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Mark Chapter 1 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-07-2011
There is nothing at all in the Gospel of Mark which explicitly indicates its authorship. However many of the earliest Christian writers have not only attributed the gospel to Mark, but have also said that Mark recorded Peter's testimony, even calling him “Peter's interpreter”, in the words of the second-century Christian presbyter Irenaeus. This seems to indicate that Mark wrote the Greek which Peter may have related to him in Hebrew, however such a viewpoint is not entirely necessary, and the word may have simply been used more loosely of a transcriber and not necessarily of a translator. In other words, the statement does not by itself prove that Peter was not bilingual. Peter is mentioned 19 times in Mark's gospel, but that is not too frequent since he is mentioned just as often in Luke, and even more often in the gospels of Matthew and John. Yet in one place there is a special mention of Peter, where there really need not have been, and that is at 16:5-7 where it describes the women arriving at the tomb of Christ: “5 And having entered into the tomb they saw a youth sitting on the right clothed in a white robe, and they were astounded. 6 Then he says to them: 'Do not be astonished! You seek Yahshua the Nazarene who had been crucified. He has arisen, He is not here! Behold the place where they laid Him! 7 But you go tell His students and Petros that He goes on before you into Galilaia. There you shall see Him, just as He said to you!'” This special mention of Peter seems to support the testimony that the man who related the account to its writer was indeed Peter himself. Here are some of the ancient testimonies concerning the authorship of this gospel:
From Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 1:
WE have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed “perfect knowledge,” as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.
Roberts, A. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. The apostolic fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. (ECF 126.96.36.199.3.2). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
From Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 5:
Wherefore also Mark, the interpreter and follower of Peter, does thus commence his Gospel narrative: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way.
Roberts, A. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. The apostolic fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. (ECF 188.8.131.52.3.11). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
From the Fragments of Papias [a.d. 70–155], quoted in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., iii. 39:
And the presbyter [Papias] said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. [We shall discuss this statement here later. - WRF] For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord’s sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements.
Roberts, A. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. The apostolic fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. (ECF 184.108.40.206.0.2). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
From the Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus. Fragment I. Quoted in the Latin Translation of Cassiodorus.
“But the God of all grace,” he says. “Of all grace,” he says, because He is good, and the giver of all good things. “Marcus, my son, saluteth you.” Mark, the follower of Peter, while Peter publicly preached the Gospel at Rome before some of Caesar’s equites, and adduced many testimonies to Christ, in order that thereby they might be able to commit to memory what was spoken, of what was spoken by Peter wrote entirely what is called the Gospel according to Mark. As Luke also may be recognised by the style, both to have composed the Acts of the Apostles, and to have translated Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews.
Roberts, A. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. II : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Fathers of the second century: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria (Entire) (ECF 220.127.116.11.1.1). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
From the Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus. Fragment IV. From the Books of the Hypotyposes. Found in Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, II. 15.
So, then, through the visit of the divine word to them, the power of Simon was extinguished, and immediately was destroyed along with the man himself. And such a ray of godliness shone forth on the minds of Peter’s hearers, that they were not satisfied with the once hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with all manner of entreaties importuned Mark, to whom the Gospel is ascribed, he being the companion of Peter, that he would leave in writing a record of the teaching which had been delivered to them verbally; and did not let the man alone till they prevailed upon him; and so to them we owe the Scripture called the “Gospel by Mark.” On learning what had been done, through the revelation of the Spirit, it is said that the apostle was delighted with the enthusiasm of the men, and sanctioned the composition for reading in the Churches. Clemens gives the narrative in the sixth book of the Hypotyposes.
Roberts, A. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. II : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Fathers of the second century: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria (Entire) (ECF 18.104.22.168.4.7). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
From the Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus. Fragment IV. From the Books of the Hypotyposes. Found in Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, VI. 14.
