New English Translation
Preaching in Galilee and the Call of the Disciples
14 Now after John was imprisoned,[a] Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel[b] of God.[c] 15 He[d] said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God[e] is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” 16 As he went along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen).[f] 17 Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people!”[g] 18 They left their nets immediately and followed him.[h] 19 Going on a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in their[i] boat[j] mending nets. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.Read full chapter
- Mark 1:14 tn Or “arrested,” “taken into custody” (see L&N 37.12).
- Mark 1:14 tc Most witnesses, including some significant ones (A D W Γ Δ 28c 700 1241 1424 M lat sy), have τῆς βασιλείας (tēs basileias) between τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (to euangelion) and τοῦ θεοῦ (tou theou): “the gospel of the kingdom of God.” On the one hand, it is perhaps possible that τῆς βασιλείας was omitted to conform the expression to that which is found in the epistles (cf. Rom 1:1; 15:16; 2 Cor 11:7; 1 Thess 2:2, 8, 9; 1 Pet 4:17). On the other hand, this expression, “the gospel of God,” occurs nowhere else in the Gospels, while “the gospel of the kingdom” is a Matthean expression (Matt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14), and “kingdom of God” is pervasive in the synoptic Gospels (occurring over 50 times). Scribes would thus be more prone to add τῆς βασιλείας than to omit it. Further, the external support for the shorter reading (א B L Θ ƒ1,13 28* 33 565 579 892 sa Or) is significantly stronger than that for the longer reading. There is little doubt, therefore, that the shorter reading is authentic.
- Mark 1:14 tn The genitive in the phrase τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ (to euangelion tou theou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or an objective genitive (“the gospel about God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, an interplay between the two concepts is intended: The gospel which God brings is in fact the gospel about himself.
- Mark 1:15 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Mark 1:15 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.
- Mark 1:16 sn This is a parenthetical comment by the author.
- Mark 1:17 tn The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, thus “people.”sn The kind of fishing envisioned was net—not line—fishing (cf. v. 16; cf. also BDAG 55 s.v. ἀμφιβάλλω, ἀμφίβληστρον) which involved a circular net that had heavy weights around its perimeter. The occupation of fisherman was labor-intensive. The imagery of using a lure and a line (and waiting for the fish to strike) is thus foreign to this text. Rather, the imagery of a fisherman involved much strain, long hours, and often little results. Jesus’ point may have been one or more of the following: the strenuousness of evangelism, the work ethic that it required, persistence and dedication to the task (often in spite of minimal results), the infinite value of the new “catch” (viz., people), and perhaps an eschatological theme of snatching people from judgment (cf. W. L. Lane, Mark [NICNT], 67). If this last motif is in view, then catching people is the opposite of catching fish: The fish would be caught, killed, cooked, and eaten; people would be caught so as to remove them from eternal destruction and to give them new life.
- Mark 1:18 sn The expression followed him pictures discipleship, which means that to learn from Jesus is to follow him as the guiding priority of one’s life.
- Mark 1:19 tn Or “a boat.” The phrase ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ (en tō ploiō) can either refer to a generic boat, some boat (as it seems to do in Matt 4:21); or it can refer to “their” boat, implying possession. Mark assumes a certain preunderstanding on the part of his readers about the first four disciples and hence the translation “their boat” is justified (cf. also v. 20 in which the “hired men” indicates that Zebedee’s family owned the boats).
- Mark 1:19 sn In 1986 following a period of drought and low lake levels, a fishing boat from the first century was discovered on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was excavated and preserved and can now be seen in the Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Ginosar north of Tiberias. The remains of the boat are 27 ft (8.27 m) long and 7.5 ft (2.3 m) wide; it could be rowed by four rowers and had a mast for a sail. The boat is now known as the “Jesus boat” or the “Sea of Galilee boat” although there is no known historical connection of any kind with Jesus or his disciples. However, the boat is typical for the period and has provided archaeologists with much information about design and construction of boats on the Sea of Galilee in the first century.