They were astonished and afraid (Mk 16:8-16:8)

“Thus,

The women went out.

They fled

From the tomb.

Terror

And amazement

Had seized them.

They said nothing

To anyone.

They were afraid.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου, εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις· καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν· ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.

 

This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:8, but there they left with joy and fear and told the other disciples.  Luke, chapter 24:10, had Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James, and the other women tell the apostles about the resurrection.  In John, chapter 20:2, Mary Magdalene told Peter and the other beloved disciple about Jesus’ resurrection.  Here Mark said that these 3 women, left or fled from the tomb (καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου) with both terror and amazement (εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις).  However, they did not tell anyone (καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν) because they were so afraid (ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ).  This seems to be in contradiction with the other 3 gospel stories.

The stone was rolled back (Mk 16:4-16:4)

“When they looked up,

They saw

That the stone,

Which was very large,

Had already

Been rolled back.”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος· ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα.

 

However, just like in the other gospel stories, Luke, chapter 24:2, and John, chapter 20:1, the stone had been removed when they got there.  Matthew, chapter 28:2, had the women watch as an earthquake and an angel rolled back the stone at the entrance to the tomb.  Mark said that when the 3 women looked up (καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι), they saw (θεωροῦσιν) that the stone had already been rolled away (ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος), even though it was very large (ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα).  Thus, that was another problem solved.

Who will roll the stone away? (Mk 16:3-16:3)

“They had been saying

To one another.

‘Who will roll away

The stone

For us,

From the entrance

To the tomb?’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς Τίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου;

 

This is unique to Mark.  There was no discussion about rolling back the stone in the other 3 gospel stories, since it had been rolled back by the time that the women got there.  However, Mark said that the 3 women had been saying to themselves or talking to one another (καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς).  They wondered who would roll away the stone for them (ίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον) at the entrance to the tomb (ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου)?  This was a legitimate question for these 3 women.

They went to the tomb on the first day of the week (Mk 16:2-16:2)

“Very early

On the first day

Of the week,

When the sun

Had risen,

They went

To the tomb.”

 

καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα, ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου.

 

All 4 gospel stories. Matthew, chapter 28:1, Luke, chapter 24:1, John, chapter 20:1, and here in Mark have this visit to the tomb take place in the early morning of the first day of the week, Sunday.  Interesting enough the same Greek word is used for the day Sabbath and the week “σαββάτων.”  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Mark said that very early on the first day of the week (καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων) when the sun had risen (ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου), these 3 women went to the tomb (ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα).

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.

Joseph of Arimathea (Mk 15:43-15:43)

“Joseph of Arimathea

Was a respected member

Of the council.

He also himself

Was waiting expectantly

For the kingdom of God.

He went boldly

To Pilate.

He asked for

The body of Jesus.”

 

ἐλθὼν Ἰωσὴφ ὁ ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας, εὐσχήμων βουλευτής, ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν προσδεχόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, τολμήσας εἰσῆλθεν πρὸς τὸν Πειλᾶτον καὶ ᾐτήσατο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

 

There is less confusion about this Joseph since he is mentioned in all 4 gospel stories.  This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:57-58.  Luke, chapter 23:50-52, mentioned that Joseph was a member of the elder’s council in Jerusalem who had not voted for the plan to destroy Jesus.  John, chapter 19:38, said that Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus.  Mark said that Joseph from Arimathea (ἐλθὼν Ἰωσὴφ ὁ ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας) came forward.  He was a respected member of the Jerusalem council (εὐσχήμων βουλευτής).  He was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God (ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν προσδεχόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He went boldly to Pilate (τολμήσας εἰσῆλθεν πρὸς τὸν Πειλᾶτον).  He asked for the body of Jesus (καὶ ᾐτήσατο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ).  Many legends have developed around this wealthy Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea near Jerusalem.