Again, in the same books Clement has set down a tradition which he had received from the elders before him, in regard to the order of the Gospels, to the following effect. He says that the Gospels containing the genealogies were written first, and that the Gospel according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances:—Peter having preached the word publicly at Rome, and by the Spirit proclaimed the Gospel, those who were present, who were numerous, entreated Mark, in as much as he had attended him from an early period, and remembered what had been said, to write down what had been spoken. On his composing the Gospel, he handed it to those who had made the request to him; which coming to Peter’s knowledge, he neither hindered nor encouraged.
Roberts, A. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. II : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Fathers of the second century: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria (Entire) (ECF 22.214.171.124.4.14). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
So we see from Irenaeus, from Papias as he was recorded by Eusebius, and from Clement of Alexandria as he was recorded by Eusebius, that it was esteemed in the earliest times that Mark had written the Gospel of Peter which he received from his companion, as we see that Mark is mentioned by Peter in his epistle, at 1 Peter 5:13. It is also interesting to note what Clement indirectly relates here, that the Gospel was not pushed onto men by the apostles, but that men themselves desired the written record from the apostles. The King James Version reads at 1 Peter 5:13: “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.” At Colossians 4:10 we find that this Marcus, or Mark, was the nephew of Barnabas, where Paul says “...and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas.” This Mark may well be that “John, whose surname was Mark” of Acts chapters 12 and 15, as he certainly seems to be. All of these people are mentioned together, Mark, Peter, Barnabas, and Paul, all in the home of Mark's mother, in the account of Acts chapter 12 which tells of Peter's escape from the prison and from Herod.
The Gospel of Mark contains many Hebraisms. As in Hebrew, in Mark also, verbs are often found at the beginning of sentences. But there are many more subtle Hebraisms. For instance, Hebrew and Aramaic naturally use redundant pronouns. Because the Hebrew relative pronoun is indeclinable and without gender, it therefore requires a personal pronoun in the clause which follows. So, for one example, we find in Mark 7:25 that it says “but immediately a woman hearing about Him, of whom her daughter had an unclean spirit, having come fell to His feet”. The personal pronoun “her” is unnecessary in Greek, but would have been necessary in Hebrew. If a Greek writer had made this statement, the word “her” would not have been written where it says “of whom her daughter”, which is more literally “whose daughter of her”. Rather, it would simply say “whose daughter”, and the gender of the relative pronoun would be evident in the Greek form of the word. The CNT reads the way it does, so that every Greek word is represented in translation. These Hebraisms occur very often in Mark, and they tell us that the writer certainly may have had Hebrew for a first language, but that he was writing in Greek. Many other Hebraisms exist in Mark, such as redundant use of prepositions, the redundant use of words translated “saying”, adjectival substitutes, or the use of parallelisms found in Semitic poetry, among others. However none of these facets of Mark's language should indicate to us that Mark was a Hebrew struggling to write in Greek. It can be, and it has been in certain academic circles, established that Mark's use of Greek represents a Semitic use of the language which is found in a wide collection of literature from the near east in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, most of it being Hebrew apocryphal literature known to have been written both before and after the time of Christ. Mark's use of Greek therefore seems to represent a dialect of Koine Greek which was common in the east at this time, and began its development with the Septuagint, but did not end there.
The Gospel of Mark was written in a simple, non-literary style. While its author was a native Hebrew (or Aramaic) speaker, he was certainly not formally schooled in Greek, at least not in the higher schools of Hellenistic literature, as Luke evidently was. This is consistent with the simple background and lifestyle of most of the apostles. There are many translations of Aramaic words in Mark, which helps to demonstrate that it was written in Greek. There are several explanations of Hebrew custom in Mark, which means that the intended primary audience was not Hebrew. These are found in Mark chapters 7:1-3, 14:12, and 15:6-9 and 42-43. There is a description of the location of the Mount of Olives which shows that the intended primary readers are not expected to know its location in relationship to the city.
