From:  Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Mark  Return to Home 

By Roland H. Worth, Jr.  © 2013


All reproduction of text in paper, electronic, or computer

form both permitted and encouraged so long as authorial

and compiler credit is given and the text is not altered.







Over 50 Interpreters

Explain the Gospel of Mark








Volume 2:

Chapters 9-16





Compiled and Edited


Roland H. Worth, Jr.




Copyright © 2013 by author

All electronic and computer reproduction both permitted and encouraged so long as authorial and compiler credit is given

and the text is not altered.







The primary text of this work is the traditional King James Version.  More modern renditions are included from the New King James Version of selected words and phrases.


Scripture taken from the New King James Version.  Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  All rights reserved.











1          =          G. A. Chadwick.  The Gospel According to St. Mark.

                        New York:  A. C. Armstrong and Son.  


2          =          A. Irvine Robertson.  Lessons on the Gospel of St. Mark.

                        New York:  Fleming H. Revell Company. 


3          =          Joseph Addison Alexander.  The Gospel According to Mark.

                        New York:  Scribner, Armstrong & Co., 1858 (1874 printing).


4          =          Andrew C. Zenos.  The Son of Man:  Studies in the Gospel of

                        Mark.  New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons.


5          =          A. C. Gaebelein.  The Annotated Bible; volume 1:  The Gospels and

                        the Book of Acts.  New York:  Publication Office "Our Hope," 1913.


6          =          W. C. Allen.  The Gospel According to Saint Mark.

                        New York:  Macmillan Company, 1915.


7          =          Robert F. Horton.  The Cartoons of St. Mark.

                        New York:  Fleming H. Revell Company, 1894.


8          =          Edwin W. Rice.  People's Commentary on the Gospel

                        According to Mark.  (Fourth Edition).   Philadelphia:  The

                        American Sunday-School Union, 1892.


9          =          Harvey Goodwin.  A Commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

                        Cambridge:  Deighton, Bell and Company, 1860.


10        =          John Henry Burn.  The Preacher's Homiletic Commentary on the

                        Gospel according to Mark.  New York:  Funk & Wagnalls.


11        =          Matthew P. Riddle.    The International Revision Commentary on

                        Mark.   New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1881.


12        =          John Peter Lange.  A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures:  The

                        Gospel according to Mark.  Sixth Edition.  New York:  Scribner,

                        Armstrong & Company, 1866; 1872 printing. 


13        =          Edward I. Bosworth.  Studies in the Life of Jesus Christ.   New

                        York:  Young Men's Christian Association Press, 1904; 1909 reprint. 


14        =          Charles R. Erdman.  The Gospel of Mark.  Philadelphia: 

Westminster Press, 1917.


15        =          Henry Cowles.  Matthew and Mark.   New York:  D. Appleton &

                        Company, 1881.


16        =          John Albert Bengel.  Gnomon of the New Testament (volume 1).

                        Revised and Edited by Andrew R. Fausset.  Edinburgh:  T. & T.

Clark, MDCCCLIX.   


17        =          Alexander Bruce.  "The Synoptic Gospels" in The Expositor's Greek

                        Testament (Volume One).  New York:  Hodder and Stoughton, [no



18        =          Samuel J. Andrews.  The Life of Our Lord.  Fourth Edition.

                        New York:  Scribner, Armstrong & Company, 1873.


19        =          Melanchton W. Jacobus.  Notes on the Gospel of Mark.  1853.  New                              York:   Robert Carter & Brothers, 1859; 1872 printing.


20        =          Pasquier Quesnel.  The Gospels:  with Moral Reflections on Each

Verse.  Volume I.  New York:  Anson D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867



21        =          Adam Clarke.  Commentary on Mark.  No date


22        =          Bernhard Weiss.  A Commentary on the New Testament:  Matthew

                        and Mark.  Translated by George H. Schodde and Epiphanius

Wilson.  New York;  Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1906.


23        =          W. N. Clarke.  American Commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

                        Philadelphia:  American Baptist Publication Society, 1881.


24        =          Alfred Nevin.  Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts:  Matthew,

                        Mark, John.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  Ziegler & McCurdy, 1871.


25        =          Charles H. Hall.  Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels:

                        Matthew and Mark (Second Edition).  New York:  Hurd and

Houghton, 1856, 1871.


26        =          Jeremiah W. Jenks.  The Political and Social Significance of the Life

and Teachings of Jesus.    New York:  Young Men's Christian

Association Press, 1906; 1908 printing.


27        =          Herman H. Horne.  Modern Problems as Jesus Saw Them.   New

York:  Association Press, 1918; 1926 printing.


28        =          Henry C. King.  The Ethics of Jesus.   New York:  Macmillan

Company, 1910; 1912 printing.


29        =          Halford E. Luccock.  Studies in the Parables of Jesus.   New York:                                  Methodist Book Concern, 1917; 1925 reprint.


30        =          W. H. Thomson.  The Parables by the Lake.  New York:  Harper &                                 Brothers, Publishers, 1895.


31        =          ?


32        =          William M. Taylor.  The Miracles of Our Saviour.  New York:  A. C.                               Armstrong & Son, 1890; 5th edition, 1903.


33        =          John Laidlaw.  The Miracles of Our Lord.  New York:  Funk &

Wagnalls Company, 1892.


34        =          A. T. Robertson.  Studies in Mark's Gospel.   New York:  Macmillan                              Company, 1918; 1919.


35        =          Ernest De Witt Burton.  Studies in the Gospel According to Mark.

                        Chicago, Illinois:  University of Chicago Press, 1904; 1923 printing.


36        =          Joseph Parker.  The People's Bible:  Mark-Luke.   New York:  Funk

& Wagnalls Company, 18--.


37        =          Marcus Dods.  The Parables of our Lord.   New York:  Fleming H.

Revell             Company, 18--.


38        =          J. W. McGarvey.  Commentary on Matthew and Mark.  1875.


39        =          E. Bickerstith.  St. Mark in The Pulpit Commentary.  Reprint,

                        Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Wm  B.  Eerdmans Publishing Company.


40        =          Henry Alford. The Greek Testament.  Volume One; Fifth Edition.

                        Cambridge, Britain, 1863.


41        =          Benjamin W. Bacon.  The Beginnings of the Gospel Story.   New

Haven, Connecticut:  Yale University Press, 1909.


42        =          Albert Barnes. Commentary on Mark.  18--.


43        =          David Brown.  The Four Gospels.  Philadelphia:  William S. & 

Alfred Martien, 1859.


44        =          Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews.  The Life of Christ. Chicago,

Illinois:  University of Chicago Press, 1900; 18th reprint, 1923.


45        =          W. A. Campbell.  A Commentary on the Gospel According to Mark.                                Richmond, Virginia:  Presbyterian Publishing Company, 1881.


46        =          G. A. Chadwick.  The Gospel According to Mark.  In The

                        Expositor's Bible.  New York:  A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1903.


47        =          John Cumming. Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament:

                        Mark.  Cleveland, Ohio:  John P. Jewett and Company, 1853.


48        =          Andrews Norton.  A Translation of the Gospels With Notes.

                        Boston:  Little, Brown, and Company,1856  


49        =          B. W. Johnson.  The People's New Testament.  18--.


50        =          Alexander Maclaren.  Expositions of Holy Scripture:  Mark.

                        Hartford, Connecticut:  S. S. Scranton Company.


51        =          F. N. Peloubet and M. A. Peloubet.  A Commentary on the

International   Lesson for 1895.  Boston:  W. A. Wilde and Company,

1894.  F. N. Peloubet and M. A. Peloubet.  A Commentary on the

International   Lessons for 1900.  New York:  Fleming H. Revell

Company, 1899.


52        =          Thomas Scott.  Commentary on the Bible.  Volume Three.

                        Philadelphia:  Lippincott & Company, 1862.                                   


53        =          Marvin R. Vincent.   Word Studies in the New Testament.  Volume I:

                        The Synoptic Gospls, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,

                        and Jude.  New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 reprint.


54        =          Matthew Henry.  Commentary on the Whole Bible.  1721.   Reprint,

                        York:  Fleming H. Revell Company, [no date].












From:  Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Mark  Return to Home  

By Roland H. Worth, Jr.  © 2013


All reproduction of text in paper, electronic, or computer

form both permitted and encouraged so long as authorial

and compiler credit is given and the text is not altered.













9:1                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     He went on to say, "In solemn truth I tell you that some of those who are standing here will certainly not taste death till they have seen the Kingdom of God already come in power."

WEB:              He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see the Kingdom of God come with power."

Young’s:         And he said to them, 'Verily I say to you, That there are certain of those standing here, who may not taste of death till they see the reign of God having come in power.'

Conte (RC):    And he said to them, "Amen I say to you, that there are some among those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God arriving in power.


9:1                   And He said to them.  This verse is in [a] sense inseparable from the preceding [8:34-38].  This closing word was intended for solemn warning and encouragement to the men of that generation who had just been put to the test by the words already spoken; as if He had said, "You will not have long to wait."  [23] 

                        Verily [Assuredly] I say unto you.  A rhetorical means of stressing the certainty and importance of what is about to be said.  [rw]

                        That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death.  (1)  Stressing the chronological nearness:  it is no longer merely “near” or “at hand;” this is shown by the use of an expression that is far less vague and  permits no undue lengthening of the time period under discussion—“which shall not taste of death.”  In other words, within their lifetimes.  (2)  “Some of them” though leaves open how many would be alive when the promise was fulfilled:  If it were to be within the next few months or even year or two, would not the more appropriate terms have been “most” or “nearly all of them”?  [rw]            

          Till they have seen the kingdom of God present.  The Transfiguration has bee thought to be referred to, but this was too near at hand to be meant, as it occurred only a week afterwards; nor can the final judgment be meant as that was beyond the lifetime of those present.  Some understand the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  We need not, however, limit the application of the language to a single event.  Jesus was speaking of His death, the establishment of His kingdom, and the conditions of membership.  It is the new dispensation, which could not be proclaimed till after His resurrection, that is the subject of discourse.  We may therefore understand "the coming of the kingdom with power" or its parallel in Matthew, "the Son of Man coming in His kingdom," to include all the early events that ushered in and gave prosperity to His kingdom under the new dispensation, beginning with Pentecost and including the destruction of Jerusalem and the overthrow of the nation.  [45]

                        with power.  The expression probably refers to the coming of the kingdom in the conversion of multitudes who should believe on Him in the times of the apostles after His resurrection.  [35]

                        Or:  All save one were witnesses of His resurrection and of the Pentecostal scene [Acts 2]; one at least, John, survived the capture of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, and on each of these occasions "the kingdom of God" was manifested "with power."  [8] 



9:2                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John, and brought them alone, apart from the rest, up a high mountain; and in their presence His appearance underwent a change.

