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Mark 10:23-27

Context

10:23 Then 1  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 10:24 The disciples were astonished at these words. But again Jesus said to them, 2  “Children, how hard it is 3  to enter the kingdom of God! 10:25 It is easier for a camel 4  to go through the eye of a needle 5  than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 10:26 They were even more astonished and said 6  to one another, “Then 7  who can be saved?” 8  10:27 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, 9  but not for God; all things are possible for God.”

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 tn Grk “But answering, Jesus again said to them.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant and has not been translated.

3 tc Most mss (A C D Θ Ë1,13 28 565 2427 Ï lat sy) have here “for those who trust in riches” (τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ [τοῖς] χρήμασιν, tou" pepoiqota" epi [toi"] crhmasin); W has πλούσιον (plousion) later in the verse, producing the same general modification on the dominical saying (“how hard it is for the rich to enter…”). But such qualifications on the Lord’s otherwise harsh and absolute statements are natural scribal expansions, intended to soften the dictum. Further, the earliest and best witnesses, along with a few others (א B Δ Ψ sa), lack any such qualifications. That W lacks the longer expansion and only has πλούσιον suggests that its archetype agreed with א B here; its voice should be heard with theirs. Thus, both on external and internal grounds, the shorter reading is preferred.

4 tc A few witnesses (Ë13 28 579 pc) read κάμιλον (kamilon, “rope”) for κάμηλον (kamhlon, “camel”), either through accidental misreading of the text or intentionally so as to soften Jesus’ words.

5 sn The referent of the eye of a needle is a sewing needle. (The gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” was built during the middle ages and was not in existence in Jesus’ day.) Jesus was speaking rhetorically to point out that apart from God’s intervention, salvation is impossible (v. 27).

6 tn Grk “But they were even more astonished, saying.” The participle λέγονες (legontes) has been translated here as a finite verb to emphasize the sequence of events: The disciples were astonished, then they spoke.

7 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of thought.

8 sn The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved?

9 tn The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anqrwpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men…all things are possible for God”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation.



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