Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mark 1:35-39, A Preaching Tour (The Study of Mark)

Μάρκον 1·35 Καὶ πρωῒ ἔννυχα λίαν ἀναστὰς ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς ἔρημον τόπον κἀκεῖ προσηύχετο. 36 καὶ κατεδίωξεν αὐτὸν Σίμων καὶ οἱ μετ ̓ αὐτοῦ, 37 καὶ εὗρον αὐτὸν καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ ὅτι πάντες ζητοῦσίν σε. 38 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· ἄγωμεν ἀλλαχοῦ εἰς τὰς ἐχομένας κωμοπόλεις, ἵνα καὶ ἐκεῖ κηρύξω· εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον. 39 Καὶ ἦλθεν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων.

Translation

     And early in the night, long before daylight, after getting up1, he went out and departed into a deserted place2 and was praying there. And Simon and they with him, searched for him diligently3. And they found him and say to him, “Everyone is seeking you.” And he says to them, “Let us go elsewhere, into the nearby market town4 so that I will preach there also: For I came out because of this5. And he went into their synagogues in the whole Galilee preaching and casting out demons6. Mark 1:35-39

Introduction

This storying marks the end of the 24-hour period. This also starts Jesus’ greater Galilee campaign.

1 ἀναστὰς (after getting up) 

This shows that Jesus was possibly asleep in bed or it simply could mean
that he got up from sitting.

2 εἰς ἔρημον τόπον (into a deserted place)

Not the desert, but a remote place where there were no people. τόπος (topos) is the word that we get topography, which relates to physical features of a landscape.

3 κατεδίωξεν (searched for him diligently)

καταδιώκω is a compound verb from κατα (against) and διώκω (I persecute or pursue) διώκω is used by Paul when he speaks of persecuting the Church of God. καταδιώκω is normally used in a hostile sense. This may mean that the disciples were angry with Jesus because they couldn’t find him.

4 κωμοπόλεις (market town) 

Too small to be a city, but too small to be village.

5 εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον (I came out because of this) 

Literally, “I came out into this”. On a local sense, Jesus came out of Capernaum. On a broader sense, Jesus came out of heaven.

6 τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων (casting out demons)

Mark is adding some drama here by just mentioning that Jesus was casting out demons. More than likely, Jesus was healing people as well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Revelation 12:7-12, The Dragon is Thrown Down

Ἀποκάλυψις 12·7 Καὶ ἐγένετο πόλεμος ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ Μιχαὴλ καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ τοῦ πολεμῆσαι μετὰ τοῦ δράκοντος. καὶ ὁ δράκων ἐπολέμησεν καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ,  8 καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν οὐδὲ τόπος εὑρέθη αὐτῶν ἔτι ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ.  9 καὶ ἐβλήθη ὁ δράκων ὁ μέγας, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὁ καλούμενος Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς, ὁ πλανῶν τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅλην, ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ ἐβλήθησαν.  10 καὶ ἤκουσα φωνὴν μεγάλην ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ λέγουσαν·
ἄρτι ἐγένετο ἡ σωτηρία καὶ ἡ δύναμις
καὶ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν
καὶ ἡ ἐξουσία τοῦ χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ,
ὅτι ἐβλήθη ὁ κατήγωρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἡμῶν,
ὁ κατηγορῶν αὐτοὺς ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός. 
11 καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐνίκησαν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸ αἷμα τοῦ ἀρνίου
καὶ διὰ τὸν λόγον τῆς μαρτυρίας αὐτῶν
καὶ οὐκ ἠγάπησαν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτῶν ἄχρι θανάτου. 
12 διὰ τοῦτο εὐφραίνεσθε, [οἱ] οὐρανοὶ
καὶ οἱ ἐν αὐτοῖς σκηνοῦντες.
οὐαὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ τὴν θάλασσαν,
ὅτι κατέβη ὁ διάβολος πρὸς ὑμᾶς
ἔχων θυμὸν μέγαν,
εἰδὼς ὅτι ὀλίγον καιρὸν ἔχει.

Translation
7 And war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels made war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels made war. 8 And he was not strong enough and a place was not found for them any longer in heaven1. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the old snake, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceives2 the whole world was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a great voice in heaven saying,

“Now have come the salvation and the power 
     and the kingdom of our God 
     and the authority of his Christ
because the accuser of our brothers, 
     who accuses them before our God day and night was thrown down.3
11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the lamb 
     and because of the word of their testimony
and they did not love their life to the point of death4
12 Because of this, celebrate, the heavens
     and those who are living in them! 
But woe to the earth and sea,
     because the Devil came down to you 
having great anger5,
     having known6 that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:7-12



1 ”and a place was not found for them any longer in heaven” 

The dragon was no longer welcomed in heaven. 

