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Jehovah’s Witnesses

English
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

Mark 8:1-38

8  In those days, there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. So he summoned the disciples and said to them:  “I feel pity for the crowd,+ because they have already stayed with me for three days and they have nothing to eat.+  If I send them off to their homes hungry,* they will give out on the road, and some of them are from far away.”  But his disciples answered him: “From where will anyone get enough bread in this isolated place to satisfy these people?”  At this he asked them: “How many loaves do you have?” They said: “Seven.”+  And he instructed the crowd to recline on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, gave thanks, broke them, and began giving them to his disciples to serve, and they served them to the crowd.+  They also had a few small fish, and blessing these, he told them to serve these also.  So they ate and were satisfied, and they took up seven large baskets full of leftover fragments.+  Now there were about 4,000 men. Then he sent them away. 10  Immediately he boarded the boat with his disciples and came into the region of Dal·ma·nuʹtha.+ 11  Here the Pharisees came and started disputing with him, demanding from him a sign* from heaven, to put him to the test.+ 12  So he sighed deeply in his spirit and said: “Why does this generation seek a sign?+ Truly I say, no sign will be given to this generation.”+ 13  With that he left them, got aboard again, and went to the opposite shore. 14  However, they forgot to take bread along, and they had nothing with them in the boat except for one loaf.+ 15  And he warned them in no uncertain terms: “Keep your eyes open; look out for the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”+ 16  So they began arguing with one another over the fact that they had no bread. 17  Noting this, he said to them: “Why do you argue over your having no bread? Do you not yet perceive and understand? Are your hearts still dull in understanding? 18  ‘Though having eyes, do you not see; and though having ears, do you not hear?’ Do you not remember 19  when I broke the five loaves+ for the 5,000 men, how many baskets full of fragments you collected?” They said to him: “Twelve.”+ 20  “When I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000 men, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said to him: “Seven.”+ 21  With that he said to them: “Do you not yet understand?” 22  Now they put in at Beth·saʹi·da. Here people brought him a blind man, and they pleaded with him to touch him.+ 23  And he took the blind man by the hand and brought him outside the village. After spitting on his eyes,+ he laid his hands on him and asked him: “Do you see anything?” 24  The man looked up* and said: “I see people, but they look like trees walking about.” 25  Again he laid his hands on the man’s eyes, and the man saw clearly. His sight was restored, and he could see everything distinctly. 26  So he sent him home, saying: “Do not enter into the village.” 27  Jesus and his disciples now left for the villages of Caes·a·reʹa Phi·lipʹpi, and on the way he began to question his disciples, saying: “Who are people saying that I am?”+ 28  They said to him: “John the Baptist,+ but others say E·liʹjah,+ and still others, one of the prophets.” 29  And he put the question to them: “You, though, who do you say I am?” Peter answered him: “You are the Christ.”+ 30  At that he strictly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.+ 31  Also, he began teaching them that the Son of man must undergo many sufferings and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed,+ and rise three days later.+ 32  Indeed, he was making that statement openly. But Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.+ 33  At this he turned, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter, saying: “Get behind me, Satan! because you think, not God’s thoughts, but those of men.”*+ 34  He now called the crowd to him with his disciples and said to them: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me.+ 35  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the good news will save it.+ 36  Really, what good will it do a man to gain the whole world and to lose his life?+ 37  What, really, would a man give in exchange for his life?+ 38  For whoever becomes ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him+ when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”+

Footnotes

Or “without food; fasting.”
Or “miraculous proof.”
Or “recovered sight; saw again.”
Or “you have, not God’s mind, but that of humans.”

baskets: These may have been small wicker baskets with a cord handle that a traveler could use for carrying them. It is thought that they had a volume of approximately 7.5 L (2 gal).—See study notes on Mr 8:19, 20.

large baskets: Or “provision baskets.” The Greek word sphy·risʹ used here seems to denote a type of basket that is larger than the ones used on an earlier occasion when Jesus fed about 5,000 men. (See study note on Mr 6:43.) The same Greek word is used for the “basket” in which Paul was lowered to the ground through an opening in the wall of Damascus.Ac 9:25.

about 4,000 men: Only Matthew’s parallel account (Mt 15:38) mentions the women and the young children when reporting this miracle. It is possible that the total number of those miraculously fed was over 12,000.

Magadan: While no place called Magadan is known today in the region around the Sea of Galilee, some scholars believe that Magadan is the same locality as Magdala, which is considered to be Khirbet Majdal (Migdal), about 6 km (3.5 mi) NNW of Tiberias. In the parallel account (Mr 8:10), the area is called Dalmanutha.—See App. B10.

