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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mark 5:21-43, Studies of the Greek text

Greek Study Mark 5:21-43

Mark often weaves together two pieces of tradition to form one. The story about Jairus is composed of short sentences dominated by the historical present; the one about the bleeding women has long complex sentences and is dominated by the aorist tense. The fact that all three synoptic gospels record this indicate Mark as the origin, but it more likely indicates two separate stories woven together early in the period of oral tradition and preserved as one. 

v21 διαπερασαντος (διαπεραω) aor. part. "When [Jesus] had [again] crossed over" - the genitive absolute forms a temporal clause. 
παλιν adv. "again" - Sequential adverb- either Jesus crossed over the lake again, or a crowd gathered around him again.

v22 των αρχισυναγωγων (ος) gen. "[one] of the synagogue rulers" - a manager of the synagogue, a lay official responsible for the management of the synagogue program, facilities and complex. 
ονοματι (α) dat. "named [Jairus]" - dative of reference; omitted in some manuscripts; maybe added for symbolic effect, the root meaning of the name is "he awakes."
ιδων (οραω) aor. part. "when he saw [Jesus]" πιπτει (πιπτω) pres. "falls down”- falling at the feet of Jesus as a supplicant, indicates the depth of fear he has for his child.

v23 παρακαλει (παρακαλεω) pres. "he pleaded [earnestly] with".
πολλα adv. "earnestly" – idiom; beseeched Jesus much. Note how the alliteration
παρακαλειν πολλα serves to emphasize his pleading; "he persistently pleaded."
το θυγαταριον "little daughter" - the diminutive is possibly implying "dear".
εσχατως εχει (εχω) "is dying" - the adverb εσχατως, "finally", with the verb εχει, "have", means to reach an extremity, here an idiom meaning “the last gasp, at death's door.
σωθη και ζηση aor. pas. sub. "she may be healed and live" – the word σοζο has an interchangeable meaning: "healed/saved" and "live/live eternally." It seems likely that Jairus is asking that she be healed and so be able to live out her life, but the words rightly que us to their deeper significance, such that what this girl needs, as we all need, is to be saved and gain eternal life.

v24 συνεθλιβον (συνθλιβω) imperf. "pressed around" - crowding in upon. At 3:9 the verb appears without a prefix so there it is only the danger of a crush; but here it is real thing.

v25 Jesus' confrontation with dark powers continues in the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, v25-34. The first Gk. sentence covers v25-28. Between the noun, γυνη, "woman", and the principle verb ηψατο, "she touched", v27, Mark has a string of subordinate participle clauses. The first set are adjectival, attributive, describing / limiting γυνη, "woman" ουσα, "who had [an issue of blood]"; παθουσα, "and who had suffered [much from many doctors]"; δαπανησασα, "and who had spent all she had"; μηδεν ωφεληθεισα, "without gaining anything"; ελθουσα, "[but] who had became worse." The next two participles, ακουσασα, "having heard", and ελθουσα, "having come", attend the main verb ηψατο, "she touched." Given that she is "unclean" and has touched a Rabbi, the participial clauses serve to gain our sympathy before telling us that she touched Jesus.
αιματος (α ατος) gen. "bleeding" - genitive is verbal. She suffered from constant bleeding which rendered her unclean and unable to share in normal community life, Lev.15:25-30. 

v26 παθουσα (πασχω) aor. part. "suffered" – an adjectival participle, see above.
υπο + gen. "under the care of"- submitted to…
δαπανησασα (δαπαναω) aor. part. "had spent [all she had]" - she spent everything she had for medical help without any benefit which serves to underline her desperate condition (also as good as dead) in contrast to her healing.
ωφεληθεισα (ωφελεω) aor. part. "[instead of] getting better".
ελθουσα (ερχομαι) aor. part. "she grew" the participle, as above.
το χειρον comp. adj. "worse" - [into] the worse condition. The adjective serves as a substantive. "On the contrary, she was getting worse."

v27 ακουσασα (ακουω) aor. part. "When she heard"  
ελθουσα (ερχομαι) aor. part. "she came up" – both attendant circumstance participles.
ηψατο (απτω) "touched" - Jesus usually does the touching, although the gospels and Acts remind us of the common belief that healing can come by touching a healer's clothing, or even by passing under their shadow. Such a belief leans toward the magical, but in this story both the faith of the woman and its consequence is uplifted.
ιματιου (ον) gen. "his [cloak]" the power of his ‘cloak’ is referred to later when the soldiers cast lots for it.