2 ὁ πλανῶν (who deceives) 

Greek: “Who leads astray” or “Who misleads”.

3 This may indicate that the Devil can no long accuse people before God (see Job chapter 1). This may be another reason why he makes war with people in verse 17. In other words, he makes it personal with believers instead of just accusing them before God. He goes from indirect to direct.

4 ἄχρι θανάτου (to the point of death) 

Greek: “as far as death”. They were willing to lose their life over this.

 5 θυμὸν (anger)

θυμός, οῦ m: an intense, passionate desire of an overwhelming and possibly destructive character — ‘intense desire, overwhelming passion. (Louw & Nida Lexicon)

6 εἰδὼς (having known)

This carries a perfect tense that may indicate that the dragon already knew that he only had a short time on earth before he was thrown down to it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

John 4:36, The Sower Rejoices!

ἤδη  36 ὁ θερίζων μισθὸν λαμβάνει καὶ συνάγει καρπὸν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, ἵνα ὁ σπείρων ὁμοῦ χαίρῃ καὶ ὁ θερίζων.
The one who reaps now receives wages and gathers fruit into eternal life, so that the one who sows and the one who reaps might rejoice together.  John 4:36
This is for all of the pastors who have started churches!  The real reward belongs to you!
In greek, if the writer wanted to show emphasis on someone or something, they would put that at the beginning of the sentence or clause.  In this case, the one who sows (ὁ σπείρων) or sower, appears at the beginning of the clause, and the one who reaps (ὁ θερίζων) or reaper is at the end of the clause.  In other words, the sower is the main subject of this clause and is the one who should really rejoice.  That makes a lot of sense because there would be no harvest if there was no sower.  No sower = no harvest and no harvest = no rejoicing.
To quote Daniel Wallace, “It is significant that in this dominical saying, prominence is given to the sower: This is the one who really rejoices!  How different this attitude is from many modern-day evangelist whose criterion of successful ministry is in the number of the scalps, not the depths of the plowing*.” 

*Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, page 402.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Revelation 12:1-6, The Fiery Red Dragon

Ἀποκάλυψις 12·1 Καὶ σημεῖον μέγα ὤφθη ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, γυνὴ περιβεβλημένη τὸν ἥλιον, καὶ ἡ σελήνη ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν αὐτῆς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς στέφανος ἀστέρων δώδεκα, 2 καὶ ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα, καὶ κράζει ὠδίνουσα καὶ βασανιζομένη τεκεῖν. 3 καὶ ὤφθη ἄλλο σημεῖον ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ἰδοὺ δράκων μέγας πυρρὸς ἔχων κεφαλὰς ἑπτὰ καὶ κέρατα δέκα καὶ ἐπὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτοῦ ἑπτὰ διαδήματα, 4 καὶ ἡ οὐρὰ αὐτοῦ σύρει τὸ τρίτον τῶν ἀστέρων τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἔβαλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν γῆν. Καὶ ὁ δράκων ἕστηκεν ἐνώπιον τῆς γυναικὸς τῆς μελλούσης τεκεῖν, ἵνα ὅταν τέκῃ τὸ τέκνον αὐτῆς καταφάγῃ. 5 καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱὸν ἄρσεν, ὃς μέλλει ποιμαίνειν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐν ῥάβδῳ σιδηρᾷ. καὶ ἡρπάσθη τὸ τέκνον αὐτῆς πρὸς τὸν θεὸν καὶ πρὸς τὸν θρόνον αὐτοῦ. 6 καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἔφυγεν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον, ὅπου ἔχει ἐκεῖ τόπον ἡτοιμασμένον ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα ἐκεῖ τρέφωσιν αὐτὴν ἡμέρας χιλίας διακοσίας ἑξήκοντα.

Translation

1 And a great sign was seen in heaven, a woman clothed with1 the sun, and the moon under her feet, and a wreath2 of twelve stars on her head. 2 And being pregnant3, she cries out in labor and suffered terrible pain in giving birth. 3 And another sign was seen in heaven, and behold, a great red4 dragon having seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal headbands5 on his head. 4 His tail pulled down by force6 a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman, who is about to give birth, so that when she may give birth, he might devour her child. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is destined to mind7 all nations with an iron rod. 6 And her child was caught up8 to God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared9 there by God, so that he might take care of her there for one thousand two hundred and sixty (1,260) days.  Revelation 12:1-6

1 περιβεβλημένη (clothed with)


Greek: “having been thrown around”. In other words, the sun has been thrown around the woman like clothing.

