When All Translations Miss the Mark: Some Amazing, Undisclosed Variation in the Gospel of Mark

The literary level of Mark’s gospel is often labeled “semitic/vulgar” (the lowest plane), as opposed to conversational or literary Koine according to many standard critical commentaries, as well as well known Greek grammar textbooks (e.g., Wallace) and textual commentaries (e.g., Metzger). The author’s use of emotional language in the Gospel of Mark, however, might suggest a different “literary level” category for considerations. In this paper, some lexical considerations will be made regarding nine distinct Greek words and the author’s use of them at key junctures. The data will then be compared and contrasted to at least ten modern English translations in order to show some amazing, undisclosed variation by the author that would point to a higher level of literary ability than previously proposed. There will also be an emphasis on several pastoral and academic implications of such a study and discovery.

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