April 11: Mark 10:32-34 (continued)

Mark 10:32-34, continued

Component 2—the betrayal of Jesus

“…and the Son of Man will be given along to the top sacred officials and to the writers”

As discussed in the previous note, the third Passion-prediction (Mk 10:33-34) is comprised of five components that effectively summarize the Passion narrative in the Gospels. The first component announces the approach to the city of Jerusalem. The second component describes the betrayal of Jesus. In this regard, the third Passion-prediction represents a combination (or conflation) of the first two:

    • “the Son of Man  to suffer…under the elders and the top sacred officials and the writers” (Mk 8:31)
    • “the Son of Man is given along into the hands of men” (Mk 9:31)

The same verb paradi/dwmi (“give along, give over”) is used here, while the expression “the hands of men” is clarified by identifying the “men” as the members of the Jewish ruling Council (Sanhedrin) in Jerusalem. Two of the same three groups are mentioned: “top sacred officials” (i.e., chief priests) and “writers” (i.e., the literate men [scribes] who are also considered to be experts in the sacred Writings). The betrayal of Jesus will lead to his being handed over to the Jewish authorities, just as is narrated in the Synoptic Passion account.

Matthew’s version of the prediction (20:18) is identical to Mark here, while Luke has combined the second and third components (cf. below).

Component 3—the judgment by the Council

“…and they will bring judgment against him for death, and they will give him along to the nations”

The authorities in the Jerusalem Council will bring down judgment against Jesus (vb katakri/nw), and this judgment will be that Jesus is deserving of death (qana/tw|, “for death, to death”). After this decision is rendered, Jesus will be “given along” (same verb, paradi/dwmi), i.e., handed over, to the Roman authorities—here generalized as “the nations” (Gentiles, non-Jews). Again, all of this represents a clear summary of the sequence of events in the Passion narrative.

Matthew’s wording here, too, is identical to Mark. Luke (18:32) has combined the two components of the Synoptic prediction, effectively eliminating any reference to the interrogation of Jesus by the Jerusalem Council:

“for he will be given along to the nations”

This probably represents a Lukan adaptation of the Synoptic tradition, possibly intended to emphasize Jesus’ Passion as a fulfillment of Psalm 2:1: “for what [i.e. why] do the nations throng (together) [LXX rage]…?” This Scripture certainly frames the kerygma in Acts 4:25-30, and also reflects the pattern for Lukan version of the Passion narrative—i.e., “nations / peoples” = the interrogations before Pilate and Herod (together with the Sanhedrin), respectively.

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