2 στέφανος (a wreath) 

A sign of royalty or great achievement. A crown. This may also
indicate a “heavenly” form of royalty.

3 ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα (being pregnant)

Greek: “in having a womb”. An idiom for “being pregnant”.

4 πυρρὸς (red)

Greek: “fiery red”. Indicates that the color was orange, yellow, and red like fire.

5 διαδήματα (headband)

A type of crown employed as a symbol of the highest ruling power in a particular area and therefore often associated with kingship — ‘diadem crown. Since this is a different type of crown than is found in verse 1, it may indicate an “earthly” form of royalty.

6 σύρει (pulled down by force)

Most of the time, this verbs indicates that a resistance was in place that made the doer of the action to use force while performing the action. It’s possible that the 1/3 of the stars of heaven didn’t want to be pulled down.

7 ποιμαίνειν (to mind) 

Greek: “to shepherd” or “to rule” as "to shepherd sheep".

8 ἡρπάσθη (was caught up)


ἁρπάζω is the same verb that we get “rapture” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

9 ἡτοιμασμένον (prepared) 

Greek: “having been prepared”. This is in the perfect tense indicating
that the place was already prepared for the woman before hand.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mark 1:29-34, The Healing of Many People (The Study of Mark)

Μάρκον 1·29 Καὶ εὐθὺς ἐκ τῆς συναγωγῆς ἐξελθόντες ἦλθον εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος καὶ Ἀνδρέου μετὰ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωάννου.  30 ἡ δὲ πενθερὰ Σίμωνος κατέκειτο πυρέσσουσα, καὶ εὐθὺς λέγουσιν αὐτῷ περὶ αὐτῆς.  31 καὶ προσελθὼν ἤγειρεν αὐτὴν κρατήσας τῆς χειρός· καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτοῖς.  32 Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης, ὅτε ἔδυ ὁ ἥλιος, ἔφερον πρὸς αὐτὸν πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας καὶ τοὺς δαιμονιζομένους·  33 καὶ ἦν ὅλη ἡ πόλις ἐπισυνηγμένη πρὸς τὴν θύραν.  34 καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν πολλοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλεν καὶ οὐκ ἤφιεν λαλεῖν τὰ δαιμόνια, ὅτι ᾔδεισαν αὐτόν. 
Translation
And immediately after going out from the synagogue, they went into Simon and Andrew’s house with James and John.  And Simon’s mother-n-law was laying in bed sick with fever, and immediately, they are speaking to him about her.  And after going in, taking her hand, he raised her up.  And the fever left her and she waited on them.  And the evening came, when the sun had set, they were bringing to him all who had sickness and were demon-possessed.  And the whole city was gathered in front of the door.  And he healed many of the sick having all kinds of diseases and he casted out many demons and he did not allow the demons to speak because they knew him. Mark 1:29-34
Introduction to Part 1 of the scene
Here is a two part scene. In this first part of the scene, we find Jesus going from a very public place to a very private place.  In this case, Jesus is in Peter’s house.  It is still the Sabbath.  
λέγουσιν αὐτῷ περὶ αὐτῆς. (they were telling him about her)
Since they immediately tell Jesus about Peter’s mother-n-law, this may indicate that they expect Jesus to heal her.
ἤγειρεν αὐτὴν κρατήσας τῆς χειρός (taking her hand, he raised her up)
The literal greek is “grasping her hand, he raised her up”.  This may indicate that he was helping her up.  We don’t have anymore insight into the healing other than once she was up, the fever left her.  This may indicate that Peter’s mother-n-law had to put out a little faith and effort in order to receive her healing.  In other words, she had to be willing to get up in order to receive what Jesus had for her.
καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός (and the fever left her)
Here’s our favorite verb ἀφίημι again.  The text could also be rendered “and the fever let her go”.  We may think we see here that the ancients could have seen sickness as a demonic thing, but that’s just not seen in the New Testament.  In most instances, sickness and demon-possession were two different things.
καὶ διηκόνει αὐτοῖς (and she waited on them)
As in "served them food at a table".
Introduction to Part 2 of the scene
Jesus is still at Peter’s house, but now we find that the evening has come, which ends the Sabbath.  The people were not coming because the laws of the Sabbath were not hindering them any longer.  After Jesus’ exorcism in the Synagogue, things really started to heat up.
ἔφερον πρὸς αὐτὸν (they were bringing)
Greek: Continual aspect.  Indicates a continual stream of people coming.
τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας (having sickness)
The literal greek is “having badly”.  An idiom for sickness.
πρὸς τὴν θύραν (in front of the door)
Greek: “to the door”.  Although it was impossible for the “whole city” to be at the door, the text does show us than many people has come.  Jesus had become the “talk of the town”.  Note on ἡ πόλις (po-lis).  For you Superman fans, Metropolis was the city were Superman lived.  Also, Minneapolis or Indianapolis
ἐθεράπευσεν (he healed)
θεραπεύω (the-ra-peu-o): therapy, therapeutic.  Notice that the text doesn’t say that he healed all of them.  It just says that he healed many of them.  This may indicate that the healing and deliverance from demons was an individual act and not a collective act.  Person to person.  It’s quick possible that there were so many people that some gave up on their healing and went home.  Note to self: Never give up and always hold out for my healing.
οὐκ ἤφιεν (did not allow)
ἀφίημι again.  In this text, it means “permit”.  With οὐκ, it means “he did not permit”.
Final notes on healing and casting out demons
We find many instances where Jesus heals or casts out a demon.  Many times, he incorporated touching the sick person in order to heal them.  When it came to casting out demons, Jesus never used touching as part of it.  Jesus never touched a demon-possessed person as long as that person was demon-possessed.  One more thing.  Jesus never went out to find people to heal.  They always found him where ever he was.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mark 1:21-28, The Man with an Unclean Spirit (The Study of Mark)

