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The Ministry of John the Baptist

The beginning of the gospel[a] of Jesus Christ,[b] the Son of God.[c] As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,[d]

Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way,[e]
the voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
make[f] his paths straight.’”[g]

In the wilderness[h] John the baptizer[i] began preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.[j] People[k] from the whole Judean countryside and all of Jerusalem were going out to him, and he was baptizing them[l] in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. John wore a garment made of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.[m] He proclaimed,[n] “One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy[o] to bend down and untie the strap[p] of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

Now[q] in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River.[r] 10 And just as Jesus[s] was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens[t] splitting apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.[u] 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my one dear Son;[v] in you I take great delight.”[w] 12 The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness.[x] 13 He was in the wilderness forty days,[y] enduring temptations from Satan. He[z] was with wild animals, and angels were ministering to his needs.[aa]

Preaching in Galilee and the Call of the Disciples

14 Now after John was imprisoned,[ab] Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel[ac] of God.[ad] 15 He[ae] said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God[af] 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).[ag] 17 Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people!”[ah] 18 They left their nets immediately and followed him.[ai] 19 Going on a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in their[aj] boat[ak] mending nets. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus’ Authority

21 Then[al] they went to Capernaum.[am] When the Sabbath came,[an] Jesus[ao] went into the synagogue[ap] and began to teach. 22 The people there[aq] were amazed by his teaching, because he taught them like one who had authority,[ar] not like the experts in the law.[as] 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit,[at] and he cried out,[au] 24 “Leave us alone,[av] Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One[aw] of God!” 25 But[ax] Jesus rebuked him:[ay] “Silence! Come out of him!”[az] 26 After throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed so that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands the unclean spirits and they obey him.” 28 So[ba] the news about him spread quickly throughout all the region around Galilee.

Healings at Simon’s House

29 Now[bb] as soon as they left the synagogue,[bc] they entered Simon and Andrew’s house,[bd] with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was lying down, sick with a fever, so[be] they spoke to Jesus[bf] at once about her. 31 He came and raised her up by gently taking her hand. Then the fever left her and she began to serve[bg] them. 32 When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered by the door. 34 So[bh] he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons.[bi] But[bj] he would not permit the demons to speak,[bk] because they knew him.[bl]

Praying and Preaching

35 Then[bm] Jesus[bn] got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer.[bo] 36 Simon and his companions searched for him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 He replied,[bp] “Let us go elsewhere, into the surrounding villages, so that I can preach there too. For that is what I came out here to do.”[bq] 39 So[br] he went into all of Galilee preaching in their synagogues[bs] and casting out demons.

Cleansing a Leper

40 Now[bt] a leper[bu] came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. “If[bv] you are willing, you can make me clean,” he said. 41 Moved with indignation,[bw] Jesus[bx] stretched out his hand and touched[by] him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” 42 The leprosy left him at once, and he was clean. 43 Immediately Jesus[bz] sent the man[ca] away with a very strong warning. 44 He told him,[cb] “See that you do not say anything to anyone,[cc] but go, show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering that Moses commanded[cd] for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”[ce] 45 But as the man[cf] went out he began to announce it publicly and spread the story widely, so that Jesus[cg] was no longer able to enter any town openly but stayed outside in remote places. Still[ch] they kept coming[ci] to him from everywhere.


