The woman with a blood flow (Mk 5:25-5:26)

“There was a woman

Who had been suffering

From flowing blood

For twelve years.

She had endured much

Under many physicians.

She had spent all

That she had.

She was no better,

But rather grew worse.”

 

Καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος δώδεκα ἔτη,

καὶ πολλὰ παθοῦσα ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἰατρῶν καὶ δαπανήσασα τὰ παρ’ αὐτῆς πάντα, καὶ μηδὲν ὠφεληθεῖσα ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εἰς τὸ χεῖρον ἐλθοῦσα,

 

This episode about the woman with hemorrhages interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter.  However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, and Luke, chapter 8:43, also, so that Mark might be the source.  Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) was only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature.  Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood (Καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος), rather than hemorrhages.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding (δώδεκα ἔτη).  Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background.  Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians (καὶ πολλὰ παθοῦσα ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἰατρῶν).  Thus, she had spent all her money (καὶ δαπανήσασα τὰ παρ’ αὐτῆς πάντα).  Instead of helping her getting better (καὶ μηδὲν ὠφεληθεῖσα), she had actually become worse off (ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εἰς τὸ χεῖρον ἐλθοῦσα).  She was in a desperate situation.

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The use of parables (Mk 4:2-4:2)

“Jesus began

To teach them

Many things

In parables.

This is what

He said to them

In his teaching,”

 

καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά, καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:3, and Luke 8:4.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Mark.  Jesus taught them many things in parables (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά).  This is how Jesus delivered most of his teachings (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels, since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.

Eating on the Sabbath (Mt 12:1-12:1)

“At that time,

Jesus went through

The grain fields,

On the sabbath.

His disciples

Were hungry.

They began to pluck

Heads of grain

To eat them.”

 

Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ ἐπορεύθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς σάββασιν διὰ τῶν σπορίμων· οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπείνασαν καὶ ἤρξαντο τίλλειν στάχυας καὶ ἐσθίειν.

 

Matthew has Jesus with his disciples on the Sabbath day walking in a grain field.  This is similar to Mark, chapter 2:23, at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  It is also the same as Luke, chapter 6:1.  Once again there is a transition statement of Matthew, “At that time” (Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ).  Jesus was traveling through the grain fields on the Sabbath (ἐπορεύθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοῖς σάββασιν διὰ τῶν σπορίμων).  This is the only use of the word “σπορίμων” in all the biblical literature.  All three synoptics use this word that meant a sown field or a grain field.  His disciples were hungry (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπείνασαν).  They began to pluck the heads of the grain in the field (καὶ ἤρξαντο τίλλειν στάχυας).  Once again, this is a unique word “τίλλειν.” “plucking” that only appears in the New Testament literature in this story of the three synoptics.  They then ate these grain heads (καὶ ἐσθίειν).  This sets up the problem of plucking grain on the Sabbath.

The sleeping girl (Mt 9:23-9:24)

“When Jesus came

To the leader’s house,

He saw the flute players.

The crowd

Was making a commotion.

He said.

‘Go away!

The girl is not dead.

But she is sleeping.’

They laughed at him.”

 

καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἄρχοντος καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς αὐλητὰς καὶ τὸν ὄχλον θορυβούμενον

ἔλεγεν· Ἀναχωρεῖτε· οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν τὸ κοράσιον ἀλλὰ καθεύδει. καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ.

 

This episode of the sleeping girl is similar to what can be found in Mark, chapter 5:38-39, and Luke, chapter 8:51-52.  Jesus then arrived at this leader’s house (καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἄρχοντος).  Jesus saw the mourning flute players (καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς αὐλητὰς).  Once again, this is the only time that this word for flute players (αὐλητὰς) is found in the biblical literature.  The crowd was agitated, making a big commotion (καὶ τὸν ὄχλον θορυβούμενον).  He told them to go away (ἔλεγεν·Ἀναχωρεῖτε) since the girl was not dead (οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν τὸ κοράσιον), but only sleeping (ἀλλὰ καθεύδει).  However, they laughed at him or ridiculed him (καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ).  This will not be the only time that people ridicule Jesus and his disciples.