There are many Latin words in Mark, written in Greek. A short list of Latin words which appear in more than one Gospel are modios, legion, denarius, census, and fragellare. Latin words peculiar to Mark – and where Matthew or Luke use Greek equivalents instead – are kenturion, speculator (a guard) and sextarius (nearly a pint). On two occasions, the Gospel of Mark supplies Latin translations of Greek words. These are found at Mark 12:42 (λεπτὰ δύο, kordrantês) and 15:16 (αὐλῆς, praetorium). Mark also used Latin idioms writing in Greek (2:23 ὁδὸν ποιεῖν is equivalent to equivalent to the Latin iter facere (to make one's way), 3:6 συμβούλιον ἐδίδουν is equivalent to the Latin consilium dederunt (to give counsel), 3:17; 7:11, 34; 12:42; 15:16, 42 ὅ ἐστιν is equivalent to the Latin hoc est (that is), 15:15 ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι is equivalent to the Latin satis facere (to satisfy) and 15:19 τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα is equivalent to the Latin genua ponentes (bending the knees). But some of these Latin idioms, especially the last one describing kneeling, are common in other Greek writings and in other New Testament books, so I would not read to much into Mark's use of them. Also, the Latin words which he used were common terms in the military, the government, or they were units of measure or money. While some commentators would use all of this, along with some other circumstances in Mark, to demonstrate that Mark's intended readership for his Gospel were Romans, I would not jump to such a conclusion. Rather, Rome having long had the hegemony, such terms concerning the military or government or units of measure must have been popular, and Mark may simply have wanted to clarify words he didn't think were as well-known as the equivalent Latin terms. He may have also known Latin as well as Greek. Yet if Mark used these Latin terms simply because Latin readers were the intended audience, he may not have written it in Greek in the first place. But the evidence from the early Christian writers does indicated that Mark's Gospel was written in Rome, where Peter is also said to have died.
Oddly, Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (2:15) surmised that Peter meant Rome by his identification of Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13. I have objections to this. Firstly, Peter's mission in Acts was explicitly stated as being to the circumcision, and there were great numbers of them in Babylon at this time, the descendants of some of the Judahites who never returned to Palestine, and who never left Mesopotamia. So Peter may well have been in the real Babylon when 1 Peter was written. In the ensuing centuries, the original Babylon actually did serve as the foremost polluted fount of Talmudic Judaism. Secondly, Catholics eagerly accept the identification of Rome with Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13, and at the same time they steadfastly reject the idea that Rome could be identified with Mystery Babylon in the Revelation! They cannot have it both ways. Also, Eusebius later (E.H., 2:16) places Mark, the same Mark of 1 Peter 5:13, in Alexandria, stating that he was the first to bring Christianity there, but does not give a specific time as to when that happened.
According to Papias, quoted above, Mark was not overly concerned with the chronological accuracy of the accounts included in this gospel, which may account for some of the discrepancies in the order of these events compared with to other gospels, or may be seen by scoffers as an excuse for some of the discrepancies with the other gospels. Here are Papias' words once more: “Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him.” While Mark opens with an account of John the Baptist, his Gospel from the middle of the first chapter to the end of the ninth seems to contain only collections of narratives from Yahshua's ministering in Galilee. From the tenth through the thirteenth chapters we see Yahshua in Judaea and Jerusalem, and the final chapters contain the events concerning the passion and the resurrection. All of this, along with some of the other elements of Mark's style which I will comment upon as we progress through the actual text, certainly agrees with the testimony of the early Christian writers, that Mark had at the beckoning of others simply recorded for posterity what was previously being related orally by Peter. So Mark's gospel was not meant to be an exacting biography of the life and ministry of Christ, and it was not written according to an exacting plan, as we find in Luke. It is also evident, that Mark's gospel may have been written after both Matthew and Luke, but that the other gospels had not yet reached Mark's intended audience in their completed written forms. In any event, the honest observer would find that the content of Mark's gospel agrees with what the earliest commentator's said about how, where, and why it was written.
Finally, I will not discuss all of the differences among the various ancient Greek manuscripts in Mark here, for I would need a large book for that. Rather, I will state that according to casual observation, I think that there are more differences among the manuscripts in Mark than there are for any other book in the New Testament. While most of these are incidental, some are important, and hopefully I will be able to notice those as this series progresses.
