Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mark 16:1-8 (Easter)

Here are links for Greek commentary on all four Gospel
Matthew 28:1-10
Mark 16:1-8
Luke 24:1-12
John 20:1-18
Summary:  This familiar text offers many directions for preaching.  One unique feature of Mark's Gospel is the name of Jesus, given by the Angel, "Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified."  As the grammar note explains, the word crucified here indicates not simply a past action but a present state:  "Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, but in a cosmic sense is still in the state of being crucified."  This is a witty way for Mark to get at the point:  The risen Christ still has holes in his hands.

Some words that also offer some interesting avenues into the text: 
αλειφω ("anoint"; here as ηλειφον; 16.1)  Earlier in Mark, Jesus' disciples anointed people with oil in order to heal them (6:13).

αρωματα ("spices"; literally "aromata"; 16.1)  Footnote of NET Bible is interesting here.  Because Jews' didn't practice embalming...spices were used not to preserve the body, but as an act of love, and to mask the growing stench of a corpse. 
μνημειον ("tomb" or "monument"; 16.2)  This word comes from the Greek for memory (think: mneumonic device).  The tombs are a place of memory, interesting in itself but even more so because
θυρα ("gate" or "door"; 16.3)  The word for entrance means also door.  So the "entrance of the tomb" is literally, "the door to memories."  
γαρ ("for" or "however"; 16:8)  My father once preached a great sermon on this word.  Here is the deal.  This word is a conjunction.  It should not, no cannot end a sentence.  But here it does.  So what is up?  My dad's sermon was that the Gospel message continues on in our lives.
εκστατις τρομος εκθαμβεω

A brief commentary on the Perfect tense:
The perfect tense indicates a previous action that still describes the current state.  Hence:
αποκεκυλισται ("rolled"; 4) and περιβεβλημενον ("dressed"; 5).  In both cases, the previous action of rolling and dressing still are in force.  Thus, we read with total surprise:
εσταυρομενον ("crucified"; 6).  This word is also in the perfect, meaning an action happened in the past that still describes the state of affairs.  The angel declares that even though he is risen, Jesus is still in the state of being crucified.  You are seeking the crucified one; he is risen.  Jesus is alive but he still has the wounds in his hands.