Mark 1:40-45, AEV

For previous posts in this series, please see the series’ index.

In this pericope which is part of a series of healing and exorcism narratives (i.e. 1:21-28, 1:29-34, 2:1-12) Jesus is met by a leper who begs him to heal him of his skin disease. Jesus, risking becoming unclean himself, touches the leper and suddenly the skin disease leaves the man. He then charges him to not say anything to anyone but to go to the priest to make an offering. Yet the man disobeys Jesus’ command and begins to tell everyone what has happeneding, forcing Jesus to remain in remote areas (i.e. “deserted places”; cf. 1:35).

MARK 1:40-45

40 There camea to him a leperb begging him [and kneeling]c and saying, “If you will it, you are able to make me clean.”  41 Moved with compassiond and having stretched out his hand, he touched him and said to him, “I will it. You are clean.” 42 And suddenly the leprosy left him and he was clean. 43 Strictly warning him,e he immediately sent him awayf 44 and said to him, “Be sureg to not say anything to anyone, but go show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing that which Moses commanded as evidence to them.”h 45 But having gone out he began to proclaim freely and spread the word, so that Jesusi was unable to go into a city, but remained in deserted places. And there came to him people from all over.


a Greek, erchetai. The use of the present tense here is similar to how in English we use indentation to indicate a new paragraph.

 b Greek, lepros. The term used in the New Testament does not necessarily refer to leprosy as we understand it but rather is a generic term for one who had a skin disease, particularly one that would have made them ceremonially unclean and therefore unable to enter the temple (see Leviticus 13-14).

c Greek, kai gonypetōn. Both NA28 and UBS5 place kai gonypetōn in brackets to indicate that it appears in some ancient manuscripts like Codices א (Sinaiticus), L (Regius), and Θ (Koridethi) but does not appear in others including Codices B (Vaticanus), D (Bezae), and W (Washingtonianus). For more, see Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition (UBS, 1994), 65.

d Greek, splanchnistheis. This is the reading of Codices א, A (Alexandrinus), B, and others. However, Codex D reads orgistheis, “he became angered.” This is a possible reading and one favored by some scholars including Bart Ehrman. See his essay “A Leper in the Hands of an Angry Jesus” in Amy M. Donaldson and Timothy B. Sailors (editors), New Testament Greek and Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Gerald F. Hawthorne (Eerdmans, 2003), 77-98. See also Robert Guelich, Mark 1-8:26, WBC vol. 34a (Thomas Nelson, 1989), 41.

e Greek, embrimēsamenos. This emotionally charged participle is omitted by both Matthew (Matthew 8:4) and Luke (Luke 5:14).

f Greek, exebalen. This is the same verb used throughout Mark to describe exorcism of those who had been possessed by demons. Here the sense is not as harsh as in those other places.

g Greek, hora. Literally “See that” or “See to it that.”

h Greek, eis martyrion autois. Robert Guelich renders the phrase “as evidence against them,” noting that “the normal function of [martyrion] with the dative [i.e. autois] to connote incriminating evidence against a defendant…strongly supports that rendering here” (Guelich, 77). But against whom? In context, Jesus has told to the healed man to go to “the priest” and not “the priests.” Perhaps it is a reference to the context of the Markan community in which there were charges that Jesus ignored entirely the Mosaic law. Or perhaps it is a reference to the community of which the leper was a part so that his offering for his cleansing is a witness against those who had treated him as an outsider. The text just isn’t clear enough to offer a definitive answer. My translation is intended to convey that the offering for his cleansing was proof that he was indeed clean, not as evidence against his opponents.

i Literally, “he.”

Mark 1:35-39, AEV

This pericope serves as a transition from Jesus’ work in the city of Capernaum (Mark 1:21-34) to the broader region of Galilee and its towns. It is there he continues his preaching and exorcism ministry. Coming on the heels of 1:29-34 where the throngs came to him for healing and to have their demons cast out, Jesus seeks solitude in a “deserted place” (1:35) where he prays. The disciples, led by Simon, search for him to inform him that “[e]veryone is looking” for him. This prompts Jesus to suggest a preaching tour in the surrounding towns.

35 Having risen early in the morning while it was dark,a he went out and came to a deserted placeb and there he prayed. 36 Simon and those with him searched diligently for him 37 and found him and said to him, “Everyonec is lookingd for you!” 38 He said to them, “Let us go elsewhere – into the towns nearby – so that even there I may preach, for this is why I came.” 39 And he went preaching in the synagogues of all of Galilee and casting out demons.e




a Greek, prōi ennycha lian anastas. The awkwardness of this phrasing has been long noted and is smoothed out by the Lukan author (Luke 4:42) who chose to employ a genitive absolute: Genomenēs…hēmeras, “When day came” (NRSV, “At daybreak”). Translated literally, the Markan phrase would be something “having risen early at night very.”

b Greek, erēmon topon. The idea is that Jesus wanted to get away from everyone. This could be translated alternatively as “a remote place.”

c Greek, pantes. Markan exaggeration like what we find in 1:5. This is for dramatic effect, i.e. Jesus is so popular that when he goes missing everyone tries to find him.

d Greek, zētousin. In the Markan Gospel, the verb zēteō always carries negative connotations (i.e. 3:32, 8:11, 8:12, 11:18, 12:12, 14:1, 14:11, 14:55, 16:6).

e Jesus’ activity in Galilee is described using two present tense participles: kēryssōn (“preaching”) and ekballōn (“casting out”). In this verse, following the aorist verb ēlthen (“he went”) the construction begins with kēryssōn and ends with ekballōn, exhibiting some degree of symmetry. That is, it begins and ends with a present participle.

