Category Archives: Papias

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.

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A New Translation: Mark 2

I have translated five chapters of Mark (the first one here), and because I would like constructive feedback, I will post them from time to time. Please remember that these were translated a few years ago, using a small variety of tools.

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A New Translation: Mark 1

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).

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The Papias Fragments

Fellow blogger Roger Pearse points us to a new collection/translation of fragments of another disciple of the Apostle John, Bishop Papias of Hierapolis.

In the third year of the reign of the emperor mentioned above [Trajan], Clement committed the episcopal government of the church of Rome to Evarestus, and departed this life after he had superintended the teaching of the divine word nine years in all. But when Symeon also had died in the manner described, a certain Jew by the name of Justus succeeded to the episcopal throne in Jerusalem. He was one of the many thousands of the circumcision who at that time believed in Christ. At that time Polycarp, a disciple of the apostles, was a man of eminence in Asia, having been entrusted with the episcopate of the church of Smyrna by those who had seen and heard the Lord. And at the same time Papias, bishop of the parish of Hierapolis, became well known, as did also Ignatius, who was chosen bishop of Antioch, second in succession to Peter, and whose fame is still celebrated by a great many. – Ecclesiastical History 3.34.1-3.36.2 [checked NPNCF]