas being the same one as Cephas, i.e. Simon Peter, is found upon a close comparison of Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13, 18 & 34, thus ascertaining that the wife of Cephas’, i.e. of Simon Peter, was indeed Mary.


Furthermore, is John 19:25 referencing four, or only three, women? If three, what does this text tell us about Jesus’ relationship to Peter’s family? Uncle, aunt, and first cousin?




What may the above relationships teach us re the close relationship between Paul and Barnabas?

Considering how important Barnabas had been for Saul in making Saul accepted by the church which he had before severely persecuted, is it any wonder that the two of them remained close to one another even after their dissention over Mark, who was the nephew of Barnabas? Is there any wonder that given time (cf. 2 Tim. 4:11 and Philemon 1:24 above, both written in 45 CE) Paul was able to overcome the hard feelings he had had for Mark at the time of the events in Acts 15:39 (39 or 40 CE?)

Considering Paul’s and Barnabas’ close relationship, is it strange that Barnabas should tend to side with Peter, his own brother-in-law, when there was a dissention between Peter and Paul? What relationships tend to be stronger in the long run? Blood relationships or mere friendship?

Galatians 2:11  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Galatians 2:12  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Galatians 2:13  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.



Was John Mark the author of the Gospel of Mark?

So, what does this tell us about Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark? Was John Mark the author of the Gospel with the same name? If Mark’s father was Peter and his mother was Mary, how close a relationship may he have had to Yeshua from his early childhood? How old was Mark at the time of the crucifixion? If Mark was old enough to travel with his uncle Barnabas and Paul, first from Jerusalem, and then on their mission travels as related in Acts 13 and 14, yet young enough not to be named along with Paul and Barnabas on their joint mission, he would likely be in his early teens, would he not? Especially considering that he was allowed to part from his uncle and from Paul as recorded in Acts 15:38? Considering that Barnabas and Saul (Acts 12:25) had left Jerusalem with Mark in the biblical year 29/30 CE and that the crucifixion took place in April 18 CE, i.e. about 12 years prior, I find that Mark was not likely born more than a year or so after the crucifixion, but could possibly have been born a few years before. However, if before, then it might seem as though something more would have been written about the family relationship between Peter and Mary and their son in the Gospels, would it not? Nevertheless, three of the gospels do mention Peter’s wife from early on (more below…) Accordingly, if indeed John Mark is the Gospel writer, then he would most likely have been quite a small child during most of the time being recorded in the gospels, nevertheless, considering his very intimate relationship with his father Peter, his mother Mary, his uncle Barnabas, and then with Paul, John Mark would indeed have a most intimate inside knowledge of the people whose lives are being recorded in the gospels, would he not?



What do these Scripture passages indicate re the age of John Mark?

Notice how that Mark is treated as a child under the custody first of his mother Mary and then under his uncle Barnabas:

Acts 12:12  And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

Acts 12:25  And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Acts 15:37  And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.


Notice the absence of any mentioning of Mark in the following context during which it does indeed appear as though Mark was present (cf. Acts 15:38.) Being such a youngster in the company of his uncle, Mark is not being specifically mentioned:


Acts 13:1  Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 13:2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Acts 13:3  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.


Thus, it is clear that Mark, or John Mark, was still being a youngster at the time of these events recorded in Acts, events which apparently took place in the revised year 29-30 CE. Yet, ten years prior to that, in 19 CE, at the time of the crucifixion of Yeshua, per Mark 14:51, it appears as though this same John Mark was at least old enough to be present as a young lad together with Yeshua and his disciples, when, in the midst of the night, Yeshua was taken captive and bound…:


Mark 14:51 KJV  And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him…

Mark 14:52 KJV  And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.


Or isn’t it true that the typical practice at the time, as exemplified also by the other Gospel authors, that the author of any given NT text is generally referencing himself anonymously and in the 3rd person, that is, as in this passage, “a certain young man?” Cf. Re John: John 18:15, 16; 19:26; 21:2, 7, 20; Re Luke: Luke 24:12, 13, 18.





Two men named Joses:

As we may see from the following texts, one of Yeshua’s brothers was also named Joses. Perhaps, in order to distinguish between the two, the second Joses came to be named Barnabas by the apostles. Had these two Joses both been a reference to one and the same man, then Mary, Peter’s wife, and Barnabas’ sister, would have most likely been also Yeshua’s sister and that doesn’t seem to find any support by the text, especially considering that Barnabas is further identified as being a Levite of the country of Cyprus:


Matthew 13:55  Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?


Acts 4:36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,


Matthew 27:56  Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.


Acts 1:14  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.





Which Mary was Peter’s wife?

