Mark 1:4-11

Mark 1:4-11
Baptism of the Lord B7


JohnA the baptizerB appearedC in the wilderness,D

Notes on verse 4a

A “John” = Ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); {from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John.
B “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.
C “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.
D “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.

proclaimingE a baptismF of repentanceG for the forgivenessH of sins.I 

Notes on verse 4b

E “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.
F “baptism” = baptisma. Related to “baptizer” in v4. From baptizo (see note B above). This is dipping or sinking. Also, the rite of baptism.
G “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.”
H “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.
I “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 JudeanJ countrysideK and all the people of JerusalemL were going outM to him,

Notes on verse 5a

J “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.
K “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.
L “people of Jerusalem” = Hierosolumites. 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.
M “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.

and were baptized by him in the riverN Jordan,O confessingP their sins. 

Notes on verse 5b

N “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).
O “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.”
P “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 withQ camel’s hair, with a leatherR beltS around his waist, and he ateT locusts and wildU honey. 

Notes on verse 6

Q “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.
R “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.
S “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.
T “ate” = esthio. This is to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust.
U “wild” = agrios. 3x in NT. From agros (a field as a place where one grows crops or pastures cattle; a farm or lands). This is related to the country or fields. It can mean natural, wild, or fierce.

He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerfulV than I is coming after me; I am not worthyW to stoop downX and untieY

Notes on verse 7a

V “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.
W “worthy” = hikanos. From hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain). This is sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample.
X “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.
Y “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.

the thongZ of his sandals.AA I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the HolyBB Spirit.”CC

Notes on verses 7b-8

Z “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.
AA “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.
BB “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.
CC “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.

DDIn those days JesusEE came from NazarethFF of GalileeGG and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 

Notes on verse 9

DD {untranslated} = ginomai. Same as “appeared” in v4. See note C above.
EE “Jesus” = Iesous. Related to “John” in v4. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (see note A above) + 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.
FF “Nazareth” = Nazareth. 12x in NT. Perhaps from netser (branch) OR from natsar (to watch, guard, protect). This is Nazareth, meaning perhaps branch or protected. It is a city in Galilee. See
GG “Galilee” = Galilaia. From Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilee, meaning perhaps region or cylinder.

10 And just asHH he was coming upII out of the water, he sawJJ the heavensKK torn apartLL and the Spirit descendingMM like a doveNN on him.

Notes on verse 10

HH “just as” = euthus. From euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked). This is at once, shortly, soon.
II “coming up” = anabaino. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + the same as basis (step, hence foot; a pace); {from baino (to walk, to go).}. This is to come up in a literal or figurative sense – ascent, rise, climb, enter.
JJ “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
KK “heavens” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
LL “torn apart” = schizo. 11x in NT. This is to split, divide, tear, sever; split in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “schism” comes from and also “schizophrenia” (literally “split mind”).
MM “descending” = katabaino. Related to “coming up” in v10. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + baino (see note II above). This is to come down in a literal or figurative sense – whether from the sky or higher terrain.
NN “dove” = peristera. 10x in NT. This is dove or pigeon.

11 And a voiceOO came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;PP with you I am well pleased.”QQ

Notes on verse 11

OO “voice” = phone. Probably from 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 voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
PP “Beloved” = agapetos. From agape (love, goodwill, benevolence; God’s divine love); from agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
QQ “well pleased” = eudokeo. From eu (good, well, well done) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to think well of, to be pleased or resolved. Properly, this is what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of.

Image credit: “Baptism of Christ” by Hans Stocker at the Catholic Church of St. Karl in Lucerne, Switzerland.

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