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.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Greek Study Mark 9:38-50

Greek Study Mark 9:38-50

v38 ο Ιωαννης  - the apostle John, son of Zebedee, brother of James.
εν + dat. "in [your name]" - "by/with your authority".
εκβαλλοντα (εκβαλλω) pres. part. "casting out [demons]" - 
εκωλυομεν (κωλυω) imperf. "we hindered/prevented [him] " - the imperfect is τενδεντιαλ/χονατιϖε, i.e. attempted action that is not completed;.
ουκ ηκαλουθει (ακολουθεω) imperf. "he was not one of [us]".

The issue here was one of derived authority, not the healings per se.  The particular beef was that they usurped the power that rightfully belonged to Jesus and by extension to them.  They are not “us”.  Jesus then goes on to re-define who “us” is!

v39 μη κωλυετε (κωλυω) pres. imp. "do not stop him" -this command entails the cessation of action already in progress. 
δυναμιν (ις εως) "a miracle" - powerful work.
κακολογησαι (κακολογεω) aor. inf. "say anything evil".

v42 σκανδαλιση/ (σκανδαλιζω) aor. subj. "causes ...... to stumble” as the setting of a trap for someone. (One wonders here the nature of the “trap’ that is being set here.)  
των μικρων τουτων "these little ones" - not "children" as such, nor members of the Christian community, but forgiven sinners outside the community!
των πιστευοντων (πιστευω) pres. part. "who believe".
μυλος ονικος "a large millstone" – i.e. a millstone that needs to be turned by donkey power!
περικειται (περικειμαι) pres. "tied around [his neck]".
v43 αποκοψον (αποκοψτω) aor. imp. "cut [it] off" - aorist expressing punctiliar action; in Greek this is a phrase usually used to describe castration; in Hebrew the making of a Eunuch,  likely NOT what Jesus means however but a graphic visual word nonetheless!
εχοντα (εχω) pres. part "with [two hands]" - attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the infinitive"; an idiom, "keep your two hands and go to hell”.
εις το πυρ το ασβεστον "where the fire never goes out" - possibly an illustration by Mark meant for Gentile readers to had a vision of hades different from the sheol of Hebrew thinking.
v44 along with v46 is an obvious addition and so is left out of most translations.
v45 βληθηναι (βαλλω) aor. pas. inf. "be thrown [into hell]" – this construction is the same as for απελθειν used in 43 and is known in Greek as a “divine passive” – i.e. that the action comes from God.

v47 εκβαλε (εκβαλλω) aor. imp. "pluck it out" – i.e. you throw out the eye rather than be thrown into hell. 
All of the Greek verbs used in these verses are strong words- meant as warning and to some seem inconsistent with the message of “gentle Jesus sweet and mild”. But in reality they were very much a part of his prophetic message - we just don’t like to hear them.  Every parent verbally rebukes and supports as the situation merits; those who do only one or the other often end up with damaged children!

v48 This verse serves as a ‘midrash’ on those that precede, referring to Isa.66:24, referring to the eternal punishment facing a person who has rebelled against God. The image of ongoing punishment, the constant feeding worm, the unquenchable fire, express eternal nature of punishment but also serve to heighten the extent of the loss. 
οπου "where" - a local clause.
ο σκωληξ ατων "their worm" – in the sense of  "worm that feeds upon them" – i.e. the image of a rotting corpse with no life.  Hell or eternal fire may here be a strong euphemism for eternal death.
v49 αλισθησεται (αλιζω) fut. pas. "will be salted" πυρι (πυρ ος) dat. "with fire".  
v50 καλον adj. "[Salt is] good" – actually salt is beautiful or useful. Beautiful in the sense that is varied uses, all of which are for the good.  And useful because it preserves things, heightens flavors, gives depth and meaning to life and, in the case of preserving food literally can be life preserving.  Remember while we tend to take salt for granted, in dry climes salt is an essential for the management of thirst. A a body sweats it loses both moisture AND salt, which can cause death as fast as thirst.  So salt was something people who travelled in dry areas kept on hand.
αναλον adj. "loses its saltiness" - leached salt leaves a useless chemical residue which, in some instances, can also be a poison!

ειρηνευετε (ειρηνευω) pres. imp. "be at peace" - consequential to "be salty"  is to be peaceful!.

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