I 1 The beginning of the good message of Yahshua Christ, Son of Yahweh. 2 Just as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold! I send My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way! 3 A voice crying out in the wilderness: Make ready the way of Yahweh, make straight His paths!”
Where it says “the beginning of the good message of Yahshua Christ”, we may think of the Greek word ἀρχή to mean the foundation or source. Likewise, when Strabo explained his use of the works of the ancient poet Homer, he considered Homer the beginning - using the same Greek word – of Greek knowledge concerning their world and their neighbours. Mark's intent is to profess that what he was about to write is the reason for the oral accounts which were being spread throughout the oikoumenê in his time.
As we saw in Matthew 27:9, that while he alluded to Jeremiah and quoted Zechariah, but he only explicitly referred to Jeremiah, here Mark directly quotes both Malachi and Isaiah, and Malachi more fully, but then he only names the more prolific of the two prophets, which is Isaiah.
Isaiah 40:3: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Malachi 3:1: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
The language here in these prophecies, which refers to Yahweh God explicitly in a role we see fulfilled by the person of Yahshua Christ, is once again substantial proof that Yahshua Christ is God Himself come in the form of a man. Even as Matthew says at the beginning of his gospel, that “they shall call His name Emmanuel”, a Hebrew way of saying “they shall say of Him that 'God is with us'”. The Word of our God is indeed efficacious, or we throw our Bibles in the trash and surrender our race to the jews
4 Iohannes the Baptist was in the desert proclaiming an immersion of repentance for a remission of errors. 5 And all the land of Judaea and all those in Jerusalem went out to him, and they were immersed by him in the river Jordan, acknowledging their errors. 6 And Iohannes was clothed in camel’s hair and a belt of skin around his loins, and eating locusts and wild honey.
As we see in the prophecy of Malachi, it was foretold of John the Baptist that he would cleanse the sons of Levi. Here again is Malachi 3:1-5: “1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [John preceding Christ]: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant [which is Christ with the new covenant promised in the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel], whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.[These words refer to John, and we see him fulfilling that role here. They also can refer to Christ.] 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment [now Christ is again the subject]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. [Christ did exactly these things, as we see in Matthew chapter 23, John chapter 8 and elsewhere.]”
There are passages in Scripture that do not explicitly foretell that John would be dressed in this manner, and living this austere lifestyle, but which do indicate to us that this was the manner of the Hebrew prophets. For instance, the prophet Elijah was described as being “girt with a girdle of leather about his loins”, at 2 Kings 1:8. In Zechariah 13:4 we have another indication, where it says: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive.”
Locusts and grasshoppers, while many of us would not consider them appetizing, were in the law considered clean, and therefore they could be used as food, as it is described in Leviticus 11:21-23: “21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.”
7 And he proclaimed, saying “He who is more powerful than me comes after me, of whom I am not worthy bending over to loosen the straps of His sandals! 8 I have immersed you in water, but He shall immerse you in the Holy Spirit!”
We see a very similar statement in Matthew 3:11, and also at Luke 3:16 where it adds that “...he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire”. In the gospel of John, at 1:26 and 33, we see not different, but additional testimony, where it reads: “26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not ... 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” It must be noted, that if the Book of Acts states at 1:5: “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence”, and if Paul states at 1 Corinthians 1:17: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel”, and again at Ephesians 5:26 of the assembly that “He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”, how do Christians still cling to the baptism of John? Paul tells us that there is one baptism, at Ephesians 4:5. At Romans 6:3 the same Paul asks “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” This is the baptism which Christ proclaimed: that of the Holy Spirit, where He says at Luke 12:50 “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” This is what He also referred to at Matthew 20:23, and these things were said long after His baptism with water. When Christians are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are immersed in the knowledge that Christ died only to forgive the sins of the children of Israel, that the children of Israel may live forever. Come out from among them. If you seek your salvation in water baptism, you seek your cleansing, and your justification, in the world, and you deny the cleansing power of Christ, seeking the justification of men.
