Divorce1 Then ▼ Jesus ▼
▼ Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.left that place and went to the region of Judea and ▼
▼ Alexandrian and other witnesses (א B C* L Ψ 0274 892 2427 pc co) read καὶ πέραν (kai peran, “and beyond”), while Western and Caesarean witnesses (C2 D W Δ Θ f1, 13 28 565 579 1241 al) read πέραν (simply “beyond”). It is difficult to decide between the Alexandrian and Western readings here, but since the parallel in Matt 19:1 omits καί the weight is slightly in favor of including it here; scribes may have omitted the word here to harmonize this passage to the Matthean passage. Because of the perceived geographical difficulties found in the earlier readings (omission of the word “and” would make it seem as though Judea is beyond the Jordan), the majority of the witnesses (A Maj.) read διὰ τοῦ πέραν (dia tou peran, “through the other side”), perhaps trying to indicate the direction of Jesus’ travel.beyond the Jordan River. ▼
▼ “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity. The region referred to here is sometimes known as Transjordan (i.e., “across the Jordan”).Again crowds gathered to him, and again, as was his custom, he taught them. 2 Then some Pharisees ▼
▼ The Western text (D it) and a few others have only καί (kai) here, rather than καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι (kai proselthontes Farisaioi, here translated as “then some Pharisees came”). The longer reading, a specific identification of the subject, may have been prompted by the parallel in Matt 19:3. The fact that the mss vary in how they express this subject lends credence to this judgment: οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι προσελθόντες (hoi de Farisaioi proselthontes, “now the Pharisees came”) in W Θ 565 2542 pc; καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι (kai proselthontes hoi Farisaioi, “then the Pharisees came”) in א C N (f1: καὶ προσελθόντες ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) 579 1241 1424 pm; and καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι in A B K L Γ Δ Ψ f13 28 700 892 2427 pm. Further, the use of an indefinite plural (a general “they”) is a Markan feature, occurring over twenty times. Thus, internally the evidence looks rather strong for the shorter reading, in spite of the minimal external support for it. However, if scribes assimilated this text to Matt 19:3, a more exact parallel might have been expected: Matthew has καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Φαρισαῖοι (kai prosēlqon autō Farisaioi, “then Pharisees came to him”). Although the verb form needs to be different according to syntactical requirements of the respective sentences, the word order variety, as well as the presence or absence of the article and the alternation between δέ and καί as the introductory conjunction, all suggest that the variety of readings might not be due to scribal adjustments toward Matthew. At the same time, the article with Φαρισαῖοι is found in both Gospels in many of the same witnesses (א Maj. in Matt; א pm in Mark), and the anarthrous Φαρισαῖοι is likewise parallel in many mss (B L f13 700 892). Another consideration is the possibility that very early in the transmissional history, scribes naturally inserted the most obvious subject (the Pharisees would be the obvious candidates as the ones to test Jesus). This may account for the reading with δέ, since Mark nowhere else uses this conjunction to introduce the Pharisees into the narrative. As solid as the internal arguments against the longer reading seem to be, the greatest weakness is the witnesses that support it. The Western mss are prone to alter the text by adding, deleting, substituting, or rearranging large amounts of material. There are times when the rationale for this seems inexplicable. In light of the much stronger evidence for “the Pharisees came,” even though it occurs in various permutations, it is probably wisest to retain the words. This judgment, however, is hardly certain.▼ came, and to test him ▼
▼ In Greek this phrase occurs at the end of the sentence. It has been brought forward to conform to English style.they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his ▼ wife?” ▼
▼ The particle εἰ (ei) is often used to introduce both indirect and direct questions. Thus, another possible translation is to take this as an indirect question: “They asked him if it were lawful for a man to divorce his wife.” See BDF #440.3.▼
▼ The question of the Pharisees was anything but sincere; they were asking it to test him. Jesus was now in the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas (i.e., Judea and beyond the Jordan) and it is likely that the Pharisees were hoping he might answer the question of divorce in a way similar to John the Baptist and so suffer the same fate as John, i.e., death at the hands of Herod (cf. 6:17–19). Jesus answered the question not on the basis of rabbinic custom and the debate over Deut 24:1, but rather from the account of creation and God’s original design.3 He answered them, ▼
▼ Grk “But answering, he said to them.”“What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” ▼
▼ Grk “to divorce.” The pronoun has been supplied in the translation for clarity.▼
▼ An allusion to Deut 24:1. The Pharisees were all in agreement that the OT permitted a man to write a certificate of dismissal and divorce his wife (not vice-versa) and that remarriage was therefore sanctioned. But the two rabbinic schools of Shammai and Hillel differed on the grounds for divorce. Shammai was much stricter than Hillel and permitted divorce only in the case of sexual immorality. Hillel permitted divorce for almost any reason (cf. the Mishnah, m. Gittin 9.10).5 But Jesus said to them, “He wrote this commandment for you because of your hard hearts. ▼
▼ Grk “heart” (a collective singular).6 But from the beginning of creation he ▼