From the following relationships one might consider whether Peter’s wife wasn’t Mary Magdalene and that the beginning of their relationship as man and wife wasn’t the experiences and sorrows they shared so intimately at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection of Yeshua:


John 20:1  The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.

John 20:2  Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.

John 20:11  But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher,

John 20:16  Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

John 20:17  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

John 20:18  Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.


On the other hand, do we have another contender for the honor of being Peter’s wife? Is it really possible that what appears in John 19:25 (KJV) as two women named Mary are in an original Hebrew manuscript only one, i.e. “Mary, the wife of Cephas: Mary Magdalene?” Luke is making it clear to us (Luke 24:13, 18 & 34; cf. Mark 16:12; 1 Cor. 15:5) that Cephas and Cleophas are indeed names of one and the same man, i.e. Simon Peter, “the son of Jona,” is he not? Could it still be possible that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Peter? The consistent use of the Greek word ‘kai’ between “the wife of Cleophas” and “Mary Magdalene,” in John 19:25, seems to deny such a possibility. And so does the Syriac Peshitta New Testament! Thus, as best I can tell, there is no sustainable basis for those two women of John 19:25 as one woman only! More below…


John 19:25  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.


Luke 24:13  And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

Luke 24:18  And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Luke 24:33  And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Luke 24:34  Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.


1 Cor 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:




Perhaps something of interest may be found in the following word study?


G2786: Κηφᾶς, Kēphas, kay-fas', Of Chaldee origin (compare [H3710]); the Rock; Cephas (that is, Kepha), surname of Peter

G2810: Κλεόπας, Kleopas, kleh-op'-as, Probably contracted from Κλεόπατρος Kleopatros (compounded from G2811 and G3962)

G2811: κλέος, kleos, kleh'-os, From a shorter form of G2564; renown (as if being called)

G2564: καλέω, kaleō, kal-eh'-o, Akin to the base of G2753; to “call” (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise)

G2832: Κλωπᾶς, Klōpas, klo-pas', Of Chaldee origin (corresponding to G256); Clopas, an Israelite.

G256: Ἀλφαῖος, Alphaios, al-fah'-yos, Of Hebrew origin (compare [H2501]); Alpheus, an Israelite.

H2501: חלף, cheleph, kheh'-lef, The same as H2500; change; Cheleph, a place in Palestine.

H2500: חלף, chêleph, khay'-lef, From H2498; properly exchange; hence (as preposition) instead of.

H2498: חלף, châlaph, khaw-laf', A primitive root; properly to slide by, that is, (by implication) to hasten away, pass on, spring up, pierce or change.


Compare also the following very similar Hebrew word:

 H504: אלף, 'eleph, eh'-lef, From H502; a family; also (from the sense of yoking or taming) an ox or cow: - family, kine, oxen.


Makes me wonder whose wedding Yeshua attended in Cana in Galilee…???






Lastly, there are these familiar passages to consider:


Matthew 8:14  And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.


Mark 1:30  But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

Mark 1:31  And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.


Luke 4:38  And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.


Considering the context of these passages, especially those of Mark and Luke, it is clear that this event occurred in the beginning of Yeshua’s ministry. In fact, this event happens to be exactly dated to Sivan 11 or 12, 16 CE [Saturday June 6, 16 CE.]


It follows that Peter was married already at this time, and accordingly it is quite possible that his and Mary’s son John Mark was born also at this time. If that is true it is even possible that John Mark was himself an eyewitness, albeit as quite a young child, to the events surrounding Yeshua and his disciples, one of which was his very own father, Peter, another one being one of the Marys. Seeing that John Mark was old enough (cf. Acts 15:38) to depart from the company of Barnabas and Paul in 29 CE at the time of the events recorded in Acts 12:25, I find this being confirmatory evidence of said facts; and of John Mark’s mother being distinct and separate from the woman named Mary Magdalene.







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[1] Thanks, Lars Kullberg, for your assistance in bringing this detail re the age of Mark at the time of Mark 14:51 to my attention during our Sabbath afternoon meeting with the Karlstad SDA church group! (That is, on 5923[(*??*)] 04 26 2027 [2011-08-27.])

[2] Cleophas of John 19:25, being the husband of Mary and the father of James and Joses, is clearly distinct and separate from Cleopas, Simon Peter Cephas, the husband of Mary, the sister of Joses=Barnabas. Thanks to my friend Kjell who gave me this beautiful reference work of the Jehovah’s Witnesses named Insight on the Scriptures in two volumes, where the entries ‘Cleopas’ and ‘Clopas’ on p. 481 helped clarify this difference for me!

[3] Cf. footnote #1