Mark 1:29-34, AEV

Below is my translation of Mark 1:29-34, a pericope wherein Jesus has left the synagogue (cf. 1:21-28) and heads to the home of Simon and Andrew. Like the previous pericope, this story emphasizes 1) Jesus’ miraculous abilities and 2) his popularity with the people. Of interest is 1:34 where we are told that Jesus “did not permit the demons to speak because they knew him.” This is clearly intended to parallel 1:24 where the man possessed by the unclean spirit tells Jesus, “We know who you are, the holy one of God!” There Jesus responds by telling the man, “Shut up and come out of him!” (1:25) Here it appears Jesus has learned his lesson and commands the demons to shut up ahead of time.

29 Immediately, having left the synagogue, they went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was lying down sick with fever, and so they were speaking to Jesusa concerning her. 31 Going to her he raisedb her, having taken her by the hand. The fever left her and she served them. 32 When evening came, at the setting of the sun,c they brought to him the sick and the demon-possessed; 33 and the entire city had gathered at the door. 34 He healed many sick – those who had various diseases – and he cast out many demons, and did not permit the demons to speak because they knewd him.


a Literally, “him.”

b Greek, ēgeiren. 

c The Markan wording here is redundant, a feature common to Mark (see 1:35, 2:20, 4:35, 14:30, 15:42, and 16:2). The genitive absolute found at the beginning of the verse (Opsias…genomenēs; “When evening came”) implies that sunset has come. Therefore Matthew (8:16) drops the clause I have translated as “at the setting of the sun” and retains only the genitive absolute. This is a classic example of Matthean redaction of Mark whereby he seeks to smooth out Mark’s repetitiveness.

d Greek, ēdeisan. This is a very rare instance of a verb in the pluperfect tense. The pluperfect in the indicative mood appears in narrative material to supplement narrative elements. For more, see Constantine R. Campbell, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Zondervan, 2008), 105-106.








Mark 1:21-28, AEV

Below is my translation of Mark 1:21-28, a pericope wherein Jesus enters a synagogue in the city of Capernaum and ends up casting out an unclean spirit. This story in some ways sets the tone for the rest of the Gospel because it emphasizes two aspects of Jesus’ messianic ministry: teaching and miracles. As the story begins, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue on the sabbath which causes those hearing him to become “amazed” since he taught “as one having authority and not as the scribes” (1:22). But his teaching is interrupted by a man with an unclean spirit who confronts Jesus and recognizes him for who he truly is: the holy one of God (1:24). Jesus then casts out the unclean spirit telling him to “shut up” (1:25).

This episode ends with a reiteration of how absolutely astounding Jesus’ teaching and authority are – “he commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him!” (1:27) Consequently, Jesus’ fame begins to spread throughout Galilee.

MARK 1:21-28, AEV

21 They came to Capernaum; and then on the sabbath, having entered the synagogue, he was teaching.a 22 And they were amazed at his teaching, for he was teaching themb as one having authority and not as the scribes. 23 Then suddenlyc there was in their  synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out 24 saying, “What do we have in common, Jesus of Nazareth?d Have you come to destroy us? We know who you are, the holy one of God!” 25 Then Jesus rebukede him saying, “Shut upf and come out of him!” 26 Then the unclean spirit, having convulsed him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they all were astounded such that they discussed among themselves saying, “What is this? New teaching with authority: he commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him!” 28 Then the news about him immediately spread out everywhere into all the surrounding region of Galilee.


a The verb edidasken is sometimes translated as “he began teaching” or “he began to teach” (NIV, NLT, NASB, etc.). But there is no reason to consider the imperfect form here as an inceptive imperfect. As Rodney Decker points out (Mark 1-8: A Handbook on the Greek Text [Baylor University, Press, 2014] 24-25), Mark normally uses the verb archomai when he intends to communicate that something “began” to happen (see 1:45, 4:1, 5:17, etc). Thus translations like the NRSV, ESV, and others translate edidasken as “[he] taught” or “[he] was teaching.”

b “[F]or he was teaching them” is ēn gar didaskōn autous and is an example of the Markan use of periphrastic constructions. Simply stated, periphrasis occurs when an author combines an anathrous participle (i.e. a participle lacking the definite article) and a verb of being like eimi (“I am/I exist”) to express an idea. Mark uses periphrasis over two dozen times, about eight times more than the Gospel of Matthew.

