Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mark 4:30-32, The Parable of the Mustard Seed (The Study of Mark)

     30 And he was saying, “How may we compare the Kingdom of God or in what parable may we describe1 it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which when sown on the ground, though it is the smallest of all seeds of which are sown2 on the ground, 32 yet3 when sown, it grows up4 and becomes the greatest of all garden plants5, and it makes large branches so that the birds of heaven are able to nest under its shade.”Mark 4:30-32

1 θῶμεν (may we describe) 

Greek: “may we place”. The passage could be rendered “or in what parable may we place it”.

2 are sown has been added to make sure that the reader maintains the correct context of a seed that is sown for garden use and not just any seed.

3 καὶ (yet) 

Greek: “and”. Since there is a comparison here, καὶ has been translated “yet” here to bring that comparison out in the text.

4 ἀναβαίνει (grows up) 

Greek: “comes up”.

5 τῶν λαχάνων (garden plants)

Plants that are planted in a garden. In this way, Jesus differentiates a garden plant seed with any other seed that is not a garden plant

6 and it makes large branches so that the birds of heaven are able to nest under its shade”

The phrase can be traced to Ezekiel 17:23/31:6 and Daniel 4:12, 21.

The Greek

Μάρκον 4·30 Καὶ ἔλεγεν· πῶς ὁμοιώσωμεν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἢ ἐν τίνι αὐτὴν παραβολῇ θῶμεν; 31 ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, 32 καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῦν.

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