9 And it happened in those days that Yahshua had come from Nazaret of Galilaia and was immersed in the Jordan by Iohannes.
Yahshua Christ was the Lamb of God, as John the Baptist was said to have exclaimed in the Gospel of John, at 1:29 and 1:36. The cleansing of the priests, and the cleansing of the Lamb - which is the sacrifice – were commanded in the Law. The following is from my recent commentary on Matthew chapter 3:
In the Old Testament, washing of the body is seen of the priests before they enter into the temple to do service and to make sacrifice. From Leviticus 8:4-6: “4 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 5 And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done. 6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.” And from Numbers 8:21-22: “And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the LORD; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 And after that went the Levites in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation before Aaron, and before his sons: as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them.” All of Numbers chapter 8 describes the cleansing of the Levites. Aside from these passages concerning the priests, or certain occasions where people are instructed in what to do upon exposure to diseases or corpses, or certain other circumstances, there is no other ritual cleansing of the body required, Remember the words of Yahweh in Malachi chapter 3, “and he shall purify the sons of Levi”: John the Baptist was also a Levite, so he could fulfill the priestly role of cleansing which Moses the Levite had done first, long before him. It is apparent, that Yahshua coming to be the final ritual sacrifice for the children of Israel, the prophecy and baptism of John – for the sons of Levi – was also symbolic of the Old Testament law. That is why John was sent to baptize the sons of Levi – so that Christ could be properly sacrificed! Now Israel has been cleansed of all their sins by Christ Himself, as foretold by the prophets, and they have no need of any further cleansing....
The sacrifice was washed clean beforehand, as well as the priest. See Leviticus chapter 1, where it says at verse 9: “But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water”, and repeats at verse 13: “But he [meaning the priest] shall wash the inwards and the legs with water”. So the baptism of Christ by John is a symbolic fulfillment of the law concerning the cleansing of the sacrifice by the priest.
10 And immediately upon ascending out of the water he saw the heavens dividing and the Spirit as a dove descending to Him. 11 And a voice came from out of heaven: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am satisfied!”
This is in fulfillment of Isaiah 11:1-4: “1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots [Christ, God and Man, is the root and the branch of Jesse, the root and the offspring of David: Revelation 22:16. So Christ challenges the Pharisees at Matthew 22:45 “If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?”]: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Once we as a people understand the Word of Christ, we shall see that those words indeed can slay the wicked! We see that therefore this event following His baptism by John is the literal fulfillment of Isaiah 11:2, but is also in fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1, which states: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” The vision of the spirit descending from heaven is an indication to us of the fulfillment of these things.
The spirit descending upon Yahshua is also representative of its dwelling-place in the true temple of God, the body of Christ, just as it departed from that first temple many centuries before, which is described in Ezekiel chapters 10 and 11, where it says in part "Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims...And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city..."
12 And immediately the Spirit drove Him out into the desert. 13 And He was in the desert for forty days being tried by the Adversary, and He was with the beasts, yet the messengers served Him.
The fuller account of this event is recorded in both Matthew chapter 4 and in Luke chapter 4. Here we have seen a very brief account of those first days of the ministries of Yahshua and John the Baptist. This is quite consistent with the accounts of the origins of Mark's gospel found in the early Christian writers, that Mark was not a witness to any of these things, but only recorded that which he himself had heard from Peter. Since it is further evident from the Gospel of John that Peter himself was not a witness to these first events, Mark evidently only made a summary of the things which he remembered being told, and that accounts for the brevity of what is recorded here. While we are not told where Matthew got all of his detailed information from, it is corroborated by Luke, who explicitly tells us that he collected it from eyewitnesses. Luke fully corroborates Matthew, and both of those accounts have a general corroboration here in Mark. None of them are copies of another, since there is original language and somewhat different perspectives found in each of them, among other proofs and later corroborating testimonies.
14 And after the handing over of Iohannes, Yahshua had gone into Galilaia proclaiming the good message of Yahweh 15 and saying that “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of Yahweh has neared! Repent and have faith in the good message!”
