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Mark 8:8-9

Context
8:8 Everyone 1  ate and was satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 8:9 There were about four thousand 2  who ate. 3  Then he dismissed them. 4 

Mark 8:16-21

Context
8:16 So they began to discuss with one another about having no bread. 5  8:17 When he learned of this, 6  Jesus said to them, “Why are you arguing 7  about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Have your hearts been hardened? 8:18 Though you have eyes, don’t you see? And though you have ears, can’t you hear? 8  Don’t you remember? 8:19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?” They replied, “Twelve.” 8:20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you pick up?” They replied, 9  “Seven.” 8:21 Then 10  he said to them, “Do you still not understand?” 11 

1 tn Grk “They.”

2 sn The parallel in Matt 15:32-39 notes that the four thousand were only men, a point not made explicit in Mark.

3 tn The words “who ate” are not in the Greek text but have been supplied for clarity.

4 sn Mark 8:1-10. Many commentators, on the basis of similarities between this account of the feeding of the multitude (8:1-10) and that in 6:30-44, have argued that there is only one event referred to in both passages. While there are similarities in language and in the response of the disciples, there are also noticeable differences, including the different number present on each occasion (i.e., 5,000 in chap. 6 and 4,000 here). In the final analysis, the fact that Jesus refers to two distinct feedings in 8:18-20 settles the issue; this passage represents another very similar incident to that recorded in 6:30-44.

5 tn Grk “And they were discussing with one another that they had no bread.”

6 tn Or “becoming aware of it.”

7 tn Or “discussing.”

8 tn Grk “do you not hear?”

9 tc ‡ A difficult textual problem is found here, involving three different variants: καὶ λέγουσιν (kai legousin) is found in א pc; οἱ δὲ εἶπον (Joi de eipon) is the reading of Ì45 A D W Θ Ë1,13 33 Ï it; and καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ (kai legousin autw) is supported by B C L (Δ 579 892) 2427 pc. The first two variants would not be translated differently; the third reading, however, would add “to him” after “they replied.” What complicates the issue is that the external evidence is fairly evenly split between the second and third readings, though the first reading is in agreement with the second reading in lacking the dative pronoun. Indeed, another layout of the problem here could treat this as two distinct problems: καὶ λέγουσιν vs. οἱ δὲ εἶπον and αὐτῷ vs. omission of the word. In this second arrangement of the problem, the reading without the pronoun has slightly stronger support (Ì45 א A D W Θ Ë1,13 33 Ï it). Internally, Mark never elsewhere uses the form εἶπον for the third person plural indicative form of this verb (it is always εἶπαν [eipan]). And although only one other time in Mark is the object lacking after λέγουσιν (6:38), it is a similar context (viz., the disciples’ response before Jesus feeds the 5000). Very tentatively, the reading that is followed here is καὶ λέγουσιν. NA27 puts αὐτῷ in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.

10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to indicate the implied sequence in the narrative.

11 sn Do you still not understand? The disciples in Mark’s Gospel often misunderstood the miracles of Jesus as well as his teaching. Between Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Mark paints the most revealing portrait of the shortcomings of the Twelve (cf. 6:51-52; 7:17-19; 8:1-10, 14-21, 27-30, 33; 9:5, 10, 33; 10:28, 35-45; 14:19, 29-31, 32-37, 50, 66-72).



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