The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation

By Michael Cahill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14

Now the Pasch of the Unleavened Bread was two days later ( Mark 14:1).

Now, let us sprinkle our book with blood just like the doorposts of the houses.1 Let us put a scarlet thread around "the house of our prayer."2 Like Zerah, let us tie a scarlet thread on our hand.3 So we may be able to tell the story of the red heifer slaughtered in the valley.4

"Pasch" means "a passing over"; "Pesach" is a sacrifice.5 In the sacrifice of the lamb, and in the passing of the people through the sea, or of the angel

____________________
1
Ex 12:22. There follows a list of elements making up the feast of Passover, with explanations of various kinds. The author seems to be following a source other than EX 12:1-28 because items such as the full moon do not occur there.
2
Cf. Josh 2: 18. The author uses a phrase of Augustine's ( Aug Ps 130 p. 1899 no. 3 4-5).
3
Cf. Gen 38:27-30.
4
Cf. Num 19: 1-11. The author invites us to imaginatively enter into the appropriate mood for studying the account of the passion and death of Jesus. The color red or scarlet is the link. The blood of the lamb saves the Israelites in Ex 12:22. Note the reference to the book; an author is writing. In Josh 2:18 Rahab is saved by the sign of the cord. The thread on Zerah's hand in Gen 38:27-30 guarantees firstborn rights. Christ is compared to the red cow in Num 19:1-11 insofar as both have a purification-sacrifice value. Jean Daniélou suggests from the evidence of the Letter of Barnabas and of 1 Clement that some very early Christian testimonia (collections of Scripture texts) centered on the term "scarlet" came into existence ( The Theology of Jewish Christianity, pp. 99-101).
5
Cf. 2 Chron 35:11; Deut 16:2. The Hebrew word for Passover survives in two forms in the Latin Vulgate: Pascha and Phase. Both are derived from the Hebrew, the former via

-99-

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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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