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Mark 10:13-16

Jesus and Little Children

10:13 Now 1  people were bringing little children to him for him to touch, 2  but the disciples scolded those who brought them. 3  10:14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 4  10:15 I tell you the truth, 5  whoever does not receive 6  the kingdom of God like a child 7  will never 8  enter it.” 10:16 After he took the children in his arms, he placed his hands on them and blessed them.

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

2 tn Grk “so that he would touch them.” Here the touch is connected with (or conveys) a blessing (cf. v. 16; also BDAG 126 s.v. ἅπτω 2.c).

3 tc “Those who brought them” (ἐπετιμῶν τοῖς προσφέρουσιν, epetimwn toi" prosferousin) is the reading of most mss (A D W [Θ Ë1,13] Ï lat sy), but it is probably a motivated reading. Since the subject is not explicit in the earliest and best witnesses as well as several others (א B C L Δ Ψ 579 892 2427), scribes would be prone to add “those who brought them” here to clarify that the children were not the ones being scolded. It could be argued that the masculine pronoun αὐτοῖς (autois, “them”) only rarely was used with the neuter antecedent παιδία (paidia, “children”), and thus the longer reading was not motivated by scribal clarification. However, such rare usage is found in Mark (cf. 5:41; 9:24-26); further, scribes routinely added clarifications when such were not necessary. Thus, both on external and internal grounds, the shorter reading is strongly preferred. Similar motivations are behind the translation here, namely, “those who brought them” has been supplied to ensure that the parents who brought the children are in view, not the children themselves.

tn Grk “the disciples scolded them.”

4 sn The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant.

5 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

6 sn On receive see John 1:12.

7 sn The point of the comparison receive the kingdom of God like a child has more to do with a child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others than any inherent humility the child might possess.

8 tn The negation in Greek (οὐ μή, ou mh) is very strong here.

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