The purification (Lk 2:22-2:22)

“When the time came

For their purification,

According to the law

Of Moses,

They brought him up

To Jerusalem

To present him

To the Lord.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα παραστῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ,

 

Luke said that when the time or the days were completed (Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι) for their purification (τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν), according to the law of Moses (κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem (ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) to present him to the Lord (παραστῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ).  What is this purification and is it different than circumcision.  The story of John did not have this purification ritual.  Strictly speaking, this was a purification of the mother to take place 40 days after the birth of a child that had made her unclean as described in Leviticus, chapter 12:1-8.  The presentation of the child and the father were not part of this purification ritual.  There was no law or custom about the presentation of a child, other than the presentation of the first born as in Exodus, chapter 13:2 and 13:16.  Women were considered unclean after childbirth because of the blood discharge that took place with birthing.  If a male was born, the woman was unclean for 7 days, like menstruation, so that on the 8th day the male child could be circumcised.  There were 33 more days of blood purification for the male child.  During her unclean period, this new mother could not touch any holy thing, or go into the sanctuary.  Thus, the purification ritual took place on the 40th day, a symbolic number based on the 40 years of the Israelites in the desert wilderness.

Believe or be condemned (Mk 16:16-16:16)

“The one who believes

And is baptized

Will be saved.

But the one

Who does not believe

Will be condemned!”

 

ὁ πιστεύσας καὶ βαπτισθεὶς σωθήσεται, ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας κατακριθήσεται.

 

This longer addition of Mark, is like the addition in Matthew, chapter 28:19-20.  Once again, there was an emphasis on baptism that was not mentioned prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  This Mark addition said that the one who believed (ὁ πιστεύσας) and was baptized (καὶ βαπτισθεὶς) would be saved (σωθήσεται).  However, anyone who did not believe (ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας) would be condemned (κατακριθήσεται).  Thus, this recommendation also brought a condemnation.  Belief and baptism were important.

Mary Magdalene goes to anoint Jesus (Mk 16:1-16:1)

“When the Sabbath

Was over,

Mary Magdalene,

And Mary,

The mother of James,

As well as Salome,

Brought spices,

So that they might go

And anoint him.”

 

Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν.

 

There is no confusion about the day of the week when the empty tomb was first found.  All 4 gospel stories have it take place after the Sabbath.  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Luke, chapter 23:56-24:1, said that it was the women from Galilee who brought spices to anoint the body, but he did not mention Mary Magdalene.  John, chapter 20:1, said that it was Mary Magdalene alone who came to the tomb.  Matthew, chapter 28:1 had Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb on the first day of the week.  In all these stories, there was either one or more women, no men, who came to the tomb.  Mark mentioned 3 women.  Mark said that when the Sabbath was over (Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου), Mary Magdalene (Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ) and the other Mary (καὶ Μαρία), the mother of James (ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου), as well as Salome (καὶ Σαλώμη) probably the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, came to the tomb.  This Salome may have been a sister of half-sister of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  These women brought spices (ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα), so that they might go and anoint Jesus (ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν).  The idea of visiting a tomb or grave site would not have been out of the question, since this was a common practice.

Golgotha (Mk 15:22-15:22)

“Then they brought Jesus

To the place

Called Golgotha.

This means

The place of the skull.”

 

καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενος Κρανίου τόπος.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:33.  In Luke, chapter 23:33, the place was simple called “The Skull,” with no mention of Golgotha, while in John, chapter 19:17, it was also called “The Place of the Skull,” as the translation of the Hebrew word Golgotha.  Mark said that they brought Jesus to this Golgotha place (καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον).  He said that this could be translated (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενος) as “The Place of the skull (Κρανίου τόπος).”   Golgotha apparently was a transliteration of the Aramaic word for skull.  The exact location of this place near Jerusalem is not known, but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional place for Calvary, based on the Latin translation of Golgotha, probably a little east of Jerusalem.

Judas came with a group of people (Mk 14:43-14:43)

“Immediately,

While Jesus

Was still speaking,

Judas,

One of the twelve,

Arrived.

There was

A crowd

With him.

They had swords

And clubs.

