Edited, with additions, by E. E. Whitfield.

Elliot Stock, 1907

(See “Appendix” towards the end of this series for more notes on the book of Mark. The numbers throughout this series that are not super-scripted refer to the notes on the Appendix page.)

“The Son of man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister.”


Lectures on the Second Gospel, by the late Mr. W. Kelly, for fifty years editor of the Bible Treasury, passed through that magazine in the years 1865 and 1866, as “Remarks on the Gospel of Mark.” These are now reproduced under the title intended by him for their separate publication. He hoped to develop the lectures by the addition of critical apparatus and an examination of the common treatment of the “Synoptic problem.” As this was not to be carried out by himself, an endeavour has been made to supply in the present volume something in substitution.

For the English text of this Gospel, in the “Remarks” generally that of the Authorised Version, large use has been made of an anonymous “New Translation” referred to by Dr. F. Field in his “Otium Norvicense.” That version was a work of Mr. J. N. Darby, and as such serves better for a volume of Mr. Kelly’s writings than any other which might be offered in lieu of his own. The Greek text represented is, accordingly, that which underlies Mr. Darby’s translation. The portions peculiar to Mark are here in heavy type. Any deviations from the Authorised Version of Old Testament passages quoted are drawn from the same translation (London: G. Morrish, 1890). Marginal references to parallel passages in the other Gospels have been added.

To the few critical notes which appeared originally, with some taken from other volumes of the magazine, the letters “B.T.” are attached; the rest are new. All these foot-notes embrace the latest available evidence, such as that of the Sinai palimpsest, discovered in 1892, of what is considered the oldest Syriac version known. “Edd.” (editors) stands for the critical text adopted in 1904 by the British and Foreign Bible Society for its centenary edition of the Greek New Testament, a translation of which, in Bagster’s “Workers’ New Testament” (1906), is at the command of ordinary English readers.

The Introduction is made up from later papers of Mr. Kelly in the Bible Treasury, especially extracts from those collected in his volume entitled “God’s Inspiration of the Scriptures,” which will indicate his attitude on the historical and the textual criticism of the Gospels, and that of Mark in particular. These have been developed in the notes arranged as an APPENDIX, where reference is made chiefly to the literature that has appeared within the last forty years. For such notes the editor alone is responsible. Indexes of passages and contents complete the book.

Readers will find “freedom of criticism” applied to the ideas of some of the real leaders in the business of literary and historical criticism of the Bible. To use words of Professor Julius Wellhausen himself, we should have “eyes to see” and should “dare to use them.” Anyone familiar with the processes by which Biblical study is carried on by learned Germans knows what generals they are in the army of “hewers of wood and drawers of water”; how admirable in investigation of what lies on the surface; but how their very occupation with details mars their insight, for which ingenuity has to do duty. They have more to learn from Englishmen than we from them: in this country sound sense is seldom lacking. Constant submission by English-speaking people to German critical opinion is in every way a mistake.

May God in His mercy deliver many from the present widespread apostasy, that such may continue in His goodness! Those who would surrender Christ’s word cannot be far off from giving up Himself.

E.E.W. March, 1907.