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The Withered Temple

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Marks Gospel has been about the kingship of Christ.
And how king Jesus shows is authority and lordship over all the earth.
The gospel started off by announcing that Jesus is the true son of God, thus the true king they had been waiting for. (as kings were often considered sons of god)
Jesus was than baptized by the prophet John and commissioned by God himself
Jesus then goes to battle with the great enemy Satan.
Where Adam before fell to Satans schemes, Jesus was victorious.
Jesus then shows his authority over the demonic realm by casting demons out of people
Jesus shows his kingly authority over humanity healing people’s illnesses
He shows his kingship over creation by calming the storm and walking on water
He shows his kingly authority over death by raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead
He demonstrates his glory on the mount of transfiguration and starts his journey toward Jerusalem to take his throne as king.
on this journey he heals two blind men, he teaches his disciples three times about his coming death and resurrection, and he casts our demons
Jesus talks about who belongs in his kingdom to which he says that even the little children are to be part of his kingdom, part of his people.
As he gets closer to Jerusalem we hear blind Bartimaeus cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was the king, he knew that he was the son of David, the one who would take his throne.
So now that we come back to the gospel of mark, we are picking up in chapter 11 where we left off before Christmas. We have seen the anticipation for the coming King, and we have seen Jesus present himself as that king.
And now, the king is about to go into Jerusalem and after a week there he will be lifted up as king.
So we will be in looking at Jesus’ triumphal Entry and his actions in cleansing the temple.

Triumphal Entry

Mark 11:1–7 ESV
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.
mark 11.1-
What the big deal about Jesus wanting to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey?
Why go through all the trouble?
What we find in the OT is that royal authority and the obedience of the nations
Royal authority and the obedience of the nations
Riding a donkey or mule was a sign of royalty worthy for a king.
A mule = the cross between a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). This hybrid is usually sterile, but rarely a mare mule may be fertile.
The mule was the parade animal that was used to represent that the king was riding in his own kingdom
A horse was a war animal not to be used in the same way as a mule
Riding a donkey means you are the legitimate king
If you are the rightful successor of David you ride one a mule!
We see kings and kingdom connect to riding mules or donkeys throughout the OT
the promises of judah include riding a mule and drinking wine (both kingly activities in the bible)
In 1 sam 10 right after Saul is anointed king he is sent off to ride a donkey (a story that is very similar language to this story in fact)
And perhaps the greatest connection between kingship and riding a donkey is in Zech 9:9
Zechariah 9:9 ESV
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Thus as the true king, Jesus enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
So the disciples bring the donkey back to Jesus they put their cloaks on the donkeys back and Jesus rides into Jerusalem as their king.

Triumphal Entry

Mark 11:8–10 ESV
8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
These few verses are amazing. Its amazing how people can be so right and so wrong at the same time.
As Jesus rides into Jerusalem, the Jewish people gave Jesus a red-carpet welcome
First of all, as Jesus rides into Jerusalem, the Jewish people gave Jesus a red-carpet welcome
The laid down their cloaks on the road for him along with leafy branches.
They treat him as their king
They cry out Hosanna - transliterated from Hebrew meaning “save us, we pray” its a shout of honor and praise asking God to save them, while recognizing that Jesus is the one who will save them.
Hosanna - transliterated from Hebrew meaning help, save us, I pray
They confess and proclaim Jesus’ kingship when they say, “blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
These are all true statements,
Jesus is the king.
Jesus is worthy of honor.
Jesus did come to save us
and Jesus is the fulfillment of the Davidic promises - his throne will be an everlasting throne.
Yet, how often are true statements pronounced by unfaithful people?
We have to understand the danger in this, how many of these people understood Jesus kingship? - None
How many of these people actually honored Jesus? - none
How many of these people understood how massive Jesus’ salvific work actually would be? None
How many of these people understood the Davidic promise? none of them.
You see, we know this because within a week these same people, instead of crying out Hosanna will cry out crucify him. These same people instead of honoring him, will mock him.
You see, the nation of Israel was very similar to the way we are today.
They want Jesus on their own terms.
They want to use Jesus for their own gain.
and what we will find when Jesus goes into the temple, is that Israel wants to use God for their own gain.
Right now it benefits them to see Jesus as their king - the one who will free them from Rome.
Their idea of what the king should be is whats causing them to embrace Jesus - They think Jesus is for them.
And we do this same thing.
We think Jesus has come to fulfill our political agenda
We think Jesus works for us by blessing our endeavors
we think Jesus is on our team and is opposed to the things we oppose
We drape Jesus in our tribalistic flags thinking that he approves of our ambitions
We use Jesus as our chief representative of morality and values without really questioning the source of our morality and values.
You see, Jesus is not republican, democrat or libertarian - Jesus is King over all
Jesus does not side with one party over another, he calls all those in politics to side with him.
Jesus is not on our team, we are to be on his team
Jesus doesn’t represent our tribes or teams, we are to represent his
Jesus doesn’t represent our morality, values, we are to adopt and represent his morality and values.
So the king has come into his kingdom - what happens next seems very anticlimactic
So after riding in to Jerusalem he goes straight to the Temple.
So after walking in to Jerusalem he goes straight to the Temple.
Mark 11:11 ESV
11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Matthew 11:11 ESV
11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
We use Jesus for self justification all the time
Jesus goes into the temple, looks around, and leave for Bethany.
This is a verse we can so quickly move pass. But I want to note Jesus’ action here.