WEB:              After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them.

Young’s:         And after six days doth Jesus take Peter, and James, and John, and bringeth them up to a high mount by themselves, alone, and he was transfigured before them,

Conte (RC):    And after six days, Jesus took with him Peter, and James, and John; and he led them separately to a lofty mountain alone; and he was transfigured before them.


9:2                   And after six days.  St. Luke (9:28) says, "About eight days after these sayings."  There is no real discrepancy here.  There were six whole days that intervened between our Lord's words and the Transfiguration itself.  [39]

                        Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John.  The “inner three” of the apostolic group.  If Peter were all that much more important than the others (as in Catholic theology), would we not have expected it to have been Jesus and Peter alone?  [rw]           

          into an high mountain.  The Transfiguration probably took place in the night.  1.  Jesus had gone up into the mountain to pray (Luke 9:28), which He usually did at night (Luke 6:12; 21:37; 22:39; Matthew 14:23, 24).  2.  The Apostles were heavy with sleep.  3.  They did not descend till the next day (Luke 9:37).  4.  The Transfiguration itself could be seen to better advantage at night than in daylight.  [11]

                        apart by themselves.  The other apostles were spending the night below.  [23]

                        and He.  This splendor was not in the air, nor in the eyes of the Disciples, but in the person of the Son of God--a splendor which communicated itself to His raiment so that "his garments became glistering, exceeding white; so as no fuller on earth can whiten them."  [39]

                        was transfigured before them.  The change in His appearance took place while He was praying (Luke 9:29).  [11]

                        Literally, "He was changed in form."  Luke, writing primarily for Greek readers, avoids the word "transfigured" or "transformed" ("metamorphosed" would be a still closer rendering), which Matthew and Mark employ.  The associations of heathen mythology would almost inevitably attach themselves to it in the imagination of a Greek.  In naming this great event "die Verklarung," or "the Glorification," German theology has seized this point, not the same as our "Transfiguration."  [8] 

                        In depth:  What was the purpose behind the Transfiguration  [45]?  On no point do the expositors of Scripture seem more at variance than as to the object of the transfiguration.  The views of some will be presented but we need not regard as worthy of consideration the opinions of those who do not admit inspiration and therefore deal with the narrative as suit their views or fancies.

                        Some regard it as designed for the benefit of our Lord along; others, for this with other ends.  Moore:  "The great object of the transfiguration terminated in the mind of our Lord Himself.  It was mainly designed to prepare Him for His approaching sufferings."  Thomson (in Smith's Bible Dictionary) gives the same as one of several reasons.  Farrar gives the same as its design, so far as Jesus was concerned.  There is, however, no evidence in the narratives of any such purpose and several most important circumstances cannot be explained on this hypotheses.

                        Still more inadmissible is the view of Olshausen that the transfiguration was a stage in the development of the spiritual life of Jesus.

                        The above reason will also stand against the view of Alford, who says:  "This weighty event forms the solemn installation of our Lord to His sufferings and their result."  Thomson gives the same as one of the ends of this event.  There is, however, nothing in the scene that at all suggests “an inauguration” or "installation” and moreover He had already entered upon His sufferings.

                        Others see in it the good of the disciples.

                        Kitto says:  "He now purposed to encourage them, to strengthen their faith and to advance their views of His character and office, by affording them a glimpse of that glory which essentially belonged to Him."  Owen, Lange, Farrar and Thomson present similar opinions, giving prominence to strengthening the disciples' faith for the special trials through which they were to pass.  But we may ask, why were only three of the disciples allowed to share these benefits?  Why were Moses and Elijah especially chosen from the redeemed in heaven in preference to other patriarchs and prophets?  Why was His decrease the topic of conversation?  Why was all hushed till after the resurrection?

                        Barnes says:  "The sole design of this transfiguration was to convince them that He was the Christ; that He was greater than the greatest of the prophets; that He was the Son of God."  We ask again, why convince only three of the apostles of the fact?  And why has this grand event to convince them of what, just one week before, they had so promptly confessed, and what their Lord acknowledged they had received from the Father (8:29; Matthew 16:16-17)?

                        The most prominent lesson of this scene, according to Macduff is “that the legal and prophetical dispensations were superseded by the gospel."  Alford gives a modified view of the same design.  This, however, restricts the significance of the scene to its vanishing, to the passing away of Moses and Elijah, leaving Jesus only.

                        Adam Clarke sums up its teachings, giving all the most important doctrines of revelation.  As few will be ready to admit that all divine truth was revealed on the mount of transfiguration, we need not consider his long summary.

                        Brown presents a view approaching nearer to that which will be advocated than any of the preceding:  "This scene was designed to show to the eyes as well as the heart how glorious that death was in the view of heaven."  But even this does not bring out the chief significance of the transfiguration.

                        Now, where there is such diversity of opinion among Christian interpreters, it is less presumptuous to suggest a new view of this portion of Scripture.  The view proposed is that it should be interpreted as a typical transaction:  The Transfiguration sets forth in a type the glory that Christ secured for Himself and the redeemed by His death and triumphant resurrection.



9:3                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     His garments also became dazzling with brilliant whiteness--such whiteness as no bleaching on earth could give.

WEB:              His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.

Young’s:         and his garments became glittering, white exceedingly, as snow, so as a fuller upon the earth is not able to whiten them.

Conte (RC):    And his vestments became radiant and exceedingly white like snow, with such a brilliance as no fuller on earth is able to achieve.


9:3                   And His raiment.  Peter afterwards mentions the face (1 Peter 1:16-18) and John alludes to it (John 1:14).  [11]

                        became shining.  A still more expressive term in the original [Greek], applied by Homer to the glistening of polished surfaces and to the glittering of arms, by Aristotle to the twinkling of the stars, and by Euripides to the flashing of lightning, which last idea Luke (9:29) expresses by a different verb.  [3]

                        exceedingly white as snow, so as no fuller [launderer, NKJV] on earth can white[n, NKJV] them.  Persons of high rank often were distinguished by the brightness of their white garments.  [11]



9:4                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     Moreover there appeared to them Elijah accompanied by Moses; and the two were conversing with Jesus,

WEB:              Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.

Young’s:         And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

Conte (RC):    And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were speaking with Jesus.


9:4                   And there appeared unto them Elias [Elijah] with Moses.   They were recognized by the disciples, probably by intuition.  [11]

                        The same Divine power which presented them with a vision of the other world gave them an intuitive knowledge [of whom they saw].  [39]

                        Elias . . . with Moses.  Moses was the law-giver of Israel, the founder under God, of that dispensation.  Elijah was a prominent prophet, perhaps the most prominent after Moses; at least, he was so conspicuous as to be made the type of the forerunner of the Messiah, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah.  There was something in the circumstances of these persons peculiarly fitting them to be participants in a scene displaying the results of that work of which the resurrection was the consummation. 

           Of the heavenly participants, Elijah had not tasted death but had passed in a triumphal chariot to heaven.  He was thus as it were a risen saint.  As to Moses, the other glorious personage, there was also something peculiar in his relation to death.  He had died, it is true, and he was buried; but no man was witness of his death.  No man ever knew of his sepulcher. So far as the eye of man was witness, so far as his testimony could go, there was no death nor burial.  He, too, therefore, was a fit participant in this transaction typical of the glory secured by a risen Redeemer.  [45]

                        And they were talking with Jesus.  Luke (9:31) says, “They spake of the decrease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem."  [45]



9:5                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     when Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, we are thankful to you that we are here. Let us put up three tents--one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

WEB:              Peter answered Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

Young’s:         And Peter answering saith to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good to us to be here; and we may make three booths, for thee one, and for Moses one, and for Elijah one:'

Conte (RC):    And in response, Peter said to Jesus: "Master, it is good for us to be here. And so let us make three tabernacles, one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."


9:5                   And Peter answered and said to Jesus.  He did not probably respond to anything addressed to him, but to something implied in what he saw or to some part of the conversation overheard.  [45]

                        Master, it is good for us to be here.  Implicitly thanking Him for giving them the opportunity.  But recognizing the profound blessing they had been given, on one level his mind may have been working frantically to show both that and the desire for it to continue.  What the next verse tells us of his mind frame, however, is that on a conscious level at least he was simply grasping for something to say.  Hence he comes up with the suggestion that follows.  [rw] 

          let us make three tabernacles.  So delightful was the scene that he wished to retain them there by building for each a tabernacle.  [45]

                        three tabernacles.  Tents or booths woven of the branches of trees.  In such booths the children of Israel were required to dwell during the feast of tabernacles.  Perhaps he vaguely remembered how God talked with Moses at the tabernacle soon after the Exodus.  [23]

                        one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  For themselves nothing is suggested.  It was enough of an honor to be permitted to remain in such illustrious company.  [rw]                      



9:6                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     For he knew not what to say: they were filled with such awe.

