13 Comments


  1. Very helpful. I liked how you formatted this. I just finished working on Mark 1 myself.

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  2. ElShaddai Edwards

    Thank you, Joel, for posting this – I really wish we had more translations that let the unique voices of the authors come through instead of flattening them into a generic literary form. I’ve seen a few other efforts that take your approach – though the names of the translators escape me right now – and they really add a new dimension to the gospels. It’s easier to see Matthew and Luke taking Mark’s “sermon notes” and recasting them into thematic literary documents (if you’re of that text source persuasion).

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  3. Joel,

    You may have noticed that I did a series on a part of this chapter recently. My translation and yours are not that far off. However, in at least one instance you take a past tense in the Greek and render it as a present tense. In another instance, you seem to assimilate the diction of Mark to that of Matthew. I could go on nitpicking like this, but really, I just want to agree with ElShaddai, with whom I have been in agreement for quite some time.

    On another matter, you might want to clarify at some point what your stance is towards thinking about the New Testament, its composition, sources, content, and so on, in historical terms. I thought I read a comment from you recently implying that you were against it. I guess I haven’t read enough of your blog to know whether you are, as it were, a student of Ned Stone and Peter Enns or a mere apologist. Yes, I stacked the deck by asking the question like that.

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  4. Joel,
    I am not going to enter on the blog, any “nitpicking” lol or feedback. The Greek Text is itself the way God has chosen to speak His Word here in St. Mark and the NT. As we have spoken before, I follow the literal approach, “cognitive equivalence”, love that term.

    I was taught the “Q” stuff myself. It seems plausible and credible, but we just don’t really know the sources? But one thing is sure, i.e. the Synoptic problem! Since my presuppositions are conservative, my approach to the Text is very cautious and circumspect. I tend toward the place of E.W. Bullinger on the Holy Scripture, and seek to look closely at Greek Word studies, rather than ideas and theory. Just “the” Text and it’s words for me! I know strange for an Anglican now, lol.
    Fr. R.

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  5. Joel,
    I have no problems with your translation of Mark 1. It is “yours”! I will just quote from R.T. France’s intro to his NIGTC on Mark: “My concern is with the exegesis of the text of Mark, not with theories about its prehistory or the process ot its composition.” (page 1) But as I said, you should have the freedom and liberty to what both your conscience and intellect-study tell you. Translate away! I know already your Christian commitment. This to me is an important issue! I am not always sure with other so-called Christian bloggers?
    Fr. R.

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  6. Yes, France himself goes out there too, he must with the NIGTC. It is just a place I will read about, but not make a personal written venture on a blog. Who knows, I might change my mind? lol I have done that in my Christian life and expereince. For the most part, history and of course context will always help us to understand the text. But often there is just the reading and spiritual reality of the text. Which is where must people are at simply. I have seen godly men & women that don’t know a wit about textual theology, etc. Here we are back again to that place of existential reality, but it is over the Scripture text for sure! I hope ya get my point in what I am saying?
    Fr. R.

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  7. Polycarp

    I do not have a problem with Markan priority – I think that Luke’s intro acknowledges that he uses others sources.

    When I first started translating, and I ran across this unique trait of Mark, I felt that it was best to highlight it.

    Thanks for the kind words, ElShaddai.

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  8. ElShaddai Edwards

    I wonder if Jesus used this same “camp fire” storytelling method to tell Paul about His gospel while Paul was up in the third heaven…

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  9. Polycarp

    I would hope that Christ didn’t always speak in the past tense.

    Jesus did this…Jesus did that…

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  10. Polycarp

    John, this translation attempt is about 2 years old. I did purposely render a past tense into a present tense, rationalizing that since the reverse has always been done…. As far as rendering the diction, maybe – again, 2 years old. Could you point that out? What you term nitpicking is feedback, I hope.

    I have yet to fully find my stance on such issues. On some things, I can understand a historical approach while on other things, not so much. I would tend to be quite Traditional in composition, however. While I do believe that a ‘Q’ is possible, and indeed, in some ways very probable, I still see the Gospels as written to and by four different communities, following the Traditional line after that. What I am against is scholarship intending to discredit Christian Tradition; I can easily say that.

    Does this answer, as I didn’t intend to dodge any questions.

    Again, I welcome feedback – as I am still new and learning this translation bit.

    A ‘mere’ apologist? Yes, perhaps, but one who likes to discover the evidence of my position.

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  11. Fr. Robert, the point of translation, as I understand it, is to bring the word of God to the ‘ploughboy.’ Since most people cannot read the Greek, translations are needed – and frankly, I want one which is authentic to the text. While literalism is necessary at times, I believe discovering the intent and relaying that intent to the reader, just as first reader(s), is the essential goal of any translation effort. Some succeed, some do not. I chose to focus on the historic present found so often in this Gospel – as I note, 151 times for such a short work – which if you translate it literally, would leave you reading in the present tense.

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  12. But, Fr. Robert – to a point – exegesis of the text includes some of those areas outside of France’s concern. As the original text itself demonstrates, it is unique among the Gospels for a variety of reasons. What does this tell us about the community for which Mark was written? And, about the writer, or rather, as I believe, recorder of the Gospel.

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