New English Translation
The Feeding of the Four Thousand
8 In those days there was another large crowd with nothing to eat. So[a] Jesus[b] called his disciples and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have already been here with me three days, and they have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will faint on the way, and some of them have come from a great distance.” 4 His disciples answered him, “Where can someone get enough bread in this desolate place to satisfy these people?” 5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.” 6 Then[c] he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. After he took the seven loaves and gave thanks, he broke them and began giving them to the disciples to serve. So[d] they served the crowd. 7 They also had a few small fish. After giving thanks for these, he told them to serve these as well. 8 Everyone[e] ate and was satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 There were about 4,000[f] who ate.[g] Then he dismissed them.[h] 10 Immediately he got into a boat[i] with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.[j]
The Demand for a Sign
11 Then the Pharisees[k] came and began to argue with Jesus, asking for[l] a sign from heaven[m] to test him. 12 Sighing deeply in his spirit he said, “Why does this generation look for a sign? I tell you the truth,[n] no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then[o] he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod
14 Now[p] they had forgotten to take bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 And Jesus[q] ordered them,[r] “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees[s] and the yeast of Herod!” 16 So they began to discuss with one another about having no bread.[t] 17 When he learned of this,[u] Jesus said to them, “Why are you arguing[v] about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Have your hearts been hardened? 18 Though you have eyes, don’t you see? And though you have ears, can’t you hear?[w] Don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?” They replied, “Twelve.” 20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?” They replied,[x] “Seven.” 21 Then[y] he said to them, “Do you still not understand?”[z]
A Two-stage Healing
22 Then[aa] they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Jesus[ab] and asked him to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and brought him outside of the village. Then[ac] he spit on his eyes, placed his hands on his eyes[ad] and asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 Regaining his sight[ae] he said, “I see people, but they look like trees walking.” 25 Then Jesus[af] placed his hands on the man’s[ag] eyes again. And he opened his eyes,[ah] his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus[ai] sent him home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”[aj]
27 Then Jesus and his disciples went to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples,[ak] “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They said,[al] “John the Baptist, others say Elijah,[am] and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him,[an] “You are the Christ.”[ao] 30 Then[ap] he warned them not to tell anyone about him.[aq]
First Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
31 Then[ar] Jesus[as] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer[at] many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law,[au] and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke openly about this. So[av] Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But after turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”[aw]
34 Then[ax] Jesus[ay] called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower,[az] he must deny[ba] himself, take up his cross,[bb] and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life[bc] will lose it,[bd] but whoever loses his life because of me and because of the gospel[be] will save it. 36 For what benefit is it for a person[bf] to gain the whole world, yet[bg] forfeit his life? 37 What can a person give in exchange for his life? 38 For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him[bh] when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
- Mark 8:1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 8:1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 8:6 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
- Mark 8:8 tn Grk “They.”
- Mark 8:9 sn The parallel in Matt 15:32-39 notes that the 4,000 were only men, a point not made explicit in Mark.
- Mark 8:9 tn The words “who ate” are not in the Greek text but have been supplied for clarity.
- Mark 8:9 sn Mark 8:1-10. Many commentators, on the basis of similarities between this account of the feeding of the multitude (8:1-10) and that in 6:30-44, have argued that there is only one event referred to in both passages. While there are similarities in language and in the response of the disciples, there are also noticeable differences, including the different number present on each occasion (i.e., 5,000 in chap. 6 and 4,000 here). In the final analysis, the fact that Jesus refers to two distinct feedings in 8:18-20 settles the issue; this passage represents another very similar incident to that recorded in 6:30-44.
- Mark 8:10 sn See the note at Mark 1:19 for a description of the first-century fishing boat discovered in 1986 near Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
- Mark 8:10 sn The exact location of Dalmanutha is uncertain. It is mentioned nowhere else in the NT. The parallel passage in Matt 15:39 reads either “Magdala” (which is on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee) or “Magadan” (which is the better attested reading but is otherwise unknown). A small anchorage north of Magdala and west of Capernaum investigated in 1970 during a period of low lake levels in the Sea of Galilee has been suggested as the possible location of Dalmanutha (M. Nun, “Ancient Anchorages and Harbors in the Sea of Galilee,” Nature and Land 5 (1971): 212-19) but there is no scholarly consensus.
