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Jesus and Little Children

13 Now[a] people were bringing little children to him for him to touch,[b] but the disciples scolded those who brought them.[c] 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God[d] belongs to such as these.[e] 15 I tell you the truth,[f] whoever does not receive[g] the kingdom of God like a child[h] will never[i] enter it.” 16 After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them.

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  1. Mark 10:13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  2. Mark 10:13 tn Grk “so that he would touch them.” Here the touch is connected with (or conveys) a blessing (cf. v. 16; also BDAG 126 s.v. ἅπτω 2.c).
  3. Mark 10:13 tc “Those who brought them” (ἐπετιμῶν τοῖς προσφέρουσιν, epetimōn tois prospherousin) is the reading of most mss (A D W [Θ ƒ1,13] M lat sy), but it is probably a motivated reading. Since the subject is not explicit in the earliest and best witnesses as well as several others (א B C L Δ Ψ 579 892), scribes would be prone to add “those who brought them” here to clarify that the children were not the ones being scolded. Both on external and internal grounds, the shorter reading is strongly preferred. Similar motivations are behind the translation here, namely, “those who brought them” has been supplied to ensure that the parents who brought the children are in view, not the children Grk “the disciples scolded them.”
  4. Mark 10:14 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus’ teaching. The nature of the kingdom of God in the NT and in Jesus’ teaching has long been debated by interpreters and scholars, with discussion primarily centering around the nature of the kingdom (earthly, heavenly, or both) and the kingdom’s arrival (present, future, or both). An additional major issue concerns the relationship between the kingdom of God and the person and work of Jesus himself.
  5. Mark 10:14 sn The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.
  6. Mark 10:15 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
  7. Mark 10:15 sn On receive see John 1:12.
  8. Mark 10:15 sn The point of the comparison receive the kingdom of God like a child has more to do with a child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others than any inherent humility the child might possess.
  9. Mark 10:15 tn The negation in Greek (οὐ μή, ou mē) is very strong here.