▼ Most mss have ὁ θεός (ho theos, “God”) as the explicit subject of ἐποίησεν (epoiēsen, “he made”; A D W Θ Ψ f1, 13 Maj. lat sy), while the most important witnesses, along with a few others, lack ὁ θεός (א B C L Δ 579 2427 co). On the one hand, it is possible that the shorter reading is an assimilation to the wording of the LXX of Gen 1:27b where ὁ θεός is lacking. However, since it is mentioned at the beginning of the verse (Gen 1:27a) with ἐποίησεν scribes may have been motivated to add it in Mark to make the subject clear. Further, confusion could easily arise in this dominical saying, because Moses was the previously mentioned subject (v. 5) and inattentive readers might regard him as the subject of ἐποίησεν in v. 6. Thus, both on internal and external grounds, the most probable wording of the original text here lacked ὁ θεός.made them male and female . ▼ 7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, ▼
▼ ‡ The earliest witnesses, as well as a few other important mss (א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys), lack the rest of the quotation from Gen 2:24, “and will be united with his wife.” Most mss ([A C] D [L N] W [Δ] Θ f,13  Maj. lat co) have the clause. It could be argued that the shorter reading was an accidental omission, due to this clause and v. 8 both beginning with καί (kai, “and”). But if that were the case, one might expect to see corrections in א or B. This can be overstated, of course; both mss combine in their errors on several other occasions. However, the nature of the omission here (both its length and the fact that it is from the OT) argues that א and B reflect the original wording. Further, the form of the longer reading is identical with the LXX of Gen 2:24, but different from the quotation in Matt 19:5 (προσκολληθήσεται vs. κολληθήσεται [proskollēqēsetai vs. kollēqēsetai], πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα vs. τῇ γυναικί [pros tēn gunaika vs. tē gunaiki]). The significance of this is that Matthew’s quotations of the OT are often, if not usually, directly from the Hebrew - except when he is following Mark’s quotation of the OT. Matthew in fact only departs from Mark’s verbatim quotation of the LXX in 15:4 and 19:19, both texts quoting from Exod 20:12/Deut 5:6 (and in both places the only difference from Mark/LXX is the dropping of σου [sou, “your“]). This might suggest that the longer reading here was not part of what the first evangelist had in his copy of Mark. Further, the reading without this line is harder, for the wife is not explicitly mentioned in v. 7; the casual reader could read “the two” of v. 8 as referring to father and mother rather than husband and wife. (And Mark is known for having harder, shorter readings that scribes tried to soften by explanatory expansion: In this chapter alone, cf. the textual problems in v. 6 [the insertion of ὁ θεός]; in v. 13 [the replacement of αὐτοῖς with τοῖς προσφέρουσιν or τοῖς φέρουσιν]; in v. 24 [insertion of ἐστιν τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ χρήμασιν, πλούσιον, or τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες; and perhaps in v. 2 [possible insertion of προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι or similar permutations].) Although a decision is difficult, the preferred reading lacks “and will be united with his wife.” NA27 has the longer reading in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.8 and the two will become one flesh . ▼ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 In the house once again, the disciples asked him about this. 11 So ▼ he told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” ▼
▼ It was not uncommon in Jesus’ day for a Jewish man to divorce his wife, but it was extremely rare for a wife to initiate such an action against her husband, since among many things it would have probably left her destitute and without financial support. Mark’s inclusion of the statement And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery (v. 12) reflects more the problem of the predominantly Gentile church in Rome to which he was writing. As such it may be an interpretive and parenthetical comment by the author rather than part of the saying by Jesus, which would stop at the end of v. 11. As such it should then be placed in parentheses. Further NT passages that deal with the issue of divorce and remarriage are Matt 5:31–32; 19:1–12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor 7.
Jesus and Little Children13 Now ▼ people were bringing little children to him for him to touch, ▼ but the disciples scolded those who brought them. ▼
▼ “Those who brought them” (ἐπετιμῶν τοῖς προσφέρουσιν, epetimōn tois prosferousin) is the reading of most mss (A D W [Θ f1, 13] Maj. lat sy), but it is probably a motivated reading. Since the subject is not explicit in the earliest and best witnesses as well as several others (א B C L Δ Ψ 579 892 2427), scribes would be prone to add “those who brought them” here to clarify that the children were not the ones being scolded. It could be argued that the masculine pronoun αὐτοῖς (autois, “them”) only rarely was used with the neuter antecedent παιδία (paidia, “children”), and thus the longer reading was not motivated by scribal clarification. However, such rare usage is found in Mark (cf. 5:41; 9:24–26); further, scribes routinely added clarifications when such were not necessary. Thus, both on external and internal grounds, the shorter reading is strongly preferred. Similar motivations are behind the translation here, namely, “those who brought them” has been supplied to ensure that the parents who brought the children are in view, not the children themselves.▼
▼ Grk “the disciples scolded them.”14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. ▼
▼ The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.15 I tell you the truth, ▼
▼ Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”whoever does not receive ▼ the kingdom of God like a child ▼
▼ The point of the comparison receive the kingdom of God like a child has more to do with a child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others than any inherent humility the child might possess.will never ▼
▼ The negation in Greek (οὐ μή, ou mē) is very strong here.enter it.” 16 After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them.