It was not too soon after Christ was baptized that John was imprisoned. We see at Matthew 4:12: “And having heard that Iohannes had been handed over He withdrew into Galilaia”, and John's imprisonment is also mentioned in Luke 3:20. But in the Gospel of John, in chapter 3, we learn that Christ had already been in Galilee, had gathered His original disciples, and had returned to Judaea, all before John was arrested. It is not that John conflicts with these other accounts, but only that these other accounts have not included all of the details which John did, that accounts for these differences.
The proclamation of Christ recorded here is probably only a summary representing His message to the people. The phrase “kingdom of God” occurs only here in Mark, twice in John, five times in Matthew, and quite often in Luke. The phrase “kingdom of heaven” occurs 31 times in Matthew, and nowhere else in the New Testament. However these phrases should surely be seen synonymously.
16 And passing by the sea of Galilaia He saw Simon and Andreas the brother of Simon casting around nets in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Yahshua said to them “Come after Me, and I shall make you to be fishers of men!” 18 And immediately leaving the nets they followed Him. 19 And going on a little He saw Iakobos the son of Zebedaios and Iohannes his brother and those in the vessel repairing the nets, 20 and right away He called them. And leaving Zebedaios their father in the vessel with the hired hands, they departed after Him.
This account parallels the account from John 1:43-51, but has clearly been related to Mark from a different perspective than that which John provides. The phrase “fishers of men” is a reference to the prophecy of Jeremiah 16:16: “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” While the mainstream churches still think that it is time to fish, that era is long over. Having run out of good fishing holes long ago, they cast wider and wider nets, and pull up all sorts of bad fish, which is the meaning of the Parable of the Net at Matthew 13:47-50. Now the fishing period is long over, and it is time to hunt. That is what Christian Identity does today. We hunt for the descendants of those lost tribes of Israel, who are the sole beneficiaries of the covenants!
21 And they go into Kapharnaoum, and immediately on the Sabbaths entering into the assembly hall He taught. 22 And they were astonished by His teaching, for He was teaching them as if having authority and not as the scribes.
In Malachi, Yahweh tells us that His covenant is with Levi, and that all the sacrifices of the spurious priests are therefore rejected. The scribes, whose teachings were worldly and legalistic and who had long lost sight of the truth, were unsure of many of the meanings of the Scriptures, and they were constantly waffling and debating one another. Their spirits were not inspired by God. Because they accepted men of the other surrounding and mixed races into their number, they could have nothing but confusion. The brain and the spirit which produces our thought is also the product of our genetics, just like any other physical trait (1 Corinthians 15:44). The Talmud is the result of all of this division and conflict, and therefore in its pages Satan, the author of rebellion, wins the debate every time! Thankfully all of its pages are lies. In contrast, Christ was sure of Himself, and knew exactly what the Scriptures said and what they meant.
23 And there was right away in their assembly hall a man with an unclean spirit and he had cried out 24 saying “What is there with us and with You, Yahshua the Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us? I know whom You are, the Holy One of Yahweh!” 25 And Yahshua admonished him, saying “Be silent and come out from him!” 26 And the unclean spirit convulsing him and crying out with a great voice came out from him. 27 And they were all amazed so as for them to dispute saying: “What is this? A new doctrine with authority? [The reading follows the codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus primarily.] And He commands the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28 And the report of it went out at once everywhere in the whole surrounding region of Galilaia.