Yet, the Jesus of the bible cannot be used for self justification
He goes into the temple, into god’s house, and he looked around at everything.
What was he looking at? what was he looking for? We will come back to this in a little while, but I believe Jesus who was just honored as a king, walks in the the temple and acts like a priest. But we will come back to this.
This verse prepares us for the coming story Mark is about to tell.
so when we think of
You have the context that Jesus is being treated like a king. He comes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey thus fulfilling OT prophecy that this is truly the king. He then goes into the temple, looks around, he sees whats going, and, because it was late, leaves for Bethany. which was about 2 miles away.
What this does is set up for us the next story in marks gospel. And this story happens to be structured as a sandwich.
Cursed Fig Tree pt.1
The Temple
Cursed Fig Tree pt. 2
Mark loves to tell stories using this structure. The outside story illustrates or interpreits the inside story.
So the story of the fig tree helps us understand the story of the temple.
So lets look at the first slice of bread in this sandwich, the cursed fig tree part 1.
This paper will argue that the point of Mark’s sandwiching the Temple incident into the fig tree story and show that the evangelist is inviting his implied readers to view Jesus’ words as pronouncing a sentence of judgment on the Temple. It will also discuss how the withering of the tree acts as a sign prefiguring the destruction of sterile Temple practices.
The literary typing of this passage is a hybrid between a miracle story (nature miracle) and a pronouncement story. However, I will argue that the best way to understand both the cursing of the fig tree and the Temple incident is by means of an acted parable.

Cursed Fig Tree: Part 1

11.12-14
(And on the next day they were departing from Bethany, he was hungry. And when he saw from a distance a fig tree that had leaves, he went to see if perhaps he would find anything on it. And when he came up to it he found nothing except leaves, because it was not the season for figs. And he responded and said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you any more forever!” And his disciples heard it.)
The day after the Triumphal Entry, Jesus and his disciples were leaving Bethany on their way to Jerusalem (slightly less than two miles).
Jesus is hungry, and seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf he approaches it in hopes of finding something to eat. In disappointment at finding no figs, and in earshot of the disciples, he condemns the tree.
Look with me at
Mark 11:12–14 ESV
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
Now, the first and most obvious question we need to answer is, “why would Jesus curse a fig tree when it was out of season?
This has caused many bible readers, pastors and even scholars to scratch their heads.
A NT scholar named William Bundy describes Jesus’ actions as “irrational and revolting,” due to the fact that such a seemingly capricious action does not fit the character of Jesus throughout the rest of the Gospels.
was this a capricious action?
Was Jesus stressed out because of the walk and he was hungry and came to the fig tree and lost his temper a little?
Was Jesus not aware of the fact that figs were not in season and lost his cool for a moment?
Was it like going to chic-fil-a on a Sunday after church because your hungry and finding that they were closed you get upset?
Clearly this cursing has a symbolic purpose that goes beyond the fact that Jesus was hungry.
No, Jesus was not throwing a tantrum, he was not acting capricious.
Clearly this cursing has a symbolic purpose that goes beyond the fact that Jesus was hungry.
The cursing has a symbolic purpose that goes beyond the fact that Jesus was hungry.
Fig trees play a significant symbolic role in the scriptures. The first mention of a fig tree is in , where Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to hide themselves from each other and God.
Symbolically, Adam and Eve’s effort to cover themselves represented their standing before God.
The prophet Hosea uses Fig trees as a symbol for God in covenant relation to his people.
1 Kings talks about blessings that came from having a great king like Solomon, and fig trees and wine were symbols of being blessed by God.
As covenant beneficiary, Israel could enjoy the God-given prosperity and security experienced in the Solomonic ideal: “each man under his own vine and fig tree” ().[3]
Fig trees are used to depict peace, prosperity, and God’s blessings (; ),
As covenant beneficiary, Israel could enjoy the God-given prosperity and security experienced in the Solomonic ideal: “each man under his own vine and fig tree” ().[3] Fig trees are used to depict peace, prosperity, and God’s blessings (; ), or God’s judgment (,; ). Josephus referenced fig trees three times in his antiquities, each being used as anthropomorphic symbolism.[4] The dominate use of ‘συκῆ’ in both the NT and the LXX is symbolic or metaphoric (; ; ; ; ; ; cf. ).
But also God’s judgment (,; ).
In fact, the dominate use of the word ‘συκῆ’ (the word for fig tree) in both the NT and the LXX is symbolic or metaphoric (; ; ; ; ; ; cf. ).
So we are to understanding Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree as a symbolic action performed by Jesus (which would have been natural for Mark’s reader), rather than some irrational or capricious act.
This symbolic act also gives a context for the meat of the sandwich.
Mark clearly intended his readers to get the point that what Jesus did with the fig tree is connected with what he was about to do with the Temple.
He has come seeking fruit, and finding none, he is announcing the tree’s doom.
He then goes to the temple, seeking fruit, and when he finds none, what will he do?
Lets look.

The Temple: an acted parable

Reading the Bible you get aquatinted with some very strange stories, and strange characters, and some strange commands. One of the strange things you can come across is what we call an acted parable. Often times they are confusing, and often times they are funny.
Acted Parables:
Ezekiel used a brick to demonstrate the judgement that would come upon Israel (Ezek. 4)
Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ τοὺς ἀγοράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστερὰς κατέστρεψεν. (And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered into the temple courts and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple courts, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling doves).
