Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yahweh = Adonai = Κύριος = Ἰησοῦς Part 2

Yahweh = Adonai = Kurios = Jesus

This is part two in a series of blogs on the subject of the title. It is recommended that you read part 1 first. It can be found here.  Make sure you read the footnotes as you go along.  Enjoy!

Acts 4:12: And there is salvation in no one else1, for neither is there another2 name that has been given among men under heaven in which we must be saved3.

The most interesting thing about this passage, which is normally taken for granted, is that in the power of the name of Jesus, salvation can be found. There is no denying it! Jesus is the only one who is able to offer life. The only problem is that in Israel in the 1st century, many men were named Jesus! It was a very common name. So, how did the name of Jesus become so powerful? Yes, superficially one can say it was because of the man Jesus and his death and resurrection, but God does things in a much deeper way. In fact, God is very technical in nature. We know from Philippians 2:9-11 that God graced upon Jesus the name above every name “name”. We know that name today as Yahweh. So did Peter also have this same theology? Indeed he did! Paul even says in Galatians 2:8

8 (For the one who worked in Peter in the apostleship to the circumcised, also worked in me to the Gentiles)

In fact, Peter uses a lot of language that is similar to Paul, some of which is found in Acts 2:36:

36 Therefore, let the whole house of Israel know for sure4 that God made this Jesus whom you crucified both the Lord and the Messiah5.

So what is it about a name? Is it the name or the man? Sometimes it’s both especially if the name (Jesus) is standing in place of Yahweh!

1 οὐκ... οὐδενὶ ( one) 

The double negative in Greek makes the passage emphatic.

2 ἕτερον (another) 

or “different”.

3 ἐν ᾧ δεῖ σωθῆναι ἡμᾶς. (in which we must be saved) 

or “in which it is necessary for us to be saved”.

4 ἀσφαλῶς (for sure) 

Greek: “securely”. The idea is that it is a safe thing to believe.

5 ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός (that God made him both the Lord and Christ)

Note that there is no article before κύριον (Lord) or χριστὸν (Christ). The article normally is used to refer to something very specific, but sometimes the article is inferred in Greek. For instance, if Christ (Messiah) was not specific, then it could refer to any messiah, and it can also be inferred that there could be MANY messiahs! Since in this case it is obvious that messiah here is meant to be “The Messiah”, then we should also treat lord as “The Lord”.

The Greek

Πράξεις 4·12 καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἄλλῳ οὐδενὶ ἡ σωτηρία, οὐδὲ γὰρ ὄνομά ἐστιν ἕτερον ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν τὸ δεδομένον ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἐν ᾧ δεῖ σωθῆναι ἡμᾶς.

Πράξεις 2·36 ἀσφαλῶς οὖν γινωσκέτω πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραὴλ ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός, τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Yahweh = Adonai = Κύριος = Ἰησοῦς


Yahweh = Adonai = Kurios = Jesus

One of the most amazing things that I’ve found in learning Greek is Paul’s use of Κύριος/Kurios (Lord) to exclusively refer to Jesus. You can see his use of it throughout his letters: “The Lord Jesus Christ”, “The Lord Jesus”, “Jesus our Lord”. What most people don’t realize is that Paul is making a huge point theologically in doing this...and so were other Apostles (more on this in a later blog). Let’s start at the beginning...

One of the main things that all must learn about the New Testament is that almost all of the Old Testament quotes are from the Septuagint (the Greek Translation of the Old Testament). One of the main things that all must learn about the Old Testament in English is that the English is translated from the Hebrew and Aramaic, not from the Greek Septuagint. Another BIG thing that people must realize about our English Bibles is that translators follow the tradition of the Jews in not “pronouncing” the name of God in translation. In the English Bible, the name is not "pronounced", it is just not translated or transliterated. We have replaced it with “The LORD” which is Adonai (my LORD) in Hebrew.  The same thing was done in the Septuagint!

How many times does God’s name appear in the Old Testament in Hebrew? Give up? How about 6828 times! If you are a King James Version person, then you know this name to be “Jehovah”. Today, we know the name as Yahweh. Here are some points to consider:

• Yahweh occurs 6828 times in the Old Testament 
• The Jews stopped speaking it about 400 to 350 BC 
• Yahweh was replaced with "Adonai" ("My Lord") while being read out loud.
• When the Old Testament was translated into Greek (300 BC), Yahweh was translate from Adonai which is kurios/κύριος (Lord) in Greek.

So, how would our Old Testament look to us if God’s name were actually translated? Let’s take a look at the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one.

If we include the name of God in the verse as it actually appears in the Hebrew, then it would be translated:

Hear, O Israel: Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one.

