Monday, July 5, 2021

Mark 6.14-29 Translations and Notes (RCL 7th Sunday after Pentecost Year B)

Machaerus, Jordan: Herod's fortress, traditionally identified as site of John the Baptizer's execution

Mark 6.14-29 is the appointed gospel text for the Revised Common Lectionary 7th Sunday after Pentecost Year B which is 11 July 2021. It describes the beheading of John the Baptizer by Herod Antipas. It hardly seems like "good news," but it does fit into Mark's narrative strategy. I have previously commented on this text at WorkingPreacher here. I also have a friend, Pastor Janet Hunt, who provides an excellent commentary on the text and how it might help us think about racial issues in the United States today. Check it out HERE.

As I have been doing, here are links to my compilations of translations of the passage with my commentary on translation and other issues, and my own translation attending closely to the Greek. As an example, most English versions miss the intentional build up to the girl's request to Herod in 6.25 by starting out, "I want the head of John the Baptist..." Instead, the Greek reserves that detail to the end of the sentence. I imagine the story being told with the narrator speaking slowly and with pauses between phrase: “I want, right away, that you give me, on a platter, the head of John the Baptist.” 

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