Friday, January 14, 2011

Mark 6:6b-13, The Mission of the Twelve (The Study of Mark)

     6b And he was going around among the villages1 teaching. 7 And he summoned the twelve to himself and began2 to send them out two by two and gave3 them authority over unclean spirits. 8 And he instructed4 them that they should take nothing on their journey except only a staff5 ; no food6, no traveler’s bag7, and no money in their belts, 9 but to wear sandals8 and not wear two tunics9. 10 And he was saying to them, “Whenever you go into a house, remain there until you leave that town10 . 11 And if any place11 doesn’t receive you, nor listens12 to you, after leaving that place, shake off the dust under your feet13 as a testimony against them.1412 And after going out, they preached15 that everyone should repent16. 13 And they were casting out many demons, and were anointing many sick people with olive oil17 and were healing them.  Mark 6:6b-13

1 τὰς κώμας κύκλῳ (among the villages) 

Greek: “around the villages”. Jesus was making a circle around the neighboring villages.

2 ἤρξατο (began)

This indicates that this was the first among many missions that Jesus sent the disciples on. It shouldn’t be taken that this was the only mission that they were sent on.

3 ἐδίδου (gave)

Greek: “was giving”. According to Max Zerwick (A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament: Unabridged),the use of the imperfect here may indicate that each disciple received the authority individually. That would certainly make sense.

4 παρήγγειλεν (he instructed) 

or “he commanded”.

5 ῥάβδον (staff)

Walking stick. In both Matthew’s and Luke’s account, the staff was prohibited. It’s possible that it is meant that the the disciples were not to take an “extra” staff, but that is not what the different accounts say.

6 ἄρτον (food) 

Greek: “bread”.

7 πήραν (traveler’s bag) 

or “beggar’s bag. It was used to collect food and store other items as one was traveling.

8 σανδάλια (sandals)

In both Matthew’s and Luke’s account, the sandals were prohibited. It still remains an unresolved issue among scholars as to why the accounts in both Matthew and Luke are different than Mark’s. There are many explanations, but none are iron clad.

9 χιτῶνας (tunics)

or “shirts”. The tunic was worn next to the skin under a cloak. Think of it as a kind of undershirt.

10 ἕως ἂν ἐξέλθητε ἐκεῖθεν (until you leave that town)

Greek: “until you go out from there (place)”. In this instance, “place” is where the house resides, not the house itself. I’ve rendered the translation “until you leave that town” to add clarity to this.

11 ὃς ἂν τόπος (if any place) 

Greek: “whatever place”.

12 ἀκούσωσιν (listens)

or “hears”.

13 ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν τὸν ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν (shake the dust from under your feet)

According to R.T France, Jewish Rabbis would shake the dust from their feet when leaving Gentile territory in other to not carry its defilement with them. In this case, it could be stated that a place’s unbelief was a defilement to the ones that were preaching the message and had to be removed.

14 Variant Reading

For my readers who use the King James Version, the Textus Receptus adds the following to verse 11: ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται Σοδόμοις ἢ Γομόρροις ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως, ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ. (Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement, than for that city). It is a harmonization from Matthew 10:15 and is not original to Mark’s account.

15 ἐκήρυξαν (preached) 

or “proclaimed”.

16 μετανοῶσιν (should repent)

One must keep in mind that in this case, repenting in the Jewish world was to change one’s mind and return to Jewish law. The people that Jesus in trying to reach are the “sick” and not the “strong”. See my blog on Mark 2:13-17.

17 ἐλαίῳ (olive oil)

This is the only place in the Gospels that mentions the disciples anointing with olive oil. The practice of anointing sick people with olive oil was a common practice in 1st century Galilee.

The Greek

Καὶ περιῆγεν τὰς κώμας κύκλῳ διδάσκων. 7 Καὶ προσκαλεῖται τοὺς δώδεκα καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο δύο καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων, 8 καὶ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδὲν αἴρωσιν εἰς ὁδὸν εἰ μὴ ῥάβδον μόνον, μὴ ἄρτον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ εἰς τὴν ζώνην χαλκόν, 9 ἀλλὰ ὑποδεδεμένους σανδάλια, καὶ μὴ ἐνδύσησθε δύο χιτῶνας. 10 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθητε εἰς οἰκίαν, ἐκεῖ μένετε ἕως ἂν ἐξέλθητε ἐκεῖθεν. 11 καὶ ὃς ἂν τόπος μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν, ἐκπορευόμενοι ἐκεῖθεν ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν τὸν ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς. 12 Καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκήρυξαν ἵνα μετανοῶσιν, 13 καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλλον, καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους καὶ ἐθεράπευον.

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