- Mark 8:11 sn See the note on Pharisees in 2:16.
- Mark 8:11 tn Grk “seeking from him.” The participle ζητοῦντες (zētountes) shows the means by which the Pharisees argued with Jesus.
- Mark 8:11 sn What exactly this sign would have been, given what Jesus was already doing, is not clear. But here is where the fence-sitters reside, refusing to commit to him.
- Mark 8:12 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
- Mark 8:13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 8:14 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
- Mark 8:15 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:15 tn Grk “was giving them orders, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.
- Mark 8:15 sn See the note on Pharisees in 2:16.
- Mark 8:16 tn Grk “And they were discussing with one another that they had no bread.”
- Mark 8:17 tn Or “becoming aware of it.”
- Mark 8:17 tn Or “discussing.”
- Mark 8:18 tn Grk “do you not hear?”
- Mark 8:20 tc ‡ A difficult textual problem is found here, involving three different variants: καὶ λέγουσιν (kai legousin) is found in א; οἱ δὲ εἶπον (hoi de eipon) is the reading of P45 A D W Θ ƒ1,13 33 M it; and καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ (kai legousin autō) is supported by B C L (Δ 579 892). The first two variants would not be translated differently; the third reading, however, would add “to him” after “they replied.” What complicates the issue is that the external evidence is fairly evenly split between the second and third readings, though the first reading is in agreement with the second reading in lacking the dative pronoun. Indeed, another layout of the problem here could treat this as two distinct problems: καὶ λέγουσιν vs. οἱ δὲ εἶπον and αὐτῷ vs. omission of the word. In this second arrangement of the problem, the reading without the pronoun has slightly stronger support (P45 א A D W Θ ƒ1,13 33 M it). Internally, Mark never elsewhere uses the form εἶπον for the third person plural indicative form of this verb (it is always εἶπαν [eipan]). And although only one other time in Mark is the object lacking after λέγουσιν (6:38), it is a similar context (viz., the disciples’ response before Jesus feeds the 5000). Very tentatively, the reading that is followed here is καὶ λέγουσιν. NA28 puts αὐτῷ in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.
- Mark 8:21 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to indicate the implied sequence in the narrative.
- Mark 8:21 sn Do you still not understand? The disciples in Mark’s Gospel often misunderstood the miracles of Jesus as well as his teaching. Between Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Mark paints the most revealing portrait of the shortcomings of the Twelve (cf. 6:51-52; 7:17-19; 8:1-10, 14-21, 27-30, 33; 9:5, 10, 33; 10:28, 35-45; 14:19, 29-31, 32-37, 50, 66-72).
- Mark 8:22 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 8:22 tn Grk “to him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:23 tn Grk “village, and.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Mark 8:23 tn Grk “on him,” but the word πάλιν in v. 25 implies that Jesus touched the man’s eyes at this point.
- Mark 8:24 tn The verb ἀναβλέπω, though normally meaning “look up,” when used in conjunction with blindness means “regain sight.”
- Mark 8:25 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:25 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the blind man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:25 tn Or “he looked intently”; or “he stared with eyes wide open” (BDAG 226 s.v. διαβλέπω 1).
- Mark 8:26 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:26 tc Codex Bezae (D) replaces “Do not even go into the village” with “Go to your house, and do not tell anyone, not even in the village.” Other mss with some minor variations (Θ ƒ13 28 565 2542) expand on this prohibition to read “Go to your house, and if you go into the village, do not tell anyone.” There are several other variants here as well. While these expansions are not part of Mark’s original text, they do accurately reflect the sense of Jesus’ prohibition.
- Mark 8:27 tn Grk “he asked his disciples, saying to them.” The phrase λέγων αὐτοῖς (legōn autois) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Mark 8:28 tn Grk “And they said to him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Mark 8:28 sn The appearance of Elijah would mean that the end time had come. According to 2 Kgs 2:11, Elijah was still alive. In Mal 4:5 it is said that Elijah would be the precursor of Messiah.
- Mark 8:29 tn Grk “Answering, Peter said to him.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “Peter answered him.”
