I must admit, I am a beginner (and for various reasons, not really that good) at translation – too technical for me, so, feel free to destroy it as you see fit. But, before you do, let me give you the reasons why this particular translation sounds odd. We know that the Gospel of Mark is unique among the Gospels for several reasons, and one of them being the use of the historical present tense of the verbs. While the historical present tense is often used as a literary device to reinforce the idea of urgency, to make past events more vivid, I hope that it served another purpose of the writer of this gospel. I note that while Matthew uses it 20 times and Luke uses it once, Mark uses it 151 times (Witherington, The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, pg 19 n62). Is this a personal writing style?
The Bishop Papias, a contemporary of Ignatius and Polycarp, whom Tradition reports as the scribe to the Apostle John awhile he wrote his Gospel, tells us that Mark wrote as Peter preached. Perhaps, then, the historical present tense as used by Mark is more than an antique literary device. Just perhaps, for the Apostle Peter, as he preached, the stories continued to happen presently, so that Christ never departed from him. Maybe Peter preached the stories as if they were really happening. And this hopeful theory is the basis of this translation. I tried to translate it as Papias said it was – a dictation of preaching.
This translation was done a few years ago, sitting in Indiana, following the TR MSS. I am posting it for feedback (kind, gentle, loving feedback).
The beginning of the good news concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God:
(As it stands written in the prophets: “Behold! I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you, He is the voice crying in the wilderness: Make ready the way of the LORD; turn his paths straight!”)
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And to him all people of Judea, and those who lived in Jerusalem, kept going out, being baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins. Now, John, who clothed himself with camel hairs and a leather belt around his waist, eating locusts and the honey of the field, began preaching:
“He who is greater than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to bend down and loose, is coming after me.
“I indeed baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the holy Spirit!”
And it was happening in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth (of Galilee), and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately, coming up from the water, Jesus sees the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit, as a dove, descending upon himself. And there came a voice from within the heavens, saying: “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Then immediately the spirit drives him out into the wilderness. As he remains there, in the wilderness for forty days, Satan tries to tempt him to evil. He is there with the wild beasts, being constantly ministered to by the angels.
Now, after John had been arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news of the kingdom of God, saying, “The appointed time is complete and the kingdom of God draws near; repent and believe this good news!”
Now, walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, casting a net into the sea, for they are fishermen. Jesus said to them: “Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” Then immediately, forsaking their nets, they follow him.
Having gone on from there a little, he saw James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee, repairing their nets. Immediately he calls them and they leave their father in the ship — with the hired workers — going after him, going into Capernaum.
And immediately, on the Sabbath, having gone into the synagogue, he is teaching. They are overwhelmed with astonishment at his teaching, for he is teaching them as one who possesses authority, unlike one of the scribes.
And in their synagogue there is a man under the power of an unclean spirit. The spirit cries out, saying: “Leave us alone! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you come to destroy us? I know you, who you are! You are the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebukes him saying: “Silence! Come out of him!” Then the unclean spirit, throwing him into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, comes out of him.
And they were all so shocked that they debated among themselves saying:
“What is this?”
“What new doctrine is this?”
“With what authority does he commend even the unclean spirits and they obey him?”
(And immediately a report of him spreads abroad throughout all the whole region of Galilee.)
Then immediately, coming out of the synagogue, they go into Simon and Andrew’s house, with James and John. Now, Simon’s mother-in-law was lying on her back being sick with a fever. Immediately, they tell him of her. He comes near, taking her hand and raising her up and immediately the spirit leaves her! She then waits on them.
At evening, when the sun had set, they began bringing to him all of those diseased, possessed, of demons. The whole city is gathered together near the door, And he heals many that are sick with different diseases, casting out many demons, but not allowing them to speak, because they know him. And very early, deep into the night, having risen up, he goes out and departs to a solitary place, and there he prays.
Then Simon, and those with him, search eagerly for him, And finding him, they say: “Everyone searches for you.” There he says to them: “Let us go into the neighboring towns that I may preach there also, as I have come forth for this reason.”
He comes and is preaching in their synagogues, in all of Galilee, and he is casting out demons. Then there comes to him a leper, calling on him and falling on his knees, saying: “If you want, you are able to make me clean.”
Jesus, being moved inwardly with compassion, stretches out his hand, takes hold of him, saying: “I am willing — be clean!” As soon as he speaks, the leprosy immediately departs him – he is clean! Then he sternly warns the man, immediately sending him away. He says to the man: “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go your way and show yourself to the priest, bringing an offering for your cleansing the things which Moses directed, as a testimony to them.” But he, as he goes out, begins proclaiming it greatly, and spreading the news around, so that Jesus was no more able to enter the city openly, but was in the deserted places, and they kept coming to him from all directions.