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The African Memory of Mark

Chapter 4

Literary Sources of the African Memory of Mark

Dr. Oden sets forth the three main literary sources (others to be set forth later) he will utilize for studying the African Memory of Mark. Dr. Oden makes the case for the academic fitness of these three sources as well.



How does one assign “credibility” to the telling of an ancient story?  What are the parameters that are used?  How does the evidence presented on pages 60-61 fit reasonable parameters?


When many people from a wide variety of perspectives and places consistently tell and retell the same story, what does that say for the credibility of the story?


Do not miss the statement concerning agreement between Martyrium Marciand the Roman Martyrology (p. 65).  What is the significance of the agreement between these two separated sources?


Describe the role taken by Sawirus based on the data presented on page 69.


Consider the resources and qualifications that Sawirus Al-Muqaffa brought to his work as compiler of an authoritative history (65-74).   Is it reasonable that he could have done a thorough, credible and complete work?  Why or why not?


Read the analysis of Sawirus’ outcomes on page 74.  How does this section influence your answers to the previous question?

For further investigation on determining source credibility, you may find some of the links below helpful:

In your own words describe the purpose of this chapter?