The Rich Man17 Now ▼ as Jesus ▼
▼ Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.▼
▼ Mark 10:17–31. The following unit, Mark 10:17–31, can be divided up into three related sections: (1) the rich man’s question (vv. 17–22); (2) Jesus’ teaching on riches and the kingdom of God (vv. 23–27); and (3) Peter’s statement and Jesus’ answer (vv. 28–31). They are all tied together around the larger theme of the relationship of wealth to the kingdom Jesus had been preaching. The point is that it is impossible to attain to the kingdom by means of riches. The passage as a whole is found in the section 8:27–10:52 in which Mark has been focusing on Jesus’ suffering and true discipleship. In vv. 28–31 Jesus does not deny great rewards to those who follow him, both in the present age and in the age to come, but it must be thoroughly understood that suffering will be integral to the mission of the disciples and the church, for in the very next section (10:32–34) Jesus reaffirmed the truth about his coming rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection.was starting out on his way, someone ran up to him, fell on his knees, and said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” ▼ 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? ▼
▼ Jesus’ response, Why do you call me good?, was designed to cause the young man to stop and think for a moment about who Jesus really was. The following statement No one is good except God alone seems to point the man in the direction of Jesus’ essential nature and the demands which logically follow on the man for having said it.No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘ Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” ▼ 20 The man ▼ said to him, “Teacher, I have wholeheartedly obeyed ▼
▼ Grk “kept.” The implication of this verb is that the man has obeyed the commandments without fail throughout his life, so the adverb “wholeheartedly” has been added to the translation to bring out this nuance.all these laws ▼
▼ Grk “these things.” The referent of the pronoun (the laws mentioned by Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.▼
▼ While the rich man was probably being sincere when he insisted I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws, he had confined his righteousness to external obedience. The rich man’s response to Jesus’ command to give away all he had revealed that internally he loved money more than God.since my youth.” ▼
▼ Since my youth. Judaism regarded the age of thirteen as the age when a man would have become responsible to live by God’s commands.21 As Jesus looked at him, he felt love for him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell whatever you have and give the money ▼
▼ The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.to the poor, and you will have treasure ▼
▼ The call for sacrifice comes with a promise of eternal reward: You will have treasure in heaven. Jesus’ call is a test to see how responsive the man is to God’s direction through him. Will he walk the path God’s agent calls him to walk? For a rich person who got it right, see Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1–10.in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But at this statement, the man ▼ looked sad and went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. ▼
▼ Grk “he had many possessions.” This term (κτῆμα, ktēma) is often used for land as a possession.
23 Then ▼ Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were astonished at these words. But again Jesus said to them, ▼
▼ Grk “But answering, Jesus again said to them.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant and has not been translated.“Children, how hard it is ▼
▼ Most mss (A C D Θ f1, 13 28 565 2427 Maj. lat sy) have here “for those who trust in riches” (τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ [τοῖς] χρήμασιν, tous pepoithotas epi [tois] crēmasin); W has πλούσιον (plousion) later in the verse, producing the same general modification on the dominical saying (“how hard it is for the rich to enter…”). But such qualifications on the Lord’s otherwise harsh and absolute statements are natural scribal expansions, intended to soften the dictum. Further, the earliest and best witnesses, along with a few others (א B Δ Ψ sa), lack any such qualifications. That W lacks the longer expansion and only has πλούσιον suggests that its archetype agreed with א B here; its voice should be heard with theirs. Thus, both on external and internal grounds, the shorter reading is preferred.to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel ▼
▼ A few witnesses (f13 28 579 pc) read κάμιλον (kamilon, “rope”) for κάμηλον (kamēlon, “camel”), either through accidental misreading of the text or intentionally so as to soften Jesus’ words.to go through the eye of a needle ▼ than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said ▼
▼ Grk “But they were even more astonished, saying.” The participle λέγονες (legontes) has been translated here as a finite verb to emphasize the sequence of events: The disciples were astonished, then they spoke.to one another, “Then ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of thought.who can be saved?” ▼
▼ The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved?27 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, ▼
▼ The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anqrōpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men…all things are possible for God”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation.but not for God; all things are possible for God.”
