Monday, June 7, 2021

Mark 4.26-34 Translations and Notes (RCL 3rd Sunday after Pentecost Year B)
Mark 4.26-34 includes two fascinating parables of Jesus: The Growing Seed and the Mustard Seed. The Growing Seed is somewhat obscure, but it affirms the certainty of the harvest = the full realization of the Dominion of God. Personally, I think Matthew found it confusing, and the result is his version of it known as the Weeds and the Wheat (Matthew 13.24-30) For the Growing Seed, I've suggested it be used as a kind of Lectio Divina. See what you think with this video I created that can be as long or short as you want.

For the Mustard Seed parable, it most certainly is not about "From small beginnings come great endings." It's much more about the scandal of depicting God's dominion to what is basically a weed and contrasting it to the more typical image of a mighty cedar tree. (The image at the top of this post by Masaccio is one I like to use as an example of a scandalous tree which is also a tree of life.)

Here are is my handout of Mark 4.26-34 with a variety of translations and my translation notes. 

I include my own translation, and it should be noted that my translation is actually very close to the oral character of Mark’s Greek. My rendering is not good literary English which most English versions turn it into. It does work, however, as casual, spoken English. Try reading it out loud, and experiment with pacing and pauses in the text. E.g., in 4.30-31, you can almost hear Jesus thinking and engaging with a crowd when he asks two questions of them about what God's dominion is like. He pauses, and then in v31 he comes up with his answer: A mustard seed! The Greek is grammatically awkward, but it sounds perfectly fine when read out loud.

No comments:

Post a Comment