Now let’s fast-forward to around 300 BC. This is the time that he Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek. By this time, the Jews had stopped speaking the name of God. That presented a problem with translating the Hebrew into Greek. Since the Jews didn’t think it was appropriate to say the name of God in Hebrew, they also didn’t think is was appropriate to say it in Greek either. So, when it was translated into Greek, instead of translating or transliterating Yahweh, the Jews just translated what they would have said in a public reading. That would be Adonai. Adonai was translated into Greek as κύριος/ kurios (Lord).  Modern translators do the same thing in today's English Bibles.

Now let’s fast-forward another 350 years to Paul’s letters. Here are a couple of quick things to take note of:

• Paul’s native language was Greek 
• Paul was highly educated in the Septuagint and quoted from it exclusively
• Paul always uses κύριος to refer to Jesus in his letters 
• Paul always replaces Yahweh with Jesus when using the Old Testament to point to Jesus.

Let’s look at an example passage in Philippians 2:9-11

9 διὸ καὶ ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ὑπερύψωσεν 
      καὶ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ τὸ ὄνομα
           τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα, 
10 ἵνα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ
       πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ 
           ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων
11 καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσηται ὅτι 
       κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς
           εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός.

9 and therefore God highly exalted him 
      and graced upon him the name, 
           the one above every name,
10 so that in the name of Jesus 
      every knee should bow
           in heaven, on earth, and in the depths of the earth 
11 and every tongue should confess that
      the Lord is Jesus Christ
          to glory of God the Father

A couple of things about this passage. 1. The article τὸ (the), that stands in front of the prepositional phrase ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα (above every name), refers to the noun that was previously mentioned in the passage. That noun is τὸ ὄνομα which is “the name”. 2. The phrase κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς (The Lord is Jesus Christ) has two subjects to the inferred "to be" verb “is”. In proper grammar, one of these nouns is called the predicate nominative. The passage can be translated as “The Lord is Jesus Christ” or “Jesus Christ is the Lord”.

So how does this prove that Paul is replacing Yahweh with Jesus? This passage in Philippians is actually an echo of Isaiah 45:18; 23b.

18 Οὕτως λέγει κύριος ὁ ποιήσας τὸν οὐρανόν... 
23b ...ὅτι ἐμοὶ κάμψει πᾶν γόνυ καὶ ἐξομολογήσεται πᾶσα γλῶσσα τῷ θεῷ 

18 Thus says the LORD (Yahweh), who made heaven...
23b ...that to me, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to God.

Paul’s echo of Isaiah 45:18-23 clearly shows that he is now placing Jesus in the role of Yahweh. More than that, we now know why such a common 1st century name (Jesus) is to be bowed down to. God bestows upon Jesus “the name above every name “name” which is Yahweh. That is why and how “every knee should bow...and every tongue should confess that The Lord (Yahweh) is Jesus Christ.”

***This is the 1st in a series of blogs on the topic that is presented in the title. For the most part, the material used here is taken from Gordon Fee’s book, Pauline Christology, but other sources may also be used going on additional blogs.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mark 7:31-37, A Deaf and Dumb Man Healed (The Study of Mark)

     31 And going out from the region of Tyre again, he went through Sidon onto the Sea of Galilee up the middle of the region of the Decapolis1. 32 And they bring2 to him a deaf man who could not speak well3 and they implore him that he may lay his hand on him. 33 And taking him aside, away from the crown privately4, he put5 his fingers into his ears and after spitting onto his fingers6, he touched his tongue. 34 And looking up into heaven, he groaned7 and says to him, “Ephphatha!” That is “Be opened!” 35 And [immediately]8, his ears9 were opened, and the bond of his tongue was loosed and he was speaking clearly10. 36 And he ordered them that they should speak to no one about the matter, but as much as he was ordering them, they were proclaiming it all the more. 37 And they were completely astounded11 saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb12 to speak.”


Jesus makes an "out of the way" journey to the Decapolis.  As always, Jesus' reputation precedes him.

1 Δεκαπόλεως (of the Decapolis) 

Ten Cities.

2 φέρουσιν (bring) 

or “carry”.

3 μογιλάλον (who could hardly speak) 

Not quite mute, but certainly not able to speak well.

4 κατ ̓ ἰδίαν (privately) 

Greek: “according to one’s own”. An idiom for “private”.

5 ἔβαλεν (put) 

Greek: “threw”. A very odd verb to use when placing fingers in one’s ears.

6 It is very unlikely that Jesus would spit into someone’s mouth. He probably spit into his own hand before touching the man’s tongue. I’ve added “onto his fingers” to clarify this.

