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Finding the Core of the Historical Jesus



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The Savior

Ed. note: In this story, I have replaced the name "Jesus" with "the Savior" (since that is literally the meaning of the name) and "Christ" or "the Christ" with "the Messiah". In this way, I hope that the other-worldly nature of the being can be kept in mind. As far as the words of the Savior in this story, I have put them in bold font and color-coded them according to the weighted averages of the Jesus Seminar. The text of this story is taken from the World English Bible, though I have obviously edited it heavily (mostly removing text). I have left in the note links from the W.E.B. where possible.

Back to The Three Jesuses of the Gospel of Mark

The Story of John the Baptist

(1,1) The beginning of the Good News of the Savior, the Messiah, the Son of God. (1,2) As it is written in the prophets,

"Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.*
(1,3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord!
Make his paths straight!'"*

(1,4) John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. (1,5) All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. (1,6) John was clothed with camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. (1,7) He preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. (1,8) I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."

John Baptizes the Savior

(1,9) It happened in those days, that [a man] came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. (1,10) Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (1,11) A voice came out of the sky, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Ed. note: This is the moment in which the man becomes the Savior.

(1,14) John was taken into custody.

(6,17) For Herod himself had sent out and arrested John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for he had married her. (6,18) For John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (6,19) Herodias set herself against him, and desired to kill him, but she couldn't, (6,20) for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he did many things, and he heard him gladly.

(6,21) Then a convenient day came, that Herod on his birthday made a supper for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. (6,22) When the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and those sitting with him. The king said to the young lady, "Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you." (6,23) He swore to her, "Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom."

(6,24) She went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?"

She said, "The head of John the Baptizer."

(6,25) She came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptizer on a platter."

(6,26) The king was exceedingly sorry, but for the sake of his oaths, and of his dinner guests, he didn't wish to refuse her. (6,27) Immediately the king sent out a soldier of his guard, and commanded to bring John's head, and he went and beheaded him in the prison, (6,28) and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the young lady; and the young lady gave it to her mother.

(6,29) When his disciples heard this, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

(6,14) King Herod heard the stories of how the Savior and his disciples were healing people and casting out demons, for the savior's name had become known, and he said, "John the Baptizer has risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him." (6,15) But others said, "the Savior is Elijah." Others said, "he is a prophet, or like one of the prophets." (6,16) But Herod, when he heard this, said, "This is John, whom I beheaded. He has risen from the dead."

Ed. note: I moved 6:14-15 to the end of the story of John because it makes chronological sense.

It Begins

(1,12) [Immediately after being baptized by John the Baptist] the Spirit drove the Savior out into the wilderness. (1,13) He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals; and the angels were serving him.

(1,14) The Savior came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God, (1,15) and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News."

(1,16) Passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. (1,17) The Miracle Worker said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you into fishers for men."

(1,18) Immediately they left their nets, and followed him. (1,19) Going on a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. (1,20) Immediately he called them, and they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him. (1,21) They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. (1,22) They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.

(2,13) He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them. (2,14) As he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.

(2,23) It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain. (2,24) The Pharisees said to him, “Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?”

(2,25) He said to them, "Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry — he, and those who were with him? (2,26) How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?" (2,27) He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (2,28) Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

(3,13) He went up into the mountain, and called to himself those whom he wanted, and they went to him. (3,14) He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach, (3,15) and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: (3,16) Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter; (3,17) James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and he surnamed them Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder; (3,18) Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot; (3,19) and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Ed. note: Since the names of the apostles, especially Judas, figure so importantly in the passion, I concluded that the earlier passages introducing the apostles by name, or thereafter referring to them by name, belong to the passion narrative.

(8,27) The Savior went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"

(8,28) They told him, "John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets."

(8,29) He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Peter answered, "You are the Messiah."

(8,30) He commanded them that they should tell no one about him. (8,31) He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (8,32) He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. (8,33) But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men."

(8,34) He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, "Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (8,35) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. (8,36) For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? (8,37) For what will a man give in exchange for his life? (8,38) For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

(9,1) He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see the Kingdom of God come with power."

(9,2) After six days the Savior took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them. (9,3) His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. (9,4) Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.

(9,5) Peter answered the Savior, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (9,6) For he didn't know what to say, for they were very afraid.

(9,7) A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."

(9,8) Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except the Savior only.

(9,9) As they were coming down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. (9,10) They kept this saying to themselves, questioning what the "rising from the dead" meant.

(9,11) They asked him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"

(9,12) He said to them, "Elijah indeed comes first, and restores all things. How is it written about the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be despised? (9,13) But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they have also done to him whatever they wanted to, even as it is written about him."