No more questions (Mk 12:34-12:34)

“When Jesus saw

That he answered wisely,

He said to him.

‘You are not far

From the kingdom of God.’

After that,

No one dared

To ask Jesus

Any question.”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ὅτι νουνεχῶς ἀπεκρίθη, εἶπεν αὐτῷ Οὐ μακρὰν εἶ ἀπὸ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ. καὶ οὐδεὶς οὐκέτι ἐτόλμα αὐτὸν ἐπερωτῆσαι.

 

This saying of Jesus is unique to Mark, except for the ending.  When Jesus saw that this Scribe (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ἰδὼν αὐτὸν) had answered wisely (ὅτι νουνεχῶς ἀπεκρίθη), he said to him (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he was not far from the kingdom of God (Οὐ μακρὰν εἶ ἀπὸ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ.).  After that, no one dared to ask Jesus any questions (καὶ οὐδεὶς οὐκέτι ἐτόλμα αὐτὸν ἐπερωτῆσαι).  This is one of the few times in the gospel stories where there is a kind word for any of the Jewish Scribes.

 

The first commandment (Mk 12:29-12:30)

“Jesus answered.

‘The first commandment is.

‘Hear this!

O Israel!

The Lord Our God!

The Lord is one!

You shall love

The Lord

Your God

With all your heart,

With all your soul,

With all your mind,

And with all your strength.’”

 

ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Πρώτη ἐστίν Ἄκουε, Ἰσραήλ, Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν Κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

καὶ ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος σου.

 

This response of Jesus can be found also in Matthew, chapter 22:37-38, without the Shema cry for Israel to listen.  In Luke, chapter 10:27-28, Jesus responded that he had given the right answer to the question.  Here, in Mark it is separate from the love of neighbor, which is the 2nd commandment.  This Shema can be found in Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5.  These verses have had a great influence on the Israelites as the great commandment that is recited often and written all over the place on their hands, forehead, and door posts.  It is both a morning and an evening prayer, something you say at home and when you are away from home.  The Israelites taught their children this simple prayer.  Jesus and the early Christian followers will repeat this prayer in the gospel stories of the New Testament as the great commandment of love of God.  This “Shema” became the basis of the Abrahamic religions, the great commandment of monotheism and love that must always be remembered.  Mark said that Jesus answered this Scribe (ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that the first commandment was (ὅτι Πρώτη ἐστίν) “Hear this (Ἄκουε,)!  O Israel (Ἰσραήλ,)! The Lord our God (Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς), the Lord is one (Κύριος εἷς ἐστιν)!”  He should love the Lord (καὶ ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον), his God (τὸν Θεόν σου) with his whole heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίᾳ σου), his whole soul (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου), his whole mind (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου), and with all his strength (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος σου).  This was the greatest and the first commandment, love God above all else with your whole powerful being, heart, soul, and mind.

Jesus in the Temple (Mk 11:27-11:27)

“Again,

They came

To Jerusalem.

As he was walking

In the temple,

The chief priests

The Scribes,

And the elders

Came to him,”

 

Καὶ ἔρχονται πάλιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι

 

This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Luke, chapter 20:1, almost word for word.  Mark said that when Jesus and his disciples again came to Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται πάλιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking in the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ), not teaching as in Matthew.  The chief priests or the high priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) with the presbyters or the elders (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι) approached Jesus (ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτὸν).  Matthew did not mention the Scribes, but the other 2 gospel stories did.  Anyway, it was an important Jewish Jerusalem delegation that came to Jesus.

Jesus leaves Jerusalem (Mk 11:19-11:19)

“When evening came.

Jesus

And his disciples

Went out

Of the city.”

 

Καὶ ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο, ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως.

 

This is a unique saying of Mark, but not inconsistent with the other gospel stories.  When evening came (Καὶ ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο), Jesus and his disciples went out of the city (ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  Notice that they left Jerusalem at night, probably going to Bethany, which was not far away and where they felt safe.