Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mark 3:31-35, The Mother and Brothers of Jesus (The Study of Mark)

     31 And his mother and his brothers came, and while standing outside, they sent a message to him1 , summoning2 him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they say to him, “Behold3, your mother, your brothers, [and your sisters4] are outside seeking you. 33 And he answers them and says, “Who are my mother and my brothers? 34 And after looking around at those sitting around him in a circle, he says, “Behold, my mother and my brothers. 35 For whoever does the will of God5, this one is my brother, sister, and mother.  Mark 3:31-35

1 ἀπέστειλαν πρὸς αὐτὸν (they sent a message to him)

Greek: “they sent to him”. “a message” has been included to provide some clarity. The passage doesn’t make clear what the family sent him, but it is clear that something was sent in order to summon Jesus.

2 καλοῦντες (summoning) 

or “calling”.

3 ἰδοὺ (Behold)

This is the equivalent to the english expression “Look!”. It is used to draw attention to what is about to be said or stated. In other words, “Pay attention!”

4 [and your sisters] is a variant reading and probably not original to the text. The biggest clue, other than it doesn’t appear in some important Greek manuscripts, occurs in verse 33 when Jesus doesn’t mention “sisters” in his response.

5 ὃς [γὰρ] ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ (for whoever does the will of God)

This is a conditional statement. The Greeks used grammar in order to indicate conditional statements. In this passage, the verb ποιήσῃ (does) is in the subjunctive mood along with the particle ἂν (an untranslatable, conditional particle). In other words, becoming Jesus’ brothers, sisters, or mother is contingent upon doing the will of God. This might be questioned in English grammar, but it is not questioned in Greek grammar.

The Greek

Μάρκον 3·31 Καὶ ἔρχεται ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔξω στήκοντες ἀπέστειλαν πρὸς αὐτὸν καλοῦντες αὐτόν. 32 καὶ ἐκάθητο περὶ αὐτὸν ὄχλος, καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου [καὶ αἱ ἀδελφαί σου] ἔξω ζητοῦσίν σε. 33 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτοῖς λέγει· τίς ἐστιν ἡ μήτηρ μου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί [μου]; 34 καὶ περιβλεψάμενος τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν κύκλῳ καθημένους λέγει· ἴδε ἡ μήτηρ μου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου. 35 ὃς [γὰρ] ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, οὗτος ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀδελφὴ καὶ μήτηρ ἐστίν.

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