- Mark 8:29 tn Or “the Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn The term χριστός (christos) was originally an adjective (“anointed”), developing in LXX into a substantive (“an anointed one”), then developing still further into a technical generic term (“the anointed one”). In the intertestamental period it developed further into a technical term referring to the hoped-for anointed one, that is, a specific individual. In the NT the development starts there (technical-specific), is so used in the gospels, and then develops in Paul to mean virtually Jesus’ last name.
- Mark 8:30 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to indicate the conclusion of the episode.
- Mark 8:30 sn Mark 8:27-10:52. The entire section 8:27-10:52 is built around three passion predictions of Jesus (8:31; 9:31; 10:33). These predictions form the structure of the section, the content for the section (Jesus’ suffering, death, and the meaning of genuine discipleship) and the mood of the section (i.e., a somber mood). What is interesting is that after each passion prediction, Mark records both the misunderstanding of the disciples and then Jesus’ teaching on the nature of his death and what genuine discipleship is all about: (1) denying oneself (8:34-38); (2) humility and serving (9:33-37); (3) suffering, humble service, and not lording it over people (10:35-45). For further discussion of the structure of the passage, see W. L. Lane, Mark (NICNT), 292-94.
- Mark 8:31 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 8:31 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:31 sn The necessity that the Son of Man suffer is the particular point that needed emphasis, since for many 1st century Jews the Messiah was a glorious and powerful figure, not a suffering one.
- Mark 8:31 tn Or “and the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 1:22.
- Mark 8:32 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate Peter’s rebuke is in response to Jesus’ teaching about the suffering of the Son of Man.
- Mark 8:33 tn Grk “people’s.”
- Mark 8:34 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Mark 8:34 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Mark 8:34 tn Grk “to follow after me.”
- Mark 8:34 tn This translation better expresses the force of the Greek third person imperative than the traditional “let him deny,” which could be understood as merely permissive.
- Mark 8:34 sn To bear the cross means to accept the rejection of the world for turning to Jesus and following him. Discipleship involves a death that is like a crucifixion; see Gal 6:14.
- Mark 8:35 tn Grk “soul” (throughout vv. 35-37). The Greek ψυχή (psuchē) has many different meanings depending on the context. The two primary meanings here are the earthly life (animate life, sometimes called “physical life”) and the inner life (the life that transcends the earthly life, sometimes called “the soul”). The fact that the Greek term can have both meanings creates in this verse both a paradox and a wordplay. The desire to preserve both aspects of ψυχή (psuchē) for oneself creates the tension here (cf. BDAG 1099 s.v. 1.a; 2.d,e). Translation of the Greek term ψυχή (psuchē) presents a particularly difficult problem in this verse. Most English versions since the KJV have translated the term “life.” This preserves the paradox of finding one’s “life” (in the sense of earthly life) while at the same time really losing it (in the sense of “soul” or transcendent inner life) and vice versa, but at the same time it obscures the wordplay that results from the same Greek word having multiple meanings. To translate as “soul,” however, gives the modern English reader the impression of the immortal soul at the expense of the earthly life. On the whole it is probably best to use the translation “life” and retain the paradox at the expense of the wordplay.
- Mark 8:35 sn The Greek word translated life can refer to both earthly, physical life and inner, transcendent life (one’s “soul”). In the context, if a person is not willing to suffer the world’s rejection and persecution in order to follow Jesus but instead seeks to retain his physical life, then that person will lose both physical life and inner, transcendent life (at the judgment). On the other hand, the one who willingly gives up earthly, physical life to follow Jesus (“loses his life because of me and because of the gospel”) will ultimately find one’s “soul” (note that the parallel in John’s Gospel speaks of “guarding one’s ‘soul’ for eternal life” (John 12:25).
- Mark 8:35 tn Or “for my sake and for the gospel.” The traditional rendering “for my sake” can be understood in the sense of “for my benefit,” but the Greek term ἕνεκα (heneka) indicates the cause or reason for something (BDAG 334 s.v. 1). Here the phrase “because of” was repeated before “the gospel” for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
- Mark 8:36 tn Grk “a man,” but ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used in a generic sense here to refer to both men and women.
- Mark 8:36 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
- Mark 8:38 sn How one responds now to Jesus and his teaching is a reflection of how Jesus, as the Son of Man who judges, will respond then in the final judgment.