Jeremiah breaks the clay pot to describe how God will destroy Jerusalem ()
Isaiah walks around naked for 3 years as a warning against Egypt ()
Parables are typically stories told that represent a truth. Jesus was a master storyteller and he told stories in parables.
parable of the mustered seed
the parable of the prodigal son
the parable of the lost coin etc.
Now we often think that Jesus parables are just moralistic lessons, but in fact they are much more than that. However Jesus did not only tell parables, but like the prophets of old he would also act out parables - and that what he does in the Temple.
Mark wastes no time describing Jesus’ actions as soon as he entered the Temple.
Mark wastes no time describing Jesus’ actions as soon as he entered the Temple. The significance of the Temple in Jesus’ time—in religious, national and political terms—can hardly be overestimated. Herod’s temple, Israel’s third temple (following the temples of Solomon and Zerubbabel), was still under construction in Jesus’ day (13:1) having been begun in 20 b.c. The reason the Temple was so significant to the Jews was because the presence of God was intimately connected with the Temple as the place where sins were put right.[6] Upon Jesus’ entrance into the Temple, he found merchants selling sheep and doves for sacrifice and exchanging foreign currency into the Tyrian shekel, the closest available currency (of pure metal, and with no image) to the Hebrew shekel commanded in .[7] However, it was not the action of selling and exchanging that caused Jesus’ outburst, nor was it solely because they were selling and exchanging in the Temple courts.
The reason the Temple was so significant to the Jews was because the presence of God was intimately connected with the Temple as the place where sins were put right.[6]
Upon Jesus’ entrance into the Temple, he found merchants selling sheep and doves for sacrifice and exchanging foreign currency.
Mark 11:15-16
Ezekiel used a brick to demonstrate the judgement that would come upon Israel
Jeremiah breaks the clay pot to describe how God will destroy Jerusalem ()
Jeremiah breaks the clay pot to describe how God will destroy Jerusalem (Jer. 19)
Isaiah walks around naked for 3 years as a warning to against Egypt ()
Mark 11:15–16 ESV
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.
Mark 11:15 ESV
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.
It was not the action of selling and exchanging that caused Jesus’ action, nor was it solely because they were selling and exchanging in the Temple courts.
In fact, this system of exchange was ordained by God in the book of Deut.
Also, Jesus didn’t go into the temple cleanse it, as is often thought.
Jesus wasn’t interested in reforming the temple, or bringing it back to a state of faithful service.
Jesus was, like I
Would Jesus have been revolted at this disregard for the sanctity of an area consecrated for the use of Gentiles? Yes. However, Jesus actions should not be, as commonly understood, a cleansing in that he wanted to reform the Temple. His actions should be understood as an “acted parable” as seen in many OT examples (; ; . Cf. also ; ; ; ; ). One of the things that prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel did was to act symbolically, often in relation to Jerusalem and the Temple, sometimes in prediction of its destruction. Isaiah’s nakedness, Jeremiah’s smashed pot, and Ezekiel’s brick are some obvious examples.[8] The actions chosen by Jesus, ἐκβάλλειν (driving out) and κατέστρεψεν (turning over) do not symbolize cleansing, rather destruction.
One of the things that prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel did was to act symbolically, often in relation to Jerusalem and the Temple, sometimes in prediction of its destruction.
Like Isaiah’s nakedness, Jeremiah’s smashed pot, and Ezekiel’s brick, The actions chosen by Jesus do not symbolize cleansing, rather destruction.
You see, what Jesus did was to completely stop the function of the Temple for a time.
He didn’t show them how to perform the temple duties in a more worshipful way.
He did not try and redeem the temple, he came into the temple to announce its destruction.
House Leprosy
ok, now look back with me at verse 11
Mark 11:11 ESV
11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
What Jesus is doing here is fulfilling the role of the OT priest when it comes to the laws of leprosy.
Moses talks about leprosy. Thats 116 verses on Leprosy, that s about 4 times more space given to the laws of leprosy than he gives to the creation of the world.
the laws for leprosy are very interesting, because we often think of leprosy as being just a skin decease . However if you were to read through these chapters in Leviticus you’d find that Moses talks about what to do if you find leprosy on your skin.
Leprosy on your skin
Leprosy on your cloths
Leprosy in your house
Now if you get leprosy in your house, you were to tell the priest and he would come and inspect your house. (Leprosy in the house is green and red patches that would grow on the walls).
Before the priest would go in everything had to be taken out of the house so that the items in the house would not become unclean also.
The priest would then go in and look around and inspect the house.
He would replace the infected parts of the walls and then the house would be shut down for 7 days.
The priest would then go back and inspect it a week later. if the Leprosy came back, if it was persistent, the house would then be destroyed and removed.
When Jesus walks into the temple the night before he looks around at everything like a good priest. He finds that the Temple is decayed with spiritual leprosy
He then comes back the next day and begins to shut the temple down.
There is no reforming or cleansing, we are past that time. the corruption, the leprosy, is so deep that the entire thing must be torn down. It must be destroyed.
Jesus goes on to say to the people,
“there is a further significant fact: virtually all the traditions, inside and outside the canonical gospels, which speak of Jesus and the Temple speak of its destruction. Mark’s fig-tree incident; Luke’s picture of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem; John’s saying about destruction and rebuilding; the synoptic traditions of the false witnesses and their accusation, and of the mocking at the foot of the cross; Thomas’ cryptic saying (‘I will destroy this house, and no-one will be able to rebuild it’); the charge in Acts that Jesus would destroy the Temple: all these speak clearly enough, not of cleansing or reform, but of destruction.”[9]
Mark 11:17 ESV
17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
11.16
καὶ οὐκ ἤφιεν ἵνα τις διενέγκῃ σκεῦος διὰ τοῦ ἱεροῦ (And he did not permit anyone to carry objects through the temple courts).
