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A new translation of Mark’s Gospel was published recently that I find very appealing: The Memoirs of St. Peter: A New Translation of the Gospel According to Mark, by Michael Pakaluk.
As the title acknowledges, most scholars consider Mark’s Gospel to be that of Simon Peter. Tradition says that Mark was Peter’s secretary or scribe, and the recollections he recorded are really those of Peter.
Things - Mark - Gospel - Unique - Sense
One of the things that make Mark’s Gospel unique is its sense of immediacy. Part of this is due to his frequent use of the word “immediately” (eutheos in Greek)—more than forty times in what is the shortest of the four Gospels. Here are just a few examples:
And immediately the Spirit drove [Jesus] into the wilderness (Mk 1:12).
James - Son - Zebedee - John - Brother
And when He had gone a little further, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets, and immediately He called them (Mk 1:19-20).
And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the sabbath day He entered into the synagogue and taught (Mark 1:21).
Aspect - Gospel - Mark - Vibrancy - Sense
Another aspect of the Gospel of Mark contributing to its vibrancy and sense of immediacy is Mark’s tendency to render things in the present tense. Here is how Michael Pakaluk describes it:
Mark varies his verb tenses in apparently unpredictable ways. Sometimes he uses the present tense, sometimes the imperfect, sometimes the “aorist.” Most translations solve the problem by throwing everything into the past tense. And yet this removes the vividness that Mark’s frequent use of the historic present conveys. But when one approaches the text as originally a spoken narrative, one can generally retain Mark’s tense changes …. Someone speaking from memory … will change tenses to keep the hearer’s attention, but mainly because, as he is speaking “from memory,” he finds it easy to revert to...
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