They included

The chief priests,

The Scribes,

And the elders.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος παραγίνεται ὁ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:46.  Luke, chapter 22:47, is somewhat similar, but does not mention the Jewish religious groups.  John, chapter 18:2-3, is more detailed, since he mentioned the police and a detachment of soldiers, as well as the Pharisees.  Mark said that immediately as Jesus was still speaking (Καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος), Judas, one of the 12 apostles, arrived on the scene (παραγίνεται ὁ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα).  He had with him a large crowd of people (καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος) with swords (μετὰ μαχαιρῶν) and clubs (καὶ ξύλων).  Mark seems to indicate that the chief priests (παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων), the Scribes (καὶ τῶν γραμματέων) and the elders or presbyters (καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων) were there, while Matthew had these religious leaders sending the crowd.  Apparently, these leaders were expecting some resistance from Jesus and his followers.  Thus, they had a large armed group of people with Judas.  In John’s more descriptive account, Judas knew where to find Jesus because they had often been there at this place.  He said that they also brought lanterns and torches.  Mark and the other gospel writers never mentioned the Sadducees, while only John mentioned the Pharisees, and Mark was the only one to mention the Scribes.

Whose image is on the coin? (Mk 12:16-12:16)

“They brought one coin.

Jesus said to them.

‘Whose head is this?

Whose title is this?

They answered.

‘The emperor Caesar.’”

 

οἱ δὲ ἤνεγκαν. καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ Καίσαρος.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:19-21, and in Luke, chapter 20:24, almost word for word.  Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the Roman poll tax.  Mark said that they brought Jesus one of these small silver Roman coins, a denarius. (οἱ δὲ ἤνεγκαν).  Jesus then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin?  They answered him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ) that the image and inscription belonged to the emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος).  This was a simple question with a simple answer.

The convulsion of the boy (Mk 9:20-9:20)

“They brought

The boy

To Jesus.

When the spirit

Saw Jesus,

Immediately,

It convulsed

The boy.

He fell

On the ground.

He rolled around,

Foaming

At the mouth.”

 

καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν τὸ πνεῦμα εὐθὺς συνεσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων.

 

Only Luke, chapter 9:42, has a summary of this statement from Mark, who said that they brought the boy to Jesus (καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν.).  When the spirit saw Jesus (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν τὸ πνεῦμα), immediately (εὐθὺς), it convulsed the boy (συνεσπάραξεν αὐτόν).  He fell on the ground (καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  He began to roll around (ἐκυλίετο), foaming at the mouth (ἀφρίζων).  In fact, Jesus got to see what the father had described earlier.

 

The man with a son unable to speak (Mk 9:17-9:17)

“Someone

From the crowd

Answered him.

‘Teacher!

I brought you

My son.

He has a spirit

That makes him

Unable to speak.”

 

καὶ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ εἷς ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου Διδάσκαλε, ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρὸς σέ, ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον·

 

The story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Luke, chapter 9:38, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Here it is someone from the crowd who answered Jesus (καὶ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ εἷς ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου), not a kneeling man as in Matthew.  This man addressed Jesus as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” and not as “Lord (Κύριε)” as in Matthew.  He had brought his son to Jesus (ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρὸς σέ).  His son had a spirit that made him unable to speak (ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον).  He was not immediately identified as an epileptic, but as a mute person.

The blind man (Mk 8:22-8:22)

“They came

To Bethsaida.

Some people

Brought to him

A blind man.

They begged him

To touch him.”

 

Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Βηθσαϊδάν. Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ τυφλὸν, καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα αὐτοῦ ἅψηται.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark, who said that Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Βηθσαϊδάν) that was at the upper northern end of the Sea of Galilee.  Then some people brought a blind man to Jesus (Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ τυφλὸν).  They begged, implored, exhorted, or encouraged Jesus to touch this blind man (καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα αὐτοῦ ἅψηται).  Once again, there was an emphasis on a physical healing that included the touching of Jesus.

The deaf person (Mk 7:32-7:32)

“They brought

To Jesus

A deaf man,

Who had an impediment

In his speech.

They begged him

To lay his hand

On him.”

 

Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ κωφὸν καὶ μογιλάλον, καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιθῇ αὐτῷ τὴν χεῖρα.

 

This healing is unique to Mark.  They brought a deaf man to Jesus (Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ κωφὸν).  This deaf person also had an impediment in his speech, since he had a hard time talking (καὶ μογιλάλον).  They begged Jesus (καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν) to lay his hand on him (ἵνα ἐπιθῇ αὐτῷ τὴν χεῖρα).  Deaf and mute people were considered to be mentally retarded so that we often hear the term deaf and dumb.  Therefore, they could not be an adult with adult responsibilities.