Lane argues that the reference to the vessels of the Temple in verse 16 indicates that Jesus was acting in fulfillment of the obligations laid upon him by -- “and every vessel in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the Lord of hosts… and there shall no longer be trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.” [11] France also misses the mark as to Jesus’ motives when he says, “Jesus’ objection was not so much to the trade as such, but to its location, since there is no trading activity mentioned in this verse, but merely the use of the temple court as a thoroughfare by those carrying loads.”[12] I agree with Roth that the suggestion that Jesus was commandeering sacred vessels brought into the temple in accordance with is not only strained but out of context with the Temple clearing.[13]
The best estimation about the meaning of v. 16 relates to the word σκεῦος (objects). More than one-third of the uses of σκεῦος in the LXX refer to sacred sacrificial objects related to the tabernacle, altar, or temple.[14] Josephus uses the term in the same way.[15] If the term is used similarly here, then v. 16 refers to Jesus’ stopping the flow of sacrifices and therefore obstructing the Temple sacrificial practices in more ways than one, which is contextually consistent with the destruction motif vv. 15–18. It should also be noted that the presence of the money-changers and the pigeon-sellers was intimately connected to the main function of the Temple as the place where sacrifices were offered. Both groups were required for the sacrifices to go on. The money-changers made it possible to change foreign currency with forbidden images (cf. ) into the coinage accepted by the Temple, and the pigeon-sellers provided poor people with the offering demanded in the OT (; ; ; ). The business arrangements represented by the people Jesus was driving out were essential and necessary if the commandments about sacrifices were to be obeyed.[16]
11.17
καὶ ἐδίδασκεν καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· Οὐ γέγραπται ὅτι Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν; ὑμεῖς δὲ πεποιήκατε αὐτὸν σπήλαιον λῃστῶν.
(And he began to teach and was saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’ but you have made it a cave of robbers!”)
Jesus actions should not be understood as an objection to inflated pigeon prices or dishonest exchange rates.
Evidence for this is the fact that the word 'robber’ does not mean ‘cheats,’ rather ‘one who robs with violence,’ who use their “caves” not for robbing people, but for evading detection and punishment.
The saying in 11:17, which is a combination of and , should not be understood as an objection to inflated pigeon prices or dishonest exchange rates. Evidence for this is the fact that the word λῃστής does not mean ‘cheats,’ rather ‘one who robs with violence,’[17] who use their “caves” not for robbing people, but for evading detection and punishment (the punishment for λῃστής was death by crucifixion).[18]
He accuses the Jews of making the temple, the “house of prayer for all nations,” into a “robbers’ den”
Robbers do not cheat in their den. Robbers cheat and steal and do their violence elsewhere, and then retreat to the den for safety.
This is how the Jews were treating the temple, as a safe haven where they can escape from the consequences of their sins.
The saying in 11:17, is a combination of and ,
This was Jeremiah’s original complaint; the priests were relying on the supposed sacredness of the Temple to protect them from the consequences of their faithlessness.
Jeremiah’s complaint was that the priests were relying on the supposed sacredness of the Temple to protect them from the consequences of their unfaithfulness.
And Isaiah’s context was that the temple was supposed to be a place where the nations of the world could come and be united to the covenant people of God. That they too would have the same access to the temple to worship God.
Now, because of nationalism
because of unfaithfulness
because of using the temple as a way to hide their sins rather than a place to confess their sins
because of the rampant sinfulness of the people
Jesus comes in as a good priest, sees the leprosy pervading the temple, and acts out an acted parable which communicates
like the tables of the merchants the temple will be overthrown
like the walls of the house with leprosy, the whole things must come down.
Now, the chief priests and the scribes were not a big fan of this acted parable. After all, they were the robbers who were doing violence toward people and coming back to the temple acting like they were innocent.
They were the leaders of the people. They were the ones leading people into a deeper and deeper rebellion against God.
So when Jesus acts out a parable that symbolizes their demize, they don’t take kindly to him.
It is an all-encompassing return from exile. Gentiles are to be welcomed in, but in the days of Isaiah the people of Israel, especially the supposed leaders and guardians (56:10f.), were under judgment. This offers a natural link into the passage from Jeremiah, which of course forms part of the great sermon denouncing the Temple and warning against the thoughtless trust in it.[20] Jeremiah’s words also allude not to Temple reform, but to destruction -- God says that the fate of Temple shall be like that of Shiloh (). Therefore Jesus’ words of rebuke evoke the same meaning as his actions, mainly the destruction and judgment of the Temple for not allowing all the nations of the world to come and worship the Lord. As we see in , Jesus understood himself to be the true Temple of God through whom all the nations of the world will have access to the Lord.
11.18
Mark 11:18 ESV
18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
Mark 11:18
Jesus’ actions against the vendors and money-changers in the Temple were far more significant than merely disrupting that day’s flow of business. Rather, Jesus’ actions were not so much a pronouncement against the vendors, but against the Temple itself. An act of destruction toward the vendors and money-changers symbolized an act of destruction against the Temple and the priesthood; for this reason the ruling priests took a malicious interest in Jesus.