7 ἐστέναξεν (he groaned) 

To express oneself involuntarily in the face of undesirable circumstance.  Jesus was upset with the situation and had pity on the man’s situation.

8 ”Immediately” is in brackets as it may not be original to the text.

9 αἱ ἀκοαί (ears)

Greek: “hearings”, as in “his hearings were opened”. Mark wants to make sure that the readers understand that the deaf man was hearing again.

10 ὀρθῶς (clearly)

or “correctly”. To act in conformity with a norm or standard. In other words, the man was speaking just like everyone else was.

11 ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο (completely astounded) 

or “astounded beyond all measure”.

12 ἀλάλους (dumb) 

or “people who can’t speak”.

The Greek

Μάρκον 7·31 Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου ἦλθεν διὰ Σιδῶνος εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως. 32 Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ κωφὸν καὶ μογιλάλον καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιθῇ αὐτῷ τὴν χεῖρα. 33 καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ ̓ ἰδίαν ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ, 34 καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐστέναξεν καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· εφφαθα, ὅ ἐστιν διανοίχθητι. 35 καὶ [εὐθέως] ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί, καὶ ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς. 36 καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ λέγωσιν· ὅσον δὲ αὐτοῖς διεστέλλετο, αὐτοὶ μᾶλλον περισσότερον ἐκήρυσσον. 37 καὶ ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες· καλῶς πάντα πεποίηκεν, καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν καὶ [τοὺς] ἀλάλους λαλεῖν.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

First Draft of Galatians Now Available

Hi all,

For any of you who are interested, my translation of Galatians is now available here.  It is the 1st draft and is going through the editing process now, so it may not be as polished as it needs to be.  Any feedback is much appreciated.

This is the first part of what will be published as "Paul's Pillar Letters".  The next 3 will be Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Mark 7:24-30, The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith (The Study of Mark)

     24 And after getting up from there, he departed into the region of Tyre. And after going into a house, he was wanting no one to know about it1, but he was not able to escape notice2. 25 But immediately after hearing about him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, came3 and fell down before his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek4, Syrophoenician by race5, and was asking him that he may cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied6 first7, for it is not good to take the bread of the children and to throw it to the dogs8.” 28 And she answered and says to him, “Master9, even the dogs under the table eat from the crumbs of the children.” 29 And he said to her, “Because of this saying10 , go! The demon has gone out11 from your daughter.” 30 And after departing into her house, she found the child lying12 on the bed and the demon having had gone out13.


Jesus has an encounter with a Gentile women while he is searching for a little privacy.  Jesus reputation has preceded him and everywhere he goes, he is recognized and sought out.

1 In other words, Jesus was looking for some privacy.

2 λαθεῖν (to escape notice) 

Greek: “to be hidden”. Jesus had become like our modern day celebrities, no matter where he went, the people found him.

3 ἐλθοῦσα (came) 

Greek: “coming” or “after coming”.

4 Ἑλληνίς (Greek) 

This could also be translated “Gentile”. There are many instances in the New Testament where Greek just means Gentile.

5 τῷ γένει (by race) 

or “by birth”.

6 χορτασθῆναι (satisfied) 

To eat one’s fill. In other words, the children (Israel) should eat all that they wanted first.

7 This passage does offer some hope to the woman as well as Gentiles. Jesus merely said that the children should be satisfied first. He never said that the Gentiles would never be able to partake in the bread.

8 τοῖς κυναρίοις (to the dogs)

Israel considered dogs to be unclean animals. This give us some insight as to how Jews viewed Gentiles. Although it is somewhat shocking that Jesus would say something like this, it was probably expected by the Gentile woman.

9 κύριε (Master)

or “Lord”. This shows that the woman was not going to let the harsh language that Jesus spoke deter her from her mission. The Textus Receptus adds “Ναί” which means “Yes” as in “Yes, Master”. It is not original to the text as it doesn’t appear in the oldest and best manuscripts. It can be found in the King James Version.

10 τὸν λόγον (saying) 

Greek: “word”.

11 ἐξελήλυθεν (has gone out)

The verb is in the perfect tense which means that the demon had already left the little girl and the effects of that were still being felt. Jesus had cast out the demon without uttering a word, thus showing a new level to his exorcisms.

12 βεβλημένον (lying)

Greek: “having had thrown herself”. The participle is in the perfect middle tense. It basically means that the little girl earlier thrown herself onto the bed and was still on the bed when her mother arrived.. It is also possible that the demon had been working here as well as cause the girl to do this before he was cast out.