Μάρκον 1·21 Καὶ εἰσπορεύονται εἰς Καφαρναούμ· καὶ εὐθὺς τοῖς σάββασιν εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν ἐδίδασκεν.  22 καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς. 23 Καὶ εὐθὺς ἦν ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ αὐτῶν ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ καὶ ἀνέκραξεν  24 λέγων· τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ; ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς; οἶδά σε τίς εἶ, ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ.  25 καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων· φιμώθητι καὶ ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ.  26 καὶ σπαράξαν αὐτὸν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἀκάθαρτον καὶ φωνῆσαν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἐξῆλθεν ἐξ αὐτοῦ.  27 καὶ ἐθαμβήθησαν ἅπαντες ὥστε συζητεῖν πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντας· τί ἐστιν τοῦτο; διδαχὴ καινὴ κατ᾿ ἐξουσίαν· καὶ τοῖς πνεύμασι τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις ἐπιτάσσει, καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ.  28 καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εὐθὺς πανταχοῦ εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον τῆς Γαλιλαίας. 
Translation
And they went into Capernaum.  And immediately, after going into the synagogue on the Sabbath, he taught them.  And they were overwhelmed at his teaching; for he was teaching them as one having authority and not as the scribes.  And immediately, there was a man with an unclean spirit in their synagogue and he cried out saying, “What to us and to you, Jesus the Nazarene?  Did you come to destroy us?  I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”  And Jesus rebuked him saying, “Be silent and come out of him.”  And the unclean spirit shook him violently and cried out in a great voice and came out of him.  And they were amazed, thus all discussed it among themselves saying, “What is this?  A new teaching according to authority!  He even commands the unclean spirits, and they obey.”  And the news about him went out immediately everywhere in the region of the Galilee. Mark 1:21-28
Introduction
The next four stories happen within a 24-hour period.  One could call it “a day in Capernaum”.  Capernaum was a pretty large city for the 1st century.  It had a detachment of Roman troops, a customs post, and an assigned leader.  The population was around 10,000.  It was a major trade route on the day.
Although Jesus has disciples around him, he alone does all of the teaching and healing.  Later on, the disciples will also teach and heal.  By this time, the text suggests that Jesus must have been known in the area.  In the 1st century, only the leader of the Synagogue could allow people to teach in the Synagogue.
ἐξεπλήσσοντο (overwhelmed)
This verb means to be “overwhelmed” or “struck out of their minds”  It’s interesting that Mark doesn’t mention what Jesus was teaching.  Mark carries on with his suspense by not sharing with the reader what the teaching was about.  We will find out in due time.
οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς (not as the scribes)
The scribes were the well-educated religious leaders of the day.  So, in order for Jesus to “out do” the scribes, he must have really been “something else”!
ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ (a man with an unclean spirit)
The greek literally says “a man in an unclean spirit”.  This really means that the man was under the special influence of the spirit.  The same is true when we receive the Holy Spirit.
τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί (What to us and to you)
Here’s my favorite idiom.  In ancient times, this was a Jewish idiom that people used when someone was doing something to them that they believe wasn’t deserved.  You would certainly here it in the courts.  It really means “what have I done to you that you would do this to me?”  You will see it translated “What do you have to do with me?”, “Leave me alone.”, and in other ways.  The take away is that the demon did not what Jesus there.
It’s pretty interesting that the demon speaks in the plural; “what to us”.  There are a couple to explanations.  1. There are more that one unclean spirit in the man.  This is not likely as the demon immediately switches from the plural to the singular before he finishes his discourse.  2. This demon may be asking this on behalf of all demons on earth.
Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ (Jesus the Nazarene)
What’s in a name?  In that time, exorcists were believed to gain power by possession of the demon’s name.  Maybe the demon is trying to turn that around on Jesus.  Notice that he indicates where Jesus is from in an “earthly” sense, as well as “divinity aspects” (Holy one of God).  The big take away here is that Jesus is known among the demons.  It’s interesting that the most evil beings know Jesus, but the most religious people do not.
ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ (the Holy One of God)
Mark doesn’t use “son of God” yet.  Mark is linking Jesus to the “Holy Spirit” back in verses 1:8 (but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit) and 1:10 (And immediately, while coming up from the water, he saw the skies split and the spirit, as a dove, came down on him).  By doing this, he set Jesus up as being opposite of the unclean spirit.  
ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ (he rebuked him)
In this case, he warned him not to speak, thus silencing him.  We will see this word again.
φιμώθητι (Be silent)
In greek, this means “Be muzzled” as in muzzling a horse or cow.  A very colorful way of saying “Shut up”.
σπαράξαν αὐτὸν (he shook him violently)
Literally “to tear” or “to throw him into convulsions”
ἐθαμβήθησαν (They were amazed)
The on-lookers are still astonished.  At first it was Jesus’ teaching, and now by this demon incident.  Interestingly enough, we still don’t know what Jesus was teaching that day in the Synagogue.  Whatever it was, it left an impression on the people in attendance.
καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εὐθὺς (And the news about him went out immediately)
The reason that it went out so quickly was because Capernaum was a major trade route.  It was no mistake that Jesus choose Capernaum as his base of operation.
*Some material was taken from The Gospel of Mark: New International Commentary on the Greek Testament (New International Greek Testament Commentary) by R. T. France