c The word I have translated as “suddenly” is the frequently appearing euthus. Here the sense is that the appearance of this man with an unclean spirit has abruptly shifted the focus away from Jesus’ teaching and onto the demon-possessed man.

d “What do we have in common…?” is ti hēmin kai soi, quite literally, “What to us and to you?” R.T. France notes that the force of the expression is to say, “Go away and leave me alone” (The Gospel of Mark, NIGTC [Eerdmans, 2002], 103). A similar formulation is found in the LXX of 2 Samuel 16:10 where David says to Abishai, “What do we have in common [ti emoi kai humin], sons of Zeruiah?”

e “[R]ebuked” is epetimēsen. At its core, the root verb epitimaó means “to rebuke” or “to warn.” Robert Guelich translates epetimēsen not as “rebuked” but as “subdued.” Drawing from the work of H.C. Kee, he notes that epitimaó is related to the Hebrew verb ga’ar which conveys the sense of a command intended to bring another into submission. For more see Guelich, Mark 1 – 8:26, WBC [Thomas Nelson, 1989], 57-58.

f “Shut up” is phimōthēti, an imperatival form of phimoó. The substantive phimos is the term used for a muzzle (though phimos does not appear in the New Testament).


Musings on Mark: Index to My Translation of Mark (AEV)

The two of you who regularly read my blog are aware that I’ve been slowly producing my own translation of the Gospel of Mark that I’ve humbly dubbed the Amateur Exegete VersionFor your benefit (and my own), I am compiling what I’ve translated into an index for easy reference and will add to it as I translate more passages. This is a long-term project so don’t expect to see the entire Gospel of Mark completely translated for quite a while. Eventually I will turn my entire translation with notes into a PDF for download. I also hope to produce a commentary of sorts on the Gospel that will be available to the public. All in due time, I suppose.

Mark 1:1-8.

Mark 1:9-11.

Mark 1:12-13.

Mark 1:14-15.

Mark 1:16-20.

Mark 1:21-28.

Mark 1:29-34.

Mark 1:35-39.

Mark 1:40-45.

Mark 1:16-20, AEV

Below is my translation of Mark 1:16-20 which follows the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee (1:14-15). Here we see Jesus call his first disciples, including the inner three of Simon Peter, James, and John.

MARK 1:16-20, AEV

16And walking alonga the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting nets in the Sea, for they were fishers. 17And Jesus said to them, “Come follow me,b and I will make you to become fishers of people.” 18Then immediately, leaving the nets, they followed him. 19Then after going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, and they were in the boat mending nets. 20And right away he called to them. Then they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers and went after him.


The Greek text has paragōn para, a rather redundant expression since paragōn is a compound word from the preposition para (“along side”) and the verb agó (“to lead/to go”). The Matthean author avoids this redundancy by changing paragōn para to  peripatōn…para (Matthew 4:18). Some mss of Mark also change the reading to fall in line with the text of Matthew.

b The Markan text reads, Deute opisō mou – literally, “Come after me.” When opisō is followed by the genitive then the sense is “to follow” and so my translation of “Come follow me.” This happens again in 1:20 where we read that James and John leave their father and “went after him [apēlthon opisō autou].”

Mark 1:14-15, AEV

Below is my translation of Mark 1:14-15 which describes the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee following his baptism (1:9-11) and testing in the wilderness (1:12-13).

MARK 1:14-15, AEV

14 Following the arrest of John, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of God 15 saying, “The time has been fulfilleda and the reign of Godb has come near: repent and believe in the gospel.”


a The verb I have translated as “has been fulfilled” is peplērōtai, a perfect tense verb in the passive voice. The root verb, pléroó, is only used three times in Mark: 1:15, 14:49, and 15:28. However, that final instance in 15:28 is a later addition to the text of Mark.

b I have chosen to translate  basileia tou theou as “the reign of God” as opposed to “the kingdom of God” (NRSV). Here I have followed the work of Mary Ann Beavis who writes in her commentary,

The phrase translated here as the reign of God (hēbasileia tou theou) – often translated as “kingdom of God” – announces one of the main themes of the Gospel (4:11, 26, 30; 9:1, 47; 10:14, 15, 23, 24; 12:34; 14:25; 15:43). In English, reign captures the meaning of basileia better than “kingdom….” (Beavis, Mark, Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament [Baker Academic, 2011], 43)

Beavis herself quotes from John Donahue and Daniel Harrington’s commentary on Mark. They write,

Translation is a problem here, and not simply because of the androcentric overtones of “king.” The word “kingdom” is static and evokes a place where a king (or queen) rules. Greek basileia is more active and dynamic, with the nuance of “reigning” of God as well as a setting for that reign. (Donahue and Harrington, The Gospel of Mark, Sacra Pagina [The Liturgical Press, 2002], 71.)