Dalmanutha: This name is not mentioned in other Biblical or non-Biblical sources, but it was preserved in Mark’s Gospel. Though the exact location is uncertain, it seems to have been near the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, since the area is called Magadan in Matthew’s parallel account. (See study note on Mt 15:39.) Dalmanutha may have been another name for Magadan.

sighed deeply: Mark often records Jesus’ feelings, perhaps as related to Mark by Peter, a man of deep emotion. (See “Introduction to Mark.”) This verb may describe a prayerful sigh or groan, reflecting Jesus’ sympathy for the man or even Jesus’ pain over the suffering of all humans. A related verb at Ro 8:22 describes the “groaning” of all creation.

sighed deeply: Mark, who frequently records how Jesus felt and reacted (Mr 3:5; 7:34; 9:36; 10:13-16, 21), uses a verb found only here in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This intensive form of a related verb, used at Mr 7:34 (see study note), expresses a strong emotional reaction. This deep sigh may have reflected his exasperation over the Pharisees’ demand for a sign while they stubbornly ignored the evident demonstrations of power that they had already seen.

leaven: Or “yeast.” Often used figuratively in the Bible to denote corruption and sin, “leaven” here refers to corrupt teaching and influence. (Mt 16:6, 11, 12; 1Co 5:6-8) The repetition of the word in this verse suggests that “the leaven” of the Pharisees was different from that of Herod and his party followers, the Herodians. This latter group was more political than religious. An example of their nationalistic “leaven” was the question about the paying of taxes that the two groups used in an attempt to trap Jesus.Mr 12:13-15.

Herod: Some ancient manuscripts read “Herodians.”—See Glossary, “Herod, party followers of.”

baskets: These may have been small wicker baskets with a cord handle that a traveler could use for carrying them. It is thought that they had a volume of approximately 7.5 L (2 gal).—See study notes on Mr 8:19, 20.

large baskets: Or “provision baskets.” The Greek word sphy·risʹ used here seems to denote a type of basket that is larger than the ones used on an earlier occasion when Jesus fed about 5,000 men. (See study note on Mr 6:43.) The same Greek word is used for the “basket” in which Paul was lowered to the ground through an opening in the wall of Damascus.Ac 9:25.

large baskets: Or “provision baskets.”—See study notes on Mr 8:8, 19.

baskets: Reporting on the two occasions when Jesus miraculously fed the crowds (see study notes on Mr 6:43; 8:8, 20 and parallel accounts at Mt 14:20; 15:37; 16:9, 10), the accounts consistently distinguish between the types of baskets used for collecting leftovers. When he fed the 5,000 men, the Greek term koʹphi·nos (“basket”) is used; when he fed the 4,000 men, the Greek word sphy·risʹ (“large basket”) is used. This indicates that the writers were present or had received the facts from reliable eyewitnesses.

large baskets: Or “provision baskets.” The Greek word sphy·risʹ used here seems to denote a type of basket that is larger than the ones used on an earlier occasion when Jesus fed about 5,000 men. (See study note on Mr 6:43.) The same Greek word is used for the “basket” in which Paul was lowered to the ground through an opening in the wall of Damascus.Ac 9:25.

baskets: Reporting on the two occasions when Jesus miraculously fed the crowds (see study notes on Mr 6:43; 8:8, 20 and parallel accounts at Mt 14:20; 15:37; 16:9, 10), the accounts consistently distinguish between the types of baskets used for collecting leftovers. When he fed the 5,000 men, the Greek term koʹphi·nos (“basket”) is used; when he fed the 4,000 men, the Greek word sphy·risʹ (“large basket”) is used. This indicates that the writers were present or had received the facts from reliable eyewitnesses.

large baskets: Or “provision baskets.”—See study notes on Mr 8:8, 19.

a blind man: Mark is the only Gospel writer to record Jesus’ healing of this blind man.Mr 8:22-26.

Caesarea Philippi: A town situated at the headwaters of the Jordan River at an elevation of 350 m (1,150 ft) above sea level. The town is some 40 km (25 mi) N of the Sea of Galilee and near the SW foot of Mount Hermon. It was named Caesarea by Philip the tetrarch, son of Herod the Great, in honor of the Roman emperor. In order to distinguish it from the seaport city of the same name, it was called Caesarea Philippi, which means “Caesarea of Philip.”—See App. B10.

the Baptist: Or “the Immerser; the Dipper”; referred to as “the Baptizer” at Mr 1:4; 6:14, 24. Evidently used as a sort of surname, indicating that baptizing by immersing in water was distinctive of John. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote of “John, surnamed the Baptist.”

John: The English equivalent of the Hebrew name Jehohanan or Johanan, meaning “Jehovah Has Shown Favor; Jehovah Has Been Gracious.”

the Baptizer: Or “the Immerser; the Dipper.” The Greek participle rendered “Baptizer” here and at Mr 6:14, 24 could also be rendered “one who baptizes.” The form is slightly different from the Greek noun Ba·pti·stesʹ, which is rendered “Baptist” at Mr 6:25; 8:28 and in Matthew and Luke. The two designations, “Baptizer” and “Baptist,” are used interchangeably at Mr 6:24, 25.—See study note on Mt 3:1.

John the Baptist: See study notes on Mt 3:1; Mr 1:4.