WEB:              For he didn't know what to say, for they were very afraid.

Young’s:         for he was not knowing what he might say, for they were greatly afraid.

Conte (RC):    For he did not know what he was saying. For they were overwhelmed by fear.


9:6                   because he did not know what to say.  It was too brief, too transient a glimpse and foretaste of the heavenly glory, for him to recover his surprise.  [8]  

                        In all fairness to Peter, could we have spontaneously come up with anything better to suggest?  [rw]

                        For they were sore [greatly, NKJV] afraid.  Compare Hebrews 12:21, "Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake."  [8]

                        The experience was too grand to dare flee and too terrifying to stay.  Again, would we have been any different?  [rw]



9:7                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     Then there came a cloud spreading over them, and a voice issued from the cloud, "This is my Son, dearly loved: listen to Him."

WEB:              A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."

Young’s:         And there came a cloud overshadowing them, and there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My Son -- the Beloved, hear ye him;'

Conte (RC):    And there was a cloud overshadowing them. And a voice came from the cloud, saying: "This is my most beloved Son. Listen to him."


9:7                   And there was a cloud.  Matthew:  "a bright cloud."   The cloud would remind them of the pillar of cloud and fire at the Exodus (Exodus 13:21), of the cloud that filled the temple of Solomon at the dedication (1 Kings 8:10), which had also rested on the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34), and perhaps of the "smoke" that filled the temple in Isaiah's vision of the divine glory (Isaiah 6:4).  All these had been visible signs of Jehovah's presence; and in later Jewish times the cloud was expressly recognized as the Shechinak, the dwelling of the glory of God.  The sweeping of a bright cloud over them at such a moment would certainly bring all this to mind, in vague impressions if not in distinct thought.  [23]

                        that overshadowed them.  Not merely, Moses, and Elijah, for the disciples entered the cloud, and feared as they entered (Luke).  [23]            

                        and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son.  Once before, at His baptism, and once afterward (John 12:18), did God, in an audible voice, bear testimony in favor of His Son.  [24]

                                Hear Him.  An emphatic declaration that the teachings of Jesus were to take pre-eminence over those of Moses and the prophets (compare Deuteronomy 18:15; Hebrews 1:1-2).  [24]

                        If the disciples had found it difficult to believe what Jesus had said about His sufferings and death, and if this had even shaken somewhat their faith that he was really the Messiah, this voice was calculated to lead them to believe both in His messiahship and the things which He had said about His sufferings.  [35]



9:8                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     Instantly they looked round, and now they could no longer see any one, but themselves and Jesus.

WEB:              Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only.

Young’s:         and suddenly, having looked around, they saw no one any more, but Jesus only with themselves.

Conte (RC):    And immediately, looking around, they no longer saw anyone, except Jesus alone with them.


9:8                   And suddenly.  The termination of this grand scene was as sudden and abrupt as its beginning.  [3]

                        when they had looked round.  In search of those who had been standing near them when the cloud passed over them.  [3]

          they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.  One great purpose of the transfiguration was to represent the cessation of the Jewish and the commencement of the Christian dispensation.  Moses and Elias disappear--the former objects of the disciples' veneration are no more.  Christ remains alone "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."  No man can come unto the Father but through Him.  [24]



9:9                                                       Translations

Weymouth:     As they were coming down from the mountain, He very strictly forbad them to tell any one what they had seen "until after the Son of Man has risen from among the dead."

WEB:              As they were coming down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Young’s:         And as they are coming down from the mount, he charged them that they may declare to no one the things that they saw, except when the Son of Man may rise out of the dead;

Conte (RC):    And as they were descending from the mountain, he instructed them not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until after the Son of man will have risen again from the dead.


9:9                   And as they came down from the mountain.  He gave them some time to think about what they had seen before He spoke with them.  Today we would probably call this “decompression time.”  Having recognized that no one else had been blessed with them, they needed time to calm down so they could pay attention to Jesus’ words of caution.  [rw]

                        He charged [commanded].  Not “asked” or “requested,” but outright ordered.  It was that important not to inflame popular sentiment with (revolutionary?) dreams of independence that could easily warp an intended spiritual lesson into an excuse for all too temporal violence.  [rw]

          Them that they should tell no man the things they had seen.  Only these three, not even the other nine were to know it till after the resurrection.  [45]

                        They were not even to tell their fellow-disciples, lest it might cause vexation or envy that they had not been thus favoured.  [39]

                        Till the Son of man were risen from the dead.  Because the scene portrayed the result of that work which would be completed in the resurrection.  He would display to the world in type His glory and that of the redeemed only when He could accompany it with the evidence of its reality.  [45]



9:10                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     So they kept the matter to themselves, although frequently asking one another what was meant by the rising from the dead.

WEB:              They kept this saying to themselves, questioning what the "rising from the dead" meant.

Young’s:         and the thing they kept to themselves, questioning together what the rising out of the dead is.

Conte (RC):    And they kept the word to themselves, arguing about what "after he will have risen from the dead" might mean.


9:10                 And they kept that saying with themselves [kept this word to themselves, NKJV].  This is one of the few times that Jesus had a “secret” teaching and even that was time limited.  False teachers who came later cultivated the mythology of a “secret gospel” just for the elite like themselves; this was 180 degrees different from the attitude of Jesus toward Divine truth.  [rw]

          questioning one with another.  If they could not share this with others, they still felt the need to figure out exactly what it meant.  [rw]

          what the rising from the dead meant.  Not that they did not believe a future resurrection or had any peculiar difficulty concerning the common meaning of the words; for they had witnessed some instances of the dead being restored to life:  but they were so prepossessed with prejudices against the Messiah's being cut off by death, and so assured that Jesus was the Messiah, that they supposed some figurative sense must be put on His words; for as they erroneously supposed He could not literally die, so He could not literally rise again.  [52]



9:11                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     They also asked Him, "How is it that the Scribes say that Elijah must first come?"

WEB:              They asked him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"

Young’s:         And they were questioning him, saying, that the scribes say that Elijah it behoveth to come first.

Conte (RC):    And they questioned him, saying: "Then why do the Pharisees and the scribes say that Elijah must arrive first?"


9:11                 And they asked Him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must come first?  These expounders of law taught from Malachi 4:5 Elijah should come before the Messiah.  Their having seen Elijah on the mount suggested a perplexity.  Supposing this appearance upon the mount the fulfillment of the prophecy, how is it that he did not come before the Messiah?  [45]

                        scribes.  "It would be an infinite task," says Lightfoot, "to produce all the passages out of the Jewish writings which one might concerning the expected coming of Elijah."  He was to restore to the Jews the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron, to cry to the mountains, "Peace and blessing come into the world, peace and blessing come into the world!"  "Salvation cometh.  Salvation cometh, to gather all the scattered sons of Jacob, and restore all things to Israel as in ancient times."  [8]



9:12                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "Elijah," He replied, "does indeed come first and reforms everything; but how is it that it is written of the Son of Man that He will endure much suffering and be held in contempt?

WEB:              He said to them, "Elijah indeed comes first, and restores all things. How is it written about the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be despised?

Young’s:         And he answering said to them, 'Elijah indeed, having come first, doth restore all things; and how hath it been written concerning the Son of Man, that many things he may suffer, and be set at nought?

Conte (RC):    And in response, he said to them: "Elijah, when he will arrive first, shall restore all things. And in the manner that it has been written about the Son of man, so must he suffer many things and be condemned.


9:12                 And He answered and told them, Elias [Elijah, NKJV] verily cometh first.  The use of such a phrase as this to describe the work of John should keep us from over-literalism in interpreting Biblical language.  [44]

                        and restoreth all things.  The language comes from the Septuagint of Malachi 4:6, where it is said that Elijah "shall restore the heart of father to son, and the heart of man to his neighbor."  The Hebrew is similar in meaning though not identical:  "Shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers."  It is a restoration of piety and love that is thus assigned to Elijah as his work.  [23]

                        and how it is written of the Son of Man.  It is true Elijah must first come, as the scribes say, but remember that the sufferings and rejection of the Messiah are also predicted.  [8]

                        that He must suffer many things and be set at nought [treated with contempt, NKJV].  He had spoken of these things before they went up to the mount (8:31).  Now He refers them to the Scriptures.  After His resurrection He made a fuller exposition of these Scriptures to two of the disciples as they walked to Emmaus (Luke 24:27).  He no doubt expounded such scriptures as the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah; but we know from the course of the disciples afterwards, that they were slow to receive these teachings till after His resurrection.  The conversation with the two going to Emmaus became no doubt the turning point in their interpretation of the scriptures that speak of a suffering and dying Saviour.  [45] 



9:13                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Yet I tell you that not only has Elijah come, but they have also done to him whatever they chose, as the Scriptures say about him."

WEB:              But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they have also done to him whatever they wanted to, even as it is written about him."

Young’s:         But I say to you, That also Elijah hath come, and they did to him what they willed, as it hath been written of him.'

Conte (RC):    But I say to you, that Elijah also has arrived, (and they have done to him whatever they wanted) just as it has been written about him."


9:13                 But I say unto you, that Elias is indeed come.  "Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist" (Matthew 17:13).

                        And they had done unto him whatsoever they listed [wished, NKJV].  Although we are naturally centered on how the religious establishment rejected Jesus, they dismissed John’s teaching of moral reformation as well.  In his case, they were willing to go through baptism as a mere rite rather than as a decisive break with their preceding moral lapses.  (Cf. John’s rebuke of them in Matthew 3:7)  Unlike Jesus, they were not responsible for John’s death, but the gap between them could hardly have resulted in many tears at his demise.  [rw] 

                        as it is written of him.  There is no direct prophecy of the sufferings of the predicted Elijah.  But as the prophet Elijah suffered, it might be inferred from the Old Testament that the forerunner of the messiah (called Elijah) would suffer, especially in view of the predicted sorrows of the Messiah Himself.  [11]

                        Or:  [This phrase] seems intended to qualify only the first clause, the statement that Elijah had indeed come; for the Scriptures did not predict the death of the forerunner of the Messiah.  [45]         



9:14                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     As they came to rejoin the disciples, they saw an immense crowd surrounding them and a party of Scribes disputing with them.

