Greek Study Mark 9:30-37
v30 the second passion prediction
εξελθοντες (εξερχομαι) aor. part. "they left" - a temporal clause, "when they left..."
ουκ ηθελεν (θελω) imperf. "Jesus did not want anyone" – the imperfect expresses ongoing action.
τις γνοι "[anyone] to know where they were" - not about the “messianic secret: here but rather a desire for privacy so he could teach them (cf. v31a).
v31 γαρ "because" εδιδασκεν (διδασκω) imperf. "he was teaching".
ο υιος του ανθρωπου "the Son of Man" - Jesus' favorite self-designation; in Aramaic the phrase could be understood as simply "a man", but the title refers to Daniel's "Son of Man", i.e. the coming one (Dan.7:13).
παραδιδοται (παραδιδωμι) pres. pas. "is going to be betrayed" – lit “handed over”. The possible meanings of the word prompt translations like "will be betrayed/arrested", but the word has significant LXX precedence, Jesus, as the suffering servant, is delivered up [by God (through Judas?)], cf. Isa.19:4, 53:6, 12, Dan.4:14.
εις χειρας ανθρωπων "into the hands of men" – the literal translation is "into the power of men". This is surrender of divine power and place.
αποκτενουσιν (αποκτεινω) fut. "they will kill [him]".
αποκτανθεις (αποκταινω) aor. pas. part. "-" - having been killed μετα τρεις ημερας "after three days" (Hos.6:2, Dan.7) αναστησεται (ανιστημι) fut. "he will rise" - he will arise. This entire phrase has the nature of a creedal assertion.
v32 ηγνοουν (αγνοω) "did not understand" - were ignorant = not understanding. The disciples did not fully understand the Christ event until after the resurrection.
το ρμα (α ατος) "what he meant" literaly “the matter or thing” here referring to Jesus' passion prediction.
επερωτησαι (επερωταω) aor. inf. "to ask [him] about it" - infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "were afraid".
v33 γενομενος (γινομαι) aor. part. "When he was [in the house]" – lit being a participle forming a temporal clause.
διελογιζεσθε (διαλογιζομαι) imperf. "[what] were you arguing about" –A variant addition προς εαυτους, "among yourselves". This is not necessarily an "argument" the phrase lit. means discussing, debating, disputing.
εν τη οδω "on the road" – along the way. I am beginning to suspect that in Mark this phrase has more significance than I previously thought. To be sure they were, literally on the road, but more specifically the early church was called “the way” and these debates regarding the passion predictions, the nature of Christ and the nature of discipleship (eg 8:27-38) seem to me to be central to the early church’s self-understanding of “the way” they have been called to walk. As with the first passion prediction, it is possible that Jesus has delivered the second while returning from the region of Mt. Hermon and Caesarea Philippi.
v34 εσιωπων (σιωπαω) imperf. "kept quiet" - were being quiet.
προς + acc. "-" - to, toward [one another] here expressing the not so common sense of association, "with, in company with".
γαρ "because" - for. Here causal.
εν τη οδω "on the way" - The repetition of this phrase is not present in some texts. (see my note above)
διελεχθησαν (διαλεγομαι) aor. "they had argued" - used only here in Mark. The aorist is used to express a completed action, "they had been arguing with each other".
μειζων (μεγας) comp. adj. "greatest". Origin notes it was only natural for the disciples to discuss precedence given that Jesus had selected three particular disciples to accompany him up the mountain. Mark does not say Jesus was angry with the disciples for discussing this issue, nor does he actually say why the disciples were reticent to tell Jesus what they were discussing. It is usually understood that the disciples were somewhat guilty, but they may not have wanted Jesus to know that they were discussing the why's and wherefore's of his singling out of three of their number.
v35 καθισας (καθιζω) aor. part. "sitting down" - Modal or temporal, "when he sat down" - the normal posture for a Rabbi who sits to teach and stand to listen.
εφωνησεν (φωνεω) aor. "Jesus called" - the word expresses speech with a raised voice. It is probably used to emphasize what Jesus is about to say "so Jesus drew his disciples close to him and said to them in a loud voice..."
ειναι (ειμι) "[wants] to be" - infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "wishes".
πρωτος adj. "first" - in rank.
εσται (ειμι) fut. "he must be" - usually regarded that the future tense here has strong imperatival force, "shall be" but a predictive future cannot be ruled out. If read as the former, Jesus is rebuking personal ambition; if read the latter Jesus' is saying that in the kingdom the servant who takes precedence over the master. This does not promote the idea that we should strive to be last so in order to be first, but that in the kingdom precedence is gauged on the basis of God’s value system and not ours.
εσχατος adj. "last" - in rank.
diakonoV (oV) "the servant/slave [of all]" – this exegetes what Jesus means by "last". "discipleship” is a way that gives oneself away for παντων gen. adj. "all" - genitive is expressing universal application.
v36 Excurses on παιδιον “little ones/powerless ones” This word represents the lowest and the disciples are encouraged to receive the lowest as Jesus receives them - illustrated now in his receiving of the child. Servanthood is being further explicated here, servanthood of the Jesus kind defines greatness in the kingdom of God. There are, of course, other uses, the word is also used understood in evangelistic terms; "whoever welcomes an evangelist (παιδιον) welcomes Jesus." But here the context is not evangelism because it is directed to the disciples, not to unbelievers.
λαβων (λαμβανω) aor. part. "he took [a little one/child]".
εστησεν (ιστημι) aor. "had [him] stand" – idiom; "he called a child to his side".
εγαγκαλισαμενος (εναγκαλιζομαι) aor. part. "taking him in [his] arms".
v37 ος αν + subj. "whoever" - an indefinite relative conditional clause 3rd. class, where the condition is hypothetical.
δεξηται (δεχομαι) aor. subj. "welcomes" – receives/accepts.
των τοιουτων gen. adj. "of these [little ones]" As for the identification of the παιδιον scholars offer two possibilities a) A new believer which or b) a lowly believer; i.e. a weak member of the Christian community. Some argues that "in my name" is the qualifier i.e. if someone comes in the name of Jesus, he must be received, for that is the same as receiving Jesus himself. Once again I feel that these represent ‘haustafle” for the early Christian community (the way). (In Aramaic the word for "servant" and "child" is the same.) It could also mean that disciples are to be like Jesus who receives/embraces the lost, hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked, sick and imprisoned who seek the mercy of God- of course the word can mean just children in general or that class of insignificant humanity.
τω ονοματι μου "my name" - the name of me. The "name" represents person, so "the person of Jesus himself, his character and being (Danker) – so invoking the name as the authority for the action. So "whoever receives one of these παιδιον out of respect for me
εμε δεχεται pres. "welcomes/receives me”.
ουκ ...... αλλαÄ"[does] not [welcome me] but"
τον αποστειλαντα (αποστελλω) aor. part. "the one who sent [me]" – identification with the divine.