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Mark 15:24-41

Context
15:24 Then 1  they crucified 2  him and divided his clothes, throwing dice 3  for them, to decide what each would take. 15:25 It was nine o’clock in the morning 4  when they crucified him. 15:26 The inscription 5  of the charge against him read, “The king of the Jews.” 15:27 And they crucified two outlaws with him, one on his right and one on his left. 15:28 [[EMPTY]] 6  15:29 Those who passed by defamed him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 15:30 save yourself and come down from the cross!” 7  15:31 In the same way even the chief priests – together with the experts in the law 8  – were mocking him among themselves: 9  “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 15:32 Let the Christ, 10  the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with him also spoke abusively to him. 11 

Jesus’ Death

15:33 Now 12  when it was noon, 13  darkness came over the whole land 14  until three in the afternoon. 15  15:34 Around three o’clock 16  Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 17  15:35 When some of the bystanders heard it they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah!” 18  15:36 Then someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, 19  put it on a stick, 20  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 21  was torn in two, from top to bottom. 15:39 Now when the centurion, 22  who stood in front of him, saw how he died, 23  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, 24  and Salome. 15:41 When he was in Galilee, they had followed him and given him support. 25  Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem 26  were there too.

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

2 sn See the note on Crucify in 15:13.

3 tn Grk “by throwing the lot” (probably by using marked pebbles or broken pieces of pottery). A modern equivalent, “throwing dice,” was chosen here because of its association with gambling. According to L&N 6.219 a term for “dice” is particularly appropriate.

sn An allusion to Ps 22:18.

4 tn Grk “It was the third hour.” This time would have been approximate, and could refer to the beginning of the process, some time before Jesus was lifted on the cross.

5 sn Mention of the inscription is an important detail, because the inscription would normally give the reason for the execution. It shows that Jesus was executed for claiming to be a king. It was also probably written with irony from the executioners’ point of view.

6 tc Most later mss add 15:28 “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘He was counted with the lawless ones.’” Verse 28 is included in L Θ 083 0250 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat, but is lacking in important Alexandrian and Western mss and some others (א A B C D Ψ pc). The addition of the verse with its quotation from Isa 53:12 probably represents a scribal assimilation from Luke 22:37. It was almost certainly not an original part of Mark’s Gospel. The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.

7 sn There is rich irony in the statement of those who were passing by, “Save yourself and come down from the cross!” In summary, they wanted Jesus to come down from the cross and save his physical life, but it was indeed his staying on the cross and giving his physical life that led to the fact that they could experience a resurrection from death to life. There is a similar kind of irony in the statement made by the chief priests and experts in the law in 15:31.

8 tn Or “with the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 1:22. Only “chief priests” is in the nominative case; this sentence structure attempts to capture this emphasis.

9 tn Grk “Mocking him, the chief priests…said among themselves.”

10 tn Or “the Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 8:29.

11 sn Mark’s wording suggests that both of the criminals spoke abusively to him. If so, one of them quickly changed his attitude toward Jesus (see Luke 23:40-43).

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

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

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

15 tn Grk “until the ninth hour.”

16 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.

17 sn A quotation from Ps 22:1.

18 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.

19 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.

20 tn Grk “a reed.”

21 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.

22 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.

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

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

25 tn Grk “and ministered to him.”

sn Cf. Luke 8:3.

26 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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