13 ἐξεληλυθός (having had gone out)

The participle is in the perfect tense, so the demon had left the girl prior to the mother’s arrival and was still gone when she got there.

The Greek

Μάρκον 7·24 Ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀναστὰς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Τύρου. Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς οἰκίαν οὐδένα ἤθελεν γνῶναι, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθη λαθεῖν· 25 ἀλλ ̓ εὐθὺς ἀκούσασα γυνὴ περὶ αὐτοῦ, ἧς εἶχεν τὸ θυγάτριον αὐτῆς πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον, ἐλθοῦσα προσέπεσεν πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· 26 ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἦν Ἑλληνίς, Συροφοινίκισσα τῷ γένει· καὶ ἠρώτα αὐτὸν ἵνα τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐκβάλῃ ἐκ τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς. 27 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῇ· ἄφες πρῶτον χορτασθῆναι τὰ τέκνα, οὐ γάρ ἐστιν καλὸν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων καὶ τοῖς κυναρίοις βαλεῖν. 28 ἡ δὲ ἀπεκρίθη καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε· καὶ τὰ κυνάρια ὑποκάτω τῆς τραπέζης ἐσθίουσιν ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν παιδίων. 29 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· διὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ὕπαγε, ἐξελήλυθεν ἐκ τῆς θυγατρός σου τὸ δαιμόνιον. 30 καὶ ἀπελθοῦσα εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς εὗρεν τὸ παιδίον βεβλημένον ἐπὶ τὴν κλίνην καὶ τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐξεληλυθός.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mark 7:14-23, The Tradition of the Elders Part 2 (The Study of Mark)

     14 And again, after summoning the crowd to himself, he was saying to them, “Everyone listen1 to me and understand. 15 There is nothing outside of a man that goes2 into him that is able3 to defile4 him, but the things that go out5 from a man are what defile a man.”6 17 And when he went into a house away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. 18 And he says to them, “Are you also without understanding in this manner? Don’t you understand that all things outside that go into a man are not able to defile him 19 because it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and then goes out to the sewer?” (By saying this, he declared all food clean). 20 And he was saying, “The things that go out from a man, that defiles the man. 21 For from within, evil thoughts go out from the heart of men, these are sexual immorality7, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed8, evil, deceit9, indecency10, envy11, defaming speech12, pride13, and lacking sense14. 23 All these evil things go out from within and defile the man.”


Mark concludes his account of the Elders' Tradition.  Notice how Jesus publicly renounces what the Pharisees and Scribes believe in.  The text doesn't reveal if the Pharisees and Scribes were still around or not, but they would have certainly heard of how Jesus embarrassed them.  Perhaps the most astonishing thing here is the lack of understanding that Jesus' disciples have.  They just can't seem to catch on even though they are with Jesus most of the time.  Jesus also puts the finishing touches on what really defiles a person.

1 ἀκούσατέ (listen) 

Greek: “hear”.

2 εἰσπορευόμενον (goes) 

Greek: “after going into”.

3 δύναται (is able) 

or “has the power to”.

4 κοινῶσαι (to defile) 

or “to make him unclean”.

5 ἐκπορευόμενά (go out) 

Greek: “going out”.

6 Verse 16 omit. 

The Textus Receptus adds εἰ τις ἔχει ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω (If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen). The verse can be found in the King James Version.

7 πορνεῖαι (sexual immorality) 

or “fornication” or “prostitution” or “engaging in prostitution”.

8 πλεονεξίαι (greed) 

or “greediness”. The State of desiring to have more than one’s due.

9 δόλος (deceit) 

Taking advantage through craft and underhanded methods.

10ἀσέλγεια (indecency) 

or “indecent conduct”. The lack of self-constraint which involves one in conduct that violates all bounds of what is socially acceptable.

11ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός (envy) 

Greek: “the evil eye”. Somewhat of an idiom that describes how one wants what others have.

12βλασφημία (defaming speech) 

or “blasphemy”. Speech that denigrates or defames.

13 ὑπερηφανία (pride) 

A state of undue sense of one’s importance bordering on a lack of respect.

14 ἀφροσύνη (lacking sense) 

or “foolishness”. Lacking good judgement.