WEB:              Coming to the disciples, he saw a great multitude around them, and scribes questioning them.

Young’s:         And having come unto the disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and scribes questioning with them,

Conte (RC):    And approaching his disciples, he saw a great crowd surrounding them, and the scribes were arguing with them.


9:14                 When He came to His disciples.  Either the rest of the apostles or the remainder of the apostles and the broader band of disciples that sometimes traveled with them.  In light of the questioning being done, the former is the most likely, since they would be the ones challenged as the most knowledgeable of Jesus’ attitudes and opinions.  [rw]

           He saw a great multitude about them.  Or more exactly, "much crowd," implying not mere numbers, but pressure and confusion.  [3]

                        and the scribes questioning with them.  The questioning of the scribes had reference, no doubt, to the ineffectual attempt of the nine disciples to cast out the demon (verses 16-18).  It was a great triumph to these unbelievers to witness even one such failure, and they eagerly pressed the advantage which it appeared to give them.  [38]




9:15                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Immediately the whole multitude on beholding Him were astonished and awe-struck, and yet they ran forward and greeted Him.

WEB:              Immediately all the multitude, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and running to him greeted him.

Young’s:         and immediately, all the multitude having seen him, were amazed, and running near, were saluting him.

Conte (RC):    And soon all the people, seeing Jesus, were astonished and struck with fear, and hurrying to him, they greeted him.


9:15                 And straightway [immediately, NKJV] all the people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed.  It is difficult to account for the amazement of the people at seeing Jesus.  The conjecture that His face was still shining from the transfiguration, as did the face of Moses when he came down from the mount (see Alford, Lange, and others), is not even suggested by the text.   The natural impression from the text is not that it was something peculiar in His appearance, but the fact of His being seen at that particular time and place, which amazed them. 

I infer that the people supposed Jesus to have been at a much greater distance from them than He had been and that His return was most unexpected.  If they were partaking in the doubts and suspicions of the questioning scribes, the thought of being caught by Him in such a state of mind would have added much to their excitement; or if they were pained by the momentary triumph of the enemy, they would be equally excited, though from a different cause, at His unexpected return.  But whatever was the cause of their amazement, its effect was to make them run to Him and salute Him.  [38]

                        all the people.  Not the whole mass but large numbers, while at least as many may have waited for Him where they were.  This difference, not only natural but almost unavoidable in all such cases, [when compared with] Matthew's ("coming to the crowd") and Luke's ("the crowd met Him") is gravely represented by [certain] writers as a discrepancy.  [3]                     

                        and running to Him saluted [greeted, NKJV] Him.  “Running:  thereby showing their great enthusiasm.  [rw] 




9:16                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "What is the subject you are discussing?" He asked them.

WEB:              He asked the scribes, "What are you asking them?"

Young’s:         And he questioned the scribes, 'What dispute ye with them?'

Conte (RC):    And he questioned them, "What are you arguing about among yourselves?"


9:16                 And He asked the scribes, What question ye [What are you discussing, NKJV] with them?  Before any one had found time to tell Jesus what had been going on, He surprised the scribes by demanding of them, “What question ye with them?"  They saw at once that He knew all, and their failure to answer shows that they felt a deserved rebuke for their exultation.  [38]

                        Or:   Addressing Himself to the scribes, He demands the subject of their discussion, ready to meet them where they had pressed hard upon His apostles.  Ere they had time to reply, the father of the boy, whose case had occasioned the dispute, himself steps forward and answers the question (verses 17-18).  [43]




9:17                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     One of the multitude answered, "Teacher, I brought to you my son, who has a mute spirit;

WEB:              One of the multitude answered, "Teacher, I brought to you my son, who has a mute spirit;

Young’s:         and one out of the multitude answering said, 'Teacher, I brought my son unto thee, having a dumb spirit;

Conte (RC):    And one from the crowd responded by saying: "Teacher, I have brought to you my son, who has a mute spirit.


9:17                 And one of the multitude.  Matthew says that he "came kneeling," and Luke that he "cried out" with his request.  [23]

                        answered and said, Master, I have brought unto Thee my son.  "Mine only child" (Luke 9:38).  [8]  

                        Since this grows out of Jesus approaching the crowd and seeing the Scribes discussing an unidentified subject with the disciples (verse 14), the immediate transition to this healing argues that it was in regard to healing itself that they raised their challenges.  One can easily imagine them leaping from the apostolic inability to heal to a questioning of even Jesus’ ability to do so (verse 18).  And from there to a denial that, even if the power was present, that it was improper to do so without proper rabbinic sanction.  [rw]

                        Which hath a dumb [mute, NKJV] spirit.  i.e., possessed of a demon that caused dumbness.  He was also deaf (verse 25).  [45]

                        The young man was not only deaf and dumb, but a lunatic and subject to fits (Matthew 17:15).  [38]




9:18                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     and wherever it comes upon him, it dashes him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth, and he is pining away. I begged your disciples to expel it, but they had not the power."

WEB:              and wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and wastes away. I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they weren't able."

Young’s:         and wherever it doth seize him, it doth tear him, and he foameth, and gnasheth his teeth, and pineth away; and I spake to thy disciples that they may cast it out, and they were not able.'

Conte (RC):    And whenever it takes hold of him, it throws him down, and he foams and gnashes with his teeth, and he becomes unconscious. And I asked your disciples to cast him out, and they could not."


9:18                 And whersoever he taketh [seizes, NKJV] him.  The convulsions seem to have occurred at irregular intervals, being regulated by the whim and moods of the demon which produced them.  The father's expression also seems to imply that he supposed the spirit to be in the child only at these periods of sever suffering; and this thought is confirmed by the words of Jesus:  "Come out of him, and enter no more into him" (verse 25).  [38]

                        he teareth him (throws him down, NKJV], he foameth [NKJV adds:  at the mouth], and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away [becomes rigid, NKJV].  The symptoms, as described here and by the other Evangelists, are those of epilepsy.  The fits were sudden, but the dumbness seems to have been continuous.  The peculiar difficulty in this case was the combination of this possession and epilepsy.  [11]

                        And I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out.   He brought his son, expecting to find Jesus [verse 17], but failing in this, he applied to our Lord's disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they could not.  [39]

                        and they could not.  The disciples were not unwilling to cure the unfortunate boy.  They tried and failed.  The same degree of faith, the same degree of miracle-working power, that had healed the sick, and in other cases cast out demons, was unavailing in this instance.  This failure was not because with God one miracle is harder than another; but it was meant to teach a lesson of wrestling and prayer in behalf of those so sunk in depravity as to be, humanly speaking, hard to save.  [45]



9:19                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "O unbelieving generation!" replied Jesus; "how long must I be with you? how long must I have patience with you? Bring the boy to me."

WEB:              He answered him, "Unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me."

Young’s:         And he answering him, said, 'O generation unbelieving, till when shall I be with you? till when shall I suffer you? bring him unto me;'

Conte (RC):    And answering them, he said: "O unbelieving generation, how long must I be with you? How long shall I endure you? Bring him to me."


9:19                 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation.  In both Matthew and Luke the words of rebuke are stronger:  "O faithless and perverse generation."  To whom are we to apply the words of our Lord's reply.  Trench says:  "Some, as for instance Origen, apply them to the disciples, and them alone. . . .  Others, as Chrysostom and generally the early interpreters, would pointedly exclude the disciples from the rebuke; and they give it all to the surrounding multitude. . . .  The most satisfactory explanation is that which reconciles both these views."  [45]

                        How long shall I be with you?  Must I be forever with you to teach you faith?  We may apply the language He used to Philip, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me?" (John 14:9).  [45]

                        How long shall I suffer [bear with, NKJV] you?  His forbearance has a limit.  It was sorely tried then, as it had been often during His ministry.  With many of that generation it soon reached its limit.45

                        bring him unto Me.  “If the only way this child can be made well is by a miraculous healing and you still can’t do it at this point in My ministry, then I’ll take care of it Myself!”  [rw]



9:20                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     So they brought him to Jesus. And the spirit, when he saw Jesus, immediately threw the youth into convulsions, so that he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.

WEB:              They brought him to him, and when he saw him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground, wallowing and foaming at the mouth.

Young’s:         and they brought him unto him, and he having seen him, immediately the spirit tare him, and he, having fallen upon the earth, was wallowing -- foaming.

Conte (RC):    And they brought him. And when he had seen him, immediately the spirit disturbed him. And having been thrown to the ground, he rolled around foaming.


9:20                 And they brought him unto Him.  This would rule out any denial that what happened was directly linked to Jesus’ actions.  The reference in verse 18 to the demon not always, apparently, being present (“and wherever it seizes him,” NKJV) could have been invoked by arguing that any present calmness represented a “natural” remission that would only be temporary.  With the juvenile in front of Jesus, the argument of coincidence would have been very hard to make credible when there were tangible, outward signs of the expulsion.  [rw]
and when he saw Him. 
The sight of Christ stirred the evil spirit dwelling in the child.  He was irritated by the presence of Christ; for he knew His power and feared lest he should be cast out.  [39]

                        straightway [immediately, NKJV] the spirit tare [convulsed, NKJV] him.  This act of the spirit in the very presence of Jesus, as they brought the child near, displayed a wickedness and obstinacy on its part unequaled in the accounts of these desperate beings.  Having clung to its victim in spite of all the efforts of the disciples, it now seems determined to defy the power of Jesus Himself.  How different from the piteous supplications of the legion at Gadara!