28 Peter began to speak to him, “Look, ▼
▼ Peter wants reassurance that the disciples’ response and sacrifice has been noticed.we have left everything to follow you!” ▼
▼ Grk “We have left everything and followed you.” Koine Greek often used paratactic structure when hypotactic was implied.29 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, ▼
▼ Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30 who will not receive in this age ▼
▼ Grk “this time” (καιρός, kairos), but for stylistic reasons this has been translated “this age” here.a hundred times as much – homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields, all with persecutions ▼
▼ Grk “with persecutions.” The “all” has been supplied to clarify that the prepositional phrase belongs not just to the “fields.”– and in the age to come, eternal life. ▼ 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Third Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem. ▼ Jesus was going ahead of them, and they were amazed, but those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was going to happen to him. 33 “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and experts in the law. ▼ They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles. 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog ▼
▼ Traditionally, “scourge him” (the term means to beat severely with a whip, L&N 19.9). BDAG 620 s.v. μαστιγόω 1.a states, “The ‘verberatio’ is denoted in the passion predictions and explicitly as action by non-Israelites Mt 20:19; Mk 10:34; Lk 18:33”; the verberatio was the beating given to those condemned to death in the Roman judicial system. Here the term μαστιγόω (mastigoō) has been translated “flog…severely” to distinguish it from the term φραγελλόω (fragelloō) used in Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15.him severely, and kill him. Yet ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.after three days, ▼
▼ Most mss, especially the later ones (A[*] W Θ f1, 13 Maj. sy), have “on the third day” (τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ, tē tritē hēmera) instead of “after three days.” But not only does Mark nowhere else speak of the resurrection as occurring on the third day, the idiom he uses is a harder reading (cf. Mark 8:31; 9:31, though in the latter text the later witnesses also have τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ). Further, τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ conforms to the usage that is almost universally used in Matthew and Luke, and is found in the parallels to this text (Matt 20:19; Luke 18:33). Thus, scribes would be doubly motivated to change the wording. The most reliable witnesses, along with several other mss (א B C D L Δ Ψ 579 892 2427 it co), have resisted this temptation.he will rise again.”
The Request of James and John35 Then ▼ James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 He said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 They said to him, “Permit one of us to sit at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I experience?” ▼ 39 They said to him, “We are able.” ▼
▼ No more naïve words have ever been spoken as those found here coming from James and John, “We are able.” They said it with such confidence and ease, yet they had little clue as to what they were affirming. In the next sentence Jesus confirms that they will indeed suffer for his name.Then Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I experience, 40 but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give. It is for those for whom it has been prepared.” ▼
▼ After the first passion prediction in 8:31 Jesus rebuked Peter as having been used by Satan. After the second passion prediction in 9:31 the disciples were concerned about who would be the greatest in the kingdom. After the third passion prediction in 10:33 James and John asked for positions of honor and rulership in the kingdom, revealing their complete misunderstanding of the nature of the kingdom and exposing their inadequacy as true disciples of Jesus. Jesus replied that such positions were for those for whom it has been prepared.
41 Now ▼ when the other ten ▼
▼ Grk “the ten.”heard this, ▼
▼ The word “this” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.they became angry with James and John. 42 Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you. Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave ▼
▼ Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v. 1). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom ▼
▼ The Greek word for ransom (λύτρον, lutron) is found here and in Matt 20:28 and refers to the payment of a price in order to purchase the freedom of a slave. The idea of Jesus as the “ransom” is that he paid the price with his own life by standing in humanity’s place as a substitute, enduring the judgment that was deserved for sin.for many.”
Healing Blind Bartimaeus46 They came to Jericho. ▼ As Jesus ▼
▼ Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to shout, ▼
▼ Grk “to shout and to say.” The infinitive λέγειν (legein) is redundant here and has not been translated.“Jesus, Son of David, ▼
▼ Jesus was more than a Nazarene to this blind person, who saw quite well that Jesus was Son of David. There was a tradition in Judaism that the Son of David (Solomon) had great powers of healing (Josephus, Ant. 8.2.5 [8.42–49]).have mercy ▼
▼ Have mercy on me is a request for healing. It is not owed the man. He simply asks for God’s kind grace.on me!” 48 Many scolded ▼
▼ Or “rebuked.” The crowd’s view was that surely Jesus would not be bothered with someone as unimportant as a blind beggar.him to get him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up! He is calling you.” 50 He threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus. 51 Then ▼ Jesus said to him, ▼
▼ Grk “And answering, Jesus said to him.” The participle ἀποκριθείς is redundant and has not been translated.“What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied, “Rabbi, ▼
▼ Or “Master”; Grk ῥαββουνί (rabbouni).let me see again.” ▼ 52 Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has healed you.” Immediately he regained ▼ his sight and followed him on the road.
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