Thomas A. Wayment, "The Gospel of Mark," in The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 64–104.
Since at least the second century CE and possibly earlier, Christians believed that the Gospel of Mark was written by someone who was a close follower of, and possibly even a translator for, Peter. The tradition was passed on by an early Christian historian named Papias, whose writings have been lost except for quotations of them preserved in a fourth-century writer named Eusebius. Several of the writings of Eusebius have survived, one in the form of his book entitled Ecclesiastical History (2.15; 3.30; 6.14). The tradition that Mark received his information about Jesus from Peter is not so strong as to remove all doubt, but it also seems unlikely that anyone would invent such a tradition when it could easily be said that Peter wrote it himself.
The New Testament preserves the account of a man with the Roman double name John Mark, who traveled with Paul (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37–40). Paul directly mentions a traveling companion who was also named Mark (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11). And 1 Peter 5:13 mentions in passing a “son” of Peter named Mark. It would simplify matters greatly if all of these references were about the same person: the companion of Paul’s who offended Paul on the first mission (Acts 15:37–38), later reconciled with Paul (Philemon 1:24), and then later assisted Peter in Rome (1 Peter 5:13). But such a simplification overlooks a number of historical issues that are not easily solved. To make matters worse, the name Mark (Latin Marcus) was extremely common, and just as there are several women named Mary in the New Testament, it would not be surprising that several persons named Mark worked as missionaries in the early church.
So who was Mark? He was a believer in Jesus Christ who gained his information about the events and sayings of Jesus’s life from early witnesses like Peter, or at least that is the most secure tradition to survive. He probably had experience teaching the gospel message to Gentiles, and he possibly saw firsthand some of the friction that existed between ethnic Jews and Gentiles who had come to accept Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Mark alone preserved the names of people like Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21), who were the children of Simon of Cyrene. Some scholars have seen in the preservation of these names an eyewitness source that remembered specific individuals who interacted with Jesus personally.
Mark also did not personally know the story well enough, nor was he so interested in history that he paused to set the story in its correct order. He told the story quickly, and later authors like Matthew and Luke who used his Gospel as a source for their own writing adapted its order and telling of events. Some might view this negatively, but the rawness with which Mark tells the story might represent his passion in retelling it. The story moves quickly and inexorably toward the crucifixion. Sixty percent of the verses in Mark begin with and, and many begin with immediately. Mark was in a hurry to get to the point of the story: the crucifixion and empty tomb.
The Second Gospel also presents a unique view of the disciples who struggle to understand Jesus. They are at times slow to comprehend, they argue among themselves, and they fail to heal a young boy. This feature is not the focus of Mark’s Gospel, but it rhetorically encourages readers to see themselves as the struggling disciples who come to understand. For example, after failing to bring bread with them, the disciples became confused about the meaning of one of Jesus’s teachings, which elicits a direct question to them: “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8:21). During the arrest, the disciples “abandoned him and fled” (Mark 14:50). That is not to say that these stories exclusively define discipleship in Mark, even though the stories of their misunderstanding are numerous (4:41; 6:45–52; 8:31–33; 9:32–34, etc.). Instead, Jesus’s disciples in Mark are tangible, influenced by misunderstanding and prone to understand later than expected. Whether this represents Peter’s influence in telling the story or his own is now lost to us. This is just one of the important reasons it matters who Mark was and what his sources were that enabled him to write his Gospel account.
Surprisingly, only two early papyri exist for the Gospel of Mark, and they are both quite fragmentary and tell us little about the original text. The Second Gospel is constructed largely on the fourth-century Greek copies of the New Testament known as Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, both of which are thought to be textually less corrupted than other witnesses. For the most part, the gospel text is secure, with only its ending in question (see note on Mark 16:9). The manuscripts indicate that the ending of Mark’s Gospel was either much shorter than it has been passed down in translations or was corrupted and lost and then later restored by Christian scribes. With so many textual variations for the ending of the Gospel after verse 8, it is impossible to determine precisely how Mark originally ended his story. Additionally, several verses that were included in older translations are now thought to be later additions.
Another concern when thinking about the manuscripts of the Second Gospel is the almost certain fact that Mark was the first Gospel to survive. His account was used extensively by Matthew and Luke, although they freely altered its order and wording. Seeing Mark in this way helps the modern reader appreciate that Mark’s primitive retelling gave way to more complete versions in which the great sermons were added (Matthew) or the historical order became a point of focus (Luke). Mark also seems to report the sayings of Jesus in the context of the miracles, but for the most part he did not include them for the sole purpose of their inherent value as independent sayings. This may indicate that Jesus’s actions were for him more important than his teachings. Later authors offered a different balance in this regard.
Returning to Papias, early Christians believed that Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome to Romans. This would account for a number of Latin words in his Gospel like legion, Praetorium, flagellum, and others. But these words may have been broadly known across the empire, which has caused some scholars to suggest that the Second Gospel was composed in Syria. The answers to these questions are not simply of academic interest, but instead they are vitally important because they have the potential to tell us why this author wrote, which community was large enough to need a written account of Jesus’s life, and where the missionary message had spread.
We cannot know with certainty the reasons Mark employed certain mechanisms in writing, nor can we know with certainty why he wrote. In light of that caution, a few features seem to define his account. Mark wrote in a brief, choppy style, with missing antecedents, verbs that were conjugated incorrectly, incorrect historical details, and personal insights into the life of Jesus. Mark’s brief style is purposeful and intentional as he moved the story toward its culmination. He also inserted into the story something referred to today as the Messianic Secret, a title that describes Jesus’s instructions to those who were healed to not declare him to be the Messiah (see note on Mark 1:34). Especially in Mark, Jesus sought to delay the announcement of his messiahship, and Mark sought out those sayings and stories that preserved this aspect of Jesus’s ministry.
According to Mark, the story of Jesus’s life can be divided into four segments: the early ministry of miracles, the Galilean ministry (Capernaum and mounting opposition), traveling toward Jerusalem (preparation for death and declaration that Jesus is the Messiah), and entry into Jerusalem (culmination of the opposition). The sayings of Jesus fit into these segments haphazardly.
The Second Gospel can also be read in a single sitting, in two hours or less, and scholars now consider it possible that the entire Gospel was read in church services, perhaps even performed in dramatic voice for early Christians. But Mark also omits telling the story of Jesus’s birth, and his mortal parents, Joseph and Mary. These two details, when combined, suggest that the early church centered their belief on the Messiah, who healed with a consistent focus on his mission to atone for the sins of humanity. Mark tells us that early Christians were intensely interested in the story of Jesus’s life and that later they became more engaged in the meaning of Jesus’s life (see the introduction to the Gospel of John).
1 1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 2as it is written by Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before you, who will prepare your way for you, 3the voice declaring in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make his pathways straight’.”
4John the Baptist was in the wilderness declaring a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 5and all the land of Judea came to him and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, acknowledging their sins. 6John was dressed in camel hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7And he taught saying, “One stronger than I comes after me, and I am not fit to untie his sandals. 8I baptize you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
9And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan River by John. 10And immediately after coming out of the water, Jesus saw the heavens part and the Spirit like a dove descending on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; in you I am pleased.”
12And right away the Spirit drove him into the desert, 13and he was tempted by Satan in the desert for forty days, and he was with the wild animals, and angels ministered to him.
14After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee and declared the gospel of God, 15saying, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent and believe in the gospel.”
16And he traveled by the Sea of Galilee and saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon throwing their nets into the lake because they were fishermen. 17Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishermen of men and women.” 18And right away they left their nets and followed him. 19And he went a little way from there and saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, and they were in their boat mending their nets. 20And he called them right away. And they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the servants and followed after him.
21And they came to Capernaum, and right away he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and taught. 22And they were surprised at his teaching because he taught them with power and not as the scribes. 23There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, 24“What do you intend to do to us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God!” 25And Jesus rebuked him, “Be silent, and come out of him.” 26And the unclean spirit convulsed him and shouted in a loud voice as he came out of him. 27And they were all so amazed that they discussed it among themselves, saying, “What is this, a new teaching? With power he commands the unclean spirits, and they listen to him.” 28And his fame went immediately around all the region around Galilee.
29Immediately after he left the synagogue, they came to the house of Simon and Andrew, with Jacob and John. 30Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she ministered to them. 32The same evening at sundown, they brought to him all that were sick or possessed with demons, 33and the entire town gathered around the doorway. 34And he healed many who were sick with various ailments, and he cast out many demons, but he did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35Early in the morning before it was day, he rose and departed to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon with the others looked for him, 37and when they found him they said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38And he replied, “Let us go to the neighboring towns, that I may teach there, for this is what I came to do.” 39And he came and taught in their synagogues and in all Galilee, and he cast out demons.
40And a man with leprosy came begging him and kneeling in front of him, asking, “If you will, you can cleanse me.” 41And he was moved with compassion, and he extended his hand and touched him and said, “I want to do this. Be clean!” 42And immediately the leprosy left him and he was clean. 43And he warned him, and he sent him away at once. 44And he said to him, “See that you tell no one, but show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what was commanded by Moses as a witness to them.” 45But he departed and began to declare it openly and to spread the word, so that Jesus was not able to enter a town openly, but he was out in deserted places, and they came to him from all directions.
2 1And he returned to Capernaum after some days, and it was reported that he was at home. 2And many gathered so that there was no room, not even in front of the door, and he taught them the word. 3And some came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4But they could not get near him because of the crowd, so they uncovered the roof where he was and dug through it and let down the bed on which the paralyzed man lay. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6There were some scribes sitting there debating this in their hearts. 7“Why does this man speak blasphemy? Who is able to forgive sins but God alone?” 8And immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that they debated this among themselves, and he said to them, “Why do you debate these things in your hearts? 9Which is easier to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10But so that you know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins,” he said to the paralyzed man, 11“I say to you, arise, take your bed, and return to your home.” 12And he arose immediately and took his bed and departed in front of them all so that all were amazed and gave glory to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
13And he went out again near the sea, and the entire crowd gathered to him, and he taught them. 14And as he walked by he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he arose and followed him. 15And as he reclined at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples because many of them followed him. 16And the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he dined with sinners and tax collectors, and they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “The healthy do not need a physician, but only those who are ill. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
18The disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came to him and said, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19And Jesus said to them, “Can the guests of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? While they have the bridegroom with them they are not able to fast. 20The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then in that day they will fast. 21No one sews a new piece of cloth on an old garment, and if he does the new piece of cloth lifts up at the edges and the tear is made worse. 22Nor does anyone put new wine in old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and so are the skins. But they put new wine in new wineskins.”
23On a Sabbath he went through the fields of grain, and as they went his disciples began to pluck heads of wheat. 24And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and those with him were in need and hungry? 26How he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of the presence, which is not lawful for anyone except for the priests to eat, and he also gave it to those who were with him.” 27And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for men and women, not humankind for the Sabbath. 28The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
3 1And he entered the synagogue again, and there was a man who had a withered hand. 2And they watched him to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath, that they might accuse him. 3He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here among us.” 4And he said to them, “Is it lawful to do a good thing or a bad thing on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5And he looked on them in anger, grieved for the hardness of their hearts, and he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he extended his hand, and it was restored to its former state. 6And the Pharisees went out immediately and conspired with the Herodians how they might destroy him.
7Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed him from Galilee, Judea, 8Jerusalem, and Idumea and across the Jordan River and from around Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude heard the things he had done, and they came to him. 9And he told his disciples that they should prepare a boat for him because of the crowd so that they would not crush him. 10Because he healed so many, all who had afflictions threw themselves on him in order to touch him. 11When the unclean spirits saw him, they threw themselves in front of him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12And he warned them many times that they should not make him known.
13And he went up a mountain and called to him those whom he had chosen, and they went to him. 14And he called twelve, whom he called apostles, to be with him, and he sent them out to teach 15and to have power to cast out demons. 16So he called twelve, Simon whom he named Peter, 17and Jacob the son of Zebedee and John the brother of Jacob, whom he named Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder,” 18and Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Jacob son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Canaanite, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home, 20and a crowd gathered so that he could not even eat bread. 21When his family heard it, they went out to take him, because people were saying, “He is out of his mind.” 22And the scribes who came from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of the demons he casts out demons.” 23And he called to them and spoke to them in parables saying, “How is Satan able to cast out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan rises against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but will come to an end. 27But no one can enter the house of a strong man and rob his house unless he first binds the strong man, and then he may rob his house. 28Truly I say to you that all sins will be forgiven to men and women, and all blasphemies that they speak. 29But whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but has committed an eternal sin.” 30(Because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”)
31Then his mother and his brothers came and stood outside, and they sent to him and called him. 32And a crowd was seated around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside looking for you.” 33And he answered them, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 34And he looked around at those seated by him and said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
4 1He began to teach again by the sea, and a large crowd gathered to him, so he got into a boat and sat by the lake while the entire crowd was in front of him near the shore of the sea. 2And he taught them many things in parables, and he said to them in his teaching, 3 “Listen, a sower went out to sow. 4As he sowed, some seed fell by the side of the road, and the birds came and ate it. 5Other seed fell on rocky soil where there was not much earth, and immediately it sprouted because there was not much soil. 6And the sun rose and it was scorched, and because it did not have roots it withered. 7And other seed fell on thorns, and the thorns grew and choked it, and it did not produce fruit, 8but other seed fell on good earth and produced fruit, and it grew and increased and yielded thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold.” 9And he said to them, “Whoever has ears to hear, let that person hear.”
