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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - MARK 4

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    CHAPTER IV

    1. Again. He had taught there before. See iii. 7-9.

    In the sea. Mark only.

    There was gathered (sunagetai). The A.V. misses Mark's graphic use of the present, "There is gathered." So Rev. 7. Choked (sunepnixan). The preposition, sun = com (together), carries the idea of com-pression. It yielded no fruit. Added by Mark.

    8. That sprang up and increased (anabainonta kai auxanomenon). The Rev. literally renders the participles, growing up and increasing, thus describing the process more vividly. These two participles, moreover, explain the use of the imperfect tense ejdidou (yielded), denoting continuance. It began to yield and kept yielding as it increased.

    Thirty (eiv triakonta). Lit., up to thirty.

    10. When he was alone. Mark only.

    They that were about him with the twelve. Mark only. Matthew and Luke, the disciples.

    11. Unto them that are without (ekeinoiv toiv exw). The two latter words are peculiar to Mark. The phrase means those outside of our circle. Its sense is always determined by the contrast to it. Thus, 1 Corinthians v. 12,13, it is non-Christians in contrast with me. Col. iv. 5, Christians, contrasted with people of the world. Compare 1 Thessalonians iv. 12; 1 Tim. iii. 7. Matthew (xiii. 11), with less precision, uses simply ejkeinoiv (to them), the pronoun of remote reference. Luke viii. 10, toiv loipoiv (to the rest).

    13. Peculiar to Mark. Parables (tav parabolav). The parables, which I have spoken or may hereafter speak.

    14. The sower soweth the word. More precise than either Matthew or Luke. Compare Matt. xiii. 19; Luke viii. 11.

    19. The lusts of other things entering in (ai peri ta loipa epiqumiai). Lusts not in the limited sense of mere sexual desire, but in the general sense of longing. The word is also used of desire for good and lawful things (Luke xxii. 15; Philip. i. 23).

    20. Such as. A good rendering of the pronoun oitinev, which indicates the class of hearers.

    21. A candle (o lucnov). Properly, the lamp, as Rev. Brought (ercetai). Lit., cometh. Doth the lamp come? This impersonation or investing the lamp with motion is according to Mark's lively mode of narrative, as is the throwing of the passage into the interrogative form. Compare Luke viii. 16. The lamp: the article indicating a familiar household implement. So also "the bed " and "the stand."

    Bushel (modion). The Latin modius. One of Mark's Latin words. See on Matt. v. 15. The modius was nearer a peck than a bushel.

    Bed (klinhn). A couch for reclining at table.

    Candlestick (lucnian). Rev., correctly, stand; i.e., lamp stand. See on Matt. v. 15.

    22. Which shall not be manifested (ean mh ina fanerwqh). The A.V. makes Christ say that every hidden thing shall be revealed. This is wrong. He says that things are hidden in order that they may be manifested. Concealment is a means to revelation.

    26-29. THE PARABLE OF THE SEED GROWING SECRETLY. Peculiar to Mark.

    26. Should cast (balh). Lit., should have cast, the aorist tense, followed by the presents sleep and rise (kaqeudh and egeirhtai). The whole, literally, "As if a man should have cast seed into the ground, and should be sleeping and rising night and day." The aorist tense indicates the single act of casting; the presents the repeated, continued sleeping and rising while the seed is growing.

    Seed (ton sporon). The seed; that particular seed which he had to sow. Such is the force of the article.

    27. Grow (mhkunhtai). Lit., lengthen; be extended by the seed lengthening out into blade and stalk.

    He knoweth not how (wJv oujk oiden aujtov). The Greek order is very lively: how knoweth not he.

    28. Of herself (automath). Lit., self-acting. It occurs in only one other passage of the New Testament, Acts xii. 10; of the city gate which opened to Peter of its own accord.

    29. Is brought forth (paradoi). This rendering cannot be correct, for the verb is active, not passive, meaning to deliver up. Hence it is usually explained, shall have delivered itself up to harvest; which is stilted and artificial. Rev. is ripe, is a free rendering from the margin of A.V. It is, perhaps, better to explain, as Meyer does, whose rendering is adopted by Rev. in margin: When the fruit shall have allowed, i.e., shall have admitted of being harvested. Xenophon and Herodotus use the word in the sense of permit or allow; and an exact parallel to this occurs in the historian Polybius (xxii., 24, 9): "When the season permitted" (paradidoushv).