  1. Mark 1:1 sn By the time Mark wrote, the word gospel had become a technical term referring to the preaching about Jesus Christ and God’s saving power accomplished through him for all who believe (cf. Rom 1:16).
  2. Mark 1:1 tn The genitive in the phrase τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ (tou euangeliou Iēsou Christou, “the gospel of Jesus Christ”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“the gospel which Jesus brings [or proclaims]”) or an objective genitive (“the gospel about Jesus Christ”). 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 Jesus proclaims is in fact the gospel about himself.
  3. Mark 1:1 tc א* Θ 28 l2211 sams Or lack υἱοῦ θεοῦ (huiou theou, “Son of God”), and both Irenaeus and Epiphanius additionally lack ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστου while virtually all the rest of the witnesses have the words (א B D L W Γ latt sy co Irlat; A Δ ƒ1,13 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M also have τοῦ [tou] before θεοῦ), so the evidence seems to argue for the authenticity of “Son of God.” Most likely, the words were omitted by accident in some witnesses, since the last four words of v. 1, in majuscule script, would have looked like this: iu_c_r_u_u_u_q_u_. With all the successive upsilons an accidental deletion is likely. Further, the inclusion of υἱοῦ θεοῦ here finds its complement in 15:39, where the centurion claims that Jesus was υἱὸς θεοῦ (huios theou, “son of God”). Even though א is in general one of the best NT mss, the scribes of this codex were often quite sloppy. When an accidental omission is possible, its voice is significantly diminished. א’s testimony thus is not quite as preeminent in this situation. There are several other instances in which it breaks up chains of genitives ending in ου (cf., e.g., Acts 28:31; Col 2:2; Heb 12:2; Rev 12:14; 15:7; 22:1), showing that there is a significantly higher possibility of accidental scribal omission in a case like this. This christological inclusio parallels both Matthew (“Immanuel…God with us” in 1:23/“I am with you” in 28:20) and John (“the Word was God” in 1:1/“My Lord and my God” in 20:28), probably reflecting nascent christological development and The first verse of Mark’s Gospel appears to function as a title: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is not certain, however, whether Mark intended it to refer to the entire Gospel, to the ministry of John the Baptist, or through the use of the term beginning (ἀρχή, archē) to allude to Genesis 1:1 (in the Greek Bible, LXX). If the statement as a whole is an allusion to Genesis 1:1, then Mark is saying that with the “good news” of the coming of Christ, God is commencing a “new beginning.” But an intriguing possibility is that Mark is signaling that the whole treatise is just the beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ. This would fit well with an intentional open-ended conclusion at 16:8 in which the author leaves the readers to continue the story of the evangel in their own lives. See tc note at 16:8.
  4. Mark 1:2 tc Grk “in Isaiah the prophet.” Instead of “in Isaiah the prophet” the majority of mss read “in the prophets” (A W Γ ƒ13 28 579 1424 M Irlat). Except for Irenaeus (2nd century), the earliest evidence for this is from the 5th (or possibly late 4th) century (Washingtonianus and Alexandrinus). The difficulty of Irenaeus is that he wrote in Greek but has been preserved largely in Latin. His Greek remains have “in Isaiah the prophet.” Only the later Latin translation has “in the prophets” (yet in one of the three citations of Mark 1:2 Irenaeus’s Latin has “in Isaiah the prophet”). The KJV reading is thus in harmony with the majority of late mss. On the other hand, the witnesses for “in Isaiah the prophet” (either with the article before Isaiah or not) are early and geographically widespread: א B D L Δ Θ ƒ1 33 565 700 892 1241 al syp co Ir Or Epiph. This evidence runs deep into the 2nd century, is widespread, and is found in the most significant Alexandrian, Western, and so-called Caesarean witnesses. The “Isaiah” reading has a better external pedigree in almost every way. It has the support of the earliest and best witnesses from most of the text-forms. Moreover it is most likely the harder reading, since the quotation in the first part of the verse appears to be from Exod 23:20 and Mal 3:1, with the quotation from Isa 40:3 coming in the next verse. Although the reading of the later mss seems motivated by a desire to resolve this difficulty, Robinson has made a good case for “in the prophets” as the original wording (Maurice Robinson, “Two Passages in Mark: A Critical Test for the Byzantine-Priority Hypothesis,” Faith & Mission 13.2 [1996]: 68-80). Part of his argument is that א Θ ƒ1 33 erroneously have “Isaiah” in Matt 13:35, and these same mss read “Isaiah the prophet” in Mark 1:2. Consequently, he suggests that their testimony in the Marcan text should be discounted. This may be true but it ignores the rest of the witnesses for the “Isaiah” reading here. All things considered, “Isaiah the prophet” has better credentials for authenticity in Mark 1:2.
