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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Mark

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

8.22–10.52 : Jesus confirms and continues his prophetic role in the renewal of Israel while announcing his agenda as martyr&messiah to the misunderstanding disciples.

10.1–16 : Marriage and children in the kingdom

(Mt 19.1–15; Lk 18.15–17 ).

1 :

Jesus moves into Israelite territory beyond Galilee, now concentrating on teaching.

2–12 :

The first step in a series of covenantal instructions and exhortations focuses on (the commandment against) adultery, i.e., on marriage and divorce.

3–4 :

See Deut 24.1–4; Jer 3.8 .

5–9 :

To the Pharisees' focus on divorce as a male prerogative, Jesus insists upon the equality of marriage intended in the creation stories, Gen 1.27; 2.24 .

10–12 :

Cf. Mt 5.31–32 . The juxtaposition of vv. 2–9 and vv. 11–12 indicates that Jesus' restrictive interpretation of the commandment against adultery, allowing divorce but prohibiting remarriage, was grounded in creation.

13–16 :

Not an idealization of childhood. Against the disciples' restriction of access to Jesus and his movement, Jesus uses children, who occupied the lowest status in society, as a symbol for how one should receive the kingdom.

10.17–31 : Egalitarian economic relations in the kingdom

(Mt 19.16–30; Lk 18.18–30 ). An exhortation for egalitarian covenantal economic relations.

17 :

The man's address is flattering and his question unusual for Mark, in which the common people have more concrete concerns.

19 :

Recitation of covenantal commandments, Ex 20.12–16 , adding defraud.

21–22 :

Jesus' test exposes him as adamantly attached to his wealth, which (from the covenantal viewpoint) he might have gained by defrauding peasants by charging interest on loans, etc., thus also violating the commandment against stealing.

23–25 :

Jesus consolidates the point just illustrated with a little proverbial peasant humor: It is impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.

26–27 :

Jesus' reply to the disciples' incomprehension, although precisely how it connects with the previous discussion is unclear.

28–31 :

To Peter's anxious plea, Jesus' reply is serious about the concrete restoration (houses, fields, families) but teasingly facetious as well. The obvious exaggeration about the degree is canceled out by the persecutions, and the promise of eternal life in the age to come is a throwaway line mocking the rich man's concern (v. 17 ).

10.32–45 : Egalitarian social‐political relations in the kingdom and the third announcement and misunderstanding

(Mt 20.17–28; Lk 18.31–34, 22.24–27 ). Mark uses Jesus' third explanation to the disciples that the Son of Man will be condemned, killed, and rise again, combined with the disciples' stubborn misunderstanding, as a foil for exhortation on egalitarian socialpolitical relations in the movement and its communities.

32–34 :

The tone becomes ominous as they head toward Jerusalem and the climax of Jesus' escalating conflict with the rulers there, as explicitly dramatized in the details added to this third announcement of his destiny there.

35–37 :

James and John's request indicates that they have completely misunderstood Jesus' mission and movement as well as refused to hear what Jesus has repeatedly told them.

38–40 :

They claim they are prepared to follow the path of Jesus into martyrdom for the cause, which he promises will happen. But he rejects their request as presumptuous. On the metaphor of cup, see 14.24,36; Isa 51.17; Lam 4.21 .

41–45 :

The request for positions of power and privilege results in conflict among the disciples. But in contrast to the imperial practices of the nations, there will be no rulers in Jesus' movement or communities! Rather, would‐be leaders must take the role of servants, following the paradigm of the Son of Man, Jesus, whose martyrdom will be a ransom (paid for redemption from slavery or indebtedness) of many.

10.46–52 : Healing of the blind Bartimaeus

(Mt 20.29–34; Lk 18.35–43 ). The second healing of a blind man that frames and completes this section focuses partly on the blindness of the disciples.

46 :

Jericho is in the Jordan Valley ca. 21 km (13 mi) eastnortheast of Jerusalem; a secondary road connected the two cities (see 11.1; Lk 10.30 ). Bartimaeus means son of Timaeus in Aramaic.

47–48 :

Though blind, Bartimaeus nevertheless sees or knows that Jesus is the Son of David. In some circles a “son of David” was expected to restore the fortunes of Israel as king (2 Sam 5.1–5 ). In Mk 12.35–37 Jesus himself explains that the messiah is not the “son of David.”

52 :

After his sight is restored, he pointedly followed Jesus on the way, in striking contrast to the disciples.

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