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Mark 6:21-28


6:21 But 1  a suitable day 2  came, when Herod gave a banquet on his birthday for his court officials, military commanders, and leaders of Galilee. 6:22 When his daughter Herodias 3  came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” 6:23 He swore to her, 4  “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 5  6:24 So 6  she went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother 7  said, “The head of John the baptizer.” 8  6:25 Immediately she hurried back to the king and made her request: 9  “I want the head of John the Baptist on a platter immediately.” 6:26 Although it grieved the king deeply, 10  he did not want to reject her request because of his oath and his guests. 6:27 So 11  the king sent an executioner at once to bring John’s 12  head, and he went and beheaded John in prison. 6:28 He brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.

1 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

2 tn Grk “a day of opportunity”; cf. BDAG 407 s.v. εὔκαιρος, “in our lit. only pert. to time than is considered a favorable occasion for some event or circumstance, well-timed, suitable.”

3 tc Behind “his daughter Herodias” is a most difficult textual problem. The reading adopted in the translation, τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ ῾Ηρῳδιάδος (th" qugatro" aujtou Jerwdiado"), is supported by א B D L Δ 565 pc; it is also the most difficult reading internally since it describes Herodias as Herod’s daughter. Other readings are less awkward, but they do not have adequate external support. The reading τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς τῆς ῾Ηρῳδιάδος (th" qugatro" auth" th" &erwdiado", “the daughter of Herodias herself”) is supported by A C (W) Θ Ë13 33 Ï, but this is also grammatically awkward. The easiest reading, τῆς θυγατρὸς τῆς ῾Ηρῳδιάδος (“the daughter of Herodias”) is supported by Ë1 pc, but this reading probably arose from an accidental omission of αὐτῆς in the previous reading. The reading τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ ῾Ηρῳδιάδος, despite its historical difficulties, is most likely original due to external attestation and the fact that it most likely gave rise to the other readings as scribes sought to correct it.

4 tc ‡ The witnesses here support several different readings: αὐτῇ πολλά (auth polla, “to her insistently”) is found in D Θ 565 700 it; πολλά is the reading of Ì45vid 28; both words are lacking in L pc; and א A B C2vid Ë13 33 2427 Ï lat have just αὐτῇ. The best candidates for authenticity, on external grounds, are αὐτῇ πολλά and αὐτῇ. So the issue revolves around whether πολλά is part of the text. On the one hand, πολλά used adverbially is a distinctive Markanism (10 of the 16 NT instances are found in Mark; of the other Gospels, Matthew alone adds a single example [Matt 9:14]). It could be argued that such an unremarkable term would go unnoticed by the scribes, and consequently would not have been inserted in imitation of Mark’s style observed elsewhere. On the other hand, the largest cluster of instances of an adverbial πολλά are in Mark 5-6, with the most recent example coming just three verses earlier (Mark 5:23, 38, 43; 6:20). Scribes may well have imitated the usage so recently and so frequently seen. Further, the best Alexandrian witnesses, as well as good representatives of the Western and Byzantines texts, lack πολλά. On the whole, though a decision is difficult, it is probably best to read the text without πολλά. NA27 places the word in brackets, indicating some doubt as to its authenticity.

5 sn The expression up to half my kingdom is a proverbial comment meaning “great wealth.”

6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

7 tn Grk “She said”; the referent (the girl’s mother) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn While Matthew and Luke consistently use the noun βαπτίστης (baptisths, “the Baptist”) to refer to John, as a kind of a title, Mark employs the substantival participle ὁ βαπτίζων (Jo baptizwn, “the one who baptizes, the baptizer”) to describe him (though twice he does use the noun [Mark 6:25; 8:28]).

9 tn Grk “she asked, saying.” The participle λέγουσα (legousa) is redundant and has not been translated.

10 tn Grk “and being deeply grieved, the king did not want.”

11 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

12 tn Grk “his”; the referent (John the Baptist) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

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