  5. Mark 1:2 sn The opening lines of the quotation are from Exod 23:20; Mal 3:1. Here is the forerunner who points the way to the arrival of God’s salvation. His job is to prepare and guide the people, as the cloud did for Israel in the desert.
  6. Mark 1:3 sn This call to “make his paths straight” in this context is probably an allusion to preparation through repentance.
  7. Mark 1:3 sn A quotation from Isa 40:3.
  8. Mark 1:4 tn Or “desert.”
  9. Mark 1:4 tn While Matthew and Luke consistently use the noun βαπτίστης (baptistēs, “[the] Baptist”) to refer to John, as a kind of a title, Mark prefers the substantival participle ὁ βαπτίζων (ho baptizōn, “the one who baptizes, the baptizer”) to describe him (only twice does he use the noun [Mark 6:25; 8:28]).
  10. Mark 1:4 sn A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins was a call for preparation for the arrival of the Lord’s salvation. To participate in this baptism was a recognition of the need for God’s forgiveness with a sense that one needed to live differently as a response to it.
  11. Mark 1:5 tn Grk “And the whole Judean countryside.” Mark uses the Greek conjunction καί (kai) at numerous places in his Gospel to begin sentences and paragraphs. This practice is due to Semitic influence and reflects in many cases the use of the Hebrew ו (vav) which is used in OT narrative, much as it is here, to carry the narrative along. Because in contemporary English style it is not acceptable to begin every sentence with “and,” καί was often left untranslated or rendered as “now,” “so,” “then,” or “but” depending on the context. When left untranslated it has not been noted. When given an alternative translation, this is usually indicated by a note.
  12. Mark 1:5 tn Grk “they were being baptized by him.” The passive construction has been rendered as active in the translation for the sake of English style.
  13. Mark 1:6 sn John’s lifestyle was in stark contrast to many of the religious leaders of Jerusalem who lived in relative ease and luxury. While his clothing and diet were indicative of someone who lived in the desert, they also depicted him in his role as God’s prophet (cf. Zech 13:4); his appearance is similar to the Prophet Elijah (2 Kgs 1:8). Locusts and wild honey were a common diet in desert regions and locusts (dried insects) are listed in Lev 11:22 among the “clean” foods.
  14. Mark 1:7 tn Grk “proclaimed, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  15. Mark 1:7 tn Grk “of whom I am not worthy.”sn The humility of John is evident in the statement I am not worthy. This was considered one of the least worthy tasks of a slave, and John did not consider himself worthy to do even that for the one to come, despite the fact he himself was a prophet.
  16. Mark 1:7 tn The term refers to the leather strap or thong used to bind a sandal. This is often viewed as a collective singular and translated as a plural, “the straps of his sandals,” but it may be more emphatic to retain the singular here.
  17. Mark 1:9 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  18. Mark 1:9 tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity.
  19. Mark 1:10 tn Grk “and immediately coming up out of the water, he saw.” The present participle has been translated temporally, with the subject (Jesus) specified for clarity.
  20. Mark 1:10 tn Or “sky.” The Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The same word is used in v. 11.
  21. Mark 1:10 sn The phrase like a dove is a descriptive comparison. The Spirit is not a dove, but descended like one in some sort of bodily representation.
  22. Mark 1:11 tn Grk “my beloved Son,” or “my Son, the beloved [one].” The force of ἀγαπητός (agapētos) is often “pertaining to one who is the only one of his or her class, but at the same time is particularly loved and cherished” (L&N 58.53; cf. also BDAG 7 s.v. 1).
  23. Mark 1:11 tn Or “with you I am well pleased.”sn The allusions in the remarks of the text recall Ps 2:7a; Isa 42:1 and either Isa 41:8 or, less likely, Gen 22:12, 16. God is marking out Jesus as his chosen one (the meaning of “[in you I take] great delight”), but it may well be that this was a private experience that only Jesus and John saw and heard (cf. John 1:32-33).