The Greek

Μάρκον 7·14 Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος πάλιν τὸν ὄχλον ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· ἀκούσατέ μου πάντες καὶ σύνετε. 15 οὐδέν ἐστιν ἔξωθεν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς αὐτὸν ὃ δύναται κοινῶσαι αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ τὰ ἐκ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκπορευόμενά ἐστιν τὰ κοινοῦντα τὸν ἄνθρωπον.
Μάρκον 7·17 Καὶ ὅτε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς οἶκον ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου, ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ τὴν παραβολήν. 18 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε; οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι 19 ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἀλλ ̓ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται, καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα; 20 ἔλεγεν δὲ ὅτι τὸ ἐκ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκπορευόμενον, ἐκεῖνο κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον. 21 ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται, πορνεῖαι, κλοπαί, φόνοι, 22 μοιχεῖαι, πλεονεξίαι, πονηρίαι, δόλος, ἀσέλγεια, ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός, βλασφημία, ὑπερηφανία, ἀφροσύνη· 23 πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν ἐκπορεύεται καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mark 7:1-13, The Tradition of the Elders Part 1 (The Study of Mark)

     1 And the Pharisees and some of the Scribes gathered to him after coming from Jerusalem,1 2 and seeing that some of his disciples are eating bread with defiled2 hands, that is, unwashed hands. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews did not eat unless3 they washed their hands carefully4, holding the tradition of the Elders, 4 and when they came from the market place, they didn’t eat unless5 they washed themselves6. There are many other things which they took aside to keep7: the washing8 of cups, pitchers, bronze bowls, [and beds]9.) 5 And the Pharisees and the Scribes asked him, “Why10 don’t your disciples walk according to the tradition of the Elders11, but they eat bread with defiled12 hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Isaiah well prophesied about you hypocrites13, as it has been written:

     ‘This people honors me with their lips, 
     but their heart is far in distance from me. 
     7 And they worship me to no avail14 
     teaching the commandments of men as doctrine.’15

8 Letting go of the commandment of God, you hold on to the tradition of men.”16 9 He also was saying to them, “You disregard well the commandment of God17, so that you may uphold your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’18 and ‘The ones who speak evil of their father of mother is to be put to death19.’20 11 But you say, ‘Whatever help you get from me is Corban21 , that is, a gift to God’. 12 You no longer let him do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus nullifying the word of God with your tradition to which you hand down. And you do many similar such things you.”


Mark moves us from miracles to opposition.

1 It is unclear if both the Pharisees and some of the Scribes came from Jerusalem. If καί τινες τῶν γραμματέων ἐλθόντες ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων (and some of the Scribes after coming from Jerusalem) is to be taken as the 2nd half of the compound subject, then only Scribes came from Jerusalem. If that is true, then the passage would be translated: “And the Pharisees, and some of the Scribes after coming from Jerusalem, gathered to him.”

2 κοιναῖς (defiled)

Defiled as in being ritually defiled or unclean according to Jewish tradition. If a jew did not wash his hands before eating, he was considered unclean to eat the meal.

3 ἐὰν μὴ (unless) 

Greek: “if not” or “when not”.

4 πυγμῇ (carefully) 

Greek: “with a fist”. The meaning is somewhat unknown, but apparently it means “to wash with force”.

5 See note 2.

6 βαπτίσωνται (washed themselves)

or “baptized themselves”. A ritual bathing.

7 παρέλαβον κρατεῖν (took aside to keep) 

or “took aside to hold”. There were just certain traditions that they decided to hold on to.

8 See note 5.

9 [καὶ κλινῶν] ([and beds])

This is in brackets as it may not be original to the text.

10διὰ τί (Why) 

Greek: “Because of what”.

11 In other words, Why is it that your disciples don’t live their lives in what the Elders taught us and do what the Elders taught us?

12 See note 1.

13 τῶν ὑποκριτῶν (hypocrites)

A hypocrite is one who pretends to be something that he is not.

14 μάτην (to no avail)

or “in vain”. Their worship did no good.

15 The quote is taken from Isaiah 29:13. It is from the Septuagint which is worded a little differently than the Hebrew.

16 The Textus Receptus adds βαπτισμοὺς ξεστῶν καὶ ποτηρίων· καὶ ἄλλα παρόμοια τοιαῦτα πολλὰ ποιεῖτε (washing pitchers and cups; and the other many similar such things you do). This is an interpolation of verses 4 and 13. This can be found in the KJV, but is not original to the text.

17 Note the sarcasm that Jesus adds: “You disregard well the commandment of God”. In other words, the Scribes had been very slick in how they could avoid the commandment of God. The NIV translates this “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God”.

18 The quote is taken from Exodus 20:12. It is from the Septuagint.

19 θανάτῳ τελευτάτω (is to be put to death)

Greek: “let him be put to death”.

20 The quote is taken from Exodus 21:17. It is from the Septuagint.

21 κορβᾶν (Corban)

If a person announced that his property was κορβᾶν, then the parents no longer had access to the financial support that was provided by the son whose income came from the property.