                        and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.  A full “fit” was upon him; all the symptoms were there in their full power.  [rw]



9:21                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Then Jesus asked the father, "How long has he been like this?" "From early childhood," he said;

WEB:              He asked his father, "How long has it been since this has come to him?" He said, "From childhood.

Young’s:         And he questioned his father, 'How long time is it since this came to him?' and he said, 'From childhood,

Conte (RC):    And he questioned his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" But he said: "From infancy.


9:21                 And He asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto [this has been happening to, NKJV] him?  The question which He asked the father was designed to bring out all the worst features of the case, so as to make the discomfiture of His enemies by the miracle the more complete, to give the people and the disciples stronger ground of faith in His power and to leave to all ages lessons of encouragement, where otherwise faith might utterly fail.  [45]

                        And he said, Of a child [from childhood, NKJV].  The long continued possession of the demon from infancy showed its more hopeless character.  [45]

                        It was but too common in ancient times to turn maniacs loose and this boy was fortunate above many in having care and protection.  [23]



9:22                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "and often it has thrown him into the fire or into pools of water to destroy him. But, if you possibly can, have pity on us and help us."

WEB:              Often it has cast him both into the fire and into the water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us."

Young’s:         and many times also it cast him into fire, and into water, that it might destroy him; but if thou art able to do anything, help us, having compassion on us.'

Conte (RC):    and often it casts him into fire or into water, in order to destroy him. But if you are able to do anything, help us and take pity on us."


9:22                 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire.  The father's answer shows still further the malignity of the demon in that it took a fiendish pleasure in this pain which it had the  power to inflict.  [38]

                        and into the waters, to destroy him.  This demoniac had watchful friends [to protect him from harm].  It was but too common in ancient times to turn maniacs loose, and this boy was fortunate above many in having care and protection.  [23]

                        Was the demonic getting pleasure from causing someone else pain and even trying to kill him?  Or, being within the child and since destroying the child would be destroying his own abiding place, was this also a form of self-hatred as well?  [rw]

                        But if thou canst do anything.  At this point, he would settle even for improvement without it being an outright, permanent cure.  This is called desperation and despair.  [rw]

                        have compassion on us, and help us.  Making the case his own.  [43] 

                        To the extent that Jesus helped the child, he would also be taking concern and torment off of the father as well.  [rw]



9:23                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "'If I possibly can!'" replied Jesus; "why, everything is possible to him who believes."

WEB:              Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

Young’s:         And Jesus said to him, 'If thou art able to believe! all things are possible to the one that is believing;'

Conte (RC):    But Jesus said to him, "If you are able to believe: all things are possible to one who believes."


9:23                 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe.  The thought is expressed, not so much reprovingly as cheeringly, the hopeful announcement of the boundless breadth of the possibilities of faith.  [23]

                        all things are possible to him that believeth.  These words do not imply inability to heal an unbeliever for many of the miracles were wrought on persons who had no faith; but it hinted at a possible refusal, as at Nazareth, to heal those who in the face of competent evidence were still unbelievers.  It also served as an incentive to the father to get rid of the doubt implied in his petition, and it was an assertion in the presence of the scribes who had exulted over the failure of the disciples, that "all things were possible" with Himself.  [38]



9:24                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Immediately the father cried out, "I do believe: strengthen my weak faith."

WEB:              Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, "I believe. Help my unbelief!"

Young’s:         and immediately the father of the child, having cried out, with tears said, 'I believe, sir; be helping mine unbelief.'

Conte (RC):    And immediately the father of the boy, crying out with tears, said: "I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief."


9:24                 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears.  Seeing the case stood still, waiting not upon the Lord's power but his faith, the man become immediately conscious of conflicting principles and rises into one of the noblest utterances on record.  [43]

                        His tears expressed his anxiety for his son, and his words declared the weakness of the faith on which the cure was now to depend.  [38]

                        Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!  It is as though he said, “I do believe; but my faith is weak.  [39]

                        Or:  “Although I do believe, how can that possibly be enough?”  [rw]



9:25                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Then Jesus, seeing that an increasing crowd was running towards Him, rebuked the foul spirit, and said to it, "Dumb and deaf spirit, *I* command you, come out of him and never enter into him again."

WEB:              When Jesus saw that a multitude came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him, "You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!"

Young’s:         Jesus having seen that a multitude doth run together, rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, 'Spirit -- dumb and deaf -- I charge thee, come forth out of him, and no more thou mayest enter into him;'

Conte (RC):    And when Jesus saw the crowd rushing together, he admonished the unclean spirit, saying to him, "Deaf and mute spirit, I command you, leave him; and do not enter into him anymore."


9:25                 When Jesus saw that the people came running together.  Attracted by the conversation with the father, and eager to see whether or not Jesus would fail as did the disciples, the people pressed upon Him.  [45] 

                        You deaf and dumb spirit.  So addressed with reference to its work upon the child, the effects of its agency.  [23]  

                        He rebuked the foul [unclean] spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee thee, come out of him.  Identifying whatever happened next as being directly and solely the result of His words alone.  [rw]

          And enter no more into him.  He added [these words] to relieve [the father's] fears for the future and show the completeness of the cure.  These words, not called for in other cases, were especially appropriate in a case of long continued possession like this.  [45]         



9:26                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     So with a loud cry he threw the boy into fit after fit, and came out. The boy looked as if he were dead, so that most of them said he was dead;

WEB:              Having cried out, and convulsed greatly, it came out of him. The boy became like one dead; so much that most of them said, "He is dead."

Young’s:         and having cried, and rent him much, it came forth, and he became as dead, so that many said that he was dead,

Conte (RC):    and crying out, and convulsing him greatly, he departed from him. And he became like one who is dead, so much so that many said, "He is dead."


9:26                 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore [convulsed him greatly, NKJV].  Such torture wantonly inflicted by a demon, gives an awful conception of the state of society which must prevail among these God-forsaken spirits.  [38]

                        and he was as one dead.  No motion.  No apparent breath.  The reaction of a body who has gone through all it can possibly endure and is so weak that it simply lies there, absolutely still.  [rw]          

          insomuch that many said, He is dead.  No triumph then after all, thought they.  He  has cast out the spirit, but killed the child.  [45]



9:27                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     but Jesus took his hand and raised him up, and he stood on his feet.

WEB:              But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up; and he arose.

Young’s:         but Jesus, having taken him by the hand, lifted him up, and he arose.

Conte (RC):    But Jesus, taking him by the hand, lifted him up. And he arose.


9:27                 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up.  Again emphatically linking what was happening to His actions and His alone.  [rw]

          and he arose.  While the bystanders were saying that the youth was dead, the touch of Jesus, who alone can deliver us from the power of the devil, brought instant restoration to him and joy to the heart of his father.  [38] 



9:28                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     After the return of Jesus to the house His disciples asked Him privately, "How is it that we could not expel the spirit?"

WEB:              When he had come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we cast it out?"

Young’s:         And he having come into the house, his disciples were questioning him by himself -- 'Why were we not able to cast it forth?'

Conte (RC):    And when he had entered into the house, his disciples questioned him privately, "Why were we unable to cast him out?"


9:28                 And when he was come into the house.  Where they would be alone and they could ask their question without public embarrassment.  [rw]

          His disciples asked Him privately, Why could not we cast him out?  He had given them "power and authority over all demons" (Luke 9:1), and "against unclean spirits to cast them out" (Matthew 10:1).  What was the reason of their failure now?  [8] 

                        The question had already been answered by the exclamation, "O faithless generation!" in verse 19, but they were not quick to take [the] reproof, and this inquiry was one of the many illustrations of their slowness, with which He had to be patient.  Yet perhaps unbelief never fully understands its own failures, but supposes there must be some reason for them to be sought.  [23] 



9:29                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "An evil spirit of this kind," He answered, "can only be driven out by prayer."

WEB:              He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing, except by prayer and fasting."

Young’s:         And he said to them, 'This kind is able to come forth with nothing except with prayer and fasting.'

Conte (RC):    And he said to them, "This kind is able to be expelled by nothing other than prayer and fasting."


9:29                 This kind.  This order of beings, not this kind of demons; so Bloomfield and others understood it.  [8]

                                Alternate interpretation:  The demons differed in power and wickedness.  There are "principalities," "powers," and "rulers" in the kingdom of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).  The demon that would return to the man from whom he had gone out, found "seven other spirits more wicked than himself" (Matthew 13:45).  This therefore was one of the more wicked and powerful of Satan's hosts.  [45]

                                can come forth by nothing, but by prayer.  On the part of those who would exercise the demon.  [11]

                        and fasting.  The words “and fasting” are to be omitted.  Even if retained, they cannot refer, as the Sermon on the Mount shows, to stated or ceremonial observances, but to proper spiritual discipline, in which fasting (private and personal) holds an important place.  Nothing is implied about the power to cast out evil spirits in later times.  The “prayer and fasting” would not work the miracle, but were necessary to sustain the faith which would successfully call upon Christ's power in such a case.  [11] 



9:30                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Departing thence they passed through Galilee, and He was unwilling that any one should know it;

WEB:              They went out from there, and passed through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know it.

Young’s:         And having gone forth thence, they were passing through Galilee, and he did not wish that any may know,

Conte (RC):    And setting out from there, they passed through Galilee. And he intended that no one know about it.


9:30                 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee.  They were returning from Caesarea Philippi (8:27), whither they had gone by passing east of the upper Jordan through the district called Iturea.  That they returned “through Galilee” shows that they came down on the west of the Jordan.  They were on their way back to Capernaum (vs. 33).  [38]

                        and He would not that any man should know it.  His aim is still to be with His disciples and to teach them.  [35]

                        This statement is the last mention made of the privacy which Jesus had maintained ever since His journey to the vicinity of Tyre (cf. 7:24, 33, 36; 8:23, 26; 9:25).  It was this privacy which occasioned the taunting remark of His unbelieving kindred (John 7:3-4).  [38]



9:31                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     for He was teaching His disciples, and telling them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will put Him to death; and after being put to death, in three days He will rise to life again."