Mark tells his readers that the chief priests and scribes (heard) about Jesus’ actions in the Temple,
Both the chief priests and the scribes knew what Jesus was doing in the temple. The symbolism was not lost on them.
Its interesting how in verse 18 the verbs really move us through the verse and interpets whats going on for us.
Because of this, the Sanhedrin began considering how they could destroy him by plotting his death. A great theme in Mark has been the authority of Jesus.
There is little reason to think that the fear experienced by the chief priests and scribes was a fear of the people and their ability to riot; rather they feared the Christ for they knew the power he possessed.
Mark explains that fear came to the Sanhedrin because the crowds were astonished at what they just witnessed.
To demonstrate the purpose of the Sanhedrin’s fear, a clausal outline is helpful.
καὶ ἤκουσαν
οἱ ⸂ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς⸃,
καὶ ἐζήτουν
πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν·
ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν,
⸂πᾶς γὰρ⸃ ὁ ὄχλος ἐξεπλήσσετο
ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ
The purpose of the “seeking” is that they might “destroy” him, and the reason they wanted to “destroy” him is because they "feared” him; and the reason they “feared” him is because the crowds were "astonished” at his teaching. The verbs carry the verse along while also providing purpose for each other.
So mark gives us a look behind the curtain to see how the religious leaders responded to Jesus actions
After Mark tells us about the motivation of the religious leaders, he then tells us in verse 19
After Mark tells us about the motivation of the religious leaders, he then tells us in verse 19
Mark 11:19 ESV
19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
The phrase ὅταν ὀψὲ ἐγένετο acts as a temporal frame, which indicates to the reader that the current narrative is shifting. With ἐξεπορεύοντο ἔξω τῆς πόλεως Mark is indicating that the acted parable in the Temple is finished and points the reader to the second half of the sandwich.
So now they are headed back to Bethany on the same road they traveled to get to the Jerusalem

The Cursed Fig Tree: Part 2

After leaving the Temple the night before, we find Jesus and the disciples leaving the city the next morning on the same route they used to enter the previous day.
Look with me at
Mark 11:20–21 ESV
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
After leaving the Temple the night before, we here find Jesus and the disciples leaving the city the next morning on the same route they used to enter the previous day.
The word ἐξεπορεύοντο is one that has a variant reading that should be considered. In some early manuscripts the singular verb ἐξεπορεύετο is found rather than the plural form ἐξεπορεύοντο. It is possible that the singular verb (ἐξεπορεύετο) was altered to the plural in order to suit the plural forms in the next verse. Both ἐξεπορεύοντο and ἐξεπορεύετο have strong textual support, however the weight of the evidence tends to support the plural.[23]

Mark 11:20–21 ESV
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Mark noted in 11.14 that the disciples heard Jesus curse the fig tree for not having fruit the previous day. This is why Peter (remembered) and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! the fig tree that you cursed has withered”.
Now we are back looking at how Mark wraps these two stories together to prove his point.
The outside story interprets the inside, and the inside story interprets the outside.
The fig tree now suffers the same fate the temple will suffer.
He has come seeking fruit, and, finding none, is announcing the Temple’s doom. The temple will share the same fate as the fig tree - destruction.
Do you remember how Jesus quoted Jeremiah in the temple when he said they have turned the temple into a den of robbers?
Well, Jesus had more context in mind when he spoke these words.
Jesus quoting Jeremiah in the Temple incident is still in context for Mark in vv 20-25. The context in Jeremiah offers an explanation, not only for the Jesus’ action in the Temple, but also for the incident involving the fig tree.
The context of Jeremiah is the leaders of Jerusalm are abusing their authority, mocking God, and not leading the people of God toward right worship.
Evil was running rampant in the land of Israel
Jeremiah rebuked Judah for making God’s temple a den of robbers - a place where evil men hide behind their religious titles
But the rebuke goes on and in chapter 8 God says this to the people.
Jeremiah 8:11–13 ESV
11 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the Lord. 13 When I would gather them, declares the Lord, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.”
11-
Jeremiah prophesied this day would come, that the religious leaders and the religious system would be overthrown - and the sign of fig trees not bearing fruit is a sign that the end is near for this evil generation.
“They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
So how are the disciples supposed to understand all that has just said?
How are they to cope with the fact that Jesus is saying the Temple is going to be destroyed
No, they were not at all ashamed;
How are they supposed to understand their relationship with God if the Temple ends up like the fig tree, withered and dead?
The Temple was of upmost importance to the Jews
Their faith in God was wrapped up in the temple
Their prayer lives were wrapped up in the temple
And their giving and receiving forgiveness was wrapped up in the Temple.
How then, are they to understand these acted parables of Jesus?
I could imagine a lot of these thoughts going through the disciples heads as they stood around that withered fig tree.
But Jesus gives them hope, he gives them some vision of what the future will look like, not without a temple, but with a new temple.
Mark 11:22–25 ESV
22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among the fallen;
when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.
When I would gather them, declares the Lord,
Jesus explains that faith, prayer and forgiveness will still be possible even if there is no Temple.
there are no grapes on the vine,

Have faith in God

nor figs on the fig tree;
For Jesus, the Temple was no longer essential to God’s purposes and vision of the restored Israel.
The disciples should not consider the Temple, as represented by the withered fig tree, as playing any part in their expression of faith toward God.
even the leaves are withered,
In fact, Jesus wants to drive this point home even further when he says,
Mark 11:23 ESV
23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Mark 11:
This mountain is speaking of the temple mount which would have still been in view.
“be taken up and thrown into the sea”
This is an apocalyptic statement.