The Greek

Μάρκον 7·1 Καὶ συνάγονται πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καί τινες τῶν γραμματέων ἐλθόντες ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων. 2 καὶ ἰδόντες τινὰς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ὅτι κοιναῖς χερσίν, τοῦτ ̓ ἔστιν ἀνίπτοις, ἐσθίουσιν τοὺς ἄρτους 3 _ οἱ γὰρ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ πάντες οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἐὰν μὴ πυγμῇ νίψωνται τὰς χεῖρας οὐκ ἐσθίουσιν, κρατοῦντες τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων, 4 καὶ ἀπ ̓ ἀγορᾶς ἐὰν μὴ βαπτίσωνται οὐκ ἐσθίουσιν, καὶ ἄλλα πολλά ἐστιν ἃ παρέλαβον κρατεῖν, βαπτισμοὺς ποτηρίων καὶ ξεστῶν καὶ χαλκίων [καὶ κλινῶν] _ 5 καὶ ἐπερωτῶσιν αὐτὸν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς· διὰ τί οὐ περιπατοῦσιν οἱ μαθηταί σου κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων, ἀλλὰ κοιναῖς χερσὶν ἐσθίουσιν τὸν ἄρτον;
Μάρκον 7·6 Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν Ἠσαΐας περὶ ὑμῶν τῶν ὑποκριτῶν, ὡς γέγραπται [ὅτι]
οὗτος ὁ λαὸς τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ ̓ ἐμοῦ·
7 μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων.
8 ἀφέντες τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ θεοῦ κρατεῖτε τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων. 9 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· καλῶς ἀθετεῖτε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν στήσητε. 10 Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν· τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου, καί· ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω. 11 ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε· ἐὰν εἴπῃ ἄνθρωπος τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί· κορβᾶν, ὅ ἐστιν δῶρον, ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς, 12 οὐκέτι ἀφίετε αὐτὸν οὐδὲν ποιῆσαι τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί, 13 ἀκυροῦντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ τῇ παραδόσει ὑμῶν ᾗ παρεδώκατε· καὶ παρόμοια τοιαῦτα πολλὰ ποιεῖτε.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mark 6:53-56, The Healing of the Sick in Gennesaret (The Study of Mark)

     53 And after crossing over, they came to land1 at2 Gennesaret and they were anchored there. 54 And after they came out from the boat, immediately, the people recognized3 him 55 and ran about that whole region and began to bring the ones who were sick4 on mats wherever they heard he was5. 56 And wherever he was entering6 : into villages, or into cities, or into the fields, they were placing the ones who were sick7 in the market places8 and were begging him that if they may only touch the edge9 of his garment. And as many as touched him were healed10.

1 ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν (to land) 

Greek: “on the land”.

2 εἰς (at) 

Greek: “into”.

3 ἐπιγνόντες (recognized) 

or “knew”.

4 τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας (the ones who were sick) 

Greek: “the ones having badly”. An idiom for sick people.

5 ἐστίν (was) 

Greek: “is”.

6 εἰσεπορεύετο (was entering) 

or “was going into”. The verb is in the imperfect and indicates that Jesus was continually entering into different places.

7 τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας (the ones who were sick) 

Greek: “the ones who were weak”.

8 ταῖς ἀγοραῖς (market places)

or “the markets”. The main places where business was conducted. The would have been large, open spaces, so they would have been perfect to lay sick around. Since the markets were where most of the people would have been, it would have been the most obvious place for someone like Jesus to come to after entering a city.

9 τοῦ κρασπέδου (the edge)

or “the fringe”. It can also be the tassel that Jewish men were required to wear on the four corners of their garment per Jewish law (Numbers 25:37-41).

10ἐσῴζοντο (were healed) 

Greek: “were saved” as in “were saved from their sickness”.

The Greek

Μάρκον 6·53 Καὶ διαπεράσαντες ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἦλθον εἰς Γεννησαρὲτ καὶ προσωρμίσθησαν. 54 καὶ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου εὐθὺς ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν 55 περιέδραμον ὅλην τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην καὶ ἤρξαντο ἐπὶ τοῖς κραβάττοις τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας περιφέρειν ὅπου ἤκουον ὅτι ἐστίν. 56 καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις ἢ εἰς ἀγρούς, ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται· καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mark 6:45-52, Walking on the Water (The Study of Mark)

     45 And immediately, he compelled his disciples to get into the boat and to go ahead into the other side to Bethsaida1 while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after bidding them farewell, he departed into the hill2 to pray. 47 And when it became evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he alone was on the shore3. 48 And he saw4 them struggling5 in the rowing of the boat, for the wind was against them. About the forth watch of the night6, he came to them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them7 . 49 But the ones who saw him walking on the sea thought that he was a ghost8 and they cried out. 50 For all of them saw him and were terrified9. But immediately, he spoke with them, and says to them, “Have courage! It is I10, don’t be afraid.” 51 And he went up to them into the boat and the wind stopped and they were completely astonished in themselves, 52 for they didn’t understand the significance of the bread loaves11, but their heart was hardened12.


