Everyone wondered (Lk 2:18-2:18

“All who heard it

Were amazed

At what

The shepherds

Told them.”

 

καὶ πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν περὶ τῶν λαληθέντων ὑπὸ τῶν ποιμένων πρὸς αὐτούς·

 

Luke indicated that everyone who heard the news (καὶ πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες) from the shepherds were amazed or marveled (ἐθαύμασαν) at what these shepherds had told them (περὶ τῶν λαληθέντων ὑπὸ τῶν ποιμένων πρὸς αὐτούς).  This is the opposite of Mark, who did not want people to know that Jesus was the Messiah.  Here everyone was amazed about this new messianic child.  Mark had people amazed by the actions and words of Jesus, but Luke has them amazed at Jesus’ very presence.

The future of this child (Lk 1:66-1:66)

“All who heard

These words

And actions

Pondered them

In their hearts.

They said.

‘What then

Will this child become?’

Indeed,

The hand

Of the Lord

Was with him.”

 

καὶ ἔθεντο πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν, λέγοντες Τί ἄρα τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο ἔσται; καὶ γὰρ χεὶρ Κυρίου ἦν μετ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that there were great expectations about what was going to happen to his wonder child, John.  All the people were talking and listening (καὶ ἔθεντο πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες) to these words and activities.  They began to wonder in their hearts (ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν) what would become of this child (λέγοντες Τί ἄρα τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο ἔσται), since the hand of the Lord was on him (καὶ γὰρ χεὶρ Κυρίου ἦν μετ’ αὐτοῦ) in some special way.  Big things were in store for this baby John.

The signs of the believers (Mk 16:17-16:17)

“These signs

Will accompany

Those who believe.

By using my name,

They will cast out demons.

They will speak

In new tongues.”

 

σημεῖα δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα παρακολουθήσει, ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν, γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς,

 

Only this long Mark addition has these comments about what the disciples of Jesus would be able to do.  This addition to Mark indicated that Jesus said that these signs (σημεῖα) would accompany (παρακολουθήσει) those who believed (δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα) in the name of Jesus (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου).  They would be able to cast out demons (δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν,).  They would also be able to speak in new tongues (γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς).  Certainly, the early Christians believed that these actions would be important among the followers of Jesus.  They would be able to cast out evil spirits and speak in tongues.

A young man dressed in white (Mk 16:5-16:5)

“As they entered the tomb,

They saw a young man,

Wearing a white robe.

He was sitting

On the right side.

They were amazed.”

 

καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον εἶδον νεανίσκον καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν, καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν.

 

Matthew, chapter 28:2-7, is the only gospel story to explicitly describe the actions and the angel at the tomb.  In Luke, chapter 24:4-7, there were 2 men in dazzling clothes standing in the tomb, who explained everything.  John, chapter 20:11-13, had 2 angels talk to Mary Magdalene in the tomb.  Here Mark said that as the 3 women entered the tomb (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον), they saw a young man (εἶδον νεανίσκον) sitting on the right side in the tomb (καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς).  He was wearing a white robe (περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν).  Thus, these 3 women were astonished or greatly amazed (καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν) at what they saw.  Where was the body of Jesus?