WEB:              For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, "The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again."

Young’s:         for he was teaching his disciples, and he said to them, 'The Son of Man is being delivered to the hands of men, and they shall kill him, and having been killed the third day he shall rise,'

Conte (RC):    Then he taught his disciples, and he said to them, "For the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and having been killed, on the third day he will rise again."


9:31                 For He taught.   The tense in the original implies that the constant subject of His teaching in private now was His approaching suffering, death and resurrection.  [8] 

                        His disciples.  To the exclusion of everyone else.  Not because it was teaching designed to be for “initiates only” but because, before it happened, they were the ones that needed the forewarning to prepare themselves,  [rw]        

          The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men.  i.e., is to be delivered up as a prisoner.  [35]

                        Jesus here uses the present tense because the sad event was so vividly present to His imagination.  The usage is common in the writings of the prophets.  [38]

                        and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.  The disciples needed both halves of this teaching:  death so it won’t destroy their faith--and resurrection because it is going to be the way that death will be removed.  [rw]   



9:32                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     They, however, did not understand what He meant, and were afraid to question Him.

WEB:              But they didn't understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Young’s:         but they were not understanding the saying, and they were afraid to question him.

Conte (RC):    But they did not understand the word. And they were afraid to question him.


9:32                 But they understood not that saying.  This can seem incredible only to such as are unable to divest themselves of subsequent associations, and distinguish between what we now see clearly and what we should have seen if we had lived before the death of Christ.  [3]

                        and were afraid to ask Him.  They could not understand the plain words of this prediction, simply because they were not willing to receive them in their obvious import, and they could not discover in them any other meaning.  It is not infrequently the case, even at the present day, that a passage of Scripture is obscure merely because it is capable of but one meaning, and this meaning one that we are unwilling to accept.  Being for this reason unable to understand Jesus, they were afraid to ask Him what He meant, lest He should rebuke them.  [38]

9:33                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     So they came to Capernaum; and when in the house He asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?"

WEB:              He came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing among yourselves on the way?"

Young’s:         And he came to Capernaum, and being in the house, he was questioning them, 'What were ye reasoning in the way among yourselves?'

Conte (RC):    And they went to Capernaum. And when they were in the house, he questioned them, "What did you discuss on the way?"


9:33                 And He came to Capernaum.  Which He had used as a base of operations repeatedly in between travels to other places.  [rw]

          And being in the house.  Where there was privacy and He could ask about matters they had not seen fit to share with Him and minimize the danger of embarrassment to them.  [rw]

          He asked them, What was it ye disputed among yourselves by the way [on the road, NKJV]?  He had let them talk as they would on the road, walking alone in front, and they keeping, as they thought, out of ear-shot; but, when at rest together in the house (perhaps Peter's) where He lived in Capernaum, He lets them see by the question and still more by the following teaching that He knew what He asked and needed no answer.  [50]

                        In depth:  The chronology of the discussion on greatness through service [38].  There is an appearance of discrepancy here between Matthew and Mark.  Matthew represents the disciples as beginning the conversation by asking who should be greatest, while Mark introduces it by saying that Jesus asked them, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?"

                        We take both reports as true and each as elliptical.  As Matthew states, the disciples came to Jesus and asked,  "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"  (Matthew 18:1).  They ask this with an air of innocent inquiry, giving no intimation of the dispute in which they had engaged.  Jesus begins His reply by asking them, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?" showing that He knew the cause and the occasion of their inquiry.  Confused and conscience-smitten, “they held their peace” (verse 34).



9:34                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     But they remained silent; for on the way they had debated with one another who was the chief of them.

WEB:              But they were silent, for they had disputed one with another on the way about who was the greatest.

Young’s:         and they were silent, for with one another they did reason in the way who is greater;

Conte (RC):    But they were silent. For indeed, on the way, they had disputed among themselves as to which of them was greater.


9:34                 But they held their peace [kept silent, NKJV].  The tongues that had been so loud on the road were dumb in the house--silenced by conscience.  [50]

                        We today would probably word it:   “silenced by embarrassment.”  [rw]

                        For by the way [on the road, NKJV] they had disputed among themselves who should be [would be, NKJV] the greatest.  With worldly notions of the new kingdom of heaven still in great strength, they were fondly anticipating power and preferments, and were even debating among themselves which should have the highest.  [15]  

                        Before going up to the mount, He had proclaimed the coming of His kingdom (8:38; 9:1).  This occasioned the contest about the highest place in the kingdom.  The transfiguration could not have had as much to do with it as many expositors suppose because it was known only to the three; and the preference shown to these, so far as the others knew, consisted simply in His having taken them apart into the mountain to spend the night, it being probably known also that it was for prayer.  [45]



9:35                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Then sitting down He called the Twelve, and said to them, "If any one wishes to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."

WEB:              He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all."

Young’s:         and having sat down he called the twelve, and he saith to them, 'If any doth will to be first, he shall be last of all, and minister of all.'

Conte (RC):    And sitting down, he called the twelve, and he said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be the last of all and the minister of all."


9:35                 And he sat down.  So taking the attitude in which the teachers of that land [commonly used] to speak (so Matthew 5:1).  [23]

                        and called the twelve.  Gathered them altogether, made sure that every body relevant was present.  The idea of finding some business that “had” to be acted on “immediately,” was surely going through the minds of at least some for how do you admit to your Leader that what you were arguing about was who should be regarded as the most important among them?  [rw] 

                        and saith unto them, if any man.  i.e., this is a principle that applies to anyone who seeks or considers the possibility of being a leader among Jesus’ followers.  [rw]

          desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant of all.  "Last of all” is not the same as “servant of all."  The one phrase expresses humility, the other ministry.  An indolent humility, so very humble that it does nothing for others, and a service which is not humble, are equally incomplete, and neither leads to or is the greatness at which alone a Christian ought to aim.  [50]



9:36                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     And taking a young child He made him stand in their midst, then threw His arms round him and said,

WEB:              He took a little child, and set him in the midst of them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,

Young’s:         And having taken a child, he set him in the midst of them, and having taken him in his arms, said to them,

Conte (RC):    And taking a child, he set him in their midst. And when he had embraced him, he said to them:


9:36                 And He took a little child.  A type of all that is unaggressive and unimportant in society.  [44]

                                    A tradition not earlier than the ninth century says that this child was Ignatius.  [39]

                        And set him in the midst of them.  A means of making the point even more emphatic—by putting a specific example directly in front of them.  [rw]     

                        when He had taken him in His arms.  A similar expression is used at Luke 2:28, where Jesus Himself is in like manner embraced by the aged Simeon.  Is it wrong to suggest that if this was Peter's child, it would be in Peter's memory that this act of tenderness would most certainly live, and that in Mark's Gospel it would most certainly appear?  [23]

                        He said unto them.  Only after “setting up the situation,” does He proceed to use it to teach.  The point could just as easily have been made without the child being present, but could it have been as potent?  [rw]



9:37                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "Whoever for my sake receives one such young child as this, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not so much me as Him who sent me."

WEB:              "Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn't receive me, but him who sent me."

Young’s:         'Whoever may receive one of such children in my name, doth receive me, and whoever may receive me, doth not receive me, but Him who sent me.'

Conte (RC):    "Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me. And whoever receives me, receives not me, but him who sent me."


9:37                 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name.  Literally, “upon my name"--i.e., upon My name as the ground of the action, as the reason for the receiving.  [23]

                        The motive of one's act gives the importance to the person one receives.  One does not need to be important to be the representative of a great man.  The humblest child could serve as such a representative of both Jesus and God.  Hence there was no need of the disciples' struggling after pre-eminence, for their greatness would never lie in the honors and leadership they wanted but in the fact that they would be received as the representatives of Jesus and God, and this honor the smallest child could share with them.  [44]

                        receiveth Me.  The act done even to so little a child for His sake He recognizes as done to Himself.  The one who would serve [would] be recognized by Him.  [45]

                        and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.  There are repercussions to whether one accepts or rejects Jesus.  Jesus is so uniquely linked to the Father that the rejection of Him also turns the back on the Father.  [rw]              



9:38                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "Rabbi," said John to Him, "we saw a man making use of your name to expel demons, and we tried to hinder him, on the ground that he did not follow us."

WEB:              John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone who doesn't follow us casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he doesn't follow us."

Young’s:         And John did answer him, saying, 'Teacher, we saw a certain one in thy name casting out demons, who doth not follow us, and we forbade him, because he doth not follow us.'

Conte (RC):    John responded to him by saying, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name; he does not follow us, and so we prohibited him."


9:38                 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one [someone, NKJV].  We know nothing of this man beyond what these verses tell us of him.  [35]

                        Nor do we know how this was linked to the gentle rebuke of their pride in the preceding verse.  Is it an attempt to change topics?  Or is it ultimately tied in with their debate over status—for example, was this outsider actually “greater” than they, since none of them could do the exorcism of the possessed child but an “outsider” could?  [rw]

                        casting out devils [demons, NKJV] in Your name.  It can scarcely be supposed that a man who knew nothing of Christ or who was a common exorcist could be able to work a miracle in Christ's name; we may therefore safely imagine that this was either one of John the Baptist's disciples who, at his master's command, had believed in Jesus or one of the seventy, whom Christ had sent out (Luke 10:1-7), who, after he had fulfilled his commission, had retired from accompanying the other disciples; but as he still held fast his faith in Christ and walked in good conscience, the influence of his Master still continued with him, so that he could cast out demons as well as the other disciples.  [21]

                        Alternate interpretation:    Although only the disciples who followed Christ had a commission to work miracles, yet there were others, no enemies to Christ, who, in imitation of His disciples, attempted to cast out devils--and God was pleased, for the honor of His Son, sometimes to give them success.  [24]

                        And he followeth not us:  and we forbad him because he followeth not us.   Not "because he followeth not thee."  It is the utterance of excited party feeling.  [8]

                        Seeing such a man casting out demons excited John's jealousy, because he thought that no others than the chosen twelve ought to be honored with this power.  Such jealousy in regard to official prerogatives is a very common passion, and one against which men occupying positions of trust and authority should be constantly on their guard.  [38]



9:39                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "You should not have tried to hinder him," replied Jesus, "for there is no one who will use my name to perform a miracle and be able the next minute to speak evil of me.

