"Through the identification with Bartimaeus and subsequent minor characters, the reader is encouraged to move beyond faith in Jesus and his power toward a more faithful acceptance of the demands and values of Jesus." - Joel F. Williams1 MARK 10:46-522 46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples... Continue Reading →

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"All translations of great works are of course no more than approximations of the original, in some places happy ones, in some necessarily imperfect. But respecting the sheer physicality of the Bible’s language together with a stylistic decorum appropriate to the Hebrew diction can help readers sense something of the world quite different from ours... Continue Reading →

Marie Noonan Sabin, The Gospel According to Mark, New Collegeville Bible Commentary (Liturgical Press, 2006), 32. In chapter 2, Mark dramatizes the way that Jesus, like Wisdom, restores human beings to wholeness, both physical and spiritual. In the opening incident, he shows Jesus equating forgiveness with healing. He next shows Jesus, again like Wisdom, seeking out... Continue Reading →

"Mark, wanting to make a theological point, locates the event in a place whose name is associated with casting out demons – the language, as Marcus points out, does kinda support this. This strengthens the exorcism theme of the pericope– seems legit. A few years later, Matthew, using Mark as a source for his own gospel, either misses Mark’s theological point or... Continue Reading →

"One would certainly not expect any literary reference to Christians or Christianity or Jesus himself in Roman authors of the first century.  Christianity was simply a tiny (TINY) religious movement that no one had heard of.  Most Romans would not even have heard the name Christian until probably the middle or end of the second... Continue Reading →

John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark, Sacra Pagina, vol. 2 (The Liturgical Press, 2002), 193. If Mark reacts in any way to the Cynic tradition it is rather to distinguish Jesus and his disciples from that tradition and implicitly to reject it as a lifestyle for Christian missionaries. Jesus' disciples are... Continue Reading →

"Israel did not ‘believe’ in dragons anymore than their neighbors did. When Israel says God defeated the dragon, they use this myth in two ways. Most of the time, as in Psalm 74; Isaiah 27:1, where the dragon is named Leviathan just as in the Canaanite myth; and Isaiah 51:9, they are saying, ‘Whatever you... Continue Reading →

John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark, Sacra Pagina vol. 2 (The Liturgical Press, 2002), 160-161. Especially significant [to Mark 4:35-41] is Ps 107:23-32 (LXX 106:23-32), which Mark's narrative virtually paraphrases. According to that psalm people "went down to the sea in ships" and "saw the deeds of the Lord" (v. 23).... Continue Reading →

"The stories of the ancestors of the Israelites do not come from any one period but developed over time. It is best to see the ancestors as composite characters." - John McDermott Bart Ehrman asks and answers the question "Why does it matter if Mark's Gospel was written first?" What it boils down to is... Continue Reading →

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