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Mark 15:29-32

Context
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!” 1  15:31 In the same way even the chief priests – together with the experts in the law 2  – were mocking him among themselves: 3  “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 15:32 Let the Christ, 4  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. 5 

1 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.

2 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.

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

4 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.

5 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).



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