WEB:              But Jesus said, "Don't forbid him, for there is no one who will do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me.

Young’s:         And Jesus said, 'Forbid him not, for there is no one who shall do a mighty work in my name, and shall be able readily to speak evil of me:

Conte (RC):    But Jesus said: "Do not prohibit him. For there is no one who can act with virtue in my name and soon speak evil about me.


9:39                 But Jesus aid, Forbid him not.  Let it be carefully observed that our Lord does not say this man should not have "followed them," nor yet that it was indifferent whether he did or not, but simply teaches how such a person was to be regarded, although he did not, viz.:  as a reverer of His name and a promoter of His cause.  [24]

                        Compare the words of Joshua and the reply of Moses in Numbers 11:28-29.  [8]

                        for there is no man which do a miracle in My name.  If the man had been an enemy of Christ, using his power in opposition to the truth, it would have been right to forbid him; but, according to John's own statement, he was casting out demons in the name of Jesus and this proved him to be a friend.  Moreover, John should have known that no man could cast out demons in the name of Jesus unless Jesus had given him power to do so; and if Jesus had given him the power it was his privilege to exercise it.  [38]

                        that can lightly [soon, NKJV] speak evil of Me.  The same verb that is rendered "curse" in 7:10, but more exactly here, as it includes all degrees of evil speaking from the direct imprecation to the mildest censure, and is here used to denote all oral expression of hostility, however gentle or however fierce.  The essential idea is, he cannot be opposed to me, the act of speaking being mentioned only as the natural and usual expression of the inward dispositions and affections.  [3]              



9:40                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     He who is not against us is for us;

WEB:              For whoever is not against us is on our side.

Young’s:         for he who is not against us is for us;

Conte (RC):    For whoever is not against you is for you.


9:40                 For he that is not against us.  Why should any one suspect evil in the heart, when in outward appearance there is nothing but what is good?  [20]

                        Matthew 12:30:  "He that is not with Me, is against Me."  In certain cases, the absence of hostility is a proof of friendship; in others, the failure to cooperate is the proof of enmity; and both might occur in the experience of the same person.  But in all cases there is either friendship or enmity.  The apparently contradictory proverbs suggest the need of discrimination in applying them.  The saying in Matthew refers more to inward unity with Christ; this one to outward conformity with His people.  The former may exist independently of the latter and its existence unites real Christians, whatever their name and outward difference.  [11]

                        is on our part [side, NKJV].  No verse has been more employed than this in sectarian controversy.  And sometimes it has been pressed too far.  The man whom St. John would have silenced was not spreading a rival organization.  This was simply a doer of good without ecclesiastical sanction, and the warning of the test is against all who would use the name of discipline or of order to bridle the zeal, to curb the energies, of any Christian soul.  [1]



9:41                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     and whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, I solemnly tell you that he will certainly not lose his reward.

WEB:              For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ's, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.

Young’s:         for whoever may give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because ye are Christ's, verily I say to you, he may not lose his reward;

Conte (RC):    For whoever, in my name, will give you a cup of water to drink, because you belong to Christ: Amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.


9:41                 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink.  A figure for the smallest act of kindness.  [11]

                        In the hot dry climate of Palestine, where springs were few, and far apart, it was an act of hospitality.  Water was precious and often an invaluable refreshment.  [25]

                        "Life affords few opportunities of doing great services for others, but there is scarcely an hour of the day that does not afford us the opportunity of performing some little, it may be, unnoticed kindness."--Bowes.  [8]

                        in My name, because ye belong to Christ.   They are doing good to you because of what they think of Me.  He may know little or nothing about those being helped, but he does know about the Lord.  And out of that underlying loyalty, assistance is provided.  [rw]

          by no means lose his reward.  God will recognize the motive of the act and treat it accordingly.  [35]



9:42                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     "And whoever shall occasion the fall of one of these little ones who believe, he would be better off if, with a millstone round his neck, he were lying at the bottom of the sea.

WEB:              Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he was thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck.

Young’s:         and whoever may cause to stumble one of the little ones believing in me, better is it for him if a millstone is hanged about his neck, and he hath been cast into the sea.

Conte (RC):    And whoever will have scandalized one of these little ones who believe in me: it would be better for him if a great millstone were placed around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.


9:42                 And whosoever shall offend [cause . . .  to stumble, NKJV].  Put obstacles in his way, making it harder for him to follow the right path.  In verses 43-48 Jesus, having previously spoken of hindering others, causing them to stumble, turns to speak of things by which we cause ourselves to stumble, to fall into sin.  [35]

                        these little ones that believe in me.  The weakest believers.  [45]

                        If the child Jesus had been holding is still there (verse 36), youthful believers are particularly in mind, but the principle is obviously applicable to “spiritually (and not just chronologically) young” as well.  [rw]

                        It is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.  The "millstone" here is not the stone of the ordinary hand-mill, which was of moderate size and weight, but the stone of the larger mill that was turned by beasts of burden.  Drowning by the use of a heavy weight was not a Jewish punishment, but was known among the Greeks, Romans, Syrians, and Phoenicians.  It was inflicted by order of the Roman emperors in certain cases of infamy, and is said by Jerome to have been inflicted in Galilee.  [23] 



9:43                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off: it would be better for you to enter into Life maimed, than remain in possession of both your hands and go away into Gehenna, into the fire which cannot be put out.

WEB:              If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire,

Young’s:         'And if thy hand may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee maimed to enter into the life, than having the two hands, to go away to the gehenna, to the fire -- the unquenchable --

Conte (RC):    And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life disabled, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the unquenchable fire,


9:43                 And if thy hand thee [causes you to sin, NKJV].  The hand [verse 43], or the foot [verse 45], or the eye [verse 47]  represents any instrument by which sin may be committed; and it applies to those who may be the means of drawing us into sin.  If your relative or your friend, who is useful or dear to you as your hand, your foot, or your eye, is drawing you into sin, cut him off from you, lest he should draw you into hell.  [39]

                        cut it off.  A strong expression, indicating the necessity of sacrificing even the dearest things if they lead us into sin.  It is not to be supposed that Jesus meant that we should actually cut off a hand or a foot (verse 45) or pluck out an eye (verse 47).  Sin comes from the heart (7:2-23), and mutilating the body would not prevent it.  But He did mean that we should, if necessary, sacrifice things as dear to us as hand or foot or eye, rather than go on sinning.  [35]

                        In reading it we must avoid a slavish literalism and remember the main thought which is to spare nothing which hinders our salvation.  A literal execution would turn the Church into a house of invalids, since every Christian is more or less tempted to sin by his eye or hand; nor would the cutting off of all the members, of itself, destroy lust in the heart.  [11]

                        it is better for thee to enter into life maimed.  The life here referred to is not the temporal life, nor the Christian life, into both of which the disciples addressed had already entered; but eternal life, into which they had not yet entered.  Being cast into hell, then, which is the alternative of entering into this life, can be none other than punishment in the future state.  [38]

                        than having two hands to go into hell.  Literally, the Gehenna.  Primarily, this phrase was applied to the "Ravine of Hinnom," also called "Topheth" (2 Kings 23:10; Isaiah 30:33; Joshua 18:16), on the south of Mount Zion.  Its total length is a mile and a half.  It is a deep, retired glen, shut in by rugged cliffs, with the bleak mountain sides rising over all.  It became notorious in the times of Ahaz and Manasseh as the scene of the barbarous rites of Molech and Chemosh, when the idolatrous inhabitants of Jerusalem cast their sons and daughters into the red-hot arms of a monster idol of brass placed at the opening of the ravine (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3; Jeremiah 7:31).  To put an end to these abominations the place was polluted by Josiah, who spread over it human bones and other corruptions (2 Kings 23:10, 13-14), from which time it seems to have become the common cesspool of the city.  [8]

                        It thus became the receptacle of everything that was vile and filthy.  These noisome accumulations were from time to time consumed by fire; and the things which were not consumed by fire were the prey of worms.  Hence “Gehenna" became the image of the place of eternal punishment, where “the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched."  These terrible images are conclusive as to the eternity of future punishment, so far as our nature is concerned and our knowledge reaches.  They are the symbols of certain dreadful realities; too dreadful for human language to describe or human thought to conceive.  [39]

                        into the fire that never shall be quenched.  However one may choose to interpret the “fire of Hell,” Jesus assures us of a key fact—it will never end.  And the only way for that to be a threat is if those who are there can never escape it.  Otherwise, they have escaped its punishment.   [rw]              



9:44                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     (Omitted)

WEB:              'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'

Young’s:         where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.

Conte (RC):    where their worm does not die, and the fire is not extinguished.


9:44                 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.   These words are a quotation from Isaiah 66:24, and they are repeated three times in the Authorized Version.  But the best authorities omit them in the first two places (verses 44 and 46), retaining them at verse 48.  [39]



9:45                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Or if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off: it would be better for you to enter into Life crippled, than remain in possession of both your feet and be thrown into Gehenna.