10When he was alone, those that were there with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11And he said to them, “To you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to those outside the kingdom it is all in parables 12so that ‘they may see but not perceive, and may hear but not understand, so that they do not turn and receive forgiveness.’”
13And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand any parable? 14The sower sows the word. 15The ones where the word was sown on the road are those who hear, and immediately Satan comes and takes the word that was sown in them. 16The ones sown on the rocky ground are the ones that hear the word and immediately receive it with joy, 17but they do not have root in themselves and they last for a while. Then trial and persecution come because of the word, and they stumble immediately. 18And the ones who are sown among thorns, these are the ones who hear the word, 19and the cares of the world and the deceit of riches and the want of other things enter and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20And the ones that are sown on the good earth, these hear the word and receive it and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold.”
21And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be placed under a basket, or under a bed and not on a stand? 22There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor anything secret that will not come to light. 23Whoever has ears to hear, let that person hear.” 24And he said to them, “Consider what you hear. With the measurement that you use, it will be measured to you, and more will be added to you. 25Whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, it will be taken from him even what he has.”
26And he said, “The kingdom of God is like a man who cast seed on the ground, 27and he sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not know how. 28The earth bears fruit by itself, first the stalk, later the head, then the full grain of wheat in the head. 29When the wheat is ripe, he puts in the sickle because the time of the harvest has come.”
30He asked, “What is the kingdom of God like, or with what parable may we compare it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which when it is sown in the earth, it is the smallest of all the seeds of the earth, 32but when it is sown, it sprouts and becomes greater than any of the plants, and it grows great branches, so that the birds of heaven are able to rest under its shade.”
33And with these many parables he taught them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34He did not speak to them without a parable, but alone to his disciples he explained everything.
35He said to them on that same day when it was evening, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And after he left the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And there were other boats with him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves battered the boat so that it was being filled with water, 38and he was in the stern sleeping on a pillow, and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, does it not matter to you that we are about to be destroyed?” 39And he arose and rebuked the wind and said to the lake, “Silence, be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said to them, “Why are you fearful? Have you no faith?” 41And they were very afraid, and they said to one another, “Who is this that even the wind and the lake obey him?”
5 1And they crossed to the other side of the lake to the land of the Gerasenes. 2And he climbed out of the boat, and immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3The man lived among the tombs, and no one was able to bind him, not even with chains. 4He had been bound many times with chains and restraints, but the chains were pulled to pieces by him and the restraints broken, and no one was able to subdue him. 5He was always in the tombs and on the mountains, day and night crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and knelt before him, 7and he cried out in a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I command you by God, do not torment me!” 8For Jesus had said to him, “Depart from the man, you unclean spirit!” 9And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, because we are many.” 10And he begged him repeatedly that he would not send them out of the region. 11There was in that place a large herd of swine feeding on the mountain, 12and they called to Jesus, “Send us into the swine so that we may be in them.” 13And he permitted them. And the unclean spirits departed and entered into the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep hill to the lake, numbering about two thousand, and they were drowned in the lake.
14And those who fed them fled and reported it in the town and in the fields, and they came to see what had taken place. 15And they came to Jesus, and they saw the man possessed, who had the legion, sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16And those who saw it explained to them how it took place concerning the man possessed and concerning the swine. 17And they began to ask him to depart from their region. 18And as he entered a boat, the man who had been possessed called to him that he might go with him, 19but Jesus did not permit him. He said to him, “Go to your home and to your family, and tell them what the Lord has done for you and how he had mercy on you.” 20And he departed and began to teach in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.
21And Jesus passed over again in the boat to the other side, and a large crowd met him, and he was near the lake. 22And Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue came to him, and when he saw Jesus he fell at his feet 23and begged him, “My daughter is near death. Come and lay your hands on her that she may be healed and live.” 24And Jesus went with him, and a large crowd followed him, and they pressed him on all sides.
25There was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, 26and she had suffered many things by physicians, and she had spent all that she had, but she had not been healed but had become worse. 27She heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothing, 28for she said, “If I can touch his clothing, I will be healed.” 29And immediately the source of her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she had been healed of her illness. 30Jesus immediately knew in himself that power had gone from him, and he turned to the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothing?” 31His disciples said to him, “Look at the crowd that is pressing you on all sides, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32And he looked around to see who had done this. 33But the woman was afraid and trembled because she knew what had been done to her, and she came and fell down in front of him and told him the entire truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Depart in peace and be healed from your illness.”
35While he was speaking, some from the ruler of the synagogue’s home came and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any longer?” 36Jesus disregarded what they said and said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, but believe only.” 37And he permitted no one to follow him except for Peter, Jacob, and John the brother of Jacob. 38And they came into the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and he saw the mourning for the deceased, with people wailing and lamenting greatly. 39And he entered and said to them, “Why do you mourn and wail? The child is not dead but is sleeping.” 40And they derided him, but he threw them out, and he took the father of the child and the mother with him and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41And he took the hand of the child and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42And immediately the young girl arose and walked around (she was twelve years old), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43And he warned them that no one should know about this, and he told them that she should be given something to eat.
6 1And he left that place and went to his own region, and his disciples followed him. 2When it was the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. And many who heard him were amazed and said, “Where did he get these things? And what is this wisdom given to him? And what miracles are done by his hands! 3Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of Jacob, Jose, Judah, and Simon? His sisters, are they not with us?” And they were offended because of him. 4And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own hometown, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5And he was not able to do any miracles there except for a few on whom he laid hands and healed them. 6And he was amazed because of their lack of faith. And he went around the villages teaching.
7And he called twelve, and he began to send them two by two, and he gave them power over unclean spirits. 8And he commanded them that they should take nothing on the way except a staff, but no bag, bread, or coins in their belts, 9and to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from that place. 11And if a place will not receive you or listen to you, as you depart from that place shake the dust from the bottom of your feet as a witness against them.” 12And they went out and declared that all should repent. 13And they cast out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were ill, and they healed them.
14King Herod heard this because Jesus’s name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist was raised from the dead, and because of this the miracles are at work in him.” 15Others said, “He is Elijah,” and others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the past prophets.” 16And Herod heard this and said, “John whom I beheaded has been raised.”
17Herod himself had sent men and had John arrested and bound in prison because of Herodias, the wife of Philip his brother, because Herod had married her. 18For John said, “It is not lawful to have your brother’s wife.” 19And Herodias held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him, but she was not able to 20because Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected John. When he heard John, he was confused, but he listened to him gladly. 21And a favorable day came that Herod made a feast for his birthday for his nobles and military officers and leading men of Galilee. 22And his daughter Herodias came and danced and pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the young girl, “Ask me for whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask, I will give it to you, even half of my kingdom.” 24And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25She went immediately and with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter right now.” 26And the king was very sad, but because of the oaths and his dinner guests he did not want to refuse her request. 27And immediately the king sent an executioner and ordered that his head be brought, and he beheaded John in prison, 28and he brought the head on a platter and gave it to the young girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29And when his disciples heard, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
30And the apostles gathered to Jesus, and they told him everything they had done and taught. 31And he said to them, “Come to a secluded place with me and rest for a little while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no time to eat. 32And they departed in a boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33But many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and arrived there before them. 34And as he disembarked, he saw a great crowd, and he was moved with compassion for them because they were as sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. 35And it was late already, and the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and it is already late. 36Send them away that they may go around to the fields and villages and purchase something to eat for themselves.” 37And he answered, “Give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Should we go and buy two hundred silver coins worth of bread that we may give them to eat?” 38And he asked, “How much bread do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out, they said, “Five loaves and two fish.” 39And he commanded them to sit in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups by hundreds and fifties. 41And he took the five loaves and the two fish, and he looked toward heaven and blessed them and broke the bread and gave it to his disciples so that they might set it before the people, and the two fish he divided for all of them. 42And all of them ate and were filled. 43They gathered up twelve baskets full of broken bread and fish. 44Those who ate bread were five thousand men.
45And right away he made his disciples enter a boat and cross over to the other side toward Bethsaida while he dismissed the crowd. 46And he left them and went to a mountain to pray. 47When it was evening, the ship was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48And he saw them straining at the oars in the driving wind. It was after three in the morning, and he came to them walking on the sea, and he wanted to pass by them. 49When they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost, and they cried out. 50And they all saw him and were troubled, but immediately he spoke with them, “Cheer up; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51And he entered the boat, and the wind ceased. And they were completely astounded 52because they did not comprehend the miracle of the loaves, but their hearts were hard.
53And they passed over and came to the land of Gennesaret and disembarked at the shore. 54And when they got out of the boat, immediately they recognized him, 55and they ran throughout that entire region and began to bring to him on beds those who were ill, wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he entered a village or a town or fields, they set before him those who were sick in the marketplaces, and they called on him that they might touch the fringe of his clothing, and as many who touched him were healed.
7 1The Pharisees with some of the scribes from Jerusalem gathered to him, 2and they saw some of his disciples eating bread with unclean hands, that is, unwashed hands. 3(Because the Pharisees and all the Jews, if they do not wash their hands thoroughly, will not eat, following the tradition of the elders. 4And if something comes from the market, if they do not wash it they do not eat it, and many things they follow: washing of cups, pots, and bronze vessels.) 5And the Pharisees and scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders when they eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6He said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7in vain they worship me, teaching as truth the traditions of men.’ 8You depart from the commandments of God and follow the tradition of men.”
9And he said to them, “You disregard the commandments of God in order to establish your tradition. 10Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Whoever speaks evil of his father or mother must surely die.’ 11But you say if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you may profit from me, it is Corban’ (which is a gift given to God), 12then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13but you set aside the word of God for your tradition that you handed down, and you also do many similar things.”
14And he called to him a crowd again and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15There is nothing outside a man that enters into him that is able to make him unclean, but the things that exit a man, those make him unclean.” 16[[If anyone has ears to hear, let that person hear.]]
17Then he entered the house away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him about the parable. 18And he said to them, “Are you also without understanding? Do you not know that nothing entering a man can make him unclean? 19Because it does not enter his heart, but into his stomach, and then it exits into the sewer?” (Thus, he declared all foods clean.) 20And he said, “That which comes out of a man, that defiles him. 21But from within, the human heart issues forth wicked thoughts, immoral behaviors, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, excess, envy, slander, arrogance, and reckless behavior. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
24And he arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon, and he entered a house and did not want to be known, but he could not be hidden. 25A woman soon heard about him, and her daughter had an unclean spirit, and she came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, of Syro-Phoenecian origin. And she asked him if he would cast out the demon from her daughter. 27And he said to her, “Allow the children to be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and to cast it to the dogs.” 28She responded, “Yes, Lord, but the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then he said to her, “Because of this saying you may depart. The demon has left your daughter.” 30And she went to her house and found her daughter lying on a couch and the demon gone away.
31And again he went away from the region of Tyre and came near Sidon to the Sea of Galilee through the region of the Decapolis. 32And they brought to him a deaf man who stuttered, and they asked him to put his hands upon the man. 33And he took him away from the crowd by himself, and he put his fingers in his ears and after spitting, he touched his tongue. 34And he looked up toward heaven and groaned and said to him, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened.” 35And immediately his ears were opened, and his tongue was released and he spoke plainly. 36And Jesus commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he makes the deaf hear and the mute to speak.”
8 1And in those days there was a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat, and he called his disciples and said to them, 2“I have compassion for the crowd because they have already stayed with me for three days, and they have nothing to eat. 3If I send them away to their homes fasting, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” 4And his disciples answered him, “How can a person feed them with bread while in this deserted place?” 5And he questioned them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they replied, “Seven.” 6Then he commanded the crowd to sit on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and blessed them and broke them, and gave them to his disciples so that they might serve them to the people. And they served the crowd. 7And they had some small fish, and he blessed them and commanded that they be served to the crowd. 8And they ate and were filled, and they gathered seven baskets full of broken bread and fish. 9And there were about four thousand people. Then he sent them away. 10And immediately he got in the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
11And the Pharisees came and began to question him, seeking a sign from heaven to test him. 12And he groaned in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13And he left them and got into the boat again and crossed to the other side.
