Tag Archives: Gospel of Mark

Exegetical and Theological Issues: Mark 4:10-12

10 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.” (Mark 4:10-12 NASB95)

This text sits awkwardly in its present context. The previous context is about Jesus teaching the crowd in a boat (4:1-2). Without further explanation, Mark shifts the narrative that takes place in private with those around his Twelve disciples (4:10-12), a small group of disciples. Another textual issue that occurs in the passage is the use of plural form of parables, whereas Jesus completes one parable (4:3-9). The placement of the discourse between Jesus and “those around him” also interrupts the sequence of parable. Jesus was still on the boat in the sea (4:1-2), but he and “those around him” appear to be in a private (4:10-12) and the clarification of the parable occurs again in the boat in the sea (4:35-36). At this point, Jesus is again in the public setting with his disciples in the boat. With few exceptions, some scholars believed this passage to be a latter insertion. But this inconsistency is more likely due to tradition, so he decided to leave the setting the way it is now.

Many ascribed the Markan redaction to traditional material. One cannot avoid the questions no matter whether Mark inserted his independent tradition unit or borrowed from the tradition within the parable collection. If he borrowed it from Pre-Markan tradition, where did he find it and what qualified him to apply this text there (4:10-12)? His form, materials within his redaction, and context show that he found it in tradition. Yet there are some questions to be asked. Why did Mark quote Isaiah 6 here? Is the text is about double predestination that only elect or insiders are foreordained to hear the message while outsiders’ ears divinely closed? Some people think that v. 7:17 supports it. But what do we do with 12:12 when outsiders also knew that the parable was about them? As Robert A. Guelich asserts that the text is not about the “double predestination” but about the hardness of heart of those who constantly rejected Jesus and his message.[1]

[1] Guelich, Robert A. Mark 1–8:26. Vol. 34A. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998.

Biblical Nuggets: Augustinian Hypothesis

Augustinian Hypothesis: The opinion of *Augustine that the current canonical order of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) is the actual chronological order in which they were composed.

Arthur G. Patzia;Anthony J. Petrotta. Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies (p. 17). Kindle Edition.

Who is JESUS?

"Who is Jesus..."

according to popular culture?
according to Matthew?
according to Mark?
according to Luke?
and according to you?

This is a fundamental question that was being raised over and over in the gospels. People around the world have also been asking the same question who Jesus really is. The same question Jesus asked Pharisees and his disciples in the first century who they think he was. This question remains and will continue to remain on the table for debate and explanation for the days to come. And our generation has a burden to tell the world who Jesus really is, as he is revealed to us in the gospel accounts and extra biblical materials.


According to popular culture, Jesus is a man who was born into a nomadic people group in the vicinity of Palestine 2000 years ago. He is a good moral teacher and revolutionary leader. Probably, he is an apocalyptic teacher. In the throng of isms, some have very lowly view of Jesus. A person like Oprah Winfrey thinks that Jesus is a ‘guru’ who came to the world to awake our Christ’s consciousness that was non-operational in its deep slumber. He is a path or a god who can lead to the essence of all consciousness.

The another conception about Jesus in our present day culture is that he is a man who claimed to be the Messiah but failed miserably to live up to his own claim. He is a poor deluded guy. And some people are simply ignorant to all the historical facts and reject that he ever lived in this world. Continue reading Who is JESUS?