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Mark 3:13-19

Appointing the Twelve Apostles

3:13 Now 1  Jesus went up the mountain 2  and called for those he wanted, and they came to him. 3:14 He 3  appointed twelve (whom he named apostles 4 ), 5  so that they would be with him and he could send them to preach 3:15 and to have authority to cast out demons. 3:16 He appointed twelve: 6  To Simon 7  he gave the name Peter; 3:17 to James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee, 8  he gave the name Boanerges (that is, “sons of thunder”); 3:18 and Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, 9  Matthew, Thomas, 10  James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, 11  Simon the Zealot, 12  3:19 and Judas Iscariot, 13  who betrayed him. 14 

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

2 tn Or “up a mountain” (εἰς τὸ ὅρος, eis to Joro").

sn The expression up the mountain here may be idiomatic or generic, much like the English “he went to the hospital” (cf. 15:29), or even intentionally reminiscent of Exod 24:12 (LXX), since the genre of the Sermon on the Mount seems to be that of a new Moses giving a new law.

3 tn Grk “And he.”

4 sn The term apostles is rare in the gospels, found only here and Mark 6:30, Matt 10:2, and six more times in Luke (6:13; 9:10; 11:49; 17:5; 22:14; 24:10).

5 tc The phrase “whom he named apostles” is lacking in the majority of mss (A C2 [D] L Ë1 33 Ï latt sy). Several primary Alexandrian and Caesarean witnesses (א B [C* W] Θ Ë13 28 pc co) include the phrase, so the external evidence is strongly in favor of this reading, especially since Alexandrian witnesses tend to witness to the shorter reading. It is possible that the Alexandrian witnesses have inserted these words to bring the text in line with Luke 6:13 (TCGNT 69), but against this is the internal evidence of Mark’s style: Mark tends toward gratuitous redundancy. Thus the inclusion of this phrase is supported by both internal and external evidence and should be regarded as more likely original than the omission.

6 tc The phrase “he appointed twelve” is lacking in the majority of manuscripts (A C2 D L Θ Ë1 33 2427 Ï lat sy bo). Some important witnesses include the phrase (א B C* Δ 565 579 pc), but perhaps the best explanation for the omission of the clause in the majority of witnesses is haplography in combination with homoioarcton: The first word of the clause in question is καί (kai), and the first word after the clause in question is also καί. And the first two letters of the second word, in each instance, are επ (ep). Early scribes most likely jumped accidentally from the first καί to the second, omitting the intervening material. Thus the clause was most likely in the original text. (See 3:14 above for a related textual problem.)

7 sn In the various lists of the twelve, Simon (that is, Peter) is always mentioned first (see also Matt 10:1-4; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13) and the first four are always the same, though not in the same order after Peter.

8 tn Grk “to James, the son of Zebedee, and John, the brother of James.”

9 sn Bartholomew (meaning “son of Tolmai” in Aramaic) could be another name for Nathanael mentioned in John 1:45.

10 sn This is the “doubting Thomas” of John 20:24-29.

11 tc This disciple is called Λεββαῖον (Lebbaion, “Lebbaeus”) in D it; see the discussion of the parallel text in Matt 10:3 where conflation occurs among other witnesses as well.

12 tn Grk “the Cananean,” but according to both BDAG 507 s.v. Καναναῖος and L&N 11.88, this term has no relation at all to the geographical terms for Cana or Canaan, but is derived from the Aramaic term for “enthusiast, zealot” (see Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), possibly because of an earlier affiliation with the party of the Zealots. He may not have been technically a member of the particular Jewish nationalistic party known as “Zealots” (since according to some scholars this party had not been organized at that time), but simply someone who was zealous for Jewish independence from Rome, in which case the term would refer to his temperament.

13 sn There is some debate about what the name Iscariot means. It probably alludes to a region in Judea and thus might make Judas the only non-Galilean in the group. Several explanations for the name Iscariot have been proposed, but it is probably transliterated Hebrew with the meaning “man of Kerioth” (there are at least two villages that had that name). For further discussion see D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 1:546; also D. A. Carson, John, 304.

14 tn Grk “who even betrayed him.”

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