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Mark 3:21

3:21 When his family 1  heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Mark 3:31-35

Jesus’ True Family

3:31 Then 2  Jesus’ 3  mother and his brothers 4  came. Standing 5  outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. 3:32 A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers 6  are outside looking for you.” 3:33 He answered them and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 7  3:34 And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, “Here 8  are my mother and my brothers! 3:35 For whoever does the will of God is 9  my brother and sister and mother.”

1 tc Western witnesses D W it, instead of reading οἱ παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ (Joi paraujtou, here translated “family”), have περὶ αὐτοῦ οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ λοιποί (peri autou Joi grammatei" kai Joi loipoi, “[when] the scribes and others [heard] about him”). But this reading is obviously motivated, for it removes the embarrassing statement about Jesus’ family’s opinion of him as “out of his mind” and transfers this view to the Lord’s opponents. The fact that virtually all other witnesses have οἱ παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ here, coupled with the strong internal evidence for the shorter reading, shows this Western reading to be secondary.

tn On the meaning “family” for οἱ παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ (Joi parautou), see BDAG 756-57 s.v. παρά A.3.b.β.ב.

sn The incident involving the religious leaders accusing Jesus of being in league with the devil (3:22-30) is sandwiched between Mark’s mention of Jesus’ family coming to restrain him (the Greek word for restrain here is also used to mean arrest; see Mark 6:17; 12:12; 14:1, 44, 46, 49, 51) because they thought he was out of his mind (3:21). It is probably Mark’s intention in this structure to show that Jesus’ family is to be regarded as not altogether unlike the experts in the law [scribes] in their perception of the true identity of Jesus; they are incorrect in their understanding of him as well. The tone is obviously one of sadness and the emphasis on Jesus’ true family in vv. 31-35 serves to underscore the comparison between his relatives and the scribes on the one hand, and those who truly obey God on the other.

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

3 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 sn The issue of whether Jesus had brothers (siblings) has had a long history in the church. Epiphanius, in the 4th century, argued that Mary was a perpetual virgin and had no offspring other than Jesus. Others argued that these brothers were really cousins. Nothing in the text suggests any of this. See also John 7:3.

5 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

6 tc ‡ Many mss read “and your sisters” here after “your brothers” (A D Γ 700 pm it). However, the pedigree of several of the mss which lack this phrase is considerable (א B C K L W Δ Θ Ë1,13 28 33 565 892 1241 1424 2542 pm lat sy). It seems likely that this phrase was added by an early Western scribe to harmonize this statement with Jesus’ response in v. 35. NA27 has the words in brackets, indicating some doubt as to their authenticity.

7 tn Grk “Who is my mother and my brothers?” The use of the singular verb ἐστιν (estin) here singles out Mary above Jesus’ brothers, giving her special prominence (see ExSyn 401-2). This is slightly unnatural in English since the predicate nominative is plural, though, so a plural verb was used in the translation.

8 tn Grk “Behold my mother and my brothers.”

9 tn The pleonastic pronoun οὗτος (Jouto", “this one”) which precedes this verb has not been translated.

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