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.








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.