Lectionary Year B
March 12, 2000
Mark 1:9-15

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation


In verse 9, the introductory adverbial clause differs in the New American Bible, the New Living Translation of 1996 and Today's English Version of 1992. The NAB reads, "It happened in those days". The NLT, "One day". TEV, "Not long afterward". The NAB says, "Nazareth of Galilee". The NLT, "Nazareth in Galilee". TEV, Nazareth in the province of Galilee". NLT alone adds "River" to "the Jordan".

Verse 10 begins, "On coming up" in the NAB, "And when Jesus came up" in the NLT and "As soon as Jesus came up" in TEV. NAB & NLT pluralize "the heavens". NAB has the heavens "being torn open", NLT, "split open" and TEV, "opening". Only the NLT calls "the Spirit" "Holy". NAB & NLT have the ("Holy") Spirit "descending" while TEV has it simply "coming down".

Verse 11 begins with a "voice coming from (the) heaven(s)", "saying", according to NLT alone. NAB & NLT both read, "my beloved son", while TEV reads, "my own dear son". Then, NAB has, "I am well pleased with you", where NLT has, "I am fully pleased with you" and TEV has, "I am pleased with you".

In verse 12 NAB & TEV both read, "At once", while NLT reads, "Immediately". Next, the NAB says, "the Spirit drove him out into the desert", where the NLT says, "the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness" and TEV says, "the Spirit made him go into the desert".

Verse 13 begins in the NAB, "and he remained in the desert for forty days," in the NLT, "He was there for forty days" and TEV, "where he stayed forty days". Then, NAB reports, "He was among wild beasts," NLT reports, "He was out among the wild animals," and TEV reports, "Wild animals were there also". This verse (13) ends, "and the angels ministered to him" according to the NAB, "and angels took care of him" according to the NLT and "but angels came and helped him" according to TEV.

Verse 14 begins, in the NAB, "After John had been arrested," in the NLT, "Later on, after John was arrested by Herod Antipas," & in TEV,"After John had been put in prison". Thereafter, we read, in the NAB, "Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:" in the NLT, "Jesus went to Galilee to preach God's Good News." And in the TEV, "Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God."

In the final verse (15), NAB translates, "'This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel'." NLT translates the last verse, "'At last the time has come!' he announced. 'The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News'." TEV concludes, "'The right time has come,' he said, 'and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!'

v9 "And it came to pass" variously rendered
v10 "And immediately", seems to give a note of urgency to Mark narrative
v10 "heavens split open" vis "torn open" - nuance?
v10 "descending into him" seems to relate to motion, i.e. goes into a space.
v11 "Pleased" seems to note positive present; "was pleased" gives sense of past tense, or causitive function.


In verse 9, some few witnesses would read only "egeneto" without the article, while others would replace the "kai" with a "de". Still others suggest different spellings of the name of Nazareth. The greater majority goes with the text as received.

In verse 10, some of the tradition adds "kai menon" between "katabainon" and "eis auton" at the end of the verse, as does John 1:33. Does the text signify that the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, does so exclusively on Jesus and/or that He alone sees it? The pronoun definitely singles out one object for the descending, does it not? If so, the alteration seems unnecessary. Thereafter, some parts of the tradition replace "eis auton" with "ep". Equally, editors stay with the Textus Receptus.

Part of the tradition would replace verse 11's, "egeneto ek ton ouranon" with a verb, "ekousthe". Metzger, TCGNT, says this reading "is clearly a scribal improvement of either of the other 2 readings" (Mt. 3:17 or the received text). Many more keep the text as received.

Then in verse 13, many reliable revisers prefer to use the word "ekei" to replace "en te eremo". Longer usually more nearly like the original. A few other reliable editors agree.

Verse 14 begins, "Meta de". Some few redactors would alter it to read, "kai meta". More retain the received version. Near the end of that verse (14), some want to add "tes Basileias", between "euaggelion" and "tou theou". I might recommend the addition, but is it characteristic of Mark? Metzger (TCGNT) agrees, calling it, "obviously made by copyists in order to bring the unusual Markan phrase into conformity with the much more frequently used expression "the Kingdom of God" cf. Ver. 15)."

In that final verse (15), many witnesses would alter the first two words, "kai legon". Many more retain the Textus Receptus. Then, too, one uncial, D and it suggests pluralizing the next words, "peplerontai hoi kairoi". Possibly.


9 And it was in those days (that) came Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee and was in the Jordan by John. 10 And immediately coming up from the water He saw dividing the heavens and the Spirit like a dove descending on Him. 11 And a voice came from the heavens, "You are the Son of Mine, the beloved, in You I take great pleasure." 12 And immediately the Spirit Him was driving into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by the Adversary, and He was with the animals, and the angels took care of Him. 14 Afterwards, (when) was imprisoned John, went Jesus into Galilee preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God 15 and saying that is fulfilled the time and approaches the Kingdom of God; repent and believe in the Good News. (??)
(v. 9) "And it came about in those days Jesus went from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized into the Jordan by John. (v. 10) And immediately while going up out of the water he saw being split open the heavens and the Spirit as a dove descending into him. (v. 11) And a voice became out of the heavens: "You are my Son, the beloved One, in you I was pleased." (v. 12) And immediately the s(S)pirit is casting him out into the desert. (v. 13)And he was in the desert for (acc. of extent of time) forty days being tested by satan, and he (?) was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to him. (v. 14) And after the John to be handed over Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of God (v. 15) and saying that the critical hour has been filled and the kingdom of God has come near; you all repent and you all believe (in the context of) the gospel!"
Translation observations and questions

v12 "And immediately" "euthus" - urgency?
v13 "desert" ("eremos") - basically an arid, uninhabited place. beasts ("therioi") would indicate not a friendly place.
v13 angels ministered ("diakoneo") i.e. "were deacons" to Jesus.
v14 gospel ("euangellion") eu "good" + angellos "announcement"
(JA) This "euangellion" is linked to v14 and kingdom talk
(JA) Resists an easy translation into "belief of Gospel." (Note v. 14: "repent and believe" - present imperative (present progressive?) - literally: "be repenting," "be believing."
(JA) Contrasts with Bultmann's statement: "Go and become who you are."
(JA) This language triggers all kinds of "wondering."

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