Monday, September 27, 2021

Mark 10.1-16 Translations and Notes (RCL19th Sunday after Pentecost Year B )

View of Bethany beyond the Jordan looking east from Jordan. Jordan river and traditional site of Jesus' baptism in green area in center of picture. Judea in the distance beyond it. This is setting of as described in Mark 10.1.

The designated text in the RCL for 19th Sunday after Pentecost (3 October in 2021) is 10.2-16, but verse 1 includes meaningful context that should be included. The passage includes two events: the issue of divorce and the welcoming of children. The divorce matter appears to me to relate to Herod Antipas' divorcing Phasaelis in order to marry Herodias. Remember that John the Baptizer had been arrested and ultimately killed for criticizing what Herod did. (Mark 6.17-19) But if Jesus figuratively took up the mantle of John, why doesn't Jesus also criticize Herod? It appears to me that Mark 10.l-12 actually does address it, and Jesus basically affirms John's criticism of Herod, but Jesus is more discrete about. (Jesus is only explicit when he is "in the house.")

As for the matter of children, Mark is counting on people remembering the incident in 9.33-37 where Jesus welcomed children. Here in 10.13-16, the disciples once again demonstrate their failure to comprehend. In terms of translation and performance, how can one remind hearers of that earlier incident?

Also in terms of performance, in 10.6-8, how does one convey to the modern listener that Jesus is actually quoting from Jesus and distinguish the quotations from Jesus' own conclusions? I have suggested that holding up a Bible when quoting the OT is one possible way to do so.

See what you think... Here is a collection of translations including my own along with my notes on the translation.

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