The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation

By Michael Cahill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12

He began to speak to them in parables, etc. ( Mark 12:1).

A man planted a vineyard. God is called a man, a father, to put it in a human way. The vineyard is the house of Israel, and the hedge is the protection of the angels. The pit for the winepress is the Law. The tower is the Temple. The farmers are the priests. The leaving on a journey on the part of God represents the freedom of our will. The servants sent are the prophets. The produce of the vineyard is obedience. Some of the prophets were flogged, others wounded, and others killed. The son, the most beloved and the final one, is the only begotten.

They will respect my son ( Mark 12:6).

This is said in irony. And they threw him out of the vineyard, that is to say, out from the people, saying, You are a Samaritan and have a demon.1 The vineyard is given to others, that is, to those who come from east, west, south and north, and who sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God.2.

____________________
1
The verbal attack on Jesus in John 8:48 is quoted.
2.
The allegory is christological and sketches the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish authorities. Some details are puzzling. The subjects of angels and free will do not fit comfortably into the overall pattern. That each nation had a guardian angel was standard patristic opinion based on Dan 10:13, 21. The arbitrariness of the interpretation in terms of free will is shown by the fact that another setting out on a journey, in Mark 13:34, is explained as

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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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