Should they buy food? (Mk 6:37-6:37)

“But Jesus

Answered them.

‘You give them

Something to eat!’

They said to him.

‘Are we to go

And buy

Two hundred denarii

Worth of bread?

Then give it

To them

To eat.’”


ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Δότε αὐτοῖς ὑμεῖς φαγεῖν. καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους, καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν;


The fact that Jesus wanted to feed everyone is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:16, Luke, chapter 9:13, and John, chapter 6:5-7, plus here in a more elaborate fashion.  Despite the fact that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home, Jesus wanted to feed them there.  Mark indicated that Jesus answered his disciples (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) telling them to give the people something to eat (Δότε αὐτοῖς ὑμεῖς φαγεῖν).  Only Mark has this response of the disciples asking about buying food.  The disciples said to Jesus (καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ) if they were to go to buy food (Ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν), that it would cost about 200 denarii to buy bread enough (δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους) for all these people to eat (καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν).  A denarius was worth one day’s pay, so that that 200 denarii would be nearly a year’s pay, a large amount of money.  The disciples thought that Jesus wanted them to buy some bread for the crowd.  In John, there was a conversation between Jesus and Philip about this.

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