Jesus asks then point blank (Mk 8:29-8:29)

“He asked them.

‘But who do you say

That I am?’

 

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι;

 

This same question can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:15, and Luke, chapter 9:20.  Mark said that Jesus was questioning his disciples (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς) who was it that they thought or said that he was (Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι).  Jesus thus put them to the test.  This was not about what others said or thought, but about their understanding of Jesus.  Who did they think Jesus was?

Advertisements

The prophet (Mk 8:28-8:28)

“They answered him.

‘John the Baptist!’

Others say.

‘Elijah!’

Still others.

‘One of the prophets.’”

 

οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.

 

This same response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences.  Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple.  Mark and Luke only had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet.  Mark said that the disciples responded to him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες) that some people said he was John the Baptist (ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν).  Others said Elijah (καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν).  This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).  No one called him the Messiah or Christ.

Who do people say I am? (Mk 8:27-8:27)

“Jesus went on

With his disciples,

To the villages

Of Caesarea Philippi.

On the way,

Jesus asked

His disciples,

‘Who do people say

That I am?’”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου· καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι;

 

Now this question about who Jesus is can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:13, and Luke, chapter 9:18, but there are slight differences.  In Luke, he is not in Caesarea Philippi, but in Mark and Matthew, Jesus was approaching this area near the city, but without entering the city itself.  Jesus asked his closest disciples who they thought that he was.  Caesarea Philippi was an ancient gentile Roman city, about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the southeastern base of Mount Hermon, where there was a shrine to the Greek god Pan.  This city may have appeared in the Old Testament under the name Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon.  Today, it is located in the Golan Heights.  Mark said that Jesus with his disciples (Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) was on his way (καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς) towards the villages of Caesarea Philippi (εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου).  Then he asked or questioned his disciples (αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς) about who did people or men think that he was (Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι).  Jesus wanted to know what his disciples were thinking.  In Matthew, he asked them about the Son of Man, but not here.

Don’t you understand? (Mk 8:21-8:21)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Do you not yet understand?’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Οὔπω συνίετε;

 

Once again, there was a reprimand from Jesus about their inability to remember and understand things, much like Matthew, chapter 16:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς).  Did they not yet understand what he was talking about (Οὔπω συνίετε)?  Mark continued to emphasize this lack of understanding among the disciples of Jesus.

The second multiplication of loaves (Mk 8:20-8:20)

“‘Do you remember

The seven loaves

For the four thousand?

How many baskets

Full of broken pieces

Did you collect?’

They said to him.

‘Seven.’”

 

ὅτε τοὺς ἑπτὰ εἰς τοὺς τετρακισχιλίους, πόσων σπυρίδων πληρώματα κλασμάτων ἤρατε; καὶ λέγουσιν Ἑπτά.

 

Then Jesus, like in Matthew, chapter 16:10, asked them to remember how they had 7 loaves of bread for the 4,000 people (ὅτε τοὺς ἑπτὰ εἰς τοὺς τετρακισχιλίους) in the second multiplication of bread loaves.  He asked them how many big baskets of the broken fragment pieces were gathered as left overs (πόσων σπυρίδων πληρώματα κλασμάτων ἤρατε).  They responded 7 (καὶ λέγουσιν Ἑπτά).  All this had just happened in chapter 8:1-10.  How could they be so forgetful?

 

Remember the multiplication of the loaves (Mk 8:19-8:19)

“‘When I broke

The five loaves

For the five thousand,

How many baskets

Full of broken pieces

Did you collect’”

They said to him.

‘Twelve.’”

 

ὅτε τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους ἔκλασα εἰς τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους, πόσους κοφίνους κλασμάτων πλήρεις ἤρατε; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Δώδεκα.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 16:9, as Jesus clearly reminded them of the two times that he had multiplied the loaves of bread.  Was that not good enough for them?  Did they not remember that first he broke the 5 loaves of bread for the 5,000 people (ὅτε τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους ἔκλασα εἰς τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους)?  Then he asked them how many fragments of the broken pieces had they gathered in the hand baskets (πόσους κοφίνους κλασμάτων πλήρεις ἤρατε).  They responded to him that there were 12 baskets left over (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Δώδεκα), after everyone had eaten.  All this had taken place recently as recorded in chapter 6:30-44.

Do you not understand? (Mk 8:17-8:17)

“Jesus became aware

Of this.

He said to them.

‘Why are you talking

About not having

Any bread?

Do you still not

Perceive

Or understand?

Are your hearts

Hardened?’”

 

καὶ γνοὺς λέγει αὐτοῖς Τί διαλογίζεσθε ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε; οὔπω νοεῖτε οὐδὲ συνίετε; πεπωρωμένην ἔχετε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν;

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 16:8.  However, this reprimand is much sharper.  Jesus became aware or knew of their discussions (καὶ γνοὺς).  He asked them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) why were they worried, talking, or debating (Τί διαλογίζεσθε) about not having any bread (ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε)?  Jesus wanted to know if they still did not perceive (οὔπω νοεῖτε) or understand (οὐδὲ συνίετε) because of their hardened hearts (πεπωρωμένην ἔχετε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν).  These disciples were missing the point about Jesus, since he would provide nourishment for them.  Instead of calling them men of little faith, as Matthew did, Mark implies that Jesus seemed to indicate that they were stupid with hard hearts.