On the hills of the feeding of the 5000 miracle comes this miracle.  The most astonishing thing about this scene is just how little Jesus' disciples have understood up to this point.  Mark really puts them in "bad light" at the end of this scene.

1 This is a hard statement to understand if one reads Luke’s account about the feeding of the 5000 men. Luke says that the feeding miracle happened in Bethsaida. This is debated by scholars, but to no avail. It’s possible that there were two Bethsaidas: One on the western side of the sea and one on the eastern side.

2 τὸ ὄρος (hill) 

Greek: “mountain”.

3 τῆς γῆς (the shore) 

Greek: “the land” or “the earth”.

4 ἰδὼν (he saw) 

Greek: “seeing”.

5 βασανιζομένους (struggling) 

Greek: “tortured”. This is vivid imagery of just how hard the disciples were having to row against the wind.

6 τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς (fourth watch of the night) 

About 3:00 am.

7 Possibly an allusion to Exodus 33:19-22.

19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

8 φάντασμά (ghost) 

or phantom.

9 ἐταράχθησαν (terrified) 

Greek: “stirred up” or “troubled”. To cause great mental distress

10ἐγώ εἰμι (it is I) 

or “I am”.

11ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις (the significance of the bread loaves)

Greek: “on the basis of the bread loaves”. The disciples didn’t understand why the miracle happened nor did they understand just how significant it actually was.

12 The disciples didn’t understand the situation nor did you want to understand.

The Greek

Μάρκον 6·45 Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν εἰς τὸ πέραν πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν, ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον. 46 καὶ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι. 47 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἦν τὸ πλοῖον ἐν μέσῳ τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ αὐτὸς μόνος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. 48 καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς, περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. 49 οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἔδοξαν ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀνέκραξαν· 50 πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδον καὶ ἐταράχθησαν. ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ ̓ αὐτῶν, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι· μὴ φοβεῖσθε. 51 καὶ ἀνέβη πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος, καὶ λίαν [ἐκ περισσοῦ] ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἐξίσταντο· 52 οὐ γὰρ συνῆκαν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄρτοις, ἀλλ ̓ ἦν αὐτῶν ἡ καρδία πεπωρωμένη.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mark 6:30-44, The Feeding of the Five Thousand (The Study of Mark)

     30 And the apostles gathered together1 to Jesus and reported to him all things that they did and taught2. 31 And he was saying to them, “Come by yourselves3 into a deserted place and rest yourselves a little while.” (For there were many who were coming and going, and they didn’t even have time to eat.) 32 And they departed in a boat into a deserted place privately4 . 33 And the crowd saw5 them departing and many recognized6 them and they all ran together on foot there from all the cities and arrived before them.7 34 And after coming out of the boat, he saw a great crowd and he had pity on them, because they were like sheep not having shepherds8 and he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it was already late9, after coming to him, his disciples were saying, “This place is deserted and it is already late10. 36 Send them away, so that after departing into the neighboring fields and villages, they may buy themselves something to eat.” 37 And answering, he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they were saying to him, “After going, should we buy two hundred denarius11 of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he was saying to them, “How many loaves of bread do you have? Go and see.” And after finding out12 they say, “Five loaves and two fish.” 39 And he gave orders to them for all to sit down in groups13 on the green grass. 40 And they sat down in groups14 of one hundred and groups of fifty15 . 41 And after taking the five loaves and two fish, looking up into heaven, he blessed and broke the bread and kept on giving16 it to [his] disciples so that they might place it before them and he divided the two fish among them all17 . 42 And everyone ate and was satisfied, 43 and they picked up twelve full baskets18 of pieces of bread and fish19 . 44 And the ones who ate the bread were five thousand men.


Some scholars believe that this story show where a group of Jewish Anarchist were attempting to make Jesus their military leader.  Even though that is possible, Mark focuses on the miracle that was produced by Jesus' own hand.

1 συνάγονται (gathered together) 

Greek: “are gathering”.

