Lectionary Year B
December 1, 2002
Mark 13:24-37

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation

A. Comparing Translations

(JFC) The New English Translation and the Revised Standard Version differ slightly:

25b and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. - NET
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. - RSV

26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds - NET
At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds - RSV

29c that he is near, right at the door. - NET
that it is near, right at the door. - RSV

33 Watch out! Stay alert! - NET
Be on guard! Be alert! - RSV

36 or else he might find you asleep when he comes suddenly. - NET
If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. - RSV

B. Textural Criticism

(JFC) 27 Several important witnesses add the genitive pronoun, autou, between avgge,louj and kai., while more of the same reputation retain the printed text. The pronoun does clarify the meaning, but probably was unnecessary originally since it seems to be a well enough understood agent whose angels they are, who is named in the 26th verse. The same might be said about the omitting of the same pronoun later in the verse, between evklektou.j and evk, which Nestle-Aland prints in brackets. 28 For the present, active, indicative, second person plural, ginw,skete, several Alexandrian Witnesses have, ginwsketai , (ex itac.?), a possible correction to become a third person singular. Well, literally, a fig tree cannot "know" anything and this message is about to turn into the readers/hearers of it more personally. Ergo, it seems the change is to be rejected, regardless of the weight of the redactors. And, furthermore, Vincent Taylor calls the latter, "possibly . . . should be preferred." 31b In the final phrase, ouv mh. pareleu,sontai, two western witnesses omit the mh, while the vast majority of same and others as well retain the text as printed, advisedly, because the emphasis wants to be as emphatic as the language allows, as does the two little words ouv and mh.. 32 One of the Greek "Constant Witnesses", an uncial, B, changes a;ggeloi, to aggeloj, while several others change it to oi aggeloi oi, while even more retain the text as received, prudently, it seems. 33 Several of the significant, Alexandrian, Witnesses insert kai proseucesqe, as in Mark 14:38, quite understandably. Yet, a few others keep the printed version, which is likely original.

C. Rough Translation

(JFC) 24 But in those the days with the trouble/distress/suffering that the sun will be/become darkened, and the moon not will give the light of it, 25 and the stars will be from the heaven falling down, and the power of the heavens these in the heavens shall be confused/shaken up/stirred up. 26 And then they shall see the Son of Man being brought [present, middle or passive, participle] in clouds many and glory. 27 And then He shall send the angels and shall gather the elect of His from the four directions from boundaries of earth as far as boundary of heaven. 28 But from the fig tree learn the parable; when already the branch of it puts out leaves it happens and puts out the leaves you know that near the summer is; 29 so also you, when you should/might see these (things) it is known (present, middle or passive, indicative or imperative = know) that near it is, at the gates/doors/entrances/opportunities. 30 Truly I am saying to you that not at all should/might pass away [aorist, active, subjunctive] the generation this (one) until which these all (things) should/might happen/take place [aorist, middle, subjunctive]. 31 the heaven and the earth shall pass away [future, middle, indicative], but the Word of mine not ever shall pass away. 32 Yet concerning the day that (one) the very hour nothing is it knowing [perfect, active, indicative], neither the angels in heaven not the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed/look/see/watch, be/stay alert/be watchful; for not do you know when the time is. 34 As a man away from home left so that the house of his and he gave the servants of his the authority/ability/right every work of his and to the doorkeeper he was commanded in order that he should/might keep watch. 35 Keep watch/stay alert/awake then, for not do you know when the lord of the house returns [present, middle or passive, indicative], either evening or midnight or 3 AM or in the early morning, 36 neither coming suddenly he would find you sleeping. 37 But what to you I say to all I say, "Keep watch/alert/awake."

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