WEB:              If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame, rather than having your two feet to be cast into Gehenna, into the fire that will never be quenched--

Young’s:         'And if thy foot may cause thee to stumble, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into the life lame, than having the two feet to be cast to the gehenna, to the fire -- the unquenchable --

Conte (RC):    But if your foot causes you to sin, chop it off: it is better for you to enter into eternal life lame, than having two feet to be cast into the Hell of unquenchable fire,


9:45                 And if thy foot offend thee.  i.e., the principle applies to whatever the source of successful temptation may be.  In a sense all sins are “equal”—if unrepented of, in their spiritual  results at least.  [rw]

                        cut it off.  Remove it.  The fact that Jesus uses physical body parts to illustrate His point shows just how serious sin is and just how devastating and overwhelming the punishment for it will be.  [rw] 

                        it is better for them to enter halt [lame, NKJV], than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.   The state of punishment is continual; there is no respite, alleviation, nor end.  [21]



9:46                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     (Omitted)

WEB:              'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'

Young’s:         where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched.

Conte (RC):    where their worm does not die, and the fire is not extinguished.


9:46                 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.   [Verses 44 and 46] are omitted [in many translations] as spurious.  They are supposed to have been introduced by some copyist from verse 48, with which they are identical.  The truth of the words cannot be questioned, whether they belong in one or three places.  But the solemn grandeur of the passage is greatly diminished by the omission of what has been likened to the "burden of a funeral dirge."  This fact furnishes a strong internal argument for the genuineness of the passage, although not found in the Sinaitic and Vatican copies.  [45]



9:47                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Or if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out. It would be better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God half-blind than remain in possession of two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna,

WEB:              If your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out. It is better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire,

Young’s:         And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the fire --

Conte (RC):    But if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out: it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into the Hell of fire,


9:47                 And if thine eye offend thee [causes you to sin, NKJV].  Verses 43 and 47 are, in substance, a part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:29-30).  Jesus often repeated His teachings as occasion called for them.  [45]

                        pluck it out.  Are these commands of self-mutilation to be taken literally?  By no means.  According to the principle of Mark 7:18-19, dependence upon self-mutilation for the avoidance of sin would rank with dependence upon classification of food for purity.  The reason that was given for that case perfectly covers this:  "It cannot defile, because it entereth not into the heart"--i.e., anything that reaches and affects merely the body fails to reach the seat of sin.  Sin dwells in the heart, not in the hand, the foot, or the eye.  Not self-mutilation but self-conquest is the Christian ideal (1 Cor. 9:24-27; Romans 6:19; Col. 3:1-11).  The passage is not less exacting than it would be if its language were to be taken literally.  The self-denial to which it calls our attention is of the extremist kind.  [23] 

                        It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye.  By reasonable implication, this also carries the weight that having a physical disability—of whatever nature—will not keep one out of heaven.  You may not enter heaven “physically” perfect for that never mattered in the first place, only the spiritual perfection created by Divine forgiveness.  [rw]  

                        than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.  One cannot but loathe the mawkish sentimentalism which condemns all such language in the mouth of His servants as inconsistent with what they presume to call “the religion of the meek and lowly Jesus."  [43]



9:48                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     where their worm does not die and the fire does not go out.

WEB:              'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.'

Young’s:         where their worm is not dying, and the fire is not being quenched;

Conte (RC):    where their worm does not die, and the fire is not extinguished.


9:48                 Where their worm dieth not.  As indication of guilty conscience?:  Who can conceive the torment of this gnawing worm, namely, of the eternal reproach of conscience, when a man shall reflect upon the graces and mercies of God which he has despised, and on the preference he has made of the shadow of a momentary happiness before a substantial and eternal good, which is God Himself!  [20]

                        and the fire is not quenched.  The metaphor is very striking as well as awful.  Ordinarily the worm feeds upon the disorganized body and then dies.  The fire consumes the fuel, and then it expires.  But here the worm never dies; the fire never goes out.  [39]

                        Both figures represent as strongly as it can be expressed in language the intensity and the perpetual duration of the sufferings of the lost.  It is strange that any one can believe in Christ as a divine teacher and reject the doctrine of the eternal punishment of the wicked.  [45]



9:49                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Every one, however, will be salted with fire.

WEB:              For everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.

Young’s:         for every one with fire shall be salted, and every sacrifice with salt shall be salted.

Conte (RC):    For all shall be salted with fire, and every victim shall be salted with salt.


9:49                 For everyone.  This does not necessarily include the whole human race, but only all of the class here referred to, the saved or the lost, according to the application of the sentence.  [45]

                        A saying without parallel, and one of the most difficult in the Gospels.  Meyer cites fourteen different interpretations besides giving his own.  [23]

                        shall be salted [seasoned, NKJV] with fire.  They suffer without being able to die, they are burned without ever being consumed, they are sacrificed without being sanctified, and salted with the fire of hell, as eternal victims of the divine justice.  [20] 

                        and every sacrifice shall be salted [seasoned, NKJV] with salt.  According to Leviticus 2:13, every sacrifice had to be salted.  [22]

                        In depth:  The case for "salting" with salt as a contrast to "seasoned" with fire [38].  The meaning of this clause turns on the question whether it expresses a comparison of those who are salted with fire with the sacrifices which are salted with salt, or presents those who are salted with fire in antithesis with others who would make the required sacrifices.  Alford and some other interpreters adopt the former view, and would express the idea thus:  "For every one shall be salted with fire, just as every sacrifice is salted with salt."

                        But if this had been the meaning, it is inexplicable that the conjunction "and" is used to connect the two clauses instead of the adverb  "so."  It is safer, and far more in harmony with the context, to take the conjunction in its proper and ordinary sense, and to understand the clause as continuing the antithesis which has been kept up throughout the context between those who would cut off the offending hand or foot, and enter into life, and those who--refusing to do so--would be cast into hell.

                        By every sacrifice is meant every person who presents himself as a sacrifice to God in cutting off his offending members, or, in other words, by denying himself those sinful pleasures and enjoyments which are represented by these.  That such shall be salted with salt--as contrasted with being salted with fire--seems that they shall be preserved unto everlasting life--that they shall enter into that life which is contrasted with being cast into hell.  The figure and the mode of expressing it are both taken from a provision in the law which required that every offering presented at the altar should be seasoned with salt (Leviticus 2:13). 

                        In depth:  the case for conceptual equivalency between "seasoned" with fire and "salting" with salt as conveying the central idea of continued preservation  [45].  It is admitted that the symbolic use of  "salt"  is derived from its power to preserve from corruption and decay.  This compound figure then must express the idea of preservation by means of fire.  What preservation is meant turns upon the connection indicated by the introductory word “for."  If we connect the sentence with  "the fire that is not quenched"  at the close of the preceding verse--as the word  "fire"  would suggest--this clause presents the fearfully solemn thought that the eternal fire preserves the soul cast into it in unending torture.  The use of the word “fire” to describe the sufferings of the lost might intimate their annihilation, which would end their sufferings; and therefore, according to this view, our Lord added, “For every one shall be salted with fire," preserved in and by the unquenchable fire.  This gives a good and striking sense and is preferred by Alexander and some other interpreters.

                        But it is more difficult to harmonize it with the last clause and the next verse than an exposition which will now be given.  Let “for” be regarded as connecting this verse with the leading idea of the preceding context.  Jesus taught His disciples that the worldly motives that led them to seek high places in His kingdom and every cherished earthly good that led them into sin, must be given up, though it should be as cutting off the hand or foot or plucking out the eye.  this self-denial and these self-imposed sufferings would be the “fire” or "fiery trials” (1 Peter 4:12) that would purify and thus preserve them from destruction. They “shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15).



9:50                                                     Translations

Weymouth:     Salt is a good thing, but if the salt should become tasteless, what will you use to give it saltness? Have salt within you and live at peace with one another."

WEB:              Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

Young’s:         The salt is good, but if the salt may become saltless, in what will ye season it? Have in yourselves salt, and have peace in one another.'

Conte (RC):    Salt is good: but if the salt has become bland, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace among yourselves."


9:50                 Salt is good.  For all other foods are seasoned by it.  [16] 

                        Salt is here used, as in the preceding verse, to symbolize the principle in Christian life which leads to perseverance amid all required self-sacrifice.  [38]

                        but if the salt have lost his saltiness [its flavor, NKJV],  wherewith will ye season it?  The question answers itself and affirms that the lost saltness will not be restored.  Passing from the symbol to that which is symbolized, it is affirmed that if a man lose the power of perseverance in the Christian life, there is no restoration for him; his inevitable fate is to be cast into hell, to be "salted with fire."  [38]

                        Have salt in yourselves.  Keep in yourselves that which makes you the salt of the earth.  [23]

                        Maintain in yourselves the quality of perseverance by making every sacrifice necessary thereto.  Their contention as to who should be greatest (vs. 33-34) and their jealousy toward the brother who had been casting out demons (vs. 38) were calculated to impair this quality by causing alienations and discouragement.  [38]

                        Or:    Salting of disciples imports suffering pain, but is not to be confounded with the cross-bearing of faithful disciples (8:34).   The former is the discipline of self-denial necessary to make a man a follower of Christ worthy of the name.  The latter is the tribulation that comes on all who follow closely in the footsteps of Christ.  The one is needful to make us holy, the other overtakes us when and because we are holy.  [17]

                        and have peace one with another.  This whole exhortation had grown out of their ambitious striving who should be the greatest.  Hence the conclusion urges holiness and peace.  [19]

                        Among Orientals, salt was a sing of sacred covenant engagements and obligations (Leviticus 2:13; 2 Chronicles 13:5).  To eat salt together, meant to make peace, and enter into covenant with each other.  Hence, in view of the contention between the disciples, the warning was timely to have salt in themselves and be at peace one with another.  [8]