v28 ελεγεν (λεγω) imperf. "she thought" – an idiom where the imperfect functions as a pluperfect, "had been saying", and expressing emphasis and ongoing action, so "she kept saying to herself over and over…”.
σωθησομαι (σωζω) fut. pas. "I will be made whole” "healing" not “salvation” is certainly in the woman's mind, but this word's eschatological sense is always lurking in the background. It is used 14 time by Mark and takes the sense "deliverance from the enemies of life" and so is closely related to "gaining eternal life".

v29 ευθυς adv. "immediately" – Mark’s favorite word used here for dramatic effect.
του αι{ματος (α ατος) gen. "[her] bleeding" εξηρανθη (ξηραινω) aor. pas. "dried up”.
ιαται (ιαομαι) perf. pas. "she was freed" - the Perfect is used to indicate the healing is complete, without relapse. 
μαστιγος (ιξ ιγος) "her suffering" – literally the whip, scourge, affliction a strong word used to emphasize her condition and the power of the healing.

v30 επιγνους εν εαυτω  "[Jesus] knew” - participle provides the verbal element of a temporal clause; "was at once aware".
εξελθουσαν (εξερχομαι) aor. part. "that [power] had gone out [from him]" -  The sense of this verb is more like "preceded" than "come out"; so "his power of healing had gone forth". The Greek has Jesus aware of the transfer of power immediately upon it taking place not before, so his knowledge is limited to the present, not the future. 
επιστραφεις (επιστρεφω) aor. pas. part. "turned around [in the crowd]" - The crowd is pressing in and because the touch comes from behind; he turned around and asked.  Again this indicates extreme awareness of his surroundings.  Jesus is, as we would say, ‘in the moment”.
των ιμαρτιων (ον) gen. "[who touched my] clothes?" – a genitive of direct object. Jesus wanted to draw out the woman's faith and affirm it.

v31 συνθλιβοντα (σιμθλιβω) pres. part. "pressing against” The disciples "you see the crowd pressing you and you ask 'who touched me'" is not very gracious even in the Greek and so is softened by Luke and left out by Matthew.

v32 περιεβλεπετο (περιβλεπω) imperf. "kept looking around" – a verb used 7 times in the NT, mostly in the gospels and with Jesus doing the looking. 

v33 φοβηθεισα (φοβεομαι) part. "fear" this participle, as with τρεμουσα, "trembling", and ειδυια, "knowing", is adverbial expressing the manner of her coming to Jesus; she ηλθεν, "came", fearing, trembling and knowing. Scholars lean toward the idea that she knows she has made Jesus ritually unclean but also accept that Mark does not draw this same conclusion. Fear and trembling are standard Biblical reactions to a theophany.
προσεπεσεν αυτω "fell at [his] feet" – the traditional posture for worship
πασαν την αληθειαν "the whole truth" - A judicial term used even today in court!

v34 θυγατηρ "daughter" - Jesus may be declaring her status in his family of faith. In the vocative; so it may be a more formal, "my young lady."
η πιστις (ις εως) "[your] faith" – in the Greek ’faith’ implies not just intellectual assent but emotional involvement and trust. Her trust in God and his power operative in Jesus both heals and saves. In John's gospel it is often the other way around; the miracle prompts faith/trust. In the synoptic gospels Jesus' miracles prompt either anger (when done on the Sabbath), amazement, or faith. The faith heals order reflects the faith saves order fixed in the epistles so some scholars float the notion that this order not original, but may reflect early Christian preaching. It’s a stretch.
σεσωκεν (σωζω) perf. "has healed [you]" – perhaps Mark intends both "healed" and "saved" as the perfect tense indicating the completeness of her new condition. It also reflects the Hebraic notion that humans are BOTH body and spirit, one without the other is no complete.  Resurrection is about the salvation/healing of the entire human being – the Greeks imported the later notion of the body/spirit separation..
υπαγε εις ειρηνην "go in peace" – another idiom, go in wellbeing rather than in trouble. ισθι pres. imp. "be [freed from your suffering]" - present imperative of the verb to-be is durative, commanding a continuing state. Jesus declares as a fact her ongoing health.

v35 We now return to the raising of Jairus' daughter.
λαλουντος (λαλεω) gen. pres. part. "while [Jesus] was [still] speaking
απεθανεν (αποθηνησκω) aor. "is dead" The perfect "has died" would be expected, but the aorist "is dead" serves to stress that “she’s not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead”.
σκυλλεις (σκυλλω) pres. "bother" - originally the word meant “to flay, or skin”. Mark is making the point that from a human perspective, the situation is now hopeless, so Jesus' aid is no longer needed.

