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Mark 15:33-41

Context
Jesus’ Death

15:33 Now 1  when it was noon, 2  darkness came over the whole land 3  until three in the afternoon. 4  15:34 Around three o’clock 5  Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 6  15:35 When some of the bystanders heard it they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah!” 7  15:36 Then someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, 8  put it on a stick, 9  and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down!” 15:37 But Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last. 15:38 And the temple curtain 10  was torn in two, from top to bottom. 15:39 Now when the centurion, 11  who stood in front of him, saw how he died, 12  he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” 15:40 There were also women, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, 13  and Salome. 15:41 When he was in Galilee, they had followed him and given him support. 14  Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem 15  were there too.

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

2 tn Grk “When the sixth hour had come.”

3 sn This imagery has parallels to the Day of the Lord: Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9; Zeph 1:15.

4 tn Grk “until the ninth hour.”

5 tn The repetition of the phrase “three o’clock” preserves the author’s rougher, less elegant style (cf. Matt 27:45-46; Luke 23:44). Although such stylistic matters are frequently handled differently in the translation, because the issue of synoptic literary dependence is involved here, it was considered important to reflect some of the stylistic differences among the synoptics in the translation, so that the English reader can be aware of them.

6 sn A quotation from Ps 22:1.

7 sn Perhaps the crowd thought Jesus was calling for Elijah because the exclamation “my God, my God” (i.e., in Aramaic, Eloi, Eloi) sounds like the name Elijah.

8 sn Sour wine refers to cheap wine that was called in Latin posca, a cheap vinegar wine diluted heavily with water. It was the drink of slaves and soldiers, and was probably there for the soldiers who had performed the crucifixion.

9 tn Grk “a reed.”

10 tn The referent of this term, καταπέτασμα (katapetasma), is not entirely clear. It could refer to the curtain separating the holy of holies from the holy place (Josephus, J. W. 5.5.5 [5.219]), or it could refer to one at the entrance of the temple court (Josephus, J. W. 5.5.4 [5.212]). Many argue that the inner curtain is meant because another term, κάλυμμα (kalumma), is also used for the outer curtain. Others see a reference to the outer curtain as more likely because of the public nature of this sign. Either way, the symbolism means that access to God has been opened up. It also pictures a judgment that includes the sacrifices.

11 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like Paul.

12 tn Grk “the way he breathed his last”; or “the way he expired”; or “that he thus breathed no more.”

13 sn In Matt 27:56 the name Joses is written as Joseph.

14 tn Grk “and ministered to him.”

sn Cf. Luke 8:3.

15 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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