  24. Mark 1:12 sn The Judean Wilderness (or Judean Desert) is a geographical feature extending from the mountains of Judea in the west to the Dead Sea in the east. It is a relatively small desert, covering only about 600 square miles (roughly 1,500 square km). The Judean Wilderness is characterized by breathtaking panoramas: mountains, cliffs, chalk hills, and plateaus are interrupted by riverbeds and canyons, some of which are up to 1,500 feet (500 m) deep. Some of the rivers are seasonal streams and some have water all year round. The tall cliffs on the eastern edge of the desert reach a height of 1,000 feet (300 m) above the shore of the Dead Sea. The Judean Wilderness is close to Jerusalem and sparsely populated with few settlements around its edges. It is known for its rugged and desolate landscape, which has provided a refuge and hiding place for rebels and zealots throughout history, as well as solitude for monks and hermits.
  25. Mark 1:13 sn The forty days may allude to the experience of Moses (Exod 34:28), Elijah (1 Kgs 19:8, 15), or David and Goliath (1 Sam 17:16).
  26. Mark 1:13 tn Grk “And he.”
  27. Mark 1:13 tn Grk “were serving him,” “were ministering to him.”
  28. Mark 1:14 tn Or “arrested,” “taken into custody” (see L&N 37.12).
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Mark 1:15 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  32. 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.
  33. Mark 1:16 sn This is a parenthetical comment by the author.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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).
  37. 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.
  38. Mark 1:21 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  39. Mark 1:21 sn Capernaum was a town located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It existed since Hasmonean times and was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region. The population in the first century is estimated to be around 1,500. Capernaum became the hub of operations for Jesus’ Galilean ministry (Matt 4:13; Mark 2:1). In modern times the site was discovered in 1838 by the American explorer E. Robinson, and major excavations began in 1905 by German archaeologists H. Kohl and C. Watzinger. Not until 1968, however, were remains from the time of Jesus visible; in that year V. Corbo and S. Loffreda began a series of annual archaeological campaigns that lasted until 1985. This work uncovered what is thought to be the house of Simon Peter as well as ruins of the first century synagogue beneath the later synagogue from the fourth or fifth century A.D. Today gently rolling hills and date palms frame the first century site, a favorite tourist destination of visitors to the Galilee.
  40. Mark 1:21 tn The Greek word εὐθύς (euthus, often translated “immediately” or “right away”) has not been translated here. It sometimes occurs with a weakened, inferential use (BDAG 406 s.v. 2), not contributing significantly to the flow of the narrative. For further discussion, see R. J. Decker, Temporal Deixis of the Greek Verb in the Gospel of Mark with Reference to Verbal Aspect (SBG 10), 73-77.
  41. Mark 1:21 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  42. Mark 1:21 sn The synagogue was a place for Jewish prayer and worship, with recognized leadership (cf. Luke 8:41). Though its origin is not entirely clear, it seems to have arisen in the postexilic community during the intertestamental period. A town could establish a synagogue if there were at least ten men. In normative Judaism of the NT period, the OT scripture was read and discussed in the synagogue by the men who were present. (See the Mishnah, m. Megillah 3-4; m. Berakhot 2.) First came the law, then the prophets, then someone was asked to speak on the texts. Jesus undoubtedly took the opportunity on this occasion to speak about his person and mission, and its relationship to Old Testament fulfillment.
  43. Mark 1:22 tn Grk “They.”
  44. Mark 1:22 sn Jesus’ teaching impressed the hearers with the directness of its claim; he taught with authority. A study of Jewish rabbinic interpretation shows that it was typical to cite a list of authorities to make one’s point. Apparently Jesus addressed the issues in terms of his own understanding.
  45. Mark 1:22 tn Or “the scribes.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateus) as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.
  46. Mark 1:23 sn Unclean spirit refers to an evil spirit.
