A New Translation: Mark 3

As a reminder, I have attempted to use the present tense, when applicable, throughout the translation, feeling that it falls in line with Tradition which states that Mark copied Peter’s preaching.

Then he enters, again, into the synagogue, and a man is there with a withered hand. And they are watching him closely, to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath — that they might accuse him. He says to the man (the one with the withered hand), “Get up and stand in the middle!” Then he says to them, “Is it lawful, on the Sabbath, to do good or to do evil — to save a life or to kill?” But they were silent.

Looking around upon them with anger, he is deeply grieved at their stubbornness. He says to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” The man stretches out his hand and it is made healthy, just like the other one. The Pharisees, leaving the place, immediately begin to create a plot — along with the Herodians — against him in order that they might destroy him.

Jesus, with his disciples, withdraws to the sea and a large multitude from Galilee and from Judea follow him. They from Jerusalem, they from Idumea, they from beyond the Jordan, and the ones from around Tyre and Sidon — a great multitude having heard what great things he was doing, come to him. He tells his disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for him so that the crowd would not crush him. For he had already healed so many that those who were sick kept pushing their way to him, just to touch him.

Every time the unclean spirits would see him, they would fall down before him, crying out, “You are the Son of God!” Many times, he would earnestly warn them that they should not make him known.

He goes up into the mountain and summons who he willed and they away with him. There he purposed twelve, that they may be with him, and that he may send them out to preach, having authority to heal illnesses and to cast out demons.

(He added to Simon the name of Peter, And to James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee, he puts on them the name of Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder, And Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son Alpheus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, And Judas Iscariot, who also delivered him up.)

And they go into a house. Then a crowd gathers again — so much so that they are not even able to eat bread!  And when his family hear of this, they go about trying to take charge of him, for they kept saying that he was out of his mind.

And the scribes from Jerusalem, having come down, say, “He is possessed with Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out demons!”

He calls them near, and in parables, says to them, “How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom is divided against itself, than that kingdom will not be able to stand; and if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rose up against himself, and is divided, he is unable to stand and is finished. No one, having entered into Satan’s house is able to plunder the property of the strong man, unless he first binds the strong man — then he shall plunder the house. Truly I saw unto you — that all sins will be forgiven to the sons of men and also evil speaking, as many as they have, But he that shall blaspheme against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is in the grasp of eternal punishment!” (Because they kept saying, “he is in the power of an unclean spirit”)

Then his mother and his brothers come, and standing outside, they send word to him, calling for him. The crowd sitting around him say, “Listen! Your mother and brothers are outside seeking you!”

He answers them, saying: Who is my mother or my bothers? Having looked around upon the ones sitting about him, he says, “Behold, my mother and my brothers!” For whosoever does the will of God is my mother, my brother, and my sister!”

Post By Joel Watts (10,115 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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5 thoughts on “A New Translation: Mark 3

  1. Well done!

    While I haven’t independently checked any of this, I am familiar enough with Mark’s writing style to see that you have been consistent with his tone and delivery. While I understand the value and attraction of polished English translations, this tends to gloss over the human distinctiveness of the original authors. I think it’s more instructive of the texts themselves if we quit trying to make them look and sound so perfect and present the text in its rawest readable form. So thanks for this effort!

    • Thanks, Steve, that means a great deal! When studying Mark, I found a wonderful distinctive quality missing in translations, and according to Tradition, Mark wrote and Peter preached. In my mind, at least, Christ was always with Peter, always in the Present. So why not show it a bit?

  2. Hi Joel, that’s a very impressive piece of work. Compliments. How would you feel about translating the “o estes” of Mark 3:17 with “that is to say” in stead of “which means”? Boanerges is very difficult to translate into Sons of Thunder. It seems to be a paraphrase.
    Greets,
    -Arie

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