    Putteth in (apostellei). Lit., sendeth forth. So Rev. in margin. The rendering, putteth in, misses the figure. The verb is the same as that used of sending forth the apostles to reap the harvest of souls. See especially John iv. 38: "I sent (apesteila) you to reap."

    30. Peculiar to Mark.

    With what comparison shall we compare it? (en tini authn parabolh qwmen). Lit., In what parable might we put it? Rev., In what parable shall we set it forth? Note the we, taking the hearers, with a fine tact, into consultation.

    31. When it is sown (otan sparh). This phrase is repeated in verse 32. Here the emphasis is on otan, when. It is small at the time when it is sown. In verse 32 the emphasis is on sparh, it is sown. It begins to grow great from the time when it is sown.

    That are upon the earth. A little detail peculiar to Mark.

    32. Groweth up. Mark only.

    Herbs (twn lacanwn). Rev., rightly, the herbs; those which people are wont to plant in their gardens. The word denotes garden - or pot-herbs, as distinguished from wild herbs.

    Shooteth out great branches (poiei kladouv megalouv). Lit., maketh, etc. Rev., putteth out. Peculiar to Mark. Matthew has becometh a tree. On branches, see note on Matt. xxiv. 32. One of the Talmudists describes the mustard-plant as a tree, of which the wood was sufficient to cover a potter's shed. Another says that he was wont to climb into it as men climb into a fig-tree. Professor Hackett says that on the plain of Akka, toward Carmel, he found a collection of mustard-plants from six to nine feet high, with branches from each side of a trunk an inch or more in thickness. Dr. Thomson relates that near the bank of the Jordan he found a mustard-tree more than twelve feet high.

    Lodge (kataskhnoun), See on Matt. viii. 20. Lit., pitch their tents.

    33. Such. Implying that Mark knew yet more parables that were spoken at that time.

    As they were able to hear it. Peculiar to Mark.

    36. Even as he was in the ship. Rev., boat. Just as he was, in the boat in which he was then sitting. Mark adds the detail about the accompanying boats.

    37. Storm (lailay). So Luke. Distinctively furious storm or hurricane. Compare Septuagint, Job xxxviii. 1, of the whirlwind out of which God answered Job. See, also, Job xxi. 18. Matthew uses seismov, a shaking. See on Matt. viii. 24. Mr. Macgregor ("Rob Roy on the Jordan") says that "on the sea of Galilee the wind has a singular force and suddenness; and this is no doubt because that sea is so deep in the world that the sun rarefies the air in it enormously, and the wind, speeding swiftly above a long and level plateau, gathers much force as it sweeps through flat deserts, until suddenly it meets this huge gap in the way, and it tumbles down here irresistible."

    38. A pillow (to proskefalaion). The definite article indicates a well-known part of the boat's equipment - the coarse leathern cushion at the stern for the steersman. The Anglo-Saxon version has bolster.

    39. Peace, be still (siwpa, pefimwso). Lit., be silent! be muzzled! Wyc., rather tamely, wax dumb! How much more vivid than the narratives of either Matthew or Luke is this personification and rebuke of the sea as a raging monster.

    Ceased (ekopasen). From kopov, meaning, 1, beating; 2, toil; 3, weariness. A beautiful and picturesque word. The sea sank to rest as if exhausted by its own beating.

    There was (egeneto). More strictly, there arose or ensued. The aorist tense indicates something immediate. Tynd. has followed.

    Calm. Wyc., peaceableness.

    41. They feared exceedingly (efobhqhsan fobon megan). Lit., they feared a great fear.

    What manner of man is this? (tiv ara outov estin). The A.V. is rather a rendering of Matthew's potapov, what manner of (viii. 27), than of Mark's tiv, who. The Rev. gives it rightly: Who then is this? The then (ara) is argumentative. Since these things are so, who then is this?

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