14But they forgot to take bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15And he admonished them, saying, “Beware and attentive to the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16And they discussed this among themselves because they had no bread. 17And he knew it and said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not know and understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Having eyes, do you not see, and having ears, do you not hear? Do you not remember 19the five loaves I broke for the five thousand and how many baskets full you gathered up? And they said to him, “Twelve.” 20“Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full did you gather up?” And they replied, “Seven.” 21Then he said to them, “Do you not understand yet?”
22And they went to Bethsaida, and they brought to him a blind person, and they asked Jesus to touch him. 23And he took the blind person by the hand, and he took him outside the village and spit on his eyes; then he put his hands on him and asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24He looked around and said, “I see men, as trees, walking around.” 25Then he again put his hands on his eyes. And he looked with care, and he was restored to health, and he saw all things clearly. 26And he sent him to his house, saying, “Do not go into the village.”
27Jesus and his disciples went to the villages of Caesarea Philippi, and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28They said, “Some say John the Baptist, and others Elijah, and others one of the prophets.” 29And he asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30And he warned them that they should not tell anyone about him.
31And he began to teach them that the Son of Man should suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes and be killed and after three days rise again. 32And he was speaking openly. But Peter took him and began to rebuke him. 33He turned and looked at his disciples and rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind me, Satan, because you do not think about the things of God but rather the things of man.”
34And he called a crowd to him with his disciples and said to them, “If anyone desires to follow after me, let that person deny himself and take up a cross and follow me. 35Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life on account of me and the gospel will save it. 36What will it profit a person to gain the whole world but lose his life? 37Or what will a person give in exchange for his life? 38Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the glory of his Father with his holy angels.”
9 1He said to them, “Truly I say to you that there are some here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God come in power.”
2After six days, Jesus took Peter, Jacob, and John and brought them to a high mountain by themselves, and they were alone. And he was transfigured before them. 3And his clothing became shining white, such a white as no one on earth could make it. 4And Elijah with Moses appeared to them, and they were speaking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three booths, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6(For he did not know what he might say, because they were greatly afraid.) 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and there was a voice from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son; hear him!” 8Suddenly they looked around, but they did not see anyone anymore, but only Jesus with them.
9As they descended from the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man arose from the dead. 10And they kept this to themselves, wondering what the rising from the dead meant. 11And they questioned him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12He answered them, “Elijah must come first and restore all things. And why is it written that the Son of Man should suffer many things and be despised? 13But I say to you that Elijah has come, and they did to him as they wanted, even as it is written about him.”
14When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd with some scribes questioning them. 15And right away, after the entire crowd saw him, they were amazed, and they ran toward him and greeted him. 16And he asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” 17One from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son, who has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. 18Whenever it seizes him, it tears him, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth, and he is wasting away. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they were not able to do it.” 19And he replied, “Oh, faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” 20And they brought him to Jesus, and when the spirit saw him it immediately shook him, and he fell to the ground foaming at the mouth and rolling around. 21And he asked the boy’s father, “How long has it been like this for him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22Many times it throws him into fire or water that it might kill him. But if you are able, help us and have compassion on us.” 23And Jesus said to him, “If you are able? All things are possible for the one who believes.” 24Right away the father of the child cried out, “I believe. Help my unbelief.” 25When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you—come out of him and never return to him.” 26After crying out and convulsing, it went out, and the boy was like a corpse so that many said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took his hand and lifted him up, and he stood. 28When he entered the house his disciples asked him privately, “Why were we not able to cast it out?” 29And he said to them, “This kind cannot be cast out except in prayer and fasting.”
30He departed from that place and passed through Galilee because he did not want anyone to know. 31He taught his disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will rise again after three days.” 32But they did not understand his words, and they were afraid to question him.
33And he came to Capernaum, and he was in the house, asking them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34But they were silent because on the way they discussed with one another who is greater. 35And he sat down and called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, let that person be last and a servant of all.” 36And he took a child and sat him in their midst, and he embraced him and said to them, 37“Whoever among you receives this little child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me does not receive me but receives him who sent me.”
38John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a certain individual cast out demons in your name, but we forbade him because he did not follow us.” 39Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who does a miracle in my name will soon thereafter be able to speak evil about me. 40For he who is not against us is for us. 41For whoever gives a drink of water in my name, because you are Christ’s, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
42“And whoever causes one of the little ones who believe in me to stumble, it is better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43And if your hand causes you to stumble, cut if off, for it is better for you to go through life maimed than having two hands to go to hell to the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off, for it is better to go through life maimed than having two feet to be cast into hell. 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, for it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes to be cast into hell, 48where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. 49Everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt is good, but if the salt has become flavorless, in what way will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
10 1And he arose and departed from that place to the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan River, and again a crowd gathered to him, and as he had been accustomed to do, he taught them. 2And some Pharisees came to him and asked in order to tempt him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4They said, “Moses permitted a certificate of divorce and to dismiss her.” 5But Jesus said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts, he wrote to you this commandment. 6But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female; 7and on this account a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. 8And the two will be one flesh.’ They are no longer two but one flesh. 9What God has therefore joined together, let no one divide.”
10In the house, his disciples questioned him again about this. 11He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery against her. 12And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, then she commits adultery.”
13People brought to him young children so that he would touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw it, he was displeased and said to them, “Let the children come to me and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such. 15Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a child will not enter it.” 16And he embraced them in his arms, and having put his hands upon them, he blessed them.
17And while he was leaving on his way, a man ran up and knelt in front of him and asked, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God only. 19You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.’” 20And he said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.” 21Jesus looked at him and loved him and said, “You lack one thing: go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and then you will have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me.” 22But he was sad upon hearing that teaching, and he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions.
23And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24The disciples were alarmed at his words, and Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26And they were astonished beyond comparison and said to themselves, “Then who can be saved?” 27Jesus looked at them and said, “For humankind it is impossible, but not for God: all things are possible for God.” 28Peter began to say, “We have left everything and have followed you!” 29Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left a house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or fields for my sake or for the gospel 30who will not receive, with persecution, a hundredfold now in this age houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields, and in the age to come eternal life. 31Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
32And they were on the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them, and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And he took the twelve again and began to tell them the things that were about to happen to him. 33“Behold, we will go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and they will deliver him to the Gentiles, 34and they will mock him and spit on him and scourge him and kill him, and after three days he will rise again.”
35And Jacob and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we desire that whatever we ask you that you will do it for us.” 36He asked them, “What do you desire that I might do for you?” 37They said to him, “Allow us that we may sit one on your right and one on your left in your glory.” 38Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask for. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39They said to him, “We are able.” But Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will also drink, and the baptism that I am baptized with you will also experience, 40but to sit on my right or on my left is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41The ten heard this and began to be displeased with Jacob and John. 42Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that those who seem to rule the Gentiles have power over them, and their great ones have authority over them. 43But it is not so among you. Whoever desires to be great among you will be your servant, 44and whoever desires to be first among you will be a slave to all, 45for the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a sacrifice for many.”
46And they came to Jericho, and as he departed from Jericho with his disciples and a substantial crowd, Bartimaeus the blind, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road begging. 47And he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, and he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48And many ordered him to be silent, but he cried out more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49And Jesus stood and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Cheer up, come; he calls you.” 50And he threw off his cloak and arose and came to Jesus. 51And Jesus asked him, “What do you desire that I would do?” The blind man said to him, “Rabbouni, that I may see.” 52Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has healed you.” And immediately he saw again, and he followed him along the way.
11 1He drew near Jerusalem to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, and he sent two of his disciples 2and told them, “Go to the village in front of you, and immediately upon entering you will find a colt tied up, on which no one has sat; untie it and bring it. 3And if anyone says to you, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it, and he will send it back here immediately.’” 4And they went and found a colt tied near the door, outside near the road, and they untied it. 5And certain people standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They told them exactly what Jesus said, and they allowed them to go. 7And they brought the colt to Jesus and placed their clothes on it, and he sat on it. 8And many put their clothes along the road, while others cut down branches from the fields and placed them along the way. 9And they went before him and after him and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. 10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest.” 11And he entered Jerusalem and came to the temple, and after he looked around at everything, he saw it was already evening, and he returned to Bethany with the twelve.
12The next day they came from Bethany, and he was hungry. 13And he saw a fig tree from afar with leaves, and he went to see if perhaps he would find some fruit on it, but he came and found nothing except leaves because it was not the time for figs, 14and Jesus said to it, “Let no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
15And they came to Jerusalem, and he entered the temple and began to cast out the sellers and merchants in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16And he did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17And he taught them, “Is it not written that ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’ But you have made it a den of bandits?” 18When the chief priests and the scribes heard this, they sought how they could destroy him, but they feared him because all the crowd was deeply impressed by his teaching. 19And when it was evening, he went out of the city.
20When they passed by early in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered at the roots, 21and Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, behold, the fig tree you cursed has withered.” 22Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23Truly I say to you that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he speaks will come to pass, it will happen. 24Therefore, I say this to you, everything that you ask for in prayer, believing that you will receive, it will be yours. 25Whenever you pray standing, forgive so that if you have anything against anyone, your Father who is in the heavens may forgive you of your misdeeds. [[26But if you do not forgive, then your Father in heaven will not forgive your misdeeds.]]”
27And they came again to Jerusalem, and while he was walking around in the temple the chief priests and scribes and elders came to him, 28and they said to him, “By what authority do you do these things, and who gave you this authority to do them?” 29Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question, and if you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The baptism of John, was it from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31So they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32But if we say, ‘From man,’—they were afraid of the crowd because they all believed that John was a prophet. 33And they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
12 1And he began to speak to them in parables, saying, “A man planted a vineyard, and he built a fence around it, and dug a winepress, and constructed a tower, and rented it to farmers, and then he went away. 2And he sent a servant to the farmers at harvest-time to get some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3But they seized him and beat him and sent him back empty-handed. 4And he sent another servant to them, and they injured his head and treated him shamefully. 5And he sent another servant, and they killed him. And he sent many others, some of whom they beat and others they killed. 6Having one son who was beloved, he sent him to them last, saying ‘They will reverence my son.’ 7But those farmers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and we will receive the inheritance.’ 8And they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9What will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and give the vineyard to others. 10Have you not read this scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the head cornerstone; 11this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?” 12And they sought to arrest him, but they feared the crowd because they knew that he told the parable about them, and they left and went away.
13And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and Herodians so that they would catch him in his talk. 14And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and that you do not pander to anyone, nor do you show partiality, but you teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay to Caesar the poll tax or not? Do we give or not give?” 15And when he knew their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why do you test me? Bring me a coin that I may see it.” 16And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” And they answered, “Caesar’s.” 17Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things of Caesar and to God the things of God.” And they were astonished at him.
18Then came to him the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, and they asked him, 19“Teacher, Moses wrote to us that ‘If a brother dies, and leaves a wife and has no child, that the brother shall marry the widow and raise children to his brother.’ 20There were seven brothers, and the first married a wife, and he died without having children, 21and the second married her, and died without having children, and the third did the same, 22and the seventh also did not have children. Last of all the woman died. 23In the resurrection, whose wife will she be, because the seven each married her?” 24Jesus said to them, “Is this not why you are mistaken, because you do not understand the scriptures nor the power of God? 25When the dead arise, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are as the angels in heaven. 26But concerning the dead that rise again, do you not understand in the book of Moses, when at the bush, how God spoke to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? 27He is not a God of dead men but a God of the living, and you are very wrong!”
28Then one of the scribes came to him when he heard them disputing, and he saw that he answered them well, and he asked Jesus, “What commandment is the most important?” 29Jesus answered, “The first is ‘Hear, Israel; the Lord our God is one,’ 30and ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind and with all your might.’ 31The second is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32The scribe said to him, “Teacher, you speak the truth that he is one and there is no one other than him. 33And to love him with all the heart and with all the mind and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, this is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 3When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question him further.
35Then Jesus taught in the temple and said, “How do the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36For David himself said in the Holy Spirit, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right until I place your enemies under your feet.’ 37If David himself called him ‘Lord,’ how then is he his son?” And a large crowd gladly listened to him.
38In his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes who walk around in long robes and love greetings in the marketplaces 39and to have the first seats in the synagogues and the first couches at dinner, 40who devour the houses of widows and for show make long prayers. These will receive the greater judgment.”
41He sat down opposite the treasury and watched how the crowds put coins into the treasury, and many rich people also contributed much. 42Then a poor widow came and put in two copper coins, which is equal to a quadrans. 43And he called his disciples near to him, and he said to them, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury, 44for they contribute out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has contributed everything she had, even what she had to live on.”
13 1And when Jesus left the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look what magnificent stones and buildings!” 2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not remain here a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
3And he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, and Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew asked him alone, 4“Tell us when these things will be, and what is the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” 5Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of war, do not be troubled: this thing must be, but it is not the end. 8Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, there will be earthquakes in many places, and there will be famines; these are the beginning of the birth pains.
9“Be watchful for yourselves: they will hand you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings for my sake in order to bear testimony to them. 10And the gospel will first be declared to all nations. 11And when they arrest you to hand you over for punishment, do not worry what you will say, but say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it will not be you speaking but the Holy Spirit. 12A brother will hand over a brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and put them to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of my name. But whoever remains patiently, the same will be saved.
14“When you see the desolating sacrilege standing where it should not (let the reader understand), then let those in Judea flee to the mountains. 15Let him who is on the roof not go down or enter to take anything from his house. 16Let him who is in the field not turn back to take his clothes. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and nursing in those days. 18Pray that it does not come in winter. 19There will tribulation in those days that has not been since the beginning of God’s creation until now and never will be again. 20If the Lord does not shorten those days, no one would be saved, but because of the elect whom he chose, he has shortened those days. 21And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, the Christ, he is there,’ or ‘Look, he is there,’ do not believe it. 22There will arise false Christs and false prophets, and they will perform signs and miracles in order to lead the elect astray if they are able. 23Beware, I have told you all things beforehand.
24“But in those days after the tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in heaven will be shaken. 26Then you will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27And then he will send the angels, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28“From the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch becomes tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So it is with you: when you see these things being accomplished, you will know that it is near, even at the doors. 30Truly I say to you that this generation will not pass away before all these things occur. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32“Concerning that day and hour, no one knows it, not the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be watchful and attentive; you do not know when it is time, 34like a man who left his house and gave authority to his servants, to each his own work, and he commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. 35Watch, therefore—you do not know when the owner of the house will come, late or in the middle of the night, or when the rooster crows or early in the morning—36so that he does not come suddenly and find you asleep. 37What I say to you, I say to all: Be watchful!”
14 1It was two days before the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and scribes sought a way to arrest him by deceit and kill him. 2For they said, “Not during the feast so that there will not be a riot.”
3He was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper reclining to eat, and a woman came to him who had an alabaster jar of ointment, pure nard, that was very expensive, and having broken the alabaster jar, she poured it on his head. 4But some were displeased among them and said to one another, “Why was this ointment wasted in this manner? 5This could have been sold for more than three hundred silver coins and given to the poor.” And they rebuked her. 6But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me. 7You will always have the poor with you, and whenever you desire you can do good for them, but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could: she anointed my body in preparation for my burial. 9Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is declared in all the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
10And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to deliver him to them. 11When they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought how he could deliver him at the right time.
12It was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, and his disciples said to him, “Where do you want to go that we may prepare a place to eat the Passover meal?” 13And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a water jug will meet you: follow him. 14Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The teacher asks, Where is my guest room that I may eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ 15And he will show you a large, second-floor room furnished and ready. Prepare it for us.” 16And the disciples departed and came to the city and immediately found it as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
17When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18While they were reclined and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray me, one who eats with me.” 19They began to be sad and to say to him one by one, “Is it I?” 20He said to them, “One of the twelve who dips with me in the dish. 21Because the Son of Man must go as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed: it would be better for that man if he had not been born.”
22While they were eating, he took some bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take it; this is my body.” 23And taking a cup, he blessed it and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which has been poured out for many. 25Truly I say to you that I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26After they sang, they went to the Mount of Olives.
27And Jesus said to them, “All of you will stumble, because it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28But after I am raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29But Peter said to him, “Even if all stumble, I will not.” 30Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that on this very night before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31And he responded emphatically, “If I am required to die with you, I will still not deny you.” And they all said the same thing.
32And he came to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33And he took Peter, Jacob, and John with him, and he began to be amazed and troubled. 34And he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Stay here and be watchful.” 35And he went a little way and fell on the ground and prayed that if it were possible that the hour would pass by him. 36And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you; take this cup from me. Not as I desire, but as you desire.” 37And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, why are you sleeping? Are you not strong enough to watch for one hour? 38Watch and pray that you do not enter temptation: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” 39And again he went and prayed, saying the same words. 40And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy, and they did not know what to say to him. 41And he came to them the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has arrived. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise and let us go; the one who betrays me approaches.”
43And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve approached and with him a great crowd with swords and sticks, from the chief priests, scribes, and elders. 44And the betrayer had given them a sign saying, “Whomever I kiss, he is the one, arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45And he came immediately and drew near to Jesus and said, “Rabbi,” and he kissed him. 46And they laid their hands on him and arrested him. 47One of those standing there, drew a sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48Jesus said to them, “You come out to take me with swords and sticks as a bandit, 49but every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” 50And they abandoned him and fled. 51And there was a young man following him who had put a linen sheet around his naked body, and they grabbed him, 52but he left the linen sheet and fled from them naked.
53And they led Jesus to the high priest, and all of the chief priests, elders, and scribes gathered around him. 54And Peter followed him from a distance until he was inside the courtyard of the high priest, and he was sitting with the guards and warming himself by the fire. 55And the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin sought evidence against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56For many witnessed falsely against him, but their testimonies were not alike. 57And some stood and bore this false witness against him: 58“We have heard him say, ‘I will destroy the temple built with hands, and I will build a new one without hands in three days’” 59But their testimony did not agree either. 60And the high priest stood among them and questioned Jesus, “Do you answer nothing? What is this that they witness against you?” 61But he was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest questioned him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated on the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63And the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What need do we still have for witnesses? 64You have heard blasphemy. How does it appear to you?” They all judged him to be worthy of death. 65And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and hit him, and they said to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and also struck him.
66When Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67and she saw Peter warming himself, and she looked at him and said, “You were with Jesus of Nazareth.” 68And he denied it saying, “I do not know nor do I understand what you are talking about.” And he went outside into the forecourt. 69And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to those standing there, “This man is one of them.” 70And he denied it again. After a short time, those standing there again said to Peter, “Truly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71He began to curse himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72And immediately the rooster crowed a second time, and Peter remembered the words that Jesus said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
15 1Right away, early in the morning, the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the entire Sanhedrin gathered for a council, and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. 2And Pilate questioned him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” 3And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4And Pilate questioned him again, “Do you have nothing to say? Look at how much they accuse you!” 5But Jesus did not answer, so that Pilate wondered.
6According to custom, Pilate released to them one prisoner during the feast, whomever they asked for. 7There was a man named Barabbas, among the bandits in prison, who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8And the crowd arose and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to custom. 9Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” 10(For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him out of envy.) 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he might release Barabbas to them. 12Pilate said to them again, “What do you want me to do with the man you call the king of the Jews?” 13They again cried out, “Crucify him!” 14Pilate responded, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they cried out more, “Crucify him!” 15Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he released Barabbas to them, and after he scourged Jesus, he gave Jesus over to be crucified.
16The guards led him inside the courtyard, which is the Praetorium, and they called together the entire cohort. 17And they clothed him in purple, and after weaving a crown of thorns together, they put it on him. 18And they began to greet him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19And they hit him on the head with a scepter repeatedly and spit on him, and they knelt down before him. 20And after they had mocked him, they removed the purple robe and placed on him his own clothing. And they led him out to crucify him.
21And they pressed into service a man walking by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the field (he was the father of Alexander and Rufus), so that he would carry his cross. 22And they carried him to the place called Golgotha, which means the “Place of the Skull.” 23And they gave him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24And they crucified him and divided his clothing, casting lots to determine what each would take.
25It was about the nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26And the inscription of his charge was written, “The King of the Jews.” 27And two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. [[28And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “And with the lawless ones he was numbered.”]] 29Those who passed by slandered him and shook their heads and said, “Woe to you who can destroy the temple and build it in three days. 30Save yourself and come down from the cross.” 31Likewise the chief priests with the scribes mocked him among themselves, saying, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself. 32Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, and we will see and believe!” And those who were crucified with him also mocked him.
33It was noon, and there was darkness over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34And around three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 35Some of those standing by heard him and said, “He calls for Elijah!” 36One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, and putting it on a reed, he gave it to him to drink saying, “Let us see if Elijah will come and take him down.” 37But Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last breath. 38And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39When the centurion who was standing opposite him saw that he breathed his last breath, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” 40There were also women who watched from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jacob the younger and Jose, and Salome. 41They followed him in Galilee and provided for him, and many other women who traveled with him to Jerusalem were there as well.
42When it was evening, because it was the day of preparation, which is the day before the Sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a notable officer who himself was also looking for the kingdom of God, came and boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Pilate was surprised that he was already dead, and he called the centurion and asked him if he had been dead for long. 45And when he knew from the centurion that Jesus was dead, he gave the body to Joseph. 46And he brought fine linen, and after taking him down, he wrapped him in the linen and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of rock, and he rolled a stone in front of the door of the tomb. 47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jose saw where he was laid.
16 1When the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Jacob, and Salome brought spices in order that they might come and anoint him. 2And early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb at the rising of the sun, 3and they said to one another, “Who will move the stone away from the door of the tomb?” 4And they looked and saw that the stone had been moved, for it was very large. 5And they entered the tomb and saw a young man sitting on the right side, wearing a long white robe, and they were amazed. 6And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, and he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8And they left and fled from the tomb, for they were trembling and amazement had seized them, and they did not tell anyone anything because they were afraid.
9When he arose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven demons. 10Then she went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping, 11and when they heard that he was alive and was seen by her, they did not believe it.
12After these things, he appeared in another form to two of them as they went into the countryside. 13And they went and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
14Afterward, as they were dining, he appeared to the eleven, and he chastised them for their unbelief and their hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15And he said to them, “Go to all the world and declare the gospel to all creation. 16Those who believe and are baptized will be saved, and those who do not believe will be condemned. 17Signs will accompany those who believe. In my name they will cast out demons, and they will speak in new languages, 18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any poisonous thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19Then the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, ascended to heaven and sat on the right hand of God. 20And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the signs that followed. Amen.
The original title of the Second Gospel was The Gospel according to Mark, and early Christians widely accepted that the author of the Second Gospel was John Mark, who is mentioned several times in the book of Acts (12:12, 25; 13:5, 14; 15:37–40). A person named Mark is mentioned in some of Paul’s letters (Colossians 4:12; Philemon 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:11), and he may be the same person as the John Mark mentioned in Acts. John (Johannon) was his Hebrew name, and his Roman name was Mark (Marcus), and therefore it is possible that Paul would use only the Roman name, as he often did for himself. The author of the Gospel does not claim to have known Jesus personally or to have been one of his followers during Jesus’s lifetime, and early Christians believed that he drew on the teachings of Peter as a source for information about Jesus.
1:1 Some manuscripts omit the Son of God at the end of the verse. Mark begins abruptly with the beginning of the good news or the gospel, a setting that is loosely framed on Isaiah 61:1. He is the only author to specifically refer to his story as a gospel. Mark draws attention to Jesus as the Son of God (see Psalm 2:7). The gospel of Jesus Christ is reflected similarly in 2 Nephi 30:5. The phrase the beginning may intentionally allude to Genesis 1:1.
1:2 The quotation is from Isaiah 40:3 with echoes of Exodus 23:20 and Malachi 3:1. The phrase prepare your way is echoed in 1 Nephi 3:7.
1:4 Enos 1:2 speaks of a remission of sins in a similar. Compare Mosiah 18:7–8 for repentance as a gateway to baptism. Mark alone refers to John as John the baptizer, whereas the other Gospel authors refer to him as John the Baptist. The latter has been adopted for the translation because the difference in meaning between the two is minimal.
1:5 The phrase acknowledging their sins is often translated as confessing their sins. The verb is used in wills and legal contracts and conveys the idea of openly declaring and acknowledging a given set of conditions, which in this case is an acknowledgment that certain actions are considered sinful.
1:6 Jews were permitted to eat locusts according to the law of Moses (Leviticus 11:22). John the Baptist’s dress and diet recall Elijah’s manner of living (2 Kings 1:8).
1:9–11 Mark omits any reference to Jesus’s birth and parentage and instead begins with the baptism. The early stories, including the parting of the heavens, signal a new age (Isaiah 64:1; Ezekiel 1:1). Compare 2 Nephi 31:4; Doctrine and Covenants 112:31.
1:10 Compare 1 Nephi 11:27.
1:11 See Isaiah 42:1; Genesis 22:12, 16. An echo of 2 Samuel 7:14 and Psalm 2:7.
1:12 Mark places little emphasis on the idea of a tempted and tried Messiah. He includes only two verses on this subject (compare Matthew 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13). See Alma 7:11; Isaiah 53:4–5.
1:13 Mark is unclear whether these messengers are heavenly angels or simple messengers, and the Greek word can mean either a heavenly or human messenger. See note on Matthew 16:27. This is Mark’s first use of the concept of ministering. The Greek verb forms the basis of the English noun deacon. Mark adds wild animals to the story of the temptation of Jesus, a possible allusion to Isaiah 34:14; Jeremiah 50:39; Daniel 5:21.
1:14 John the Baptist in Mark is handed over or betrayed rather than arrested. The verb may have been meant to foreshadow Jesus’s being handed over (the same verb is used in Mark 14:41). Mark places John’s arrest immediately preceding Jesus’s public ministry. Matthew tells the arrest much later in his account (Matthew 14:1–12), but Mark returns to the subject again later (Mark 6:17–29). Some manuscripts have the gospel of the kingdom of God, but this reading is not likely to be original.
1:15 John is clear that Jesus teaches the gospel of God rather than his own personal message. Mark prefers the kingdom of God instead of the kingdom of heaven, as in the Gospel of Matthew.
1:16 Jesus begins his early Galilean ministry, which will end in Mark 3:12.
1:17, 20 Mark prefers to describe following Jesus as following after him. Mark insinuates that Jacob and John were wealthy, a conclusion that is made obvious by his note about servants being in the boat.
1:21 Mark says that Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbaths. He may have intended that as a reference to multiple trips to the synagogue, although the plural form is common. See map for Matthew 4:13.
1:22 This is how Matthew ends the first chapter of the Sermon on the Mount.
1:23 Their synagogue shows that the author did not view himself as a member of the Capernaum synagogue.
1:30 Paul also noted that Simon Peter was married (1 Corinthians 9:5).
1:32 The importance of sundown is that the Sabbath had passed and Jesus can now work freely.
1:34 Mark, more than the other Gospels, reports that Jesus frequently told people to not proclaim or make him known. This phenomenon is known as the Messianic Secret, and Jesus on occasion encouraged people to delay proclaiming him until it was the right time to do so (see Mark 1:44–45; 7:36; 8:29–30). Mark may have seen this as fulfillment of the saying recorded in Mark 4:11.
1:35 Mark frequently notes that Jesus liked to retire to uninhabited, or deserted, places (see Mark 1:45; 6:31, 32, 35).
1:40 Anciently, those with leprosy were banished (2 Kings 7:3–10). Little is known about how they were culturally accepted or ostracized in the first century CE. The Gospels do not portray them as living in separate communities.
2:1 The natural meaning of the phrase that he was at home is that Jesus was in his own home in Capernaum. Mark reports five significant stories of conflict in rapid succession between Jesus and his countrymen (see Mark 2:1–12, 13–17, 18–22, 23–28; 3:1–6). They are presented in this early sequence to help establish a theme of hostility toward Jesus.
2:4 The image is of a thatched-style roof and not a Roman tile roof. Mark’s account reflects a typical Jewish home of the period, whereas Luke mentions roof tiles that were typical of a Roman home (Luke 5:19).
2:7 For blasphemy, see Leviticus 24:15–16.
2:10 This is the first Son of Man saying (see Daniel 7:13). See Mark 2:28; 8:31, 38; 9:9, 12, 31.
2:14 Unlike Matthew, he is named Levi the son of Alphaeus. Some scholars have suggested that Alphaeus and Cleopas (also spelled Clopas) are the same person. The change in spelling may be the result of different ways to render the Hebrew name into Greek. Some early Christians also thought Alphaeus and Clopas were the same person (see John 19:25; Luke 24:13–27). It is unlikely that Levi and Matthew are the same person, and Matthew and Mark knew of different traditions regarding the name of the disciple sitting at the tax booth. Tax collectors were mostly despised, although it is not clear if there was equal disdain for Roman and Jewish tax collectors. Levi may have collected taxes for one of the Herodians.
2:15 The image of Jesus reclining with the unclean was controversial because Jesus accepted social outcasts and undesirable people into his company. In Luke, this celebration is hosted by Levi (see Luke 5:29), and while Mark does not specifically mention the name Levi, the Greek construction makes it clear that it was Levi’s home.
2:17 Compare Moroni 8:8.
2:18 Mark’s grammar is unclear regarding who asked the question of Jesus. The most likely solution is that some of the disciples of John or the Pharisees asked. Mark says only that they asked. Some Jews fasted twice a week in Jesus’s day.
2:19 An allusion to Isaiah 62:4–5.
2:22 Matthew adds and both are preserved to this saying (Matthew 9:17). Matthew’s different version of the saying implies that both the old (the law of Moses) and the new (the gospel of Jesus Christ) are preserved.
2:24 See notes on Matthew 12:1–8. The question of legality may revolve around differing interpretations of Deuteronomy 5:12–15.
2:26 Mark appears to have made a mistake here. The priest in question was Ahimelech and not his son Abiathar (see 1 Samuel 21:1–6). Both Matthew and Luke omit the reference to Abiathar (Matthew 12:4; Luke 6:4), suggesting that they too knew the high priest was Ahimelech. It is uncertain whether the attribution to Abiathar can be traced to Mark, his sources, or possibly Jesus. Directions for the bread of the presence are found in Leviticus 24:5–9.
3:1 Mark’s again may be intended to convey the idea that Jesus often frequented the synagogue.
3:2 Their reason for watching Jesus appears to be malicious (compare Luke 14:1).
3:4 Jesus’s question implies that the healing of the withered hand is equivalent to saving a life. There is no specific command against doing good on the Sabbath, and the question he has posed revolves around the interpretation of the command to keep the Sabbath day holy.
3:5 Mark is the only evangelist to report that Jesus grew angry. His anger is a result of the unwillingness of his enemies to answer his question in verse 4. Alluded to in 1 Nephi 2:18; 7:8; 15:4.
3:6 For the Herodians, see Matthew 22:16. They were probably supporters of the Herodian family, or they were employed by the Herodian family.
3:8 Jesus’s fame has at this point spread beyond Judea and Galilee into predominantly Gentile regions (compare Matthew 4:25). Idumea is southeast of Judea and is the same as the Old Testament Edom. Herod the Great was from the region of Idumea. Add map.
3:13–6:6 This constitutes the second major section of Mark, containing the parables, healings, and the calling of the twelve.
3:14 Whom he called apostles is missing from some manuscripts, but it is supported in some early witnesses. The verb of calling in Greek is the typical verb to do. Mark may have intended the meaning to be established, appointed, or set apart, and older translations preferred the word ordained. Mark refers to them as apostles only here in this verse. Elsewhere they are Jesus’s disciples, or students.
3:16 So he called twelve is lacking in some manuscripts, but it is likely original. Peter is the Greek translation of the Aramaic Cephas, both of which mean a stone.
3:16–19 There are variations in the names and order of the twelve disciples. See Matthew 10:2–4; Luke 6:14–16; John 1:40–49; 21:2; Acts 1:13.
3:17 The term sons of thunder, or Boanerges, is a transliteration of a Hebrew nickname that refers to their zeal in teaching or the power of their teaching.
3:18 The meaning of Canaanite is somewhat obscure but could mean zeal or even zealot (compare Luke 6:15).
3:19 Scholars often suggest that Iscariot is a place-name denoting Judas’ town of origin, but its precise meaning remains uncertain.
3:21 Mark says when those who were by him went to rescue him. Those who were by him could refer to his friends, his family, or his disciples and is here rendered as his family members. Matthew and Luke omit the reference to him being out of his mind.
3:21–22 Mark’s account is slightly different from Matthew’s. The scribes accuse Jesus when they see that he is beside himself, or literally out of his mind, thus giving them a reason to assume that he is possessed by Beelzebul. Compare Matthew 12:22–24; Luke 11:14–15.
3:22 For the meaning of Beelzebul, see Matthew 9:34.
3:23 For the Old Testament use of parables, see Ezekiel 17:2. Speaking in parables is part of the prophetic tradition of delivering the oracles of God, and often they present messages of condemnation.
3:25 A house divided, given Mark’s context, could imply that Jesus’s family was divided on the issue of Jesus being the Christ (compare John 7:3–5).
3:29 Doctrine and Covenants 132:27 comments on the meaning of this verse (compare Matthew 12:31).
3:30 Mark’s aside here offers an explanation of why Jesus spoke about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.
3:31 Joseph is absent from the family, as he also is in Mark 6:3. One possibility may be that Joseph had passed away by this time, but this must remain a conjecture.
3:32 Many of the best manuscripts omit and sisters, but it is present in verse 35, thus likely prompting some scribes to add it here. The term brothers in this context refers to Jesus’s siblings broadly. Jesus had sisters (see Mark 6:3).
3:35 The addition of sister here implies that there were women sitting in the house with Jesus who may have been disciples of the Lord.
4:1–9 The parable of the sower is interpreted in 4:10–20. In this chapter, Mark joins the parables about seed (see 4:26–29; 30–34).
4:3–8 Mark uses singular verbs to describe the seeds, whereas Matthew viewed seeds as a plural concept.
4:4 Some manuscripts add of the air to refer to the birds, a likely harmonization to Luke 8:5.
4:6 Compare Alma 32:38.
4:8 A hundredfold may be an allusion to Genesis 26:12.
4:10 Other followers are with the twelve when they ask about the meaning of the parable. Compare Matthew 13:10.
4:11 The verb is given is lacking in the Greek text and must be supplied. It is supplied here based on the parallel passage in Matthew 13:11. Those outside the kingdom lacks a finite verb, and thus Mark leaves it unclear whether this is a current or future reality. Mark does little to develop the theme of knowing the mysteries of the gospel (compare Alma 12:9; 26:22; 37:4; Doctrine and Covenants 42:65). The singular here points to a secret rite or a secret teaching that the believing will learn. Matthew (13:11) uses a plural noun, possibly in reference to the many insights gained through belief.
4:12 So that they do not turn reflects the Hebrew idea of repentance, which is to change one’s direction or course. The Greek concept would be to change one’s mind or way of thinking. Quotation from Isaiah 6:9–10.
4:13 Sometimes the disciples lack understanding in the Gospel of Mark (see Mark 6:52; 8:17, 21). In portraying them in this way, Mark may have intended the disciples to represent believers who also lack understanding and clarity regarding the meaning of Jesus’s teachings.
4:17 Stumble can also be translated as are offended.
4:19 The care of the world in Greek is the care of the age. For Jesus, this age is a negative concept. Matthew uses a different phrase, this generation, to convey a similar idea that the generation of Jesus’s day could expect a coming judgment (Matthew 12:41–42, 45). The idea of the age expands the reach of the condemnation to include larger societal concerns as indicated through the word cares, which can also be translated as worries, concerns, and anxieties.
4:25 Alluded to in Doctrine and Covenants 60:3.
4:26–29 This parable is unique to Mark.
4:38 Mark alone notes that Jesus slept on a pillow or cushion, perhaps to intensify the contrast between the storm and Jesus sleeping calmly and unafraid.
4:39 Echoed in 1 Nephi 18:21.
4:40 The theme of the disciples feeling fear is common in the Gospel of Mark (see 5:36; 6:50; 9:6, 32; 10:32; 16:8).
5:1 Map of Decapolis. The placement of the story in Gerasa (also Luke 8:26; modern Jerash) has been difficult to explain. The town was approximately thirty-five miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee, and it was much too far for the pigs to have run into the sea. Matthew places the event in Gadara, which is much closer to the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:28), but still some distance from the sea. A number of different readings in Greek manuscripts make the problem of which town even more confusing because scribes corrected the Gospels so they reflected the names of cities that were closer to the sea. Later Christians also suggested that the event took place in Kursi, which is located very close to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Despite the problems associated with determining the exact town, all three Gospels note that it was in the land of or the country of or region of, and hence the town names are themselves approximations of the location of the event. Matthew 8:30 notes that the pigs were far from them.
5:7 The Greek reads the Highest God, but English has adopted the archaic the Most High God as a title. Compare 1 Nephi 11:6.
5:9 The word legion is a Latin term designating a division within the Roman army. Mark also uses the Latin words praetorium (the governor’s palace or command center of a fort, 15:16), denarion (denarius 6:37), quadrans (a small copper coin, 12:42), and fragello (the verb of scourging, 15:15). These Latin words may indicate that Mark’s audience spoke Latin or was familiar with common Latin terms.
5:11 The presence of pigs in the story points to a Gentile community.
5:17 Little is done to explain the reasons for the destruction of property in the story, but here the negative reaction implies that some were offended by the loss.
5:19 Echoed in 1 Nephi 7:11.
5:20 The positioning of this story provides a foundation for the spread of the gospel into the Greek-speaking Decapolis.
5:22 Jairus is a leader of a synagogue in the Galilee, but his precise duties and the location of his synagogue are unknown. The name Jairus is biblical in origin (Numbers 32:41).
5:25 The woman would have been considered unclean according to Leviticus 15.
5:26 Mark notes the common criticism of physicians in his day, namely, that patients were worse off for having undergone treatment. Physicians were often slaves or servants of wealthy households (Colossians 4:14).
5:27 Mark does not record what part of Jesus’s clothing the woman touched, but Matthew and Luke specify that it was the fringe of his cloak (Matthew 9:20; Luke 8:44). For Mark’s audience, the tallit may have been beyond their cultural experience to understand (compare Numbers 15:37–40; Deuteronomy 22:12).
5:30 Jesus knew that power had gone from him. In this story, Jesus recognizes that dynamis, translated as power, has left him. In this context, dynamis means something like inherent goodness, power, and influence. Touched represents the Greek word fastened or held on to, but in this setting she appears to have grabbed his clothing for a moment and then let go and was no longer holding on to it.
5:34 Jesus addressed the woman as daughter, which, even though she was probably not much younger than Jesus, was a means of showing respect and parental concern.
5:40 Jesus permits only the parents and Peter, Jacob, and John to witness the raising of the young girl. Luke’s wording suggests that the disciples mocked Jesus on this occasion (Luke 8:51–53).
5:41 Mark records the Aramaic words of Jesus and then provides a direct translation of them. Similarly, he also records an Aramaic word of Jesus in Mark 7:34 and 14:36. It is unclear why on this occasion the actual words, instead of providing them in a Greek translation only, were so important.
6:1 Even though it is unstated here, Jesus’s own region would be Nazareth (see Mark 1:9). Luke 4:16 specifically mentions Nazareth.
6:3 Jesus’s siblings are also named in Matthew 13:55, although they are listed in a different order. Jose is a shortened from of Joseph, and some manuscripts spell out the name, while the majority spell it Josetos. The implication of the plural sisters is that Jesus had at least two sisters. Joseph’s absence may indicate that he was no longer living (see Mark 3:31). Mark calls Jesus a carpenter, and Matthew calls him the son of a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).
6:4 The negative form of this saying can be confusing, but Jesus here laments that prophets are honored except among countrymen and family members. Mark’s word for the miracles, dynameis, can be interpreted as acts of power (see note on Mark 5:30). John 4:44 also records this saying.
6:6–8:21 This section represents Jesus’s ministry outside Galilee.
6:7 Two by two is an allusion to Deuteronomy 17:6 (compare Doctrine and Covenants 60:8; 62:5). This allusion to judgment is carried out in the command for the disciples to dust their feet as a witness against them (6:11). Acts 13:51 records an instance of this practice (compare Doctrine and Covenants 60:15). For the twelve, see 1 Nephi 11:29.
6:8–9 The emphasis on traveling without a bag or coins may indicate that the duration of the teaching mission was short, but it also may have served them focus on the power of the word, which was able to feed them literally (see Matthew 10:10).
6:11 Some later manuscripts add at the end of this verse Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city. Compare Doctrine and Covenants 75:20–22.
6:12 Mark’s wording is abbreviated, and the subject of the verb repent is lacking. A more literal translation would be And they went out and declared that they might repent. The practice of anointing with oil (verse 13) is mentioned only here and in Luke 7:46 (where it is done as a sign of welcome) and James 5:14.
6:14 Herod Antipas (died after 39 CE) never held the title of King; rather, he was the tetrarch of Galilee (see note on Matthew 14:1). Jesus’s is lacking in Greek.
6:15 On the return of Elijah see Malachi 4:5; on the return of Jeremiah see, 2 Esdras 2:18. Like one of the past prophets may be an allusion to Deuteronomy 18:15, 18.
6:17 Mark noted earlier that Jesus’s public ministry did not begin until John had been imprisoned (1:14), which is being retold at this point of Jesus’s ministry. Because he married her refers to Herod Antipas’s marriage to Herodias.
6:18 John’s denunciation of Antipas’s marriage drew on the precedent of Leviticus 18:16.
6:19 Mark draws attention to Herodias’s personal grudge against John the Baptist. Matthew places more emphasis on Antipas’s concern with his own image (Matthew 14:5, 9). Furthermore, Mark draws attention to the urgency of the request to kill John by noting her words, I want you to give me right now (6:25).
6:20 Protected him implies that Antipas held him captive in prison, but Mark does not use the typical verb of guarding a prisoner.
6:21 Mark notes that some of Antipas’s guests were chiliarchs, or military officers. This term is used to denote someone of considerable rank in the Roman army, perhaps a military tribune or a commander of a thousand foot soldiers.
6:22 Mark notes that Herod’s daughter Herodias came and danced. This appears to be a historical error because it was Herodias’s daughter Salome that danced (compare Matthew 14:6).
6:27 John is lacking in Greek.
6:31 The wording indicates a deserted place or a region that was sparsely inhabited.
6:31–44 For the parallel accounts of the story that is told in all four Gospels, see Matthew 14:13–21; Luke 9:10–17; John 6:1–13.
6:37 Mark is unclear whether they had 200 silver coins, or denarii, between them or whether that was a sufficient amount of bread to feed such a large crowd. Many commentators take the question to be a statement of how absurd it would be to find that much bread to purchase or to have that much money on hand, and therefore it is assumed that 200 denarii would be enough to purchase food in order to feed the crowd of 5,000.
6:40 The organization into companies is modeled on Exodus 18:21, 25 (compare Mosiah 18:18).
6:41 The sacramental imagery is clearly implied.
6:45 Bethsaida is located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. See map for Matthew 11:21.
6:48 Mark notes that it was the fourth watch, which would indicate a time very early in the morning, between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. This would also mean that Jesus had spent the better part of the night alone, and probably in prayer. The idea of Jesus wanting to pass the disciples by may be an allusion to God passing in front of Moses (Exodus 33:22).
6:50 Mark and John omit any reference to Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22–33; John 6:16–24). Jesus says literally, I am (compare Exodus 3:13–15).
6:52 Mark says only, they did not comprehend the bread.
6:53 The region of Gennesaret is located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias.
6:56 Here the ill seek to touch the tallit, or fringes, of Jesus’s clothing. Compare Mark 5:27.
7:4 Some manuscripts add beds to the list of things that must be washed to remain ritually pure, but the better and earliest manuscripts omit the word. The Greek verb to baptize is used for both the washing of the body and the washing of cups, etc. and is here rendered as if they do not wash it. Some manuscripts read if they do not wash themselves. See Leviticus 15:11. The Book of Mormon does not mention the kosher standards or ritual impurity (see Alma 5:57; 7:13; Ether 9:18; Moroni 10:30). Compare Psalms 69:28; 109:13; 2 Corinthians 6:17; James 1:17.
7:6–7 Quotation from Isaiah 29:13 (compare Matthew 15:7–9).
7:8 A few later manuscripts add to the end of this verse the phrase the washing of pitchers, cups, and many other such things.
7:10 Quotation from Exodus 20:12; 21:17; Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 5:16.
7:11 The word Corban, also spelled Qorban, is a transliterated Hebrew noun from Leviticus 2:1, 4, 12, 14 and is translated by Mark to mean a gift. See note on Matthew 15:5.
7:15 Jesus’s words are sharply critical of the idea of kosher foods, or foods that were accepted as clean or unclean. Matthew’s version of the same saying is less critical of the kosher standards and likely reflects the concerns and interests of his Jewish audience (see Matthew 15:17–18). Mark goes further and adds the personal interpretation Thus, he declared all foods clean (verse 19), which Matthew omits. Leviticus 15 discusses what defiles the body.
7:16 The majority of manuscripts omit this verse, and it is likely not original.
7:19 The final sentence is a comment by Mark drawing attention to what he saw as the end of the designation of clean and unclean foods. The question of kosher foods was raised at the first recorded conference of the early church (see Acts 15:20–21), where they decided that limited kosher requirements should remain in place such as the avoidance of eating undercooked meat, or as Jacob expressed it, blood (Acts 15:20). It is uncertain if unclean food is the meaning of the references in Alma 5:57 and Moroni 10:30.
7:20 Immoral behaviors is a translation of the Greek word porneiai (compare Matthew 5:32), and in this context it refers to sexual deviancy or immoral behavior.
7:22 Reckless behavior can also be rendered as thoughtless behavior or general foolishness. The emphasis is on the idea of acting without thinking first.
7:24 Some manuscripts lack Sidon. The Joseph Smith Translation says and would that no man should come unto him. But he could not deny them, for he had compassion upon all men.
7:26 Mark describes this woman as a Phoenician from Syria, rather than from North Africa, and as a Greek. He was seeking to emphasize that she was a Gentile.
7:27 Jesus offers a culturally informed rebuke of the Gentile woman and her request for Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus uses the word dog in a diminutive form, perhaps household dog or even little dog, but the fact remains that he broadly describes her request as taking the food from the children and giving it to the dogs. Mark does nothing to help the reader understand the reason for such strong language. Compare 1 Samuel 17:43 for the word dog used disparagingly. The Joseph Smith Translation says children of the kingdom.
7:31 The route of travel depicted here can only be described as meandering or wandering.
7:33 Little can be said with confidence regarding the use of saliva in a healing miracle, or regarding the other unusual features of this miracle. The story is unique to Mark, and Matthew and Luke chose not to add it to their accounts, but the reason they omitted it is not known.
7:34 The Aramaic word is pronounced Effathah with an aspirated h as the concluding consonant.
7:37 Allusion to Isaiah 35:5–6. The miracles described in this verse are promised to the faithful in Doctrine and Covenants 35:9.
8:10 The location of Dalmanutha is unknown, and in the parallel passage in Matthew the location is referred to as Magadan, a similarly unknown location (Matthew 15:39). Some copyists of the Gospel of Matthew thought that Magadan was Magdala on the northwestern side of the Sea of Galilee and thus the town of Mary Magdalene.
8:15 Only Mark records the warning about the yeast of Herod (compare Matthew 16:6). This would likely be a reference to the actions and deeds of Herod Antipas, but it could be a general warning regarding the entire Herodian family (see note on Matthew 22:16).
8:18 Quotation from Jeremiah 5:21.
8:21 None of the Gospel authors insinuates that there was something to be understood in the numbers of the baskets of bread. Instead, the message appears to be one of abundance and meeting the needs of his followers sufficiently. The context in Mark further suggests that Jesus asked this question because the disciples had been wondering about not having brought sufficient bread with them, and Jesus’s answer implies that he would provide for them as he had in the past.
8:22 Bethsaida is located on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus may have fed the four thousand there (Mark 6:32; Luke 9:10), and some of Jesus’s disciples came from Bethsaida (John 1:44; 12:21).
8:23 A similar miracle is recorded in John 9:6.
8:23–26 This is the only double healing told in the Gospels, and the other Gospels omit the story entirely. It stands in stark contrast to the other miracles because Jesus seemingly heals the man twice, the first time using saliva and the second time through laying his hands on the man.
8:27–10:52 This section of Mark focuses on the coming suffering of Jesus.
8:27 Caesarea Philippi was the capital of Philip’s government (see note on Matthew 16:13). The city was located at the base of Mount Hermon, which is the likely site of the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2). The city had a mixed population of Jews, Greeks, and Romans and was lavishly populated with temples to Roman and Greek deities.
8:28 On the return of Elijah, see Malachi 4:5. Mark does not specify which prophet, but 2 Esdras 2:18, an apocryphal text, promises the return of Jeremiah.
8:29 Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah, here translated into the Greek word for Messiah, Christ. Matthew adds the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16).
8:30 Mark does not mention the promise of the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:19; Doctrine and Covenants 90:2).
8:33 Jesus’s rebuke of Peter is fundamentally different in Matthew. Here Peter is rebuked for worrying about mundane considerations rather than Jesus’s coming trial. In Matthew, Jesus alludes to the fact that Peter is attempting to cause Jesus to stumble (Matthew 16:23), hinting that Peter’s questioning had tempted Jesus to choose another way. Jesus’s discourse on saving and losing life offers perspective on the necessity of Jesus’s impending death (8:34–37).
8:37 The Joseph Smith Translation adds Therefore deny yourselves of these, and be not ashamed of me.
8:38 Ashamed translates a Greek word that can also mean disgraced but not necessarily embarrassed. A possible allusion to Daniel 7:13–14. The Joseph Smith Translation adds this sentence at the end of the verse: And they shall not have part in that resurrection when he cometh. For verily I say unto you, that he shall come; and he that layeth down his life for my sake and the gospel’s, shall come with him, and shall be clothed with his glory, in the cloud, on the right hand of the Son of man.
9:1 This verse belongs to the end of the preceding chapter. It was part of the discourse at Caesarea Philippi (compare Matthew 16:28; Luke 9:27), and the verse is included in this chapter by mistake.
9:2–3 Mark notes both a physical change to Jesus and to his clothing (see Matthew 17:2). Luke notes that the disciples were praying when Jesus was transfigured (Luke 9:29), and some copyists added this phrase to Mark’s account. Compare Exodus 24:12.
9:4 The Joseph Smith Translation of Mark 9:4 adds John the Baptist to the appearance by Elijah and Moses (compare Doctrine and Covenants 138:45). For the deaths of Moses and Elijah, see Deuteronomy 34:4–6; 2 Kings 2:9–12.
9:5 Peter uses the respectful term rabbi to address Jesus, a word that means simply my master or even my teacher (see John 20:16). Peter’s offer to build three booths or tabernacles has led to the conclusion that this experience took place near the time of the Feast of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles. The feast took place between late September and early October and celebrated the annual harvest (Exodus 34:22) and the exodus of the people of Israel when they traveled in tents to the promised land (Leviticus 23:42–43).
9:9 The previous commands to not make Jesus known publicly are to end soon.
9:11–12 The disciples’ question asked simply about the return of Elijah as promised in Malachi 4:5–6, a teaching that the scribes had promoted. Jesus’s response expanded the context of the question by adding that Elijah must come first and restore all things, a teaching that is not preserved in Malachi (compare Matthew 17:11). The word restore can also mean to establish to its former state, and in this context Jesus seems to allude to the future establishment of the children of Israel to their former glory and grandeur (see also Sirach 48:10). The restoration of all things will also include the coming of a despised or rejected Son of Man, an allusion to Isaiah 53:3.
9:13 Older translations used an English transliteration to render the Hebrew proper name Elijah. Owing to differences of pronunciation, Greek speakers pronounced the name Elijah as Elias. In all cases in the New Testament, the name Elijah stands behind the transliteration Elias. The Joseph Smith Translation engages this idea of an Elijah who would restore all things and the coming of Elijah promised in Malachi 4:5–6. It appears that the Joseph Smith Translation seeks to expand the two comings of Elijah depicted in this chapter in verses 12–13: the one who will come and restore all things (referred to as Elijah) and the one who has come (referred to as Elias). See Doctrine and Covenants 138:45–46.
9:14–28 Mark’s account of this story is much more detailed than Matthew’s (17:14–21).
9:20 The Greek lacks the word Jesus.
9:24 The father’s declaration is that he both has faith and lacks faith simultaneously.
9:29 Some early manuscripts lack and fasting, but the evidence for its inclusion is equally good.
9:35 The name James does not appear in the New Testament, and all persons who bear that name in modern translations were formally named Jacob in their lifetimes. The origin of the shift from Jacob to James appears to be the Latin translation of the New Testament, which changed the name Jacob in Greek to Jacobus in Latin. Owing to verbal shifts in the language, Jacobus was later rendered as Jacomus and then through French in a shortened form to James. Jesus’s teaching on being first contains the injunction that the disciple should be the servant, or deacon, of all.
9:36–37 Modern conceptions of being like a child are different from ancient ones. Children were powerless, without a voice in social settings, meek and lowly, and they were viewed as simple.
9:38 This unnamed healer is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels and was perhaps one of the seventy disciples who were sent out (Luke 10:1–7).
9:40 Compare Numbers 11:29. The Joseph Smith Translation interprets this as standing on our own and not on our brother’s words.
9:42 A millstone used in grinding wheat could easily weigh over one hundred pounds. Compare Doctrine and Covenants 121:22.
9:43 Greek Gehenna for hell.
9:43–46 These verses are alluded to in Doctrine and Covenants 76:44.
9:44, 46 These verses are omitted in the best manuscripts and are unlikely to be original to the Gospel of Mark. They are identical to verse 48, Where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
9:47 See note on 9:43.
9:48 Quotation from Isaiah 66:24. This saying outside the context of Isaiah 66 makes little sense, but in the context of Isaiah it speaks of the apocalyptic destruction that will come on all nations.
9:49 This verse exists in several different versions, and some manuscripts add and every sacrifice will be salted with salt. The translation provided here has the best textual support. The saying is an allusion to Leviticus 2:13, Ezekiel 43:24, and the idea that people now replace the animal sacrifices required in the law of Moses and that as such they would necessarily need to be salted like the animal sacrifices. There may be an allusion to Isaiah 66:20.
10:1 The regions described in these verses were sparsely populated.
10:2 The question about divorce is centered on the interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1. The Pharisees had assumed that Jesus would contradict popular interpretations about permissible divorce. The region near the Jordan River was perhaps the same area where John the Baptist taught, and the Pharisees may have been attempting to entrap Jesus into condemning Antipas’s marriages. Paul teaches similarly about divorce (1 Corinthians 7:10–11).
10:4 Reference to Deuteronomy 24:1, 3.
10:6–8 Quotations from Genesis 1:27; 2:24; 5:2 (compare Doctrine and Covenants 49:16). Some manuscripts lack the subject God and simply report he.
10:7 Some manuscripts omit and be joined to his wife, but there is also good textual support for the phrase.
10:12 A woman could not divorce her husband according to Jewish law, but she could according to Roman law. Mark may have included this part of the saying because of his Gentile audience.
10:13 Mark uses an unspecified they. Grammatically, the disciples would be the ones who brought the children to Jesus, but since the disciples are the ones who rebuked those who brought the children it must refer to someone else, which is reflected in the translation through the generic people.
10:16 The laying on of hands recalls a blessing of healing (see Mark 6:5; 8:23).
10:18 Jesus’s answer, that God alone is good, has provided fodder for controversy through the ages. Trinitarians, those who believe in a triune deity, find this verse particularly thorny because Jesus appears to distance his own goodness and identity from God’s. Therefore, some have concluded that Jesus has declared that he is not God in this verse. Jesus’s response quotes from the Shema, the central prayer that Jews recite in the morning and evening contained in Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus’s response, therefore, calls attention to the questioner’s relationship to God and defines that relationship as one built on the commandments and through prayer. Jesus nowhere denies his own, personal goodness, but in this instance he taught the uniqueness of God the Father.
10:19 Quotation from Exodus 20:12–16 and Deuteronomy 5:16–20 (do not defraud).
10:21 Mark alone adds that Jesus loved him. Compare Luke 3:11; Mosiah 4:24–26.
10:22–23 Jesus’s teachings following the man’s departure draw attention to the difficulty for the rich to sell everything, but those words do not imply that the man rejected the counsel he received. Compare Mosiah 4:23; Doctrine and Covenants 56:16.
10:24 That the disciples were alarmed suggests either that some were wealthy or that they affiliated with some who were wealthy. Some manuscripts read how hard it is for those who trust in riches, thus softening and limiting Jesus’s otherwise strong statement to the rich only.
10:25 See note on Matthew 19:24. Jesus’s reference to the eye of a sewing needle and a camel passing through it caught the disciples by surprise (verse 26).
10:26 The disciples’ question, who can be saved, implies that the definition of who was rich included many or even all of them. The question could also imply that they were concerned that the poor would enter before them, and they would somehow be precluded from entering.
10:27 The Joseph Smith Translation adds With men that trust in riches, it is impossible, but not impossible with men who trust in God, and leave all things for my sake.
10:28 Peter’s question relies on a basic clarification of whether leaving everything is the same as selling everything.
10:30 An allusion to Genesis 26:12. In this time can also be rendered as in the right time or in due time.
10:33–34 Luke places more emphasis on Gentile involvement in the condemnation and death of Jesus, whereas Matthew and Mark carefully note that Jesus would be condemned to death by the chief priests and scribes (Matthew 20:18–19).
10:38 The cup foreshadows the cup of Gethsemane (Mark 14:36). See also Psalm 11:6; Isaiah 51:22.
10:43 The greatest Christian will be the servant, or deacon, of all.
10:45 The idea that Christ gave his life as a sacrifice for many or a ransom for many is developed by Paul in Romans 3:23–25.
10:46 Bartimaeus is the Aramaic son of Timai.
10:47–48 For Son of David, see Psalm 89:3–4; compare Alma 36:18.
10:51 Rabbouni was a more respectful term than rabbi. The same form is used in John 20:16.
10:52 Echoed in Enos 1:8; Alma 18:14.
11:1 Map of Bethphage and Bethany. Bethphage was located on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, but the precise location remains unknown.
11:1–13:37 This section records Jesus’s ministry in Jerusalem.
11:2 Compare Zechariah 9:9.
11:9 Quotation from Psalm 118:25. Hosanna means Save now!
11:10 This part of the crowd’s acclamation of belief is spontaneous and not a quotation of scripture.
11:13 Passover was too early to harvest ripe figs, which would not be ripe until early summer. In Matthew 21:19, the fig tree withers at once, but in Mark the fig tree withers the next day (see also verse 20).
11:15 Mark places the day of the cleansing of the temple one day later than Matthew (21:12–13) and Luke (19:45–46) do.
11:17 Quotation from Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11. Mark’s version includes Isaiah’s phrase for all nations, which expands the context to include Gentiles (compare Matthew 21:13; Luke 19:46).
11:20–25 These verses provide the context for understanding the cursing of the fig tree (11:12–14).
11:25 Mark does not use the typical word for sins and instead uses a word that implies not moral sin but failure, lies, deviations, and misdeeds. Mosiah 26:31 expands the directive to forgive to include neighbors (compare Matthew 6:15).
11:26 This verse is missing from the best manuscripts and is likely not original to Mark. It was probably added through harmonization to Matthew 6:15.
11:27–28 The scribes and chief priests ask Jesus about the source of his authority, but they more frequently ask about the legality of Jesus’s actions in accordance with their understanding of the law of Moses (Mark 2:24; 10:2; 12:14).
11:28 The word translated as authority also means power, ability, permission, or freedom to choose to do something.
11:31 Matthew 3:7 indicates that Pharisees and Sadducees went to see John baptize, but here some leading Jews claim they had rejected John. The Gospel of John treats a similar question of whether any Pharisees had believed, although in John it is a question of belief in Jesus (John 7:48). Acts 15:5 indicates that some Pharisees did accept Jesus. The evidence for acceptance and rejection of John and Jesus by their contemporaries is mixed, and both drew large crowds as well as a vocal opposition, but none of the Gospels portray the opposition to them as unanimous.
11:31–32 Their debate is whether John was from heaven or from man. Their debate mirrors the question concerning Jesus’s authority and whether it was from heaven or man.
12:1 The parable is built upon the imagery and teachings of Isaiah 5:1–7.
12:9 This saying is spoken by Jesus’s enemies in Matthew 21:40–41.
12:10 Quotation from Psalm 118:22. Jacob 4:15 also comments on the rejected stone. The words cornerstone and capstone are indistinguishable in Greek.
12:13 Only Mark mentions the Herodians as being present on this occasion. For the Herodians, see note on Matthew 22:16.
12:14 The poll tax was not an optional or voluntary tax but a census-based tax that all adult males were required to pay. Tiberius was the Roman emperor (died 37 CE), and the coin likely bore his image. Their attempt to entrap Jesus is based on populist anger at Roman taxation policies and rejection of Roman authority to tax.
12:18 Mark here comments on the beliefs of the Sadducees, who were a priestly group that collaborated with the Romans and provided the chief priests for temple services. Caiaphas was likely a Sadducee, as was his father-in-law, Annas. They rejected the oral interpretation of the Torah that the Pharisees had developed and denied that there was a resurrection, although such a belief contradicts Isaiah 26:19.
12:19 Quotation from Deuteronomy 25:5. The practice of levirate marriages, in which a living brother was required to marry his deceased brother’s widow in the event that the brother died without children, is used as a theoretical criticism of resurrection. The Sadducees seem to suppose that there was no reasonable answer to their riddle, and therefore the idea of a resurrection was equally absurd to them.
12:24 Jesus asked them if they understood what is written, which in this instance has been translated as the scriptures.
12:26 Quotation from Exodus 3:6.
12:27 Only Mark preserves the direct rebuke at the end of the verse.
12:29–30 Quotation from Deuteronomy 6:4–5 and Joshua 22:5. Deuteronomy 6:4 is the opening line of the Shema (see note on Mark 10:18). Mind can also be translated as thought.
12:31 Quotation from Leviticus 19:18.
12:32 Quotation from Deuteronomy 4:35.
12:33 The question of which is greater, the commandment to love God or to offer sacrifice, seems to lie at the heart of Jesus’s message. The scribe in verse 32 is not far from the kingdom of God when he summarizes Jesus’s answer as advocating that loving God and neighbor are the foundational pillars of a righteous life instead of animal sacrifice and burnt offerings.
12:36 Quotation from Psalm 110:1.
12:38–40 Mark records a much shorter condemnation of the scribes that of than Matthew regarding the Pharisees (compare Matthew 23:1–36).
12:40 Compare Isaiah 10:1–2.
12:42 The woman offered two small copper coins called lepta (singular lepton). Two of these coins was equal to a Latin quadrans, a bronze coin that was one fourth of an as (a larger Roman bronze coin that was in greater circulation). Mark’s audience is familiar with the quadrans (a Roman coin) but apparently not a lepton (a Judean coin).
13:1–37 The Olivet Discourse (see Matthew 24:1–55; Luke 21:5–38; Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:1–55).
13:2 Prophecies relating to the destruction of Jerusalem are found in Micah 3:12 and Jeremiah 26:18. Compare Doctrine and Covenants 45:20.
13:3 For the significance of the Mount of Olives and the Messiah, see Zechariah 14:4. Mark alone names the disciples who asked this question of Jesus.
13:6 The declaration I am he is meant as the declaration I am the Christ. It is a reference to the divine name of Exodus 3:14.
13:8 Echo of Isaiah 19:2 and 2 Chronicles 15:6. Mark notes only places.
13:9 The word translated as councils is sanhedrins. The plural conveys the idea that persecution will spread to small villages and towns.
13:9–13 These verses are unique to Mark’s version of the discourse.
13:10 The sense of the verb is that the gospel will need to be declared first in all nations before the remaining events can take place.
13:11 The phrase hand you over can also mean betray (Mark 1:14; 14:41). Alluded to in Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 (compare Matthew 10:19).
13:12 Echo of Micah 7:6.
13:13 Mark seems to intend the idea whoever patiently remains steadfast in my name, but the Greek is abbreviated and not precisely clear. 2 Nephi 31:14–15, 20 engages the idea of enduring to the end. Compare Matthew 10:22; Alma 32:13.
13:14 For the desolating sacrilege, see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Older translations preferred to translate this as the abomination of desolation or the abomination that makes desolate. Jews have long held that one of the desolating sacrileges was the defilement of the temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (168 BCE), which provided the impetus for the Maccabean revolt. Here Jesus alludes to another desolating sacrilege that will come. Some scholars have proposed that this second event was the destruction of the temple by the Roman army in 70 CE.
13:15–18 These verses predict that those who see the desolating sacrilege will need to move with haste, and they are encouraged to avoid any delay in their flight to the Lord’s holy place (see Matthew 24:15; Doctrine and Covenants 45:32).
13:20 For the idea of Israel as a chosen people, see Isaiah 65:9.
13:24 Compare Doctrine and Covenants 34:9, which quotes this verse.
13:24–25 Allusion to Isaiah 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10. Compare Doctrine and Covenants 34:9.
13:26 Allusion to Daniel 7:13.
13:27 Allusion to Zechariah 2:10 and Deuteronomy 30:4.
13:28 Doctrine and Covenants 35:16; 45:37 comment on the meaning of this parable.
13:30 Matthew, Mark, and Luke are unanimous in reporting that Jesus declared that the calamities foretold would be fulfilled in this generation (Matthew 24:34; Luke 21:32). The Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew places the fulfillment of some of these events in the days of the disciples and some of them as yet to be fulfilled in the future (compare Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:21–55). Scholars have struggled to make sense of the meaning of this generation and whether Jesus was indicating that the fulfillment of these things would take place in the lives of the disciples or in the future.
13:31 Allusion to Isaiah 40:8; 51:6.
13:33–37 The theme of being watchful and attentive is sometimes referred to as the delay of the Lord’s coming, and a number of New Testament teachings warn against falling asleep or failing to watch for the Lord’s return (see Matthew 25:5; 1 Corinthians 15:16–18; 1 Thessalonians 5:6).
14:1–16:8 The final section of Mark, which details the Last Supper, arrest, trial, crucifixion, and the empty tomb.
14:1 Mark does not note the precise day of the week, but he does draw attention to the fact that they were still in Bethany two days before Passover (14:3).
14:2 Despite the objection to not arrest Jesus during Passover, they arrest him on the evening of the first day of the celebration.
14:3 Nard, or spikenard, was a costly perfume derived from a plant that grew in India. Some Roman recipes called for the addition of nard.
14:5 Determining the value of the perfume is difficult because of changes in the value of the denarius over time. It would have been worth approximately two months, pay for an average day laborer. Following the standard of pay in Jesus’s parables, where the average worker earned a denarius for a day’s work, this would be equivalent to approximately one and a half year’s worth of pay.
14:7 An allusion to Deuteronomy 15:11.
14:8 Jesus teaches his disciples that the anointing of his body with perfume was done as a means of looking forward to his burial.
14:12 The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on Nisan 15. By noting that the Passover lambs were sacrificed, Mark has clarified his intent that the day was Nisan 14. There has been a significant amount of confusion regarding the date of the Last Supper celebrated by Jesus and whether it was a Passover meal. The Passover lamb was to be sacrificed on Nisan 14 and eaten after sundown and therefore on Nisan 15 (Exodus 12:18). According to Mark, the Last Supper took place on the first day of the feast (Nisan 14) in the evening (see Matthew 26:17; Luke 22:7). John, however, places the meal before Passover, and therefore it was not a Passover meal, but an ordinary meal enjoyed by Jesus on the eve of his death (John 13:1). Furthermore, John 18:28 notes that the day of the crucifixion is also a day when the priests did not want to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover presumably later that day, and therefore Jesus was crucified at about the same time the Passover lambs were being sacrificed in the temple (John 19:14). That Jesus celebrated a last meal with his disciples on the eve of his death is indisputable, but whether it was a Passover meal is impossible to know given the differences in the sources. It is clear, based on references to the beginning of the Sabbath, that Jesus was crucified on Friday, but the calendar date was either Nisan 14 or 15.
14:15 Furnished here means strewn with pillows or carpets on which they could recline and dine.
14:22 The practice of breaking the bread and blessing it is reminiscent of the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:41).
14:25 An interpretation of this verse is given in Doctrine and Covenants 27:5.
14:26 The hymn would have been the Hallel Psalms (Psalms 113–18).
14:27 Quotation from Zechariah 13:7.
14:28 The Joseph Smith Translation adds to the end of this verse And he said unto Judas Iscariot, what thou doest, do quickly; but beware of innocent blood. Nevertheless, Judas Iscariot, even one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests to betray Jesus unto them; for he turned away from him, and was offended because of his words. And when the chief priests heard of him, they were glad, and promised to give him money; and he sought how he might conveniently betray Jesus.
14:30 Mark records that the rooster will crow twice, while Matthew (26:34, 74–75), Luke (22:34, 60–61), and John (13:38; 18:27) note that the rooster will crow after Peter denied knowing Jesus.
14:32 The Joseph Smith Translation of this verse reads And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane, which was a garden; and the disciples began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy, and to complain in their hearts, wondering if this be the Messiah. And Jesus, knowing their hearts, he said to his disciples, Sit you here while I shall pray.
14:33 Jesus’s emotions may have been distress and anguish, but Mark uses a verb that also means wonder or amazement.
14:36 Abba is an Aramaic word for Father and was also used by Paul (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6), perhaps as a means of recalling this prayer. This cup may be an echo of the cup of Mark 14:23.
14:38 Alluded to in Doctrine and Covenants 31:12 (compare Matthew 26:41; Luke 22:46).
14:44 Under guard conveys the idea that Jesus was not allowed to escape.
14:47 The servant of the chief priest is probably Caiaphas’s servant. Caiaphas was high priest during the trial of Jesus and held the position from 18 CE to 36/
14:48 Jesus asks if they intend to take him as a bandit. He earlier accused them of being bandits (Mark 11:17–18).
14:51–52 The identity of the young man who fled from the arrest may represent an eyewitness source known only to the author of the Gospel of Mark.
14:55 Mark notes that the entire Sanhedrin met to interrogate and condemn Jesus. Such a meeting of the entire council would have given the gathering an aura of legality, although the Gospels are fairly unanimous that the actions taken during the interrogation were mob oriented.
14:56–57 An allusion to Deuteronomy 19:15.
14:62 Jesus’s answer is built on Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13–14. Echoed in Doctrine and Covenants 49:6.
14:64 For the law of Moses command on blasphemy, see Leviticus 24:16.
14:68 Some manuscripts add to the end of the verse and the rooster crowed. Mark may have constructed the story as a means of showing that Peter was reminded partway through his denials that Jesus had foretold what he would do (see also 14:72, where the rooster crows a second time).
15:1 Mark notes that the chief priests, elders, and scribes acted right away (rather than simply early in the morning), giving the story a sense of quick movement toward the crucifixion. Pilate was the highest-ranking civil officer in Judea, where he served as prefect of Judea (26–36 CE).
15:2 Pilate’s question implies that Jesus was accused of treason.
15:7 Mark is clear that the prisoners are bandits or political revolutionaries and not simply thieves. Barabbas participated in the insurrection, but Mark does not provide details of the event in question.
15:11–15 Despite Pilate’s recognition that the actions against Jesus were a result of envy, Pilate was still easily manipulated in the trial of Jesus. Historically, Pilate was described as a person who was insensitive to Jewish customs and at the same time willing to provoke Jews (Josephus, Jewish War 2.9.2–4; Philo, On the Embassy of Gaius 38.299–305).
15:16 The Praetorium may refer to Pilate’s residential palace, but it could also refer to a Herodian palace. The sources are unclear regarding the precise location of the Praetorium. The entire garrison would consist of two to six hundred foot soldiers.
15:21 The notice that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus (perhaps the same person mentioned in Romans 16:13, but uncertain) may have been included in the story because the two sons were known by name to Jesus’s followers. Simon was required to carry the topmost part of the cross, to which the arms were fastened. The upright or vertically positioned poles used in crucifixion would have already been fixed in the ground.
15:22 Only Mark notes that they carried Jesus to Golgotha (Matthew 27:33; Luke 23:33). John notes that Jesus carried his own cross to the site of the crucifixion (John 19:17).
15:23 A possible allusion to Proverbs 31:6.
15:24 An allusion to Psalm 22:18.
15:25 Mark gives the time of the crucifixion as about the third hour, or approximately 9:00 a.m.
15:26–27 That Jesus was crucified between two bandits or political revolutionaries (see also the note on 15:7) suggests that Jesus was crucified for acting against Roman interests and governance. That act may be described in modern terms as treason, and the charge against him that he was the King of the Jews confirms that there were political overtones in the charges against him.
15:28 This verse is missing in the majority of early manuscripts. It was likely added on the evidence of the parallel in Luke 22:37. Quotation from Isaiah 53:12.
15:34 Quotation from Psalm 22:1.
15:36 A possible allusion to Psalm 69:21.
15:38 The veil of the temple was torn so that everyone could see into the Holy of Holies, or at least could figuratively see inside the holiest part of the temple.
15:40 Mary the mother of Jacob the younger and Jose would be Jesus’s mother (see Mark 6:3), and Mark describes her in an unexpected fashion if this Mary is indeed the same person as Jesus’s mother.
15:41 The women provided for him, meaning that they served him as deacons would do. This would include attending to his physical needs and looking after his welfare.
15:42 This would indicate that Jesus was crucified on Friday before the Sabbath began at sundown on Friday evening.
15:43 A notable officer is unclear in Greek, and the reference could refer to a civic administrator or perhaps even a member of a Sanhedrin. Luke 23:50–51 notes that Joseph was a member of the Judean council. Arimathea is the town of Ramathaim, which is rendered as Arimathea in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (referred to as the Septuagint or LXX) in 1 Samuel 1:1.
15:44 The note that Jesus had been dead for long may indicate an attempt to respond to rumors about whether Jesus was really dead at the time of his burial. The centurion confirms that Jesus was dead (15:45).
16:1 When the Sabbath had passed indicates only that it was Saturday evening after sundown. The following verse points the reader to the fact that it was Sunday morning because it was early in the morning, on the first day of the week. The women disciples had come to anoint or prepare Jesus in preparation for his burial.
16:5 The young man is wearing a long white robe, which would have been physically different from the type of clothing worn by Jesus and his contemporaries. This type of clothing was worn by kings and royals. The Joseph Smith Translation says two angels.
16:6–8 This is Mark’s point of emphasis in the account of the resurrection: He has risen. The women disciples immediately spread this good news to the disciples who were to meet with Jesus in Galilee. The Gospel of Mark likely ended at verse 8 originally, although a number of different endings have been preserved in different manuscripts.
16:9 The manuscript sources for the longer ending of Mark are quite late and much less reliable than those that end with verse 8. The longer ending may have been the result of scribes attempting to harmonize the Second Gospel with the other Gospel accounts of the resurrection. Some less trustworthy manuscripts add the following after verse 8, but they omit the longer ending (verses 9–20): But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.
16:15 The injunction to take the gospel to all the world is echoed in Doctrine and Covenants 18:28; 58:64; 68:6, 8–9; 84:62; 112:28–29. Compare Mormon 9:22.
16:16 Compare 3 Nephi 11:33–34; Mormon 9:23; Doctrine and Covenants 68:9–10.
16:15–18 These verses are alluded in Mormon 9:22–24 and partially in Mormon 9:24; Ether 4:18.
16:17 Echoed in Doctrine and Covenants 24:13; 84:65; 124:98.