  47. Mark 1:23 tn Grk “he cried out, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  48. Mark 1:24 tn Grk What to us and to you?” This is an idiom meaning, “We have nothing to do with one another,” or “Why bother us!” The phrase τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί (ti hēmin kai soi) is Semitic in origin, though it made its way into colloquial Greek (BDAG 275 s.v. ἐγώ). The equivalent Hebrew expression in the OT had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12, 2 Chr 35:21, 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his own, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13, Hos 14:8). Option (1) implies hostility, while option (2) merely implies disengagement. BDAG suggests the following as glosses for this expression: What have I to do with you? What have we in common? Leave me alone! Never mind! Hostility between Jesus and the demons is certainly to be understood in this context, hence the translation: “Leave me alone….” For a very similar expression see Lk 8:28 and (in a different context) John 2:4.
  49. Mark 1:24 sn The confession of Jesus as the Holy One here is significant, coming from an unclean spirit. Jesus, as the Holy One of God, who bears God’s Spirit and is the expression of holiness, comes to deal with uncleanness and unholiness.
  50. Mark 1:25 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
  51. Mark 1:25 tn Grk “rebuked him, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.
  52. Mark 1:25 sn The command Come out of him! is an example of Jesus’ authority (see v. 22). Unlike other exorcists, Jesus did not use magical incantations nor did he invoke anyone else’s name.
  53. Mark 1:28 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
  54. Mark 1:29 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  55. Mark 1:29 sn See the note on synagogue in 1:21.
  56. Mark 1:29 sn There is now significant agreement among scholars that the house of Simon Peter in Capernaum has been found beneath the ruins of a fifth-century Byzantine church some 84 ft south of the synagogue. At the bottom of several layers of archaeological remains is a first-century house that apparently was designated for public viewing sometime in the mid-first century, and continued to be so in subsequent centuries. For details see S. Loffreda, “Capernaum—Jesus’ Own City,” Bible and Spade 10.1 (1981): 1-17.
  57. Mark 1:30 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
  58. Mark 1:30 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  59. Mark 1:31 tn The imperfect verb is taken ingressively here.
  60. Mark 1:34 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
  61. Mark 1:34 sn Note how the author distinguishes healing from exorcism here, implying that the two are not identical.
  62. Mark 1:34 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
  63. Mark 1:34 sn Why Jesus would not permit the demons to speak is much discussed. Two possibilities are (1) the mere source of the testimony (demonic) and (2) that the title, with its political implications, may have had elements that Jesus wished to avoid until the full nature of his mission was clarified.
  64. Mark 1:34 tc The mss vary on what is read at the end of v. 34. Some have “they knew him to be the Christ,” with various Greek constructions (ᾔδεισαν αὐτὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι [ēdeisan auton Christon einai] in B L W Θ ƒ1 28 33vid 565 al bo; ᾔδεισαν τὸν Χριστὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι [ēdeisan ton Christon auton einai] in [א2] C [ƒ13 700] 892 1241 [1424]); codex D has “they knew him and he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons,” reproducing exactly the first half of the verse. These first two longer readings are predictable expansions to an enticingly brief statement; the fact that there are significant variations on the word order and presence or absence of τόν argues against their authenticity as well. D’s reading is a palpable error of sight. The reading adopted in the translation is supported by א* A 0130 M lat. This support, though hardly overwhelming in itself, in combination with strong internal evidence, renders the shorter reading fairly certain.
  65. Mark 1:35 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  66. Mark 1:35 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  67. Mark 1:35 tn The imperfect προσηύχετο (prosēucheto) implies some duration to the prayer.
  68. Mark 1:38 tn Grk “And he said to them.”
  69. Mark 1:38 tn Grk “Because for this purpose I have come forth.”
  70. Mark 1:39 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
  71. Mark 1:39 sn See the note on synagogue in 1:21.
  72. Mark 1:40 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
  73. Mark 1:40 sn The ancient term for leprosy covers a wider array of conditions than what is called leprosy today (Hansen’s disease). In the OT the Hebrew term generally referred to a number of exfoliative (scaly) skin diseases (when applied to humans). A person with one of these diseases was totally ostracized from society until he was declared cured (Lev 13:45-46). In the NT the Greek term also refers to a number of skin diseases, but there is some evidence that true leprosy (Hansen’s disease) could be referred to, since that disease began to be described by Greek physicians in Alexandria, Egypt around 300 B.C. and thus might have been present in Judea and Galilee just before the time of Jesus.
