Thread: Mark 14:34 - Sorrowful Board: Oblivion / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by GeorgeNZ (# 18672) on :
 
And he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch." - Mark 14:34

I find the word 'sorrowful' here very moving (Mathew uses the same'). Can someone maybe offer me some insight into the original language used for this phrase. I sense Jesus is not sorrowful about what he must go through, but what those who are with him must shortly face. Jesus knows what is going to happen, he has predicted his resurrection, but he also knows the pain those he loves must experience and not just over the next few days. It is a powerful statement.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
I've just replied to your other Kerygmania thread. I can't help you with Latin or Greek, but thanks for that moving observation - you're better at this than you give yourself credit for.
 
Posted by Nigel M (# 11256) on :
 
The word there is perilupos (= περίλυπος), which Louw-Nida(*) defines as “pertaining to being very sad or deeply distressed—‘very sad, sorrowful’.”

There are only 4 occurrences of this word in the NT, which doesn’t give an awful lot to go on, but there does seem to be a sense of “I know I have to do something; I just really, really, wish I didn’t have to do it” about the meaning. A couple of examples from among that four:

Mark 6:26 – Herod had just been asked for John The Baptist’s head, and Mark notes: “Although the king was deeply grieved, he did not want to reject her request because of his oath and his guests.”

Luke 18:23 – The rich man had realised Jesus was asking him to give up his wealth, upon which Luke says “But when the man heard this he became distressed, for he was extremely wealthy


It may be, then, that the word is used to mean that someone was distressed because of what they were about to have to do (against their desire). That could be the meaning in Mark 14, which in turn would accord with Luke’s very moving account of the state Jesus was in when he prayed at the Mount of Olives in the night of his arrest. Luke has him in agony over the decision Jesus had to take – to go on with the commission God gave, or to take the surely better option of getting out of the place, no doubt to carry on with a ministry in the safe northern locations (“Just think how many more people I could heal? Or the disciples I could train up to go out to the world with the message of the Kingdom? Or those books I could finally get down to writing? Yes, surely that is the more sensible course of action.”).

Having said that, though, it is a risky business taking a word’s meaning from one author’s context and assuming it maps neatly over to the way another author uses the same word!

Another thought, more closer to home in Mark, is that Mark helpfully provides us with a couple of closely related words in the previous verse: “He took Peter, James, and John with him, