Sunday, July 11, 2021

Mark 6.30-34, 53-56Translations and Notes (RCL 8th Sunday after Pentecost Year B)

Sea of Galilee and Plain of Genneserat from the Mount of Beatitudes. Mark 6.30-34 takes place somewhere near here on the left side of the picture by the sea. 6.53 locates Jesus and the disciples at Gennesaret on right (west) side of the sea in this picture.

Mark 6.30-34, 53-56 is the appointed gospel text for the Revised Common Lectionary 8th Sunday after Pentecost Year B which is 18 July 2021. Personally, this makes no sense to me to omit vv35-52, and it requires some explanation how one gets from the scene in vv30-34 to the one in vv53-56. The lectionary omits Jesus' feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on the water. Apparently the lectionary committee chose to omit those verses in order to return to John the next Sunday and spend four weeks on the John 6 account of the feeding of the 5000. (As a pastor, I recommend planning your vacation during that time. Who has four good sermons on the Bread of Life? :) )

The good thing, however, is that the appointed text at least includes my favorite verse in the Bible, Mark 6.34. In one of the few instances in Mark's gospel, Jesus is said to have compassion for the people. And how does Jesus show compassion? "And he began to teach them many things." Not curing but teaching! For me, Mark 6.34 is the 'Teacher's Verse' in the Bible. As a teacher, I hope it is compassion I am demonstrating when I teach my students!

As I've been doing, I'm providing a collection of translations along with notes, translation comments, and my own translation. My translation is intended to reflect the oral character of Mark's Greek which also makes it a good version for performance in English. It's part of a larger project I'm working on, Let the Hearer Understand: A Translation and Performance Guide for Hearing the Gospel of Mark.

The notes are only for Mark 6.30-34, 53-56. My translation is for Mark 6-30-56. IMO, it would be worth reading the whole thing as the Gospel.

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