Mark Chapter 11:26-33
This will conclude Chapter 11. It’s a fairly short piece, so it shouldn’t take too long. Please note that most editions of this chapter do not have a Verse 26.
26 Καὶ 27 ἔρχονται πάλιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι
And they came again to Jerusalem. And (while) he was walking about in the Temple the (=some) high priests came to him and so did the (=some) scribes and the (=some) elders.
(26) 27 Et veniunt rursus Hierosolymam. Et cum ambularet in templo, accedunt ad eum summi sacerdotes et scribae et seniores
28 καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ, Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς; ἢ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇς;
And they said to him, “In (=with/under) what authority do you do these things? Or who has given to you that authority in order to do what you do?”
28 et dicebant illi: “ In qua potestate haec facis? Vel quis tibi dedit hanc potestatem, ut ista facias?”.
29 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ἐπερωτήσω ὑμᾶς ἕνα λόγον, καὶ ἀποκρίθητέ μοι, καὶ ἐρῶ ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ:
And Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing, and if you answer me, I will say to you in what authority I do those things.”
OK, now it would seem very possible that the high priests and the others are asking Jesus about his ‘clearing’ the Temple on the previous day. However, this does not exactly sound like a confrontation that would lead to violence, such as Jesus being executed for it. This sounds like they are truly curious. Perhaps they’re peeved; no doubt they’re peeved and there is a certain level of snark in their question. But there are no accusations, no ‘how dare you, sir!”, or nothing like that. As such, it seems a bit hard to believe that Jesus had done anything serious on the previous day. Caused a ruckus, perhaps, but there’s no way it went much beyond that.
29 Iesus autem ait illis: “ Interrogabo vos unum verbum, et respondete mihi; et dicam vobis, in qua potestate haec faciam:
30 τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάννου ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἦν ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; ἀποκρίθητέ μοι.
“Was the Baptist John from heaven, or from men? Answer me that.”
30 Baptismum Ioannis de caelo erat an ex hominibus? Respondete mihi ”.
31 καὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες, Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν, Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ, Διὰ τί [οὖν] οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ;
And they, having discussed amongst themselves, said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ you will say, ‘Through what (reason; =why) did you not believe him?’.”
31 At illi cogitabant secum dicentes: “ Si dixerimus: “De caelo”, dicet: “Quare ergo non credidistis ei?”;
32 ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν, Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον, ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάννην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν.
“But if we say, ‘From men’?” They feared the crowd, for all held (lit = ‘held’) John being that he was a prophet.
This is one of the most awkward sentences in Mark. Seems like there should be something between the two clauses. But, aside from this, once again we have Mark emphasizing the link between Jesus and the Baptist. I have to conclude that this connection was a net-plus for the fledgling Christian movement.
32 si autem dixerimus: “Ex hominibus?” ”. Timebant populum: omnes enim habebant Ioannem quia vere propheta esset.
33 καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ λέγουσιν, Οὐκ οἴδαμεν. καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς, Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ.
And they answered Jesus saying, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Nor will I tell you in/by what authority I do those things I do.”
33 Et respondentes dicunt Iesu: “ Nescimus ”. Et Iesus ait illis: “ Neque ego dico vobis in qua potestate haec faciam”.
Argued like a true attorney. But once again, I don’t get the sense that Jesus offence on the previous day had been anything particularly egregious. The other possibility is that Mark is more or less lying to us; that Jesus was executed for his actions in the Temple, but Mark went to great pains to fabricate an alternative story.
However, we’ll discuss that further as we go along.
Posted on June 12, 2013, in gospel commentary, gospels, mark's gospel and tagged Bible, Bible commentary, Bible scholarship, biblical scholarship, commenting, Galatians, gospel commentary, gospels, Historical Jesus, mark's gospel, New Testament, New Testament Greek Translation, NT Greek, NT Translation, religion, St Mark, theology, Translate Greek NT. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.