To say the mountain be thrown into the sea is to say that Gentile invaders could come and destroy the temple, yet even if all this happens, and that person does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
This verse is not talking about having enough faith to move mountains
this verse is talking about having an unwavering faith in God even if your entire world is being destroyed.
It is calling Christians to have faith in God even when nothing makes sense
Its calling Christians to have faith in God even if the government begins to outlaw Christianity.
Its calling Christians to have faith in God even when your plans are not working out the way you thought they would.
Its calling Christians to have faith in God even when your entire support structure fails you.
Our faith should not be determined...
by the temple,
or by circumstances
or by government
or by social trends
Our faith is to be in God. Have faith in God.
And Jesus is reassuring his disciples that even when the temple is gone, they are still to have faith in God.
Prayer
and what I gave them has passed away from them.” [28]
The Temple was also the house of prayer, this is where you would go to pray and brings your offerings to God.
If the temple is gone, what does that do to our prayers life?
Mark 11:23 ESV
23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Mark 11:24 ESV
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Prayer is not to be seen as effectual because of the temple.
Jesus is telling his disciples that they are to pray in faith. having faith that the only thing that will restrict your prayers is the sovereignty of God.
There is no need for Temple, no need of a priest, no need of a sacrifice, for Jesus has become all of these on our behalf.
So we are to pray with upmost confidence and faith in God that he hears and will answer our prayers.
Forgiveness
Jesus, in other words, appears to be purposefully evoking the whole context in Jeremiah. The cursing of the fig tree is part of his sorrowful Jeremianic demonstration that Israel, and the Temple, are under judgment.[29]
And finally we see Jesus assuring the disciples that forgiveness is available apart from the temple.
The temple played a huge role in forgiveness, not only in the forgiveness of another person, it also was the means to receive forgiveness from God.
Jesus is saying here that both forgiveness of others and forgiveness from God is granted apart from the temple.
You see, everything the temple represented is going to be destroyed so something better may be resurrected. This is the rhythm of the bible, death and resurrection.
The temple must go away so the new temple could come - Jesus
The Priesthood must go away so the great high priest can come - Jesus
The sacrificial system must go away so there would only be one remaining sacrifice - Jesus
However, I believe that verses 22-25, and the teaching of faith, prayer and forgiveness are theologically rooted in the destruction of the Temple cult and fit wonderfully in the context of Mark’s narrative.
Jesus explains that faith, prayer and forgiveness will still be possible even if there is no Temple.
Verses 22-25 are often thought to be out of place in the context of the Marcan sandwich. Craig Evens notes, “The transition from the cursing of the fig tree in 11.12-14, to the eventual discovery of its destruction in 11.20-21, to teaching on faith, prayer and forgiveness strikes many commentators (Meier, Bultmann, and Grundmann) as odd.”[30] However, I believe that verses 22-25, and the teaching of faith, prayer and forgiveness are theologically rooted in the destruction of the Temple cult and fit wonderfully in the context of Mark’s narrative. Jesus explains that faith, prayer and forgiveness will still be possible even if there is no Temple. For Jesus, the Temple was no longer essential to God’s purposes and vision of the restored Israel.[31] Thus Mark’s use of the objective genitive “Ἔχετε πίστιν θεοῦ” indicates that the disciples should not consider the Temple, as represented by the withered fig tree, as playing any part in their expression of faith toward God.
For Jesus, the Temple was no longer essential to God’s purposes and vision of the restored Israel.[31] Thus Mark’s use of the objective genitive “Ἔχετε πίστιν θεοῦ” indicates that the disciples should not consider the Temple, as represented by the withered fig tree, as playing any part in their expression of faith toward God.
11.23
ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ· Ἄρθητι καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ μὴ διακριθῇ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἀλλὰ πιστεύῃ ὅτι ὃ λαλεῖ γίνεται, ἔσται αὐτῷ. (Truly I say to you that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.)
The mountain spoken of by Jesus may refer to the temple mount, as it would still be in view of Jesus and the disciples as they left the city.
Keeping with the context of the destruction of the Temple, I believe the mountain that is “thrown into the sea” refers to the Temple mount.
The Hebraic hyperbole of “mountain removal” is a motif thoroughly rooted in the OT (; ; ; ) as well as in the NT (; ).
This was a common saying that represented the present and eschatological power of God being manifested by faith.
Evens notes, “This motif accompanies the promised day of salvation as part of the transformation of the cosmos.”[32]
Therefore, believing that God has the power to, proverbially, “move mountains” is to place one’s faith in the person and work of Christ rather than the Temple. Jesus is explaining the power of God that is manifested through faith.
The Temple was the place where God was said to dwell; it was there atonement for sins was made, and forgiveness was granted.
Jesus is asserting that this power, which solely belongs to God, is no longer to be found in the Temple, as it is withered at its core. But the power of God is made manifest in the lives of his covenant people by Ἔχετε πίστιν θεοῦ.
11.24 διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν, πάντα ὅσα προσεύχεσθε καὶ αἰτεῖσθε, πιστεύετε ὅτι ἐλάβετε, καὶ ἔσται ὑμῖν. (For this reason I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be done for you.)
Prayer is understood as one of the chief tenants of the Temple cult (Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).
However, though Jesus acted parables (fig tree and Temple), he has no doubt raised concern in the minds of his disciples about how and where to pray if the Temple is to be destroyed.
