Lectionary Year B
March 5, 2000
Mark 9:2-9

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation


(CU) The NIV, RSV, and NRSV comparison showed few differences except in v. 5 where it uses the different words "tent," "dwelling," and "shelter." The NKJV uses "tabernacles."

(GG) Question in v. 5 is inappropriately placed....why did he say it here? Should he have said it at the end?

(JD) v. 5 gives different names for Jesus in the different translations (Rabbi, Lord, Master). The original Greek says "Rabbi."

(CU) the Greek "metamorphosed" seems to have deeper meaning than "transfigured" and have more descriptive power.

(DR) the Greek word "bearing" in v. 2 is interesting. Perhaps it is like Jesus emotionally encouraging the others to climb the mountain.

(JD) interesting that Jesus is called "Beloved One" and in Isaac is called "beloved" in Genesis story. They both become sacrifices to God


In verse 6, the word "apokrithe" is replaced in some ancient manuscripts. Four variants are given. While none of these variants has enough Alexandrian support to make a strong claim to originality, their presence might indicate that some scribes struggled with the idea that Peter was in some sense answering/responding.

Verse 8 has a variant with significant Alexandrian support. In this variant "ei me" substitutes for "alla". It is unclear that deciding between these two is necessary, as the meaning of the phrase remains essentially the same (although it could be argued that the variant reading is slightly clearer).


(JR) (2) And after six days Jesus takes with him Peter and James and John and brings them up on a high mountain with them only. And he was transfigured in front of them, (3) and his garments became radiant, exceedingly white, such as a bleacher on the earth is not able to whiten. (4) And it appeared to them Elijah with Moses and they were talking with Jesus. (5) And after answering, Peter says to Jesus: "Teacher, it is good that we are here, and let us make three tents, for you one and Moses one and Elijah one. (6) For he did not know what he answered, for fearful they became. (7) And it happened a cloud overshadowing them, and it happened a voice out of the clouds: "This is my beloved Son, hear him." (8) And suddenly they after looking around themselves no longer nothing they saw but Jesus only with themselves. (9) And while they descended from the mountain he ordered them that no one what they saw they should tell, except whenever the Son of Man out of dead should rise. (10) And the word they kept to themselves, questioning what this out of dead to rise thing is.

Notes: I have expanded the lectionary text to include verse 10. Verse 8 concludes a story (resurrection?) narrative that describes an encounter with the divine. Verses 9 and 10 form a controversy dialogue (about resurrection) that functions as a commentary on verses 2 through 8.

(v. 2) "And after six days Jesus is taking along Peter and James and John and is bearing them up into (a) high mountain by themselves alone. And he was metamorphosed before them, (v. 3) and his garment became shining very white, with respect to what sort a fuller on earth is not able thus to whiten. (v. 4) And Elijah with Moses appeared to them and they were speaking together with Jesus. (v. 5) And having replied Peter says to Jesus: 'Rabbi, a good thing it is with respect to us to be here, and let us make three tents, one to you and one to Moses and one to Elijah!' (v. 6) For he did not know what (why?) he might respond, for they became terrified ones. (v. 7) and a cloud became overshadowing them, and a voice became out of the cloud: 'This is my Son, the beloved One, hear him!' (v. 8) And suddenly having looked around no longer no one they saw but Jesus only with themselves. (v.9) And while they are coming down [gen. abs.] from the mountain he ordered them in order that to no one they might recount what things they saw, except when the Son of man should arise from the dead ones."

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