2 ὅσα ἐποίησαν καὶ ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν (that they did and taught) 

Greek: “that they did and that they taught”.

3 αὐτοὶ κατ ̓ ἰδίαν (by yourselves) 

Greek: “privately yourselves” or “yourselves according to one’s own”.

4 κατ ̓ ἰδίαν (privately) 

Greek: “according to own’s own”.

5 εἶδον (the crowd saw) 
Greek: “they saw”. εἶδον doesn’t have an expressed subject in this text, but implies “they”. “they” are obviously “the crowd”.

6 ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοὶ (many recognized) 

Greek: “many knew”.

7 According to Luke’s account, the shore where the boat departed from and where the boat landed is separated by the inflow of the upper Jordan river. No only did the crowd out run the boat on foot, but did so by having to cross the river!

8 An echo from Numbers 27:17.

9 Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης (And when it was already late)

Greek: “And already becoming many hours”.

10καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή (and it is already late) 

Greek: “and already many hours”.

11 δηναρίων (denarius)

A denarius was a Roman silver coin that was a day’s worth of wages for a common man. 200 of them would be over one half a year’s worth of wages. An amount of money that the twelve probably didn’t have.

12 γνόντες (after finding out) 

Greek: “after knowing”.

13 συμπόσια συμπόσια (in groups)

A συμπόσια is a grouping of people that are grouped together for the purpose of eating or drinking.

14 πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ (in groups)

Different from συμπόσια. A πρασιαὶ is a group of people placed in an orderly fashion. It also refers to how garden plants are placed in a garden. The imagery of the event may show the on looker that the groups of people were like garden plants place in an orderly fashion on the green grass. It’s possible that Mark uses this language to refer to the “like sheep not having shepherds”.

15 κατὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ κατὰ πεντήκοντα (of one hundred and groups of fifty)

Greek: “according to hundreds and according to fifties”.

16 ἐδίδου (kept on giving)

Greek: “was giving”. The verb is in the imperfect and carries a continual aspect. So, Jesus was continually giving out the bread. Within the context of the miracle, he kept on giving the broken bread out, thus showing that the miracle itself came from Jesus own hands.

17 πᾶσιν (among them all) 

Greek: “to all”.

18 δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα (twelve full baskets)

The baskets were large were normally for carrying food or produce. The text doesn’t say if the baskets were actually available or not. The text may be referring to the “amount” of food that was left over. It may be possible that the disciples had the baskets in the boat, but not very probable. It is also likely that the baskets came from the crowd, but why would they have run with twelve empty baskets?

19 ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων (fish) 

Greek: “from the fish”.

The Greek

Μάρκον 6·30 Καὶ συνάγονται οἱ ἀπόστολοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν αὐτῷ πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησαν καὶ ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν. 31 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· δεῦτε ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ κατ ̓ ἰδίαν εἰς ἔρημον τόπον καὶ ἀναπαύσασθε ὀλίγον. ἦσαν γὰρ οἱ ἐρχόμενοι καὶ οἱ ὑπάγοντες πολλοί, καὶ οὐδὲ φαγεῖν εὐκαίρουν.
Μάρκον 6·32 Καὶ ἀπῆλθον ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ εἰς ἔρημον τόπον κατ ̓ ἰδίαν. 33 καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοὶ καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς. Μάρκον 6·34 Καὶ ἐξελθὼν εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ ̓ αὐτούς, ὅτι ἦσαν ὡς πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα, καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς πολλά.
Μάρκον 6·35 Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης προσελθόντες αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγον ὅτι ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή· 36 ἀπόλυσον αὐτούς, ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τοὺς κύκλῳ ἀγροὺς καὶ κώμας ἀγοράσωσιν ἑαυτοῖς τί φάγωσιν. 37 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· δότε αὐτοῖς ὑμεῖς φαγεῖν. καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν; 38 ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς· πόσους ἄρτους ἔχετε; ὑπάγετε ἴδετε. καὶ γνόντες λέγουσιν· πέντε, καὶ δύο ἰχθύας. 39 καὶ ἐπέταξεν αὐτοῖς ἀνακλῖναι πάντας συμπόσια συμπόσια ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ. 40 καὶ ἀνέπεσαν πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ κατὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ κατὰ πεντήκοντα. 41 καὶ λαβὼν τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν καὶ κατέκλασεν τοὺς ἄρτους καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς [αὐτοῦ] ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν. 42 καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, 43 καὶ ἦραν κλάσματα δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων. 44 καὶ ἦσαν οἱ φαγόντες [τοὺς ἄρτους] πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες.