The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation

By Michael Cahill | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE

In this rapid and sketchy treatment of the Evangelist Mark,1 I have sprinkled you, my children, with the ashes of the red cow burned in the valley.2 The red cow represents the flesh of the Lord running with blood.3 It is he who is addressed in the Words: Who is this who comes up from Edom with stained clothing?4 Its ashes are the least of the commandments, which are the little strokes and crumbs which fall from the table of the scribes and pharisees.5 The valley stands for the humility of Christ. The fire is the pain suffered, by which he carried our pains.6 The water mixed with blood is the chalice of the New Testament. The hyssop is the cross. The scarlet stands for the love with which the Father has loved us.7 He did not spare his own son.8 I have sprinkled you with some of these things so that you may become whiter than snow,9 and so that you may be transfigured on the mountain and gleam like snow.10

____________________
1
The Angers Manuscript appends a formal epilogue.
10
Cf. Mark 9:1-2.
2
At the beginning of the commentary on Mark 14, he referred to the ritual of the red cow in Num 19. In this passage he allegorizes the details.
3
The expiatory sacrifice of the cow is a type of the sacrificial death of Jesus, whose blood was shed.
4
Is 63:1.
5
The "least commandments" of Matt 5:19 are explained as the "tittles" of Matt 5:18, which are quaintly combined with the crumbs in Mark 7:28 (an image he used in the prologue). These are like the ashes because both are treated with meticulous care. The significance of the ash here is not the same as that of the sprinkled ash of the opening sentence.
6
Cf. Is 53:4; I have translated both instances of the Latin dolor as "pain(s)."
7
Cf. Eph 2:4.
8
Cf. Rom 8:32.
9
Cf Ps 51:7; cf. Is 1:18.

-133-

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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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