The idea of unclean spirits is not explained in depth anywhere in the Old Testament Scriptures which we maintain in our Bibles. Perhaps that is because we are told not to regard at all the disembodied spirits or those who connect to them, or those who claim to connect to them. In Leviticus 19:31 we read: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” Likewise, in Isaiah 8:19: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”
But there is apocryphal Hebrew literature, omitted from Scriptures by men 1700 or more years ago, which does speak of unclean spirits and their origins. Here I will quote a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls representative of the Enoch literature relating to the events of Genesis chapter 6. The scroll fragment known as 4Q202, or 4QEnochb ar, Col. II, is a text which corresponds to 1 Enoch 5:9-6:4 and 6:7-8:1, from The Dead Sea Scrolls – Study Edition, Volume 1, by F. G. Martinez and E. J. C. Tigchelaar, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company Grand Rapids, 1997, we read: “1 [al]l the [d]ays [of their life ...] 2 It happened that wh[en in those days the sons of men increased,] 3 pretty and [attractive daughters were born to them. The Watchers, sons of the sky, saw them and lusted for them] 4 and sa[id to each other: «Let’s go and choose out women from among the daughters of men and sire for ourselves] 5 [sons ».” The reconstructions in this translation are corroborated from other scrolls, such as 4Q201 and 4Q204 et al. The offspring which resulted from these unions are later called bastards, for instance in 4Q204 where it says “Exterminate all the spirits of the bastards and the sons of] [the Watchers, because they have caused evil to be done to men.]”, which certainly seems to have been speaking prophetically. So we see that the unclean spirits are the spirits of bastards, those children of certain mixed marriages. This is evident in several other places in the Enoch literature.
[This paragraph was inadvertently omitted from the podcast notes, and could not be covered.] 1 Enoch 15:8-12 corroborates these statements thusly: “‘... 8. And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. 9. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men, and from the holy watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [10. As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] 11. And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences, 12. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them ...’”
29 And immediately coming out from the assembly hall they went into the house of Simon and Andreas with Iakobos and Iohannes. 30 And the mother-in-law of Simon was laid down, being with fever, and right away they speak to Him about her. 31 And having gone forth, grasping her hand He raised her, and the fever left her, and she served them.
Here we see first that Peter had a mother-in-law, and therefore he had a wife, as Paul corroborates for us in 1 Corinthians 9:5 where he states “Do we not have license to always have with us a kinswoman: a wife, as also the other ambassadors, and the brethren of the Prince, and Kephas?” Kephas is the Hebrew form of petros, or “stone”, which is the nickname that Yahshua assigned to Simon, who is therefore known to us as Peter.
32 And upon its becoming late, when the sun sank [literally the word is sank, δύνω, so we know how old that idiom is], they brought to Him all those having maladies and those being possessed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathering together by the door. 34 And He healed many being ill with various diseases, and He cast out many demons, yet He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” The phrase “to be the Christ” is from the Codex Vaticanus and other mss. The codices are highly divided regarding this verse.
Isaiah 57:15-21: “15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. 17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” We should never seek peace with the enemies of our God.
35 And in the morning, having arisen very late at night He went out and departed into a desert place and there He prayed. 36 And Simon and those with him pursued soon after Him, 37 and they found Him and say to Him that “They all seek You!” 38 And He says to them: “We should go elsewhere into the neighboring towns, in order that I shall proclaim there. For this reason have I come.”
39 And He went proclaiming in their assembly halls and casting out demons in the whole of Galilaia. 40 And there comes to Him a leper, exhorting Him saying to Him that “If You desire, You are able to cleanse me!” 41 And being deeply moved, extending His hand He touched him and says to him “I desire, be cleansed!” 42 And immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he had been cleansed. 43 And admonishing him at once He drove him away 44 and says to him: “See that you say nothing to no one, but go show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing that which Moses has commanded, for a testimony to them.” 45 But going off he began to proclaim many things and to spread the account, so that for Him to no longer be able to enter openly into the city, but He was outside in the desert places, and they came to Him from everywhere.
Leviticus chapter 13 contains the laws concerning leprosy. Lepers were to be expelled from the camp. Later, lepers were forced to live outside of the towns or cities. Such is why they were often described as begging at the gates of the cities, since they most often had no legitimate way to obtain sustenance. The plague of leprosy was therefore a death sentence. The healing of leprosy by Christ was therefore representative spiritually of the healing of Israel by God, that He would cleanse all of their sins – even the very worst ones from which death is certain under the law. For those promises found in the prophets, such as at Isaiah 45, are without qualification.