Ed. note: Elijah was John the Baptist.

(9,30) They went out from there, and passed through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know it. (9,31) For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, "The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again."

(9,32) But they didn't understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

(9,33) He came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing among yourselves on the way?"

(9,34) But they were silent, for they had disputed one with another on the way about who was the greatest.

(9,35) He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all." (9,36) He took a little child, and set him in the midst of them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, (9,37) "Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn't receive me, but him who sent me."

(10,13) They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. (10,14) But when the Savior saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (10,15) Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it." (10,16) He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

(10,17) As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"

(10,18) The Savior said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one — God. (10,19) You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.'"*

(10,20) He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth."

(10,21) The Savior looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

(10,22) But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. (10,23) The Savior looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"

(10,24) The disciples were amazed at his words. But the Savior answered again, "Children, how hard is it to enter into the Kingdom of God! (10,25) It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."

(10,26) They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"

(10,27) The Savior, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."

(10,32) They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and the Savior was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him. (10,33) "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles. (10,34) They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."

The Text of Secret Mark (main section)

Ed. note: This is the text the Mar Saba letter, a previously unknown letter attributed to Clement of Alexandria, as translated by Morton Smith. For more on Secret Mark, start at the Wikipedia page for it and move on to the other links. I include it here because it connects up with a later incident the night Jesus is arrested. Also Stephen Patterson, among others, has argued that "the youth" of this story is Lazarus, from the story in the Gospel of John. Also, I did not include this as one of the healing stories because of its link to the garden scene during the arrest.

And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before the Savior and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And the Savior, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near the Savior rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days the Savior told him what to do and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for the Savior taught him the mystery of the kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.

(10,35) James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask."

(10,36) He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"

(10,37) They said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."

(10,38) But the Savior said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"

(10,39) They said to him, "We are able."

The Savior said to them, "You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; (10,40) but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared."

(10,41) When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.

(10,42) The Savior summoned them, and said to them, "You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. (10,43) But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant. (10,44) Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all. (10,45) For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

(11,1) When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, (11,2) and said to them, "Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him. (11,3) If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs him;' and immediately he will send him back here."

(11,4) They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him. (11,5) Some of those who stood there asked them, "What are you doing, untying the young donkey?" (11,6) They said to them just as the Savior had said, and they let them go.

(11,7) They brought the young donkey to the Savior, and threw their garments on it, and the Savior sat on it. (11,8) Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road. (11,9) Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!* (11,10) Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

(11,11) The Savior entered into the temple in Jerusalem. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

(11,12) The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry. (11,13) Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (11,14) The Savior told it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" and his disciples heard it.

(11,15) They came to Jerusalem, and the Savior entered into the temple, and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves. (11,16) He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple. (11,17) He taught, saying to them, "Isn't it written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?'* But you have made it a den of robbers!"*

(11,18) The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.

(11,19) When evening came, he went out of the city. (11,20) As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. (11,21) Peter, remembering, said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away."

(11,27) They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him, (11,28) and they began saying to him, "By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?"

(11,29) The Savior said to them, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. (11,30) The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me."

(11,31) They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we should say, 'From heaven;' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?' (11,32) If we should say, 'From men,' they feared the people, for all held John to really be a prophet. (11,33) They answered the Savior, "We don't know."

The Savior said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things."

(12,18) There came to him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. They asked him, saying, (12,19) "Teacher, Moses wrote to us, 'If a man's brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.' (12,20) There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring. (12,21) The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise; (12,22) and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. (12,23) In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife."

(12,24) The Savior answered them, "Isn't this because you are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God? (12,25) For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (12,26) But about the dead, that they are raised; haven't you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'*? (12,27) He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken."

(12,28) One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"

(12,29) The Savior answered, "The greatest is, 'Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: (12,30) you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'* This is the first commandment. (12,31) The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'* There is no other commandment greater than these."

(12,32) The scribe said to him, "Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he, (12,33) and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."

(12,34) When the Savior saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."

No one dared ask him any question after that.

(12,35) The Savior responded, as he taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? (12,36) For David himself said in the Holy Spirit,

'The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet."'*

(12,37) Therefore David himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?"

The common people heard him gladly.

(12,41) The Savior sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. (12,42) A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin. (12,43) He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, (12,44) for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on."

The Little Apocalypse

(13,1) As he went out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, see what kind of stones and what kind of buildings!"

(13,2) The Savior said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone on another, which will not be thrown down."

(13,3) As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, (13,4) "Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled?"

Ed. note: In The Five Gospels, the editors point out that verses 13:5-31 don't actually answer the first question of the disciples, "When will these things be?" Instead, they answer the second question, "What is the sign?"

