“When he learned
From the centurion
That Jesus was dead,
καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:58. Luke, chapter 23:52, and John, chapter 19:38, who simply had this short statement, without any comment from Pilate. Mark said when Pilate learned from the centurion (καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος) that Jesus was dead, he granted the body to Joseph (ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ). Thus, the body of Jesus left the control of the Roman and the Jewish authorities. However, there was no mention of the bodies of the other two robbers who had been crucified with Jesus.
“Joseph of Arimathea
Was a respected member
Of the council.
He also himself
Was waiting expectantly
For the kingdom of God.
He went boldly
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.
Of the charge
‘The King of the Jews.’”
καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγρὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:37, but the inscription had the name of Jesus on it also there. In Luke, chapter 23:38, it was the same as here in Mark. John, chapter 19:19-22, has a dialogue with Pilate and the Jewish leaders about the appropriateness of this inscription, whether it should have said that he claimed to be the King of the Jews, not that he was the King of the Jews. Mark simply stated that this was the inscription charge or accusation written against Jesus (καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγρὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη). The written charge was “The King of the Jews (Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ).” Clearly, this was the Roman charge against Jesus, insurrection, since he claimed to be the King of the Jews against the Roman rule. There is some dispute whether this title was in Greek or Latin. John, chapter 19:19-20, said that the inscription was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. In the Catholic tradition the Latin title abbreviation was INRI for Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm that can be found on many crucifixes.
“Pilate asked them.
‘What evil has he done?’
But they shouted
All the more.
ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Τί γὰρ ἐποίησεν κακόν; οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἔκραξαν Σταύρωσον αὐτόν.
Something similar to this dialogue between Pilate and the crowd can be found in Matthew, chapter 27:23. Mark said that Pilate tried to reason with the crowd. He asked them (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) what evil or bad thing had Jesus done (Τί γὰρ ἐποίησεν κακόν)? But they shouted all the more loudly (οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἔκραξαν) that he was to be crucified (Σταύρωσον αὐτόν). The crowd that had loved Jesus for all his miracles and preaching now wanted him dead as they had turned on him. Have you ever turned on Jesus?
“They shouted back again.
οἱ δὲ πάλιν ἔκραξαν Σταύρωσον αὐτόν.
Something similar to this response of the crowd can be found in Matthew, chapter 27:22 and in Luke, chapter 23:21. Mark said that the crowd shouted back or cried out to Pilate (οἱ δὲ πάλιν ἔκραξαν) that he was to crucify Jesus (Σταύρωσον αὐτόν). Now the blame for the crucifixion shifts to the Jewish crowd or mob. Are you responsible for the death of Jesus?
To them again.
‘Then what do
You wish me
With the man
The King of the Jews?’”
ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Τί οὖν ποιήσω ὃν λέγετε τὸν Βασιλέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων;
Something similar to this dialogue between Pilate and the crowd can be found in Matthew, chapter 27:22. Mark said that Pilate again asked the crowd (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) what did they want him to do with the man called the King of the Jews (Τί οὖν ποιήσω ὃν λέγετε τὸν Βασιλέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων). Pilate seemed very concerned about this Jewish crowd and its wishes. Where do you stand?
“But the chief priests
Stirred up the crowd
To have him
For them instead.”
οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον ἵνα μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς.
There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 27:20, but nothing like this in Luke. Mark said that the chief priests alone (οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς), not the elders or presbyters as in Matthew, stirred up or excited the crowd (ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον) to have Pilate release Barabbas for them instead of Jesus (μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς). The chief priests were the main villains here in Mark. Do you always choose Jesus?