v36 παρακουσας (παρακουω) aor. part. "overhear" - participle is adverbial, often rendered "Jesus ignored their remarks" but the base meaning of the word is "hear beside" and can mean "ignore" or even "disobey” but "overhear" seems best as Jesus does not ignore their words but tells Jairus to believe.
μη φοβου (φοβεομαι) pres. imp. "do not be afraid". The negative with the present imperative serves as a command to cease doing something, so "stop being afraid."
πιστευε (πιστευω) pres. imp. "believe" – a command to buck up a failing Jarius.

v37 συνακολουθησαι (συνακολουθεω) aor. inf. "[he did not let anyone] follow" - infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the negated verb "did not allow." By allowing only three disciples and the parents to witness the miracle, Jesus is obviously keeping the sign away from the unbelieving crowd, but at the same time providing the minimum number of witnesses needed for public scrutiny. In light of Mark’s emphasis on the ’messianic secret’ this may seem contradictory, but n truth is it is the best way to allow for both faithful future proclamation and unwarranted present day speculation.  

v38 θορυβον (ος) "a commotion" - uproar, turmoil – a word often associate with the funerals of public figures. Jairus was a leader of the Synagogue, in John 11 there are mourners wailing at the tomb of Lazarus, the rich man of Bethany.
κλαιοντας (κλαιω) pres. part. "with people crying [and wailing]" - adjectival, possibly epexegetic, explaining the commotion. It is often argued that the mourners are a professional group hired for the purpose of making loud wailings, but there has really not been time to bring in a team of local thespians so it is likely the mourners are family and household members and the wailing is genuine.
v39 παιδιον "this child" – little child; sometimes an affectionate term but usually referring to one who is politically or economically powerless.  In the negative it might be used to refer to the underclass of a community, the “παιδιον” were those without money or clout. Hard to have less clout than when you are dead.
καθευδει (καθευδω) pres. "asleep" - the verb in the present tense carries a perfect sense. The mob says she is dead; Jesus says she is not. It is possible Jesus is seeking to maintain the messianic secret by being less than straightforward with the crowd, but he may also be employing a euphemism for the death of a person about to be raised to life. The term was later used in the epistles to describe the state of a believer who has died and awaits resurrection.

v40 κατεγελων (καταγελαω) imperf. "they laughed at" - they deride Jesus for his faulty diagnosis, presumably made without seeing the child
εκβαλων (εκβαλλω) aor. part. "after he threw them out". For Mark, this is a strong word taking the sense "cast out" rather than "dismiss", this sign is not for unbelievers.
παραλαμβανει (παραλαμβανω) pres. "he took" - the faith of the parents and disciples are granted the privilege of seeing this sign up close and personal.

v41 κρατησας (κρατεω) aor. part. "he took grasped her" – a similar action to the healing of Peter's mother-in-law.
εστιν μεθερμηνευομενον (μεθερμηνευω) pres. pas. part. "which means" – a periphrastic present construction. The actual words are stark and simple and remove any sense of a magical incantation. The words Jesus uses are Aramaic, strange to his readers but in his own language and that of the family he is helping.
το κορασιον "little girl" – note the change of Greek word here, now we are dealing with Someone older than a young child – likely a prepubescent teen on the verge of FULL womanhood, and therefore full of promise and potential and at the opposite social and physical end of the scale from the women Jesus just healed who is literally ‘past her prime”.  Yet both are παιδιον – powerless and both are worthy of σοζα.

v42 ανεστη (ανιστημι) aor. "stood up" - stood, arose and also the owrd that is used, post Calvary, for ‘resurrection”. 
περιεπατει (περιπατεω) imperf. "began to walk around and therefore now capable of fulfilling the promise and potential she represented before death. Like the woman with the issue of blood, she is resorted to her place and purpose within the community
εκστασει μεγαλη dat. "[they were] completely [astonished]" - dative is adverbial. Such  response, particularly from the disciples, is kind of disappointing. According to Mark faith is the proper response. 

v43 διεστειλατο (διαστελλω) aor. mid. "he gave [strict] orders" – literally “to divide”  but in the middle tense "to command". 
δοθηναι (διδωμι) aor. pas. inf. "[told them] give" – the infinitive serves as a command.

φαγειν (εσθιω) aor. inf. "to eat" – eating is a clear sign of being alive, you have to eat to live and you have to be alive to eat.  But it also bears the image of being returned to the table, that communal place where the family gathered and still today represents the center of communal life.

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