They were afraid of the people (Mk 11:32-11:32)

“But shall we say?

‘Of human origin.’

They were afraid

Of the crowd.

All regarded

John

As truly a prophet.”

 

ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον· ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν.

 

This question about the value of the baptism of John the Baptists can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:26, and Luke, chapter 20:6, almost word for word.  Mark said that these Jewish Jerusalem leaders did not want to say that this baptism of John was from human origins, man made (ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων).  They were afraid of the crowds of people (ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a true prophet (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν).  They were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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