The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation

By Michael Cahill | Go to book overview

PROLOGUE

Every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who can show off old and new items from his collection of precious things.1 However, I am like the poor widow tossing her two mites into the treasury.2 I do this for my poor students who expect to get nourishment from a lean satchel. I am contributing those little crumbs that fall from the table of rich people. My puppies clamor for them as eagerly as the Tyro-Phoenician woman did, anxious for her daughter.3 I have nothing at all like gold, silver and jewels,4 but I do offer, if I can, vellum pages--hyacinth ones dealing with heavenly realities, and red ones about earthly matters.5 I will, with God's help, exert myself to make known

____________________
1
Matt 13:52. In early medieval biblical commentary, the prologue was designed to provide useful information to the reader of the Gospel concerning authorship and design of the work. Much of what follows here, particularly in the second half, is not linked specifically with the Gospel of Mark. The purpose of Gospel reading is said to be the imitation of Christ and the stirring up of the basic virtues, especially reverential fear, faith, hope, and charity, of which the Gospel material is full. The writer draws attention to the sections proper to Mark. Another feature of his commentary is the way he enumerates and comments on the 15 miracles ("virtutes") performed by Christ in Mark's account. Yet he does not refer to this in his prologue. This makes it likely that he is taking over material from another source.
2
Cf. Mark 12:41-42; Luke 21:2.
3
Cf. Mark 7:24-30 and parallels (par.). The peculiar form "Tyrophoenician" has been retained instead of the usual "Syrophoenician" because it is also found in Adomnan De Locis Sanctis (p. 221 12) and so may prove to be helpful in determining provenance.
4
1 Cor 3:12; cf. Acts 3:6.
5
The fact that the same material (skins) is used for the tabernacle and for writing the present commentary allows the expositor scope for an imaginative development. Cf. Ex25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:33

-19-

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The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Note: xiv
  • Introduction 3
  • Prologue 19
  • Chapter I 25
  • Chapter 2 41
  • Chapter 3 43
  • Chapter 4 49
  • Chapter 5 55
  • Chapter 6 59
  • Chapter 7 63
  • Chapter 8 69
  • Chapter 9 73
  • Chapter 10 79
  • Chapter 11 83
  • Chapter 12 89
  • Chapter 13 95
  • Chapter 14 99
  • Chapter 15 115
  • Chapter 16 127
  • Epilogue 133
  • Appendix an Interpolated Homily 135
  • Bibliography 139
  • Index of Biblical Texts 147
  • Select Index to Annotations 153
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