  74. Mark 1:40 tn This is a third class condition. The report portrays the leper making no presumptions about whether Jesus will heal him or not.
  75. Mark 1:41 tc The reading found in almost the entire NT ms tradition is σπλαγχνισθείς (splanchnistheis, “moved with compassion”). Codex Bezae (D) and a few Latin mss (a d ff2 r1*) here read ὀργισθείς (orgistheis, “moved with anger”). Just as important, the second-century Diatessaron by Tatian almost surely spoke of Jesus’ anger here. On the one hand, the external evidence is so overwhelming for σπλαγχνισθείς that only solid internal reasoning could overturn it. On the other hand, various creative arguments that have been offered for accidental changes in the early transmission of the text from σπλαγχνισθείς to ὀργισθείς generally reveal more about the ingenuity of the scholar than the authenticity of the text. Inner-Greek, inner-Latin, and inner-Syriac accidental changes have all been suggested, but they lack conviction. (See, e.g., Peter J. Williams, “An examination of Ehrman’s case for ὀργισθείς in Mark 1:41, ” NovT 53 [2011]: 1–12, who argues for an inner-Greek corruption; Metzger, TCGNT 65, suggests “It is possible that the reading ὀργισθείς either (a) was suggested by ἐμβριμησάμενος of ver. 43, or (b) arose from confusion between similar words in Aramaic (compare Syriac ethraḥm, “he had pity,” with ethra‘em, “he was enraged”).” It remains far more difficult to account for a change from “moved with compassion” to “moved with anger” than it is to envision a copyist softening “moved with anger” to “moved with compassion.” Against this, it has been asserted that it is difficult to explain why scribes would be prone to soften the text here but not in Mark 3:5 or 10:14 (where Jesus is also said to be angry or indignant). However, at France notes, this view “ignores the fact that in those passages, unlike here, there was obvious cause for anger” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark, NIGTC [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002], 115). In the parallels both Matthew and Luke have neither ὀργισθείς nor σπλαγχνισθείς here. The simplest explanation for this omission is that their copies of Mark read ὀργισθείς and the other evangelists simply deleted it. Nevertheless, a decision in this case is not easy. Perhaps the best defense of the “angry” reading is Bart D. Ehrman’s “A Leper in the Hands of an Angry Jesus,” in New Testament Greek and Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Gerald F. Hawthorne, ed. Amy M. Donaldson and Timothy B. Sailors (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 77–98. For discussion of the evidence and bibliography, see D. B. Wallace, “Textual Criticism and the Criterion of Embarrassment,” Jesus, Skepticism, and the Problem of History: Criteria and Context in the Study of Christian Origins, ed. Darrell L. Bock and J. Ed. Komoszewski (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, forthcoming), discussion on Mark 1:41.
  76. Mark 1:41 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  77. Mark 1:41 sn Touched. This touch would have rendered Jesus ceremonially unclean (Lev 5:3; see also m. Nega’im 3.1; 11.1; 12.1; 13.6-12).
  78. Mark 1:43 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  79. Mark 1:43 tn Grk “him”; the referent (the man who was healed) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  80. Mark 1:44 tn Grk “And after warning him, he immediately sent him away and told him.”
  81. Mark 1:44 sn The silence ordered by Jesus was probably meant to last only until the cleansing took place with the priests and sought to prevent Jesus’ healings from becoming the central focus of the people’s reaction to him. See also 1:34; 3:12; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26, 30; 9:9 for other cases where Jesus asks for silence concerning him and his ministry.
  82. Mark 1:44 sn On the phrase bring the offering that Moses commanded see Lev 14:1-32.
  83. Mark 1:44 tn Or “as an indictment against them”; or “as proof to the people.” This phrase could be taken as referring to a positive witness to the priests, a negative testimony against them, or as a testimony to the community that the man had indeed been cured. In any case, the testimony shows that Jesus is healing and ministering to those in need.
  84. Mark 1:45 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man who was healed) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  85. Mark 1:45 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  86. Mark 1:45 tn Grk “and”; καί (kai) often has a mildly contrastive force, as here.
  87. Mark 1:45 tn The imperfect verb has been translated iteratively.