The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation

By Michael Cahill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3

The fifth miracle: There was a man with a withered hand. To him it is said, Stretch out your hand ( Mark 3:1).

He represents the misers who have no wish to give but who only want to receive.1 They want to grasp and not distribute. They are told to stretch out their hands. In other words, the thief must no longer steal. Rather he must labor, making an effort to do good with his own hands, so that he might have something to share with the poor.2

And going up on the mountain, he called to him those whom he wanted, etc., as far as who betrayed him ( Mark 3:13-1 9).3

They are called on a mountain, that is to say, those who are eminent in merit and in word, so that the place should correspond with such lofty merits.

That is, that the twelve might be with him ( Mark 3:14).

____________________
1
Cf. Acts 20: 35.
2
Cf. "Mark" 3:16; cf. Eph 4:28. This is a remarkable example of an inconsistency between the allegorical interpretation of a story and the literal-historical sense. Ideally, the latter was to be respected and serve as anchor and guide for the allegorical. Although the man stretches out his hand on Christ's instructions and is enabled to do so because of Christ's miraculous cure, nevertheless he is presented as an example of a miser. Then the stretching is taken in another sense, as the act of working. Each of the different senses ignores the intrinsic sense of the healing as the restoration of the man's well-being.
3
The opening and closing words identify the pericope for treatment. Specific parts within this section will be cited as necessary.

-43-

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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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