The woman with the hemorrhage (Mt 9:20-9:21)

“A woman,

Who had suffered

From hemorrhages

For twelve years,

Came up behind him.

She touched

The fringe

Of his cloak.

She said to herself.

‘If I only touch

His cloak,

I will be made well.’”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ αἱμορροοῦσα δώδεκα ἔτη προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ·

ἔλεγεν γὰρ ἐν ἑαυτῇ Ἐὰν μόνον ἅψωμαι τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ σωθήσομαι.

 

This episode about the woman with hemorrhages interrupts the story about the leader and his dead daughter.  However, it can be found in Mark, chapter 5:25-29, and Luke, chapter 8:43-44, except that Mark and Luke have a more elaborate story, about her background.  Interesting enough, the word that Matthew uses for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found here, but nowhere else in the biblical literature.  Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding (Καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ αἱμορροοῦσα δώδεκα ἔτη).  She came up behind Jesus (προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν).  She wanted to touch the fringe or the tassel edge of his cloak (ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ).  These fringes (κρασπέδου) or bottom tassels often reminded people about the 10 commandments.  She was thinking to herself (ἔλεγεν γὰρ ἐν ἑαυτῇ), that if she only touched his cloak or garment (Ἐὰν μόνον ἅψωμαι τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ), she would be healed or cured (σωθήσομαι).

Short prayers (Mt 6:7-6:8)

“When you are praying,

Do not heap up empty phrases,

As the gentiles do.

They think

That they will be heard

Because of their many words.

Do not be like them!

Your Father knows

What you need

Before you ask him.”

 

Προσευχόμενοι δὲ μὴ βατταλογήσητε ὥσπερ οἱ ἐθνικοί· δοκοῦσιν γὰρ ὅτι ἐν τῇ πολυλογίᾳ αὐτῶν εἰσακουσθήσονται.

μὴ οὖν ὁμοιωθῆτε αὐτοῖς· οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὧν χρείαν ἔχετε πρὸ τοῦ ὑμᾶς αἰτῆσαι αὐτόν.

 

This is another saying of Jesus, only found in Matthew, that serves as the introduction to the “Our Father” prayer.  When the followers of Jesus were praying (Προσευχόμενοι δὲ), they should not babble or use vain empty words (μὴ βατταλογήσητε).  Matthew used this Greek word “βατταλογήσητε” that only appears here in all the biblical literature.  This was a kind of long babbling stammering rote type of prayer that some gentiles used (ὥσπερ οἱ ἐθνικοί).  Thus, once again Matthew indicated that these gentles were not part of the Jesus followers.  These long-winded gentile non-Jewish people thought that they had to use a lot of words to be heard (δοκοῦσιν γὰρ ὅτι ἐν τῇ πολυλογίᾳ αὐτῶν εἰσακουσθήσονται).  The Jesus followers should not be the same or like them (μὴ οὖν ὁμοιωθῆτε αὐτοῖς), since their divine Father (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν) knew what they needed before they even asked (ὧν χρείαν ἔχετε πρὸ τοῦ ὑμᾶς αἰτῆσαι αὐτόν).

Literary forms of the Bible

There were different literary forms that came under the various cultural human influences.  Literary criticism means the various applications that people have used to investigate any kind of literature.  The study of the use of language and style to obtain meaning has helped to reestablish the unity, the beauty, the integrity, the quality, and the meaning and significance of biblical literature.  Many subcategories of literary criticism also exist.  An examination of the use of language and literary style shows how these human authors established their meanings.  The formal scientific study of human language involves the application of some aspects of modern linguistics.  Structuralism is an attempt to discover underlying deep patterns of universal meaning and significance.