The Signs

(13,5) The Savior, answering, began to tell them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray. (13,6) For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and will lead many astray.

(13,7) "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don't be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. (13,8) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains. (13,9) But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them. (13,10) The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. (13,11) When they lead you away and deliver you up, don't be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

(13,12) "Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. (13,13) You will be hated by all men for my name's sake, but he who endures to the end, the same will be saved. (13,14) But when you see the abomination of desolation,* spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, (13,15) and let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter in, to take anything out of his house. (13,16) Let him who is in the field not return back to take his cloak. (13,17) But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babies in those days! (13,18) Pray that your flight won't be in the winter. (13,19) For in those days there will be oppression, such as there has not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. (13,20) Unless the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the chosen ones, whom he picked out, he shortened the days. (13,21) Then if anyone tells you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there!' don't believe it. (13,22) For there will arise false christs and false prophets, and will show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. (13,23) But you watch.

"Behold, I have told you all things beforehand. (13,24) But in those days, after that oppression, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, (13,25) the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.* (13,26) Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. (13,27) Then he will send out his angels, and will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.

(13,28) "Now from the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near; (13,29) even so you also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, at the doors. (13,30) Most certainly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. (13,31) Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The Hour

(13,32) But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (13,33) Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don't know when the time is.

(13,34) "It is like a man, traveling to another country, having left his house, and given authority to his servants, and to each one his work, and also commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. (13,35) Watch therefore, for you don't know when the lord of the house is coming, whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning; (13,36) lest coming suddenly he might find you sleeping. (13,37) What I tell you, I tell all: Watch."

The Passion in Ernest

(14,1) It was now two days before the feast of the Passover and the unleavened bread, and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him by deception, and kill him. (14,2) For they said, "Not during the feast, because there might be a riot of the people."

(14,3) While he was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard — very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head. (14,4) But there were some who were indignant among themselves, saying, "Why has this ointment been wasted? (14,5) For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor." They grumbled against her.

(14,6) But the Savior said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me. (14,7) For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want to, you can do them good; but you will not always have me. (14,8) She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying. (14,9) Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News may be preached throughout the whole world, that which this woman has done will also be spoken of for a memorial of her."

(14,10) Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went away to the chief priests, that he might deliver him to them. (14,11) They, when they heard it, were glad, and promised to give him money. He sought how he might conveniently deliver him. (14,12) On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make ready that you may eat the Passover?"

(14,13) He sent two of his disciples, and said to them, "Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, (14,14) and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"' (14,15) He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make ready for us there."

(14,16) His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.

(14,17) When it was evening he came with the twelve. (14,18) As they sat and were eating, the Savior said, "Most certainly I tell you, one of you will betray me — he who eats with me."

(14,19) They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, "Surely not I?" And another said, "Surely not I?"

(14,20) He answered them, "It is one of the twelve, he who dips with me in the dish. (14,21) For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."

The Eucharist

Ed. note: I indent these five verses because I will make arguments elsewhere on this site that refer to these lines. Also, these are the lines that Paul quotes.

(14,22) As they were eating, the Savior took bread, and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, "Take, eat. This is my body."

(14,23) He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it. (14,24) He said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. (14,25) Most certainly I tell you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God." (14,26) When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

(14,27) The Savior said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'* (14,28) However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."

(14,29) But Peter said to him, "Although all will be offended, yet I will not."

(14,30) The Savior said to him, "Most certainly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times."

(14,31) But he spoke all the more, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." They all said the same thing.

(14,32) They came to a place which was named Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I pray." (14,33) He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed. (14,34) He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch."

(14,35) He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him. (14,36) He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire."

(14,37) He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you watch one hour? (14,38) Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

(14,39) Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words. (14,40) Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn't know what to answer him. (14,41) He came the third time, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (14,42) Arise, let us be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."

(14,43) Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came — and with him a multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. (14,44) Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, "Whoever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely." (14,45) When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, "Rabbi! Rabbi!" and kissed him. (14,46) They laid their hands on him, and seized him. (14,47) But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

(14,48) The Savior answered them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? (14,49) I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."

(14,50) They all left him, and fled. (14,51) A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself, over his naked body. The young men grabbed him, (14,52) but he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. (14,53) They led the Savior away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him.

Ed. note: This is possibly the young man referenced in the text of Secret Mark (included above). See the note above for more information.

(14,54) Peter had followed him from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. (14,55) Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against the Savior to put him to death, and found none. (14,56) For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn't agree with each other. (14,57) Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying, (14,58) "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" (14,59) Even so, their testimony did not agree.

(14,60) The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked the Savior, "Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?" (14,61) But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?"

(14,62) The Savior said, "I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky."

