(Reposted from my old blog, Fragmenta)
Just read Mark 6 with Talia today. Some thoughts that came up.
6:11 – εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς — Jesus instructs the disciples that in towns that will not hear their message, they should shake off the dust from their feet “for a testimony against them.” It struck me that the identical expression is used in 1:44, when Jesus tells the leper to show himself to the priests. But the NKJV translates it in that instance with the more neutral expression “as a testimony to them” — much less confrontational. But with what warrant do we assume that these two instances ought to be translated differently?
6:15 – Speculation about Jesus’ identity comes to Herod’s ears: “Others said, ‘it is Elijah’, and others said, ‘It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets (εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).” What does it mean, “one of the prophets”? Is this a reference to the writing prophets, to the major prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah, or to the twelve minor prophets whose books were often referred to as one?
6:22 – Salome is named as θυγατὴρ τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος, “the daughter of Herodias”, thereby neatly passing over the awkward question of how to designate her in relation to Herod — step-daughter? neice?
6:39 – Jesus has the 5000 sit down συμπόσια συμπόσια, “by symposia.”
6:41 – Jesus feeds the 5000 bread by first breaking it (κατέκλασε). This can be taken, I think, as a picture of what “breaking of bread” looks like: the server breaks it up to distribute it. The symbolical breaking in half which pastors now do is not really the meaning of the word.