If through faith God has no reason for the Temple, thus being thrown into the sea, then prayer must be executed in a different way. πάντα ὅσα προσεύχεσθε καὶ αἰτεῖσθε, πιστεύετε ὅτι ἐλάβετε, καὶ ἔσται ὑμῖν.
While standing around the withered fig tree, Jesus is teaching his disciples that prayer is now a discipline that is to be executed by faith alone. The use of πιστεύετε recalls v.23 and expresses confidence of coming to God directly in prayer.
There is no need for the Temple, no need for the high priest, and there is no need for sacrifices, as Jesus will soon fulfill each of these roles. Faith in God is now the conduit by which all prayer is to be received.
11.25
καὶ ὅταν στήκετε προσευχόμενοι, ἀφίετε εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος, ἵνα καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν. (And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your sins.)
καὶ ὅταν στήκετε προσευχόμενοι, Standing was a common posture among the Jewish people during prayer (1 King 8.14; ; ). ἀφίετε εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος. explain the necessityof the priest and the Temple in the role of personal forgiveness. Surely in the minds of the disciples, if the Temple is to be destroyed there would be many questions regarding prayer and forgiveness. However, now Jesus is telling them that if there is any offense between people they are to forgive them ἵνα καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν. Not only did the temple play a key role in the forgiveness of another person, it also was the means to receive forgiveness from God.
There are many scholars who doubt the Marcan authorship of v.25. Though there is no textual evidence that might suggest it being a gloss, the wording is very Matthean and is unique in the gospel of , however, want to argue that v.25 concludes well the Marcan sandwich of the two acted parables.[34] In context, Mark records Jesus explaining to the disciples that prayer and forgiveness are to be practiced apart from the presence of the Temple. When Jesus says, εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος, ἵνα καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν,
he is communicating that the Temple will no longer be the representation of the covenant people’s spiritual worship as it once was (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ). The Temple is no longer needed to forgive one another or receive forgiveness from God. Rather community with God and man is the new catalyst for understanding one’s spiritual worship.
Viewing this idea of community/Temple through the lens of biblical theology will shed light on how the community of saints, in communion with Christ, assumes the role of the Temple in the new covenant. John in particular emphasizes the function of the community as the temple that displays God’s presence (; ). Paul as well understands the redeemed community as the dwelling place of God: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple?” (). 1 Peter speaks of Christ and believers as “living stones” that are “built into a spiritual house” (). Revelation addresses the faithful as pillars of the temple () but also emphasizes that there is no longer any need for a temple because of the unmediated presence of God in the New Jerusalem () which, because it is fashioned as a cube (), suggests the shape of the holy of holies.[35] Therefore, according to the context, Mark’s discussion on prayer and forgiveness suggests that fellowship with one another and God will be possible without the physical Temple.
Conclusion
Marks use of the sandwich structure in recording Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree and Temple incident communicates that these two accounts should not only be viewed as acted parables, but should be seen as complementary; the withered fig tree signifies the pending destruction of the Temple. Mark chose to sandwich these two narratives together to communicate to the reader that cursed fig tree and the Temple have the same fate – destruction. Though many scholars believe the Temple incident to be a “cleansing” for reform, I have argued that Jesus’ intentions were to symbolize destruction rather than reform.
In the second half of the sandwich Jesus teaches the disciples that even though the Temple is to be destroyed, faith, prayer, and forgiveness are still possible through a personal relationship with God. For believers today it is vitally important to understand the role Christ has assumed for himself. There are no longer reasons for the elect of God to seek the presence of God apart from the person of Jesus. By the actions of Jesus he is inaugurating the new covenant where Jesus himself becomes for the believer everything the Temple once offered: he is our high priest, our sacrifice, our mediator, our sanctuary, and our means of worship. As the writer of Hebrews, speaking of Jesus as our High Priest, wrote,
“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.”[36]
Praise be to God for sending his Son, not to reform a broken vessel, but to replace it with himself – our perfect high priest and Temple!
Appendix A
Text Criticism 11.19 (ἐξεπορεύοντο)
ἐξεπορεύοντο – A B K (sW) Δ Ψ (s28). 565. 700. 2427
I
II
III
IV
V
No Category
4 c.
B
5 c.
A
9 c.
Ψ Δ 565
K017 M021 Π
11 c.
124 700
12 c.
1071
c
Variant:
ἐξεπορεύετο - א C D Θ f (1).13 33 m lat sys.h co
I
II
III
IV
V
No Category
4 c.
א
5 c.
C
6 c.
N
8 c.
E07c
9 c.
Θ 33
1424
G011 H013 U Y Ω
10 c.
f13
S
11 c.
788
2
35
12 c.
157 346
2358
13 c.
13
579
2372
14 c.
1005
15 c.
69
19 c.
TR
MT
Both ἐξεπορεύοντο and ἐξεπορεύετο have strong textual support. It is possible that the singular verb ἐξεπορεύετο (he went out) is original and was changed to the plural in order to agree with the plural participle παραπορευόμενοι and the plural verb εἶδον in the next verse. However the textual support and grammatical context weighs a bit in favor of the plural form being original. This is not, however, an easy choice to make. Metzger notes that the omission of the verb in Codex L is nothing more than the result of an error in copying.[37]
Appendix B
Text Criticism for the omission of 11.26
The absence of this verse from early witnesses that represent all text-types makes it highly probable that the words were inserted by a scribe to make Jesus’ discourse on prayer similar to . The syntax is differs enough from to show that the addition of was intentional. It is also possible that the words of v. 26 were original but were inadvertently omitted if a scribe’s eye jumped from the words τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν at the end of v. 25 to the same words at the end of v. 26. However this is less likely.
reads, ει δε υμεις ουκ αφιετε ουδε ο πατηρ υμων ο εν τοις ουρανοις αφησει τα παραπτωματα υμων
Support of Variant: A (C, D) Θ (f 1.13, 33) m lat syp.h bopt; Cyp
NA28 text support: א B L W Δ Ψ 565. 700. 892. 2427 pc k l sys sa bopt[38]
Bibliography
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Alford, H. (2010). Alford’s Greek Testament: an exegetical and critical commentary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Balz, H. R., & Schneider, G. (1990–). Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.
Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on the Gospel of Mark. New York: United Bible Societies.
Dowd, S. E. (2000). Reading Mark: a literary and theological commentary on the second Gospel. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Evans, Craig A. (2001). Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 34b, (Evans). Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Holmes, M. W. (2010). Apparatus for the Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Logos Bible Software.
Holmes, M. W. (2010). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press.
Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson.
Kittel, G., Bromiley, G. W., & Friedrich, G. (Eds.). (1964–). Theological dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Lane, William L. (1974) The Gospel According to Mark: the English Text with Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary On the New Testament). 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
Metzger, B. M., United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.). London; New York: United Bible Societies.
Nestle, E., Nestle, E., Aland, K., & Aland, B., Universität Münster. Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung. (1993). Novum Testamentum Graece (27. Aufl., rev.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung.
Nicoll, W. R. (n.d.). The Expositor’s Greek Testament: Commentary (Vol. 1). New York: George H. Doran Company.
Nolland, J. (2005). The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary on the Greek text. Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.
Omanson, R. L., & Metzger, B. M. (2006). A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: an adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger’s Textual commentary for the needs of translators. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.
Patte, D. (Ed.). (1993). Semeia, 64.
Runge, S. E. (2008). The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Ryken, L., Wilhoit, J., Longman, T., Duriez, C., Penney, D., & Reid, D. G. (2000). In Dictionary of biblical imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Tannehill, R. C. (Ed.). (1981). Semeia, 20.
Telford, W. R. (1997). Mark. London; New York: T&T Clark.
Tischendorf, C. von, Gregory, C. R., & Abbot, E. (Eds.). (1869–1894). Novum Testamentum graece. Lipsiae: Giesecke & Devrient.
Tischendorf, C. von, Gregory, C. R., & Abbot, E. (1894). Novum Testamentum Graece: Prolegomena. Libronix.
Walvoord, J. F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Wright, N. T. (1996). Jesus and the victory of God. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
(1994). Themelios, No. 1, October 1994, 20.
(2000). Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 43.
(2008). Tyndale Bulletin, 60.
[1] James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark (The Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2002), 339.
[2] Walter E. Bundy, Jesus and the First Three Gospels, 1St ed. (Cambridge MA: De Gruyter, 1955), 425.
[3] Leland Ryken et al., Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 283.
[4] Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987).
[5] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God; London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1996), 421.
[6] Karl Olav Sandes, “The Death of Jesus for Human Sins: The Historical Basis for a Theological Concept,” Themelios, No. 1, October 1994 20 (1994): 21.
[7] James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark (The Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2002), 341.
[8] Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 415.
[9] Ibid. 416.
[10] John D. Grassmick, “Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck; vol. 2; Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 2158.
[11] William L. Lane, The New International Commentary On the New Testament, vol. 2, The Gospel According to Mark: the English Text with Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974),, 406
[12] R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark: a Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2002), 444.
[13] Contra C. Roth, “The Cleansing of the Temple and ,” NovT 4 (1960): 177–78.
[14] James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark (The Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2002), 342.
[15] Josephus, (Ant. 18.85; War 1.39)
[16] Karl Olav Sandes, “The Death of Jesus for Human Sins: The Historical Basis for a Theological Concept,” Themelios, No. 1, October 1994 20 (1994): 22.
[17] Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 258.
[18] Ibid. 259.
[19] Sharyn Echols Dowd, Reading Mark: a Literary and Theological Commentary on the Second Gospel (Reading the New Testament Series; Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 2000), 119.
[20] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 418.
[21] Craig A. Evans, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. v. 34B, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 180
[22] Joseph H. Hellerman, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 43, no. 2 (2000): 219.
[23] See Appendix 1 for Text Critical Notes
[24] Robert C. Tannehill, “Varieties of Synoptic Pronouncement Stories,” ed. Robert C. Tannehill, Semeia 20 (1981): 114.
[25] William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 684.
[26] Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–), 486.
[27] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 421
[28] (ESV).
[29] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 421–422.
[30] Craig A. Evans, Word Biblical Commentary, 185.
[31] Larry Perkins, “The Markan Narrative’s Use of the Old Greek Text of Jeremiah to Explain Israel’s Obduracy,” ed. P. J. Williams, Tyndale Bulletin 60, no. 2 (2008): 226.
[32] Craig A. Evans, Word Biblical Commentary, 189.
[33] R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark: a Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2002), 449–450.
[34] See Appendix B for text critical notes on the omission of verse 26
[35] Leland Ryken, Jim Wilhoit, et al., Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 851.
[36] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), .
[37] Roger L. Omanson and Bruce Manning Metzger, A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger’s Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006), 91–92.
[38] Eberhard Nestle et al., Universität Münster. Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, Novum Testamentum Graece (27. Aufl., rev.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung, 1993), 128.
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