Title

The Gospel according to Mark

τὸ κατὰ Μᾶρκον εὐαγγέλιον,

What is a gospel?  Who is Mark?  The musical play “Godspell” that opened on Broadway in 1971, was based on the Old English ‘godspel.’  Like the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, this Germanic based word gospel means good news or good tidings.  This term originally meant the Christian message itself.  However, in the second century, it came to be used for the books where this message was set out.  Thus, the gospels became known as the written accounts of the life, actions, and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  This Gospel of Mark is anonymous since there is no explicit mention of a named author within the text itself.  This title (Τὸ κατὰ Μᾶρκον εὐαγγέλιον), however was added some time in the second century, perhaps by Papias of Hierapolis (60–130 CE), an early bishop and apostolic father.  Traditionally, this work has been ascribed to John Mark, the companion of the apostle Peter, who may have transcribed the teachings of Simon Peter.  This John Mark was the son of a widow named Mary as indicated in Acts, chapter 12:12.  He also accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journeys, since he was also the cousin of Barnabas, as indicated in Colossians, chapter 4:10.  However, he  left Paul and Barnabas for some unknown reasons in Acts, chapter 13:13.  Today, most scholars agree that his anonymous Gospel of Mark was the first written gospel, probably written between 66–70 CE, during Emperor Nero’s persecution of the Christians in Rome or the Jewish revolt.  Thus, the authors of Matthew and Luke used Mark with a second document called the Q source.  This short Gospel of Mark was written for a gentile audience in a simple Greek style that is often called “street Greek.”  This Greek style is thus vivid and concrete showing a very active Jesus with less teaching or preaching.  Mark explained Jewish traditions and translated Aramaic terms for his Greek-speaking Christian audience who would not have understood them.  Some suggest Rome as the origin of this gospel since there are some Latin terms.  Others have suggested Antioch, the 3rd largest city in the Roman Empire.  This author may have been influenced by Greco-Roman writings, but all his references are from the Jewish Greek version of the Septuagint Bible or the Old Testament.

 

 

 

 

Do what they say, not what they do (Mt 23:2-23:3)

“The Scribes

And the Pharisees

Sit on Moses’ seat.

Therefore,

Do whatever

They teach you.

But they do not practice

What they teach.”

 

λέγων Ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋσέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι.

πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν ποιήσατε καὶ τηρεῖτε, κατὰ δὲ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν μὴ ποιεῖτε· λέγουσιν γὰρ καὶ οὐ ποιοῦσιν.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:38, who only talked about the Scribes and not the Pharisees.  In Luke, chapter 20:45, Jesus was only speaking to his disciples.  Jesus said that the Scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat (λέγων Ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋσέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι).  In other words, they knew the Torah, the Law of Moses, so that they spoke with authority.  Notice the importance of the seat or “καθέδρας” that later had such an important role in the Roman Catholic interpretation of the Pope or Bishop of Rome on his seat, speaking “ex cathedra” in an official capacity.  Thus, the Pharisees and Scribes were on this seat of Moses, so that they had the proper authority to teach.  The result was that the people should do all the things that the Scribes and Pharisees taught them (πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν ποιήσατε καὶ τηρεῖτε).  However, they were not practicing or doing what they were teaching (λέγουσιν γὰρ καὶ οὐ ποιοῦσιν), so that you were not to follow or do their actions (τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν μὴ ποιεῖτε).  Jesus accepted their teachings but not their actions.

Do not murder (Mt 5:21-5:21)

“You have heard

That it was said

To those in ancient times.

‘You shall not murder!’

Whoever murders

Shall be liable

To judgment.”

 

Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις Οὐ φονεύσεις· ὃς δ’ ἂν φονεύσῃ, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει.

 

Next Matthew has Jesus expand on the individual commandments. The first of these was killing or murder. Human life was important, as first outlined in Genesis, chapter 4:1-16, in the Cain and Abel story, as well as in chapter 9:5-6, after the Flood. They already knew this basic commandment, since they had heard what had been told to their ancient ancestors (Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις). This was the simple commandment not to murder or kill anyone (Οὐ φονεύσεις) from the Ten Commandments in Exodus, chapter 20:13 and Deuteronomy, chapter 5:17, as well as in Exodus, chapter 21:12-17, where there was a section on homicide. There were consequences for anyone who murdered someone else (ὃς δ’ ἂν φονεύσῃ). They were responsible for their actions. They were liable to be brought to judgment (ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει). This judgment would be before a Jewish court. There were a series of things that had to be done when a murder occurred, as outlined in Deuteronomy, chapter 21:1-9. The law about murder was fairly clear.