Mark 1:1-8

Mark 1:1-8
Advent B2


The beginningA of the good newsB of JesusC Christ,D the Son of God.E

Notes on verse 1

A “beginning” = arche. From archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
B “good news” = euaggelion. From eu (well, good, rightly) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel); {from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (to bring, lead, carry, guide)}. This is literally “the good news,” used for the gospel. This is also where “evangelism” comes from.
C “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
D “Christ” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
E “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

As it is written in the prophetF Isaiah,G

Notes on verse 2a

F “prophet” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.
G “Isaiah” = Esaias. Related to “Jesus” in v1. From Hebrew Yeshayahu (Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord); {from yasha (see note C above) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note C above)}}. This is Isaiah, meaning, “salvation of the Lord.”

“See,H I am sendingI my messengerJ ahead of you,K
    who will prepareL your way;M

Notes on verse 2b

H “see” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
I “sending” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
J “messenger” = aggelos. Related to “good news” in v1. See note B above.
K “ahead of you” = pro + prosopon + su. Literally “before your face.” Prosopon is from pros (at, towards, with) + ops (eye, face) {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is the face, surface, or front. It can imply presence more generally.
L “prepare” = kataskeuazo. 11x in NT. From kata (down, against, among, throughout) + skeuazo (to prepare using a tool); {from skeuos (tool, container, property, goods)}. This is to prepare, build, or ordain. It denotes preparing with the use of tools and with skill.
M “way” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.

the voiceN of one crying outO in the wilderness:P

Notes on verse 3a

N “voice” = phone. Related to “prophet” in v2. Probably from phemi (see note F above) OR from phaino (see note F above). This is a voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
O “crying out” = boao. 12x in NT. From boe (a cry or shout). This is cry out, make a distress call, ask for desperately need assistance.
P “wilderness” = eremos. Properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated. It could be a deserted area or a desert place. It could be seen as secluded, solitary, or lonesome. Any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally.

    ‘PrepareQ the way of the Lord,R
    make his pathsS straight,’”T

Notes on verse 3b

Q “prepare” = hetoimazo. From hetoimos (make ready, be ready because of being prepared, standing by, adjusted; ready to meet some opportunity or challenge). This is to prepare or provide.
R “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
S “paths” = tribos. 3x in NT– al in the proclamation of John the Baptist in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. From tribo (to rub or thresh). This is a rut or path that is made from regular use – a road or highway.
T “straight” = euthus. 8x in NT. Perhaps from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + tithemi (to place, lay, set, establish). This is immediately, upright, straight and not crooked.

JohnU the baptizerV appearedW in the wilderness,

Notes on verse 4a

U “John” = Ioannes. Related to “Jesus” in v1 & “Isaiah” in v2. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note C above) + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John.
V “baptizer” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.
W “appeared” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.

proclaimingX a baptismY of repentanceZ for the forgivenessAA of sins.BB 

Notes on verse 4b

X “proclaiming” = kerusso. This is to proclaim, preach, publish. Properly, it is to act as a herald – announcing something publicly with confidence and/or to persuade
Y “baptism” = baptisma. Related to “baptizer” in v4. From baptizo (see note V above). This is dipping or sinking. Also, the rite of baptism.
Z “repentance” = metanoia. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect)}. This is literally to change one’s mind – to choose to think differently and so to act differently because of a moral compunction. It is an intentional change to the inner self. This word shares a root with the English “paranoia.”
AA “forgiveness” = aphesis. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to sent away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go)}. This is sending away – a release or letting go. So, it can be releasing someone from debt, slavery, or some other obligation – thus, freedom or liberty. Figuratively it can mean to pardon as releasing from the debt of sin.
BB “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.

And people from the whole JudeanCC countrysideDD and all the people of JerusalemEE were going outFF to him, and were baptized by him in the riverGG Jordan,HH confessingII their sins. 

Notes on verse 5

CC “Judean” = Ioudaia. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judea, which was a Roman province.
DD “countryside” = chora. From chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is space, land, region, fields, open area – the countryside in contrast to the town.
EE “people of Jerusalem” = Hieroslumites. 2x in NT. From Hierosoluma (Jerusalem, meaning “dwelling of peace”); from Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is people who live in Jerusalem.
FF “going out” = ekporeuomai.  From ek (from, from out of) + poreuomai (to go, travel, journey, die; refers to transporting things from one place to another; focuses on the personal significance of the destination); {from poros (passageway)}. This is to go forth, depart from, be spoken, flow out, project. This word emphasizes the result a process or passage – how it impacts the person or thing.
GG “river” = potamos. 17x in NT. From pino (to drink). This is a river, brook, or water. It can also be a riverbed flowing with heavy rain or melted snow (like an arroyo).
HH “Jordan” = Iordanes. 15x in NT. From Hebrew yarden (Jordan river, meaning “descending”); from yarad (to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense; going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy). This is the Jordan River, meaning “descending.”
II “confessing” = exomologeo. 10x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + homologeo (to agree, speak the same, declare, promise, praise, celebrate; to align with, express the same conclusion, endorse); {from homologos (of one mind); {from homos (the same) + lego (to say, speak, tell)}}. This is agree, consent, or acknowledge. It can also be confess, give thanks, or praise. It includes an open, public, unabashed declaration.

Now John was clothed withJJ camel’s hair, with a leatherKK beltLL around his waist,MM and he ateNN locusts and wildOO honey. 

Notes on verse 6

JJ “clothed with” = enduo. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + duno (to sink into, set like the sun); {from duo (to go down, sink, or set)}. This is to put on as when one puts on clothes. It is the idea of sinking into one’s clothing.
KK “leather” = dermatinos. 2x in NT. From derma (the skin, animal hide); from dero (to skin, hit, flog, flay, thrash). This is leather – something made of skin.
LL “belt” = zone. 8x in NT. From zonnumi (to gird up – to tighten the belt so one can work or move quickly). This is belt, sash, waistband – the place where one puts the purse.
MM “waist” = osphus. 8x in NT. This is hips or loins.
NN “ate” = esthio. This is to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust.
OO “wild” = agrios. Related to “good news” in v1 & “messenger” in v2. 3x in NT. From agros (a field as a place where one grows crops or pastures cattle; a farm or lands); perhaps from ago (see note B above). This is related to the country or fields. It can mean natural, wild, or fierce.

He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerfulPP than I is coming after me; I am not worthyQQ to stoop downRR and untieSS the thongTT of his sandals.UU

Notes on verse 7

PP “more powerful” = ischuros. From ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance). This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.
QQ “worthy” = hikanos. From hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain). This is sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample.
RR “stoop down” = kupto. 3x in NT. Perhaps from kuma (wave, billow, curve, bend); from kuo (to swell as one pregnant). This is to stoop, bend forward, bow one’s head.
SS “untie” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is releasing what had been withheld.
TT “thong” = himas. 4x in NT. Perhaps from the same as hama (at one, together with, early). This is a thong like a part of a sandal or a strap that is part of a scourge.
UU “sandals” = hupodema. 10x in NT. From hupodeo (to bind under wear on the feet); {from hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited)}. This is a sandal – something bound under the sole.

8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the HolyVV Spirit.”WW

Notes on verse 8

VV “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
WW “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

Image credit: “John the Baptist” from the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes, France 20th century.

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