Christ: This title is derived from the Greek word Khri·stosʹ and is equivalent to the title “Messiah” (from Hebrew Ma·shiʹach), both meaning “Anointed One.” In Bible times, rulers were ceremonially anointed with oil.

the Christ: Here the title “Christ” is preceded by the definite article in Greek, evidently as a way of emphasizing Jesus’ office as the Messiah.

the Christ: Peter identifies Jesus as “the Christ” (Greek, ho Khri·stosʹ), a title equivalent to “the Messiah” (from Hebrew Ma·shiʹach), both meaning “Anointed One.” Here “Christ” is preceded by the definite article in Greek, evidently as a way of emphasizing Jesus’ office as the Messiah.—See study notes on Mt 1:1; 2:4.

elders: Lit., “older men.” In the Bible, the Greek term pre·sbyʹte·ros refers primarily to those who hold a position of authority and responsibility in a community or a nation. Although the term sometimes refers to physical age (as at Lu 15:25; Ac 2:17), it is not limited to those who are elderly. Here it refers to the leaders of the Jewish nation who are often mentioned together with chief priests and scribes. The Sanhedrin was made up of men from these three groups.Mt 21:23; 26:3, 47, 57; 27:1, 41; 28:12; see Glossary, “Elder; Older man.”

chief priests: The Greek term is rendered “high priest” when it is singular and refers to the chief representative of the people before God. Here the plural refers to principal men of the priesthood, including former high priests and, possibly, the heads of the 24 priestly divisions.

Son of man: Or “Son of a human.” This expression occurs about 80 times in the Gospels. Jesus used it to refer to himself, evidently emphasizing that he was truly human, born from a woman, and that he was a fitting human counterpart to Adam, having the power to redeem humankind from sin and death. (Ro 5:12, 14-15) The same expression also identified Jesus as the Messiah, or the Christ.Da 7:13, 14; see Glossary.

elders: Lit., “older men.” In the Bible, the Greek term pre·sbyʹte·ros refers primarily to those who hold a position of authority and responsibility in a community or a nation. Although the term sometimes refers to physical age (as at Lu 15:25; Ac 2:17), it is not limited to those who are elderly. Here it refers to the leaders of the Jewish nation, who are often mentioned together with chief priests and scribes. The Sanhedrin was made up of men from these three groups.Mr 11:27; 14:43, 53; 15:1; see study note on Mt 16:21 and Glossary, “Elder; Older man.”

chief priests: See study note on Mt 2:4 and Glossary, “Chief priest.”

stumbling blocks: The original meaning of the Greek word skanʹda·lon, rendered “stumbling block,” is thought to have referred to a trap; some suggest that it was the stick in a trap to which the bait was attached. By extension, it came to refer to any impediment that would cause one to stumble or fall. In a figurative sense, it refers to an action or circumstance that leads a person to follow an improper course, to stumble or fall morally, or to fall into sin. At Mt 18:8, 9, the related verb skan·da·liʹzo, translated “make stumble,” could also be rendered “become a snare; cause to sin.”

Get behind me: According to the parallel account at Mt 16:23, Jesus adds: “You are a stumbling block to me.” (See study note on Mt 18:7.) Jesus thus strongly rebuked Peter. Jesus refused to allow anything to hinder him from fulfilling his Father’s will. His words may also have reminded Peter of his proper place as a supportive follower of his Master.

Satan: Jesus was not identifying Peter with Satan the Devil but was referring to him as a resister, or opposer, which is the meaning of the Hebrew expression sa·tanʹ. Jesus may have implied that Peter, by his action on this occasion, had allowed himself to be influenced by Satan.

come after me: Or, according to some ancient manuscripts, “follow after me.”

let him disown himself: Or “let him give up all right to himself.” This indicates a person’s willingness to deny himself utterly or to relinquish ownership of himself to God. The Greek phrase can be rendered “he must say no to himself,” which is fitting because it may involve saying no to personal desires, ambitions, or convenience. (2Co 5:14, 15) The same Greek verb is used by Mark when describing Peter’s denial of Jesus.Mr 14:30, 31, 72.

torture stake: Or “execution stake.” In classical Greek, the word stau·rosʹ primarily referred to an upright stake or pole. Used figuratively, this term sometimes stands for the suffering, shame, torture, and even death that a person experienced because of being a follower of Jesus.—See Glossary.

life: Or “soul.”—See Glossary, “Soul.”

life: Or “soul.”—See Glossary, “Soul.”

life: Or “soul.”—See Glossary, “Soul.”

adulterous: Or “unfaithful.” In a spiritual sense, adultery denotes unfaithfulness to God on the part of those who are joined to him in a covenant. The false religious practices of natural Israel were a violation of the Law covenant, making the Israelites guilty of spiritual adultery. (Jer 3:8, 9; 5:7, 8; 9:2; 13:27; 23:10; Ho 7:4) For similar reasons, Jesus denounced as adulterous the generation of Jews in his day. (Mt 12:39; 16:4) If Christians who are in the new covenant defile themselves with the present system of things, they commit spiritual adultery. In principle, this would be true of all those who are dedicated to Jehovah.Jas 4:4.

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