Ruins of the Synagogue in Capernaum

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mark 1:16-20, The Calling of Four Fisherman (The Study of Mark)

Μάρκον 1·16 Καὶ παράγων παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἶδεν Σίμωνα καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν Σίμωνος ἀμφιβάλλοντας ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ· ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλιεῖς.  17 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων.  18 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.  19 Καὶ προβὰς ὀλίγον εἶδεν Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ καταρτίζοντας τὰ δίκτυα,  20 καὶ εὐθὺς ἐκάλεσεν αὐτούς. καὶ ἀφέντες τὸν πατέρα αὐτῶν Ζεβεδαῖον ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ μετὰ τῶν μισθωτῶν ἀπῆλθον ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ.
Translation
And while passing by along side of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting nets into the sea, for they were fishermen.  And Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you to become fishermen of people.”  And immediately, letting go of the nets, they followed him.  And going on a little further, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, and them in the the boat, mending the nets, and immediately he called them.  And leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired workers, they departed after him. Mark 1:16-20
Introduction
After verses 14-15, one would be prepared for some dramatic event to take place, but we actually find Jesus walking beside the Sea of Galilee.  We go from “the mighty one” in verse 7, to Jesus being baptized in verse  9,  to Jesus preaching the good news, and to Jesus walking beside the lake.  Jesus goes from “big time” to humble; from preaching to calling common people to his purpose.
ἀμφιβάλλοντας (casting nets)
The participle carries a continual aspect.
δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου (come after me)
In greek, it literally means, “Here! After me!” or “Here! Behind me!”  In ancient time, Jewish Rabbis (teachers) didn’t call students to follow them.  Instead, they taught and students came to be taught if the Rabbi was worthy or good enough.  Prophets did call for followers, but those followers were for the purpose of spreading the message and not just to learn the message.  That was the difference between Jesus and normal Jewish Rabbis.
ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι (I will make you to become)
Most translations leave out “to become”, but that seems to leave out the process that Jesus intends for the disciples.  Jesus doesn’t make them fishermen of people, he gives them the “tools” to become fishermen of people.  The choice is the disciples’ alone.
ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων (fishermen of people)
The literal greek is “fishermen of men”  ἄνθρωπος can mean man, mankind, human, or people.  Since the idea is to catch all human souls, I chose people in my translation.  From ἄνθρωπος (an-thro-pos), we get Anthropology, which is the study of mankind.
ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα (after letting go of the nets)
ἀφίημι means to let go, to leave, to permit, or to forgive.  Since this word has a vast array of meaning, Mark will use it to somewhat tie some of his narratives together.  In this case, I decided to use “after letting go” because that would make more sense as the fishermen were continually casting the nets and would have have the nets in their hands.  I could have used “after leaving the nets”, and that would have been a good translation as well.
ἀφέντες τὸν πατέρα αὐτῶν (leaving their father)
Here we see ἀφίημι again.  In the case, the men “left” their father.
Final notes
By using the title, “the son of Zebedee”, Mark suggests that Zebedee was a known person in the area.  This may be suggested by the fact that Zebedee has hired workers.  These workers may indicate that Zebedee was a well known businessman of Capernaum and not just a common fisherman.  Although the text doesn’t state it, Zebedee could be the owner of multiple boats and a large business on the Sea of Galilee.  That would be a good reason to need hired workers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mark 1:14-15, The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry (The Study of Mark)

Μάρκον 1·14 Μετὰ δὲ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάννην ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ  15 καὶ λέγων ὅτι πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ· μετανοεῖτε καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ. 
Translation
And after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming the Good News of God and saying, “The appointed time has been fulfilled and the Kingdom of God has come near.  Repent and believe in the Good News!”  Mark 1:14-15

Introduction

This marks the beginning of Jesus' ministry.

παραδοθῆναι (arrested)
In greek, it literally means “to be handed over”.  The most interesting thing about this passage is that Mark doesn’t tell us why John was arrested.  He gives us no background and no explanation.  We don’t find out what happened until 6:17-18.  Mark is putting some suspense in his narrative.
πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς (the appointed time has been fulfilled)
This doesn’t mean that the allotted time has passed, but that the decisive moment has now arrived.  What makes the appointed time fulfilled?  Jesus is here!
καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ (and the kingdom of God has come near)
God’s kingdom should not be seen as past, present, or future.  It is constant.  God is fulfilling the age-long purpose.
μετανοεῖτε καὶ πιστεύετε (repent and believe)
These two verbs are in the imperative thus making them a command.  It’s interesting that Mark doesn’t say what to believe in or what the good news is.  Mark is adding some more suspense.  We are soon to find out what the good news is, but we have to keep on reading in order to do so.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Galatians 1:11-12, Making It Known

11 Γνωρίζω γὰρ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τὸ εὐαγγελισθὲν ὑπ᾿ ἐμοῦ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν κατὰ ἄνθρωπον·  12 οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγὼ παρὰ ἀνθρώπου παρέλαβον αὐτὸ οὔτε ἐδιδάχθην ἀλλὰ δι᾿ ἀποκαλύψεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.  
Translation
For I am making known to you, brothers, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to mankind.  For neither have I received it from mankind nor was I taught it, but I received it through the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Galatians 1:11-12
Introduction
Paul continues the theme of his authority by describing how he became the person who was sent with the message (apostle).  In these two verses, he gives, in general, how he received the “True Gospel”.  He will go into more detail later on in the letter.  It is amazing just how much is in these two sentences of Paul’s letter.
Γνωρίζω γὰρ ὑμῖν (For I am making known to you)
This text seems to indicate that the church of Galatia didn’t know the whole story around how Paul became an apostle or at least how he got his message.  Paul makes sure that the church understands that they are about to know how Paul received his overwriting authority.  The verb Γνωρίζω carries a continual action.  In other words, Paul is going to continually make known to the church of Galatia how he received his message.
ἀδελφοί (brothers)
Notice how Paul refers to the members of the church as brothers.  He continues to be very cordial to them while still being very bold and angry with them.  A true quality of a great preacher or pastor.
κατὰ ἄνθρωπον (according to mankind)
The actual greek is “according to man”.  In other words, Paul’s Gospel is not “through the eyes” of man or how “man sees it”.  Think of it this way; over the centuries, our four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John, received book titles of “According to Matthew, According to Mark” and so on.  In other words, each book is the Gospel of how the book’s writer saw it.  You can also refer to this as the author’s different prospective of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Now, with that said, Paul leaves no room for a “different prospective” of what he preached.  In modern idiomatic speech, it’s “his way or the highway”!
οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγὼ παρὰ ἀνθρώπου παρέλαβον αὐτὸ  (For neither have I received it from mankind)
The actual greek of παρὰ ἀνθρώπου is “from man”.  Paul is setting up an important truth that he will expand on later in the letter.  We must only know now that Paul’s message didn’t come from men.
οὔτε ἐδιδάχθην (nor was I taught it)
Again, Paul is setting up an important truth here.  The truth is that the message was not something that was taught to Paul by others. That truth will be expanded upon later on in the letter.  I must say here that the truth that Paul reveals is as big of a deal today as it was back then.  It will be a hard thing to deal with, but as all of you know, I deal with the hard!
δι᾿ ἀποκαλύψεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (through the revelation of Jesus Christ)
The actual greek is “through the apocalypse of Jesus Christ”.  In modern times, we have put a bad light on the word “apocalypse” because we associated it with the “end of the world”.  In ancient times, it meant “revealing fully” or “unveiling”.  Paul is saying here that the message that he is sent with was given to him by the “fully revealing” of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is fully revealed by who he is, what he did, how he did it, and what that does for us.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Galatians 1:6-10, No Other Gospel

Γαλάτας 1·6 Θαυμάζω ὅτι οὕτως ταχέως μετατίθεσθε ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι [Χριστοῦ] εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον,  7 ὃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο, εἰ μή τινές εἰσιν οἱ ταράσσοντες ὑμᾶς καὶ θέλοντες μεταστρέψαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Χριστοῦ.  8 ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐὰν ἡμεῖς ἢ ἄγγελος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ εὐαγγελίζηται [ὑμῖν] παρ᾿ ὃ εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω.  9 ὡς προειρήκαμεν καὶ ἄρτι πάλιν λέγω· εἴ τις ὑμᾶς εὐαγγελίζεται παρ᾿ ὃ παρελάβετε, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω.
  
Γαλάτας 1·10 Ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνθρώπους πείθω ἢ τὸν θεόν; ἢ ζητῶ ἀνθρώποις ἀρέσκειν; εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον, Χριστοῦ δοῦλος οὐκ ἂν ἤμην.
Translation
I marvel that you are so quickly removed from the one who called you in the grace of Christ into a different gospel, which there is not another gospel, except there are certain people who are stirring you up and are willing to transform the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel (messenger) from heaven may proclaim a gospel to you besides (different from) what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed!  As we have said before and now I say again, If anyone proclaims to you a gospel besides (different from) what you have received, let him be accursed!
For do I now persuade people or God? Or do I seek to please people?  If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a slave of Christ.  Galatians 1:6-10
Introduction
Paul now gets into the reason why he set up his introduction the way he did.  He explained that his message or gospel was from Jesus Christ and not from people and that it was not invented by people.  We see here that the Church of Galatia was starting to be embrace “another” gospel.
ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς (from the one who called you)
Who is this?  In the context, it is God.
εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον (into a different gospel)
This may seem to be a little strange in construction, but the whole sentence must be taken together.  The church had removed themselves or separated themselves from the gospel of God that Paul was preaching and exchanged it for a different gospel that someone else was preaching.  Notice how Paul links God with the gospel that he preached himself.  He really sets this up in the introduction to the letter by stating what an apostle is.  Later on in the letter, Paul will start giving us the idea of what he says the gospel is.
τινές (some, some people, or certain people)
I chose “certain people” because we’ll find out who those people are later on in the letter.
ἀνάθεμα (accursed)
Literally ἀνάθεμα means “cursed”.  You can let you imagination flow as to what it means, but it is pretty clear that Paul meant for it to be separation from God.  He meant it so strongly, he repeated it.
πείθω (I persuade)
This may seem to be an strange verb that Paul uses, but he is trying to say, “Should I curry favor with people or should I curry favor with God?”  In other words, persuade would be used here as “persuading” someone to like me or respect me. 
εἰ ἔτι ἀνθρώποις ἤρεσκον (If I were still pleasing people)
This may be a reference to Paul’s past life as a pharisee who went around persecuting christians.  By doing so, he would have been “pleasing” the ones who had given him the authority to do it.  As long as he was doing that, he would not be able to become a christian himself.  Paul uses “a slave of Christ” in this letter.  This should put into perspective how Paul viewed what being a Christian was all about.  

If you missed part one, check it out here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Galatians 1:1-5, Paul, The True Apostle

Γαλάτας 1·1 Παῦλος ἀπόστολος οὐκ ἀπ᾿ ἀνθρώπων οὐδὲ δι᾿ ἀνθρώπου ἀλλὰ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν,  2 καὶ οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ πάντες ἀδελφοὶ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῆς Γαλατίας,  3 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ  4 τοῦ δόντος ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν, ὅπως ἐξέληται ἡμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος πονηροῦ κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς ἡμῶν,  5 ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν. 


Translation
Paul, an apostle, not from mankind nor through mankind, but through Jesus Christ and God the father who raised him up from the dead, and all the brothers with me to the churches of Galatia; grace to you and peace from God our father and the lord Jesus Christ, of whom gave himself in behave of our sins, so that he removed us from the present evil age according to the will of our God and father, to whom be glory for ever and ever, amen.  Galatians 1:1-5


Introduction
I will be doing a series of blogs on Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia.  I don’t know where it will lead, but hopefully, we will all learn something in the process.
ἀπόστολος (apostle)
So what is an apostle?  It is “one who is sent with a message”.  In this case, Paul is the someone who has been sent carrying the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This Good News is not from mankind, nor was it manufactured by mankind.  The Good News came about by God's raising of Jesus from the dead.  For all of my apostolic friends, the only way to be apostolic is to be sent out with the message.  Paul built churches all over the Roman empire.  He was a true apostolic!
τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν (who raised him up from the dead)
Who raised him? God did.  τοῦ ἐγείραντος (who raised) is referring to θεοῦ πατρὸς (God the father) because “God the father” precedes “who raised”.
τοῦ δόντος ἑαυτὸν (of whom gave himself)
Who gave himself?  Jesus did because “Jesus Christ” precedes “of whom gave himself”.
εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων (for ever and ever)
This is an idiom.  The actual greek is “into the ages of ages”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mark 1:1-13, Final Translation and Final Notes

Μάρκον 1·1 Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ [υἱοῦ θεοῦ]. 
Μάρκον 1·2 Καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν τῷ Ἠσαΐᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ·
ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου,
ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου· 
3 φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ·
ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου,
εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ, 
4 ἐγένετο Ἰωάννης [ὁ] βαπτίζων ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ καὶ κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.  5 καὶ ἐξεπορεύετο πρὸς αὐτὸν πᾶσα ἡ Ἰουδαία χώρα καὶ οἱ Ἱεροσολυμῖται πάντες, καὶ ἐβαπτίζοντο ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ ποταμῷ ἐξομολογούμενοι τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν.  6 καὶ ἦν ὁ Ἰωάννης ἐνδεδυμένος τρίχας καμήλου καὶ ζώνην δερματίνην περὶ τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐσθίων ἀκρίδας καὶ μέλι ἄγριον. 
Μάρκον 1·7 Καὶ ἐκήρυσσεν λέγων· ἔρχεται ὁ ἰσχυρότερός μου ὀπίσω μου, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς κύψας λῦσαι τὸν ἱμάντα τῶν ὑποδημάτων αὐτοῦ.  8 ἐγὼ ἐβάπτισα ὑμᾶς ὕδατι, αὐτὸς δὲ βαπτίσει ὑμᾶς ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ. 
Μάρκον 1·9 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάννου.  10 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν·  11 καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν· σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα. 
Μάρκον 1·12 Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον.  13 καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τεσσεράκοντα ἡμέρας πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ σατανᾶ, καὶ ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.
The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ the Son of God.  As it has been written in Isaiah the prophet, 
“Behold, I am sending my messenger before your face, 
who will prepare your way:
a voice crying in the wilderness, 
prepare the way of the Lord, 
make his paths straight.”
John came, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  And all of the region of Judea and all of Jerusalem went out to him, and were baptized by him in the Jordan River while confessing their sins.  And John was wearing camel hair and a leather belt around his waist and was eating locust and wild honey.  
And he was proclaiming saying, “The mightier one than I am is coming after me, of whom I am not worthy to stoop down to loose the strap of his sandals.  I baptized you with water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.  And immediately, while coming up from the water, he saw the skies split and the spirit, as a dove, came down on him; and a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved son.  In you, I am most pleased.”
And immediately the spirit is throwing him out into the wilderness.  And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan, and he was with wild beast, and angels were serving him.  Mark 1:1-13


     
Final Notes
Here is my final translation of the passage.  I’ve hit the highest of the highlights already in past blogs.  Here are a couple more “nuggets” from the passage.
Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ)
“The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ” should be considered the Good News about Jesus Christ and the things that he did while he was on earth.  In other words, this is the beginning of the stories of what Jesus did and what he went through while here on earth.
ἰδοὺ (Behold)...
These verses from the Old Testament are from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3.  Mark puts these two verses together in order to place Jesus in the wilderness (or desert) in the Old Testament writings.  Mark’s theme throughout the Prologue is to remind the reader that Jesus is in the wilderness, thus fulfilling prophecy.
ὁ ἰσχυρότερός (“the” mightier one or “the” stronger one)
Since ὁ ἰσχυρότερός is preceded by the article (ὁ), the grammar indicates that this is a “special” person who is coming.  The article can mean different things, but in this context, it is referring to a unique, one-of-a-kind person.  In this case, that is Jesus.