(14,63) The high priest tore his clothes, and said, "What further need have we of witnesses? (14,64) You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" They all condemned him to be worthy of death. (14,65) Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, "Prophesy!" The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.

(14,66) As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the high priest came, (14,67) and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, "You were also with the Nazarene, the Savior!"

(14,68) But he denied it, saying, "I neither know, nor understand what you are saying." He went out on the porch, and the rooster crowed.

(14,69) The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, "This is one of them." (14,70) But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, "You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it." (14,71) But he began to curse, and to swear, "I don't know this man of whom you speak!" (14,72) The rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word, how that the Savior said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." When he thought about that, he wept.

(15,1) Immediately in the morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound the Savior, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. (15,2) Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

He answered, "So you say."

(15,3) The chief priests accused him of many things. (15,4) Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they testify against you!"

(15,5) But the Savior made no further answer, so that Pilate marveled.

(15,6) Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. (15,7) There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. (15,8) The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them. (15,9) Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" (15,10) For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. (15,11) But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should release Barabbas to them instead. (15,12) Pilate again asked them, "What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?"

Ed. note: Bar Abbas means, literally, "son of the father".

(15,13) They cried out again, "Crucify him!"

(15,14) Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?"

But they cried out exceedingly, "Crucify him!"

(15,15) Pilate, wishing to please the multitude, released Barabbas to them, and handed over the Savior, when he had flogged him, to be crucified. (15,16) The soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they called together the whole cohort. (15,17) They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him. (15,18) They began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" (15,19) They struck his head with a reed, and spat on him, and bowing their knees, did homage to him. (15,20) When they had mocked him, they took the purple off of him, and put his own garments on him. They led him out to crucify him. (15,21) They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. (15,22) They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, "The place of a skull." (15,23) They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn't take it.

(15,24) Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them, what each should take. (15,25) It was the third hour, and they crucified him. (15,26) The superscription of his accusation was written over him, "THE KING OF THE JEWS." (15,27) With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. (15,28) The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, "He was numbered with transgressors."

(15,29) Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, (15,30) save yourself, and come down from the cross!"

(15,31) Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, "He saved others. He can't save himself. (15,32) Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him." Those who were crucified with him insulted him.

(15,33) When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (15,34) At the ninth hour the Savior cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is, being interpreted, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"*

(15,35) Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, "Behold, he is calling Elijah."

(15,36) One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah comes to take him down."

(15,37) The Savior cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. (15,38) The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. (15,39) When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"

(15,40) There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (15,41) who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

(15,42) When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, (15,43) Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who also himself was looking for the Kingdom of God, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for the Savior's body. (15,44) Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long. (15,45) When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. (15,46) He bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. (15,47) Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.

(16,1) When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. (16,2) Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. (16,3) They were saying among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" (16,4) for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.

(16,5) Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. (16,6) He said to them, "Don't be amazed. You seek the Savior, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! (16,7) But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.'"

(16,8) They went out,* and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid.

Ed. note: As does the Scholars Version, I omit the verses following 16:8 since they do not appear in the most reliable older manuscripts.



[1] back to 1:2 Malachi 3:1

[2] back to 1:3 Isaiah 40:3

[3] back to 1:4 or, immersing

[4] back to 10:19 Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20

[5] back to 11:1 TR & NU read "Bethphage" instead of "Bethsphage"

[6] back to 11:9 "Hosanna" means "save us" or "help us, we pray."

[7] back to 11:9 Psalm 118:25-26

[8] back to 11:17 Isaiah 56:7

[9] back to 11:17 Jeremiah 7:11

[10] back to 12:26 Exodus 3:6

[11] back to 12:30 Deuteronomy 6:4-5

[12] back to 12:31 Leviticus 19:18

[13] back to 12:36 Psalm 110:1

[14] back to 12:42 literally, lepta (or widow's mites). Lepta are very small brass coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker's daily wages.

[15] back to 12:42 A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day's wages for an agricultural laborer.

[16] back to 13:6 or, "I AM!"

[17] back to 13:14 Daniel 9:17; 11:31; 12:11

[18] back to 13:25 Isaiah 13:10; 34:4

[19] back to 13:30 The word translated "generation" (genea) could also be translated "race," "family," or "people."

[20] back to 14:5 300 denarii was about a years wages for an agricultural laborer.

[21] back to 14:27 Zechariah 13:7

[22] back to 15:25 9:00 AM

[23] back to 15:28 NU omits verse 28.

[24] back to 15:32 TR omits "him"

[25] back to 15:33 or, noon

[26] back to 15:33 3:00 PM

[27] back to 15:34 Psalm 22:1

[28] back to 16:8 TR adds "quickly"