Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mark 3:20-30, Jesus and Beelzebul (The Study of Mark)

     20 And he goes into a house1, and the crowd gathers2 again, so that they3 were not able to eat a meal4. 21 And after hearing about what was going on, his family5 went out to seize him, for they6 were saying7, “He is out of his mind!” 22 And the Scribes, the ones from Jerusalem, after coming down to Capernaum, were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul8 ” and “He is casting out demons by the ruler of the demons.” 23 And calling them to himself, he spoke to them in parables, “How is Satan able to cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom may be divided from itself, that kingdom is not able to stand. 25 If a house may be divided from itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan has risen, as you say9, and has been divided from himself, he is not able to stand, and he is finished10. 27 But no one is able to enter into a strong man’s house to plunder his property, if he doesn’t first tie up11 the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. 28 Truly I am saying to you, that all sins will be forgiven of humanity12 and blasphemies will be forgiven, as many as may be spoken13. 29 But whoever may blaspheme14 against the Holy Spirit, never has forgiveness15, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit”. Mark 3:20-30


There is much in this passage and translating it has really opened my eyes to what this passage really means.  This passage is really set around three things, 1. What Jesus' family thinks of him, what the Jerusalem Scribes think of him, and what Jesus thinks of the Jerusalem Scribes and what they are saying about him.  Although I have my opinions as to what verses 27-30 really mean, I will leave the interpretation up to you as readers.

1 εἰς οἶκον (into a house)

It is possible that the house belonged to Jesus. More than likely, it belonged to Peter. With that said, the passage could be translated “And he goes home”.

2 συνέρχεται (gathers)

Greek: “comes together”.

3 ”They” were probably Jesus and his disciples.

4 ἄρτον φαγεῖν (to eat a meal)

Greek: “to eat bread”.

5 οἱ παρ ̓ αὐτοῦ (his family)

Greek: “they who are from him”. Although this can mean many things, Jesus’ family is the most appropriate conclusion as they will also come into view in 3:31-35.

6 “They” are not Jesus’ family. Jesus’ family are not the ones who were saying that Jesus was out of his mind. Jesus' family came to get him because they had heard what others were saying about Jesus.

7 ἔλεγον γὰρ (For they were saying)

This carries a “continual” aspect, which indicates that what was being said about Jesus was being continually spoken.

8 Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει (He is possessed by Beelzebul)

Greek: “He has Beelzebul”. A round-about way to say that Jesus was under the influence of Beelzebul. Beelzebul is an alternate name for Satan.

9 εἰ ὁ σατανᾶς ἀνέστη (If Satan has risen, as you say)

Jesus is referring to himself as the Jerusalem Scribes see him, as Satan (Beelzebul) himself. “as you say” has been added to provide clarity to what Jesus is saying.

10 ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει (and he is finished)

Greek: “but he has an end”. In other words, if Satan and his demon are against themselves, Satan’s kingdom can’t go on and it will come to an end. Jesus is speaking in a figurative way in this passage.

11 δήσῃ (tie up) 

or “bind”.

12 τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων (humanity) 

Greek: “the sons of men”.

13 ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν (as many as may be spoken) 

Greek: “As many as may blaspheme”.

14 βλασφημήσῃ (may blaspheme)

To blaspheme means to speak against someone that would tarnish their reputation or cause harm to them. This can be aimed at other people or even God.

15 οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (never has forgiveness) 

Greek: “doesn’t have forgiveness into the ages”.

The Greek

Μάρκον 3·20 Καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς οἶκον· καὶ συνέρχεται πάλιν [ὁ] ὄχλος, ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι αὐτοὺς μηδὲ ἄρτον φαγεῖν. 21 καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ παρ ̓ αὐτοῦ ἐξῆλθον κρατῆσαι αὐτόν· ἔλεγον γὰρ ὅτι ἐξέστη. Μάρκον 3·22 Καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.
Μάρκον 3·23 Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· πῶς δύναται σατανᾶς σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλειν; 24 καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία ἐφ ̓ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη· 25 καὶ ἐὰν οἰκία ἐφ ̓ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δυνήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἐκείνη σταθῆναι. 26 καὶ εἰ ὁ σατανᾶς ἀνέστη ἐφ ̓ ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἐμερίσθη, οὐ δύναται στῆναι ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει. 27 ἀλλ ̓ οὐ δύναται οὐδεὶς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἰσχυροῦ εἰσελθὼν τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ διαρπάσαι, ἐὰν μὴ πρῶτον τὸν ἰσχυρὸν δήσῃ, καὶ τότε τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ διαρπάσει.
Μάρκον 3·28 Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πάντα ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὰ ἁμαρτήματα καὶ αἱ βλασφημίαι ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν· 29 ὃς δ ̓ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος. 30 ὅτι ἔλεγον· πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον ἔχει.

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