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, June 17, 2015

Mark 4:35-41 Greek Studies

Mark 4:35-41

This incident falls within the later Galilean ministry of Jesus. It is part of a set of stories which demonstrate Jesus' victory over powers hostile to God, 4:35-5:43. In fact, it serves as part of an artistically packaged set stories. We see Jesus victorious over the powers of the deep (leviathan / Satan), demon possession, sickness and death. In these stories we are confronted with Jesus' word of power over dark forces, a word that interplays with the human response of faith.    The stilling of the storm does more than tell us that Jesus is Lord over nature. The roaring sea corresponds with the rage of the demoniac in the next story, 5:1-20, as does the calm of the sea with the demoniac's calm after the demon is cast out. So, what we have in this story is Jesus subduing the evil powers of darkness. It was common belief that such powers dwell in the deep, in the waters of the sea. The great leviathan represents this power of darkness. So, this incident represents a satanic attack upon Jesus. The howling wind, the waves breaking into the boat, represent Satan reaching out to frustrate, even end Jesus' mission. Yet Jesus, the messiah, is on a divine mission and no earthly or spiritual can stand in his way. The disciples demonstrate their lack of faith in failing to understand that Jesus is Lord over the powers of darkness. These powers may rant and rave, but they cannot frustrate the dawning kingdom.  The narrative form of this pericope is that of a nature miracle. It evidences the vivid details of an eyewitness account. This does not mean that Mark was present, just that the tradition he drew from has preserved the substantial elements of personal observation.

v35 γενομενης (γινομαι) οψιας (a)  aor. part. "when evening came" - participle is adverbial, temporal.
λεγει (λεγω) pres. "he said" - historic present, used for narrative style.
διελθωμεν (διερχομαι) aor. subj. "let's pass through" – a hortatory subjunctive. 

v36 αφεντες (αφιημι) aor. part. "leaving/releasing” attendant circumstance participle, expressing action accompanying the main verb "they take" - sometimes the sense "dismiss" although Mark rarely uses the word in this way. 
αυτου pro. "him" - [and other boats were with] him, it. Genitive after μετα, "with". Either with Jesus or with the boat; no further mention is made of other boats, this is one of those interesting pieces of the original setting preserved in the oral tradition.
v37 λαιλαψ (αψ απος) "a [furious] squall" – lit. whirlwind,.
ανεμου (ος) gen. there came about - genitive is adjectival, technically of material, identifying what the great squall is made of, namely "wind", so "a violent wind".

v38 καθευδων (καθευδω) pres. part. "sleeping" - participle functions as an object, "he was in the stern sleeping", being nominative and not in agreement with "stern", it is more properly a periphrastic imperfect construction with the imperfect verb to-be h|n; "he was sleeping on a cushion in the stern".
το προσκεφαλαιον (ον) "a cushion" - article implies only one, it might be the rowers leather seat or possibly a cushion for a guest normally placed in the stern.
εγειρουσιν (εγειρω)Äpres. "[the disciples] woke [him]" – literally “raised or roused” the historic present for a more vivid narrative.
σοι dat. pro. "[don't] you [care]" - [does it not matter] to you. Dative of interest. "Teacher, don't you care that we are all about to 
απολλυμεθα (απολλυμι)Äpres. mid. "drown" – actually “perish, destroyed”. The words are a rebuke (notice how they are softened by Matthew and Luke). 

v39 διεγερθεις (διεγειρω) aor. pas. part. "he got up" – woke up - attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "he rebuked". Although most illustrations have Jesus standing up in the back of the boat, blond hair blowing in the wind, arms outstretched like Charlton Heston the best translation is "he woke up" because it is highly unlikely Jesus would be stupid enough to stand up in a small sailing boat during a storm on the Sea of Galilee!
επετιμησεν (επιτιμαω) aor. + dat. "rebuked" - spoke sternly to, warned sternly. Jesus rebukes the wind speaking as its master. 
τω ανεμω (ος) dat. "the wind" and τη θαλασση (α) " the waves" dative indirect object.
σιωπα (σιωπαω) pres. imp. "Quiet" – idiom; "shut up!" Given that this story is tied to Jesus' exorcising "legion", it is likely that we are dealing with something more than Jesus' mastery over nature. 
πεφιμωσο (φιμοω) perf. pas. imp. "be still" – muzzled; the emphatic reinforces the sense that Jesus is instructing the dark powers of the underworld, so “shut up and stay that way!"
εκοπασεν (κοπαζω) aor. "died down" - the ring of the eyewitness is present in the vivid brevity of this account. It is devoid of embellishment.
γαληνη (η) "[it was completely] calm" - long vowels in the Greek serve to promote an atmosphere of complete peace.
v40 δειλοι adj. "cowardly”!
ουπω "[do you] still [have] no [faith]?" - [you have] not yet [faith]. ..... Variant πως ουκ, giving the sense "how is it that you do not have faith?” The text is disturbed here with words alternating or being left out; "do you not yet have faith?" Either way by this time the disciples (dense as they are) should have learned something!
πιστιν (ις εως) "faith" - in the sense of reliance on Christ, that he is both willing and able to resist the powers of darkness. There is debate over the intended focus of this faith. Many commentators see the faith as focused in God’s fatherly care, not in Jesus' mission, but the context is the disciples' fear of being swamped by a storm. Jesus is inaugurating the kingdom of God; so the question is can the powers of darkness resist the dawning of a new age? The Red Sea could not stand in the way of Israel; certainly a storm on the Sea of Galilee will not overcome the Messiah!
v41 εφοβηθησαν (φοβεομαι) aor. pas. "were terrified" Mark’s favorite word. 
ελεγον (λεγω) imperf. "they asked" an inceptive imperfect where the emphasis is on the beginning of the action, "they began to say”.
αλληλουςÄpro. "each other" – an animated conversation (talk amongst yourselves!)
ο ανεμος (ος) "wind" - not "spirit" and η θαλασσα (a) "waves".

υπακουει (υπακουω) pres. "obey" - Who is this that both the wind and the sea obey him? The answer is obviously God but in context Moses or messiah is correct! 

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