On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mark 1:4-11

Greek Study Mark 1:4-11

v4 εγενετο (γινομαι) aor. "and so [John] came" βαπτιζων (βαπτιζω) pres. act. part. "baptizing – literally “immersing”. Could be translated "John the one baptizing" or "John the baptist", obviously trying to εμυλατε Ιωαννης ο βαπτιστης. Taking the participle as αναρθρουσ may be adverbial, expressing the manner of John's coming, he comes "baptizing" and "preaching" - as the divine "messenger" proclaiming a message which prompts repentance.
εν τη ερημω "in the desert" – cf Isaiah 40:3; ερημω means ‘uninhabited place”.
κηρυσσων (κηρυσσω) pres. part. "preaching" -, as with "baptizing", is adverbial, expressing the manner of John's coming 
μετανοιας (α) gen. " repentance" - a turning about, changing direction (not feeling sorry). The genitive is adjectival, limiting "baptism", so a "repentance baptism", although in use it would be idomatic. John's baptism is a baptism limited to or characterized by a visible expression of repentance, an outward way of enacting an inward decision. But how can baptism be preached? When Jesus tells his disciples to go and make disciples "baptizing them in the name", it is unlikely he was promoting an ecclesiastical rite. The sign is part of the package, it is the preaching of the gospel, "immersing one in the name", that is important.
αφεσιν (ις εως) "the release/forgiveness” [of sins], the purpose of the preaching was not baptism but repentance. 

v5 πασα "all/the whole [Judean countryside]" - Mark is exaggerating, but none-the-less, the exaggeration serves to illustrate John's popularity confirmed by Josephus. 
εξεπορευετο (εκπορευομαι) imperf. "went out" - the imperfect is durative, i.e. expresing a continuous flow of people to witness John's ministry by the Jordan.
εξομολογουμενοι (εξομολογεω) pres. part. mid. "confessing" – an attendant circumstance participle identifying action accompanying the verb "being baptized". The order is reversed, i.e. they confessed their sins and then εβαπτιζοντο (βαπτιζω) imperf. pas. "they were baptized", i.e. they were allowing themselves to be immersed in water. This is supported by the preposition υπο, "by [him]", expressing agency. In Jewish proselyte baptism the initiate baptizes themselves, here John is performing the rite, so whatever this is, it is not that.

v6 ην ... ενδεδυμενος (ενδυω) perf. mid. part. "wore clothing" – a periphrastic pluperfect emphasizing aspect, so “it was John's accustomed dress”. Mark's description of John's clothing and food serves to further the image of the "one calling in the wilderness", an image with powerful Old Testament precedents. John is a desert ascetic, a Nazarite. His dress is similar to Elijah. The divine revelation was first encountered in the wilderness (through both Abraham and Moses) so this is where John operates and dresses accordingly.
καμηλου (ος) "camel's [hair]"  Such a garment would be very itchy.
και "with [a leather]" - Mark leans toward a ζευγμα here where the verb "wore" works for clothing but not for a belt.
ζωνην (η) "belt" John's loose cloak was held together by a wide leather waistband that would with compartments for holding John's basic needs.
εσθιων (εσθιω) pres. part. "he ate" ακριδας (ις εως) "locusts" – the food of the poor.

v7 λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. "saying” redundant. Mark, in v4, identifies forgiveness as the heart of the gospel message proclaimed by John but also records that John's preaching referenced the coming of "one more powerful." Mark does not record the Baptist's ethical teaching but instead focuses on his call for repentance in the face of the coming one.
οπισω + gen. "after [me]" - "after" in a chronological sense, but John could be saying that the messiah follows from this ministry, in the sense of taking up where he leaves off.
ερχεται (ερχομαι) pres. "will come" - is coming; a futuristic present tense.
ο ισχυροτερος comp. adj. "one more powerful/stronger” - adjective serves as a substantive – this was likely a known title for the messiah.
ικανος adj. "[I am not] worthy"  = competent. The one who follows the Baptist is the worthy one. A Hebrew slave would not be expected to undertake the menial task of untying a master's sandal, but John, even though he is God's messenger, is not worthy to undertake even this menial task when it comes to the messiah. 
κυψας (κυπτω) aor. part. "to stoop down" - participle could be classified as complementary, and along with the infinitive "to untie" serve to complete the sense of the verbal phrase.
λυσαι (λυω) aor. inf. "to loose. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of "I am not worthy."

v8 εγω εβαπτισα (βαπτιζω) aor. "I alone/only baptize" - an interesting use of the aorist (punctiliar), rather than present (durative). Possibly the aorist is used to express an expected end to John's ministry with the coming of the one greater. 
υδατι (ωρ ατος) dat. "with water". In v5 we are told John baptized people εν, the river Jordan. It is therefore not unreasonable that we have here a simple local dative which may well be "by means of water."
εν + dat. "with [the Holy Spirit]" - dative of means. Perhaps Mark is comparing the ministry sphere within which John and Jesus operate. 

1:9 εγενετο (γινομαι) "it came to pass” a new episode. 
εν + dat. "at [that time]" - in [those days] temporal use.
ηλθεν (ερχομαι) aor. "came" - Jesus' coming απο "from" Nazareth to John at the Jordan river parallels v5.
τηϖ Γαλιλαιας (α) gen. "in Galilee" - of Galilee. The genitive is adjectival, locative; "Nazareth which is located in Galilee."
εβαπτισθη (βαπτιζω) aor. pas. "was baptized" - was immersed. 

v10 ευθυς adv. "Just as" - immediately. Temporal adverb. Mark sometimes uses the word to tie together related episodes, at other times to provide dramatic movement.
αναβαινων (αναβαινω) pres. part. "was coming" - participle is adverbial, probably temporal.
τους ουρανους (ος) gen. pl. "[a ripping] of the heavens” - abode of God, although often referring to sky. The plural "heavens" is idiomatic.
σχιζομενους (σχιζω) pres. pas. part. "torn open" - the accusative participle serves as an object complement in a double accusative construction asserting a fact about the object "heavens." 
καταβαινον (καταβαινω) pres. part. "descend/descending" - the accusative participle serves as an object complement asserting a fact about the object the "Spirit".
ως "like" – a comparative; either descending as a dove would descend, or descending looking like a dove, in which modifying " Spirit." 
περιστεραν (α) "a dove" - either the divine is being represented as a bird-like creature coming to rest on Jesus, or a dove as a common symbol of Israel at the time, identifies Jesus as the new Spirit-filled corporate Israel.

v11 εκ + gen. "from [heaven]" - presumably the voice of God.
ο ουος (ος) "[my] Son" - messianic not filial.
ο αγαπητος "whom I love" - adjective functions as a substantive; pushing the idea of "unique /only son", given that the Hebrew "only" is often translated by the same Greek word in the LXX, but in messianic terms rather than filial. 

ευδοκησα (ευδοκεω) aor. "I am well-pleased" – a timeless aorist, best represented with present tense. Possibly, "I think it good", or "I am resolved", or in gentler terms, "on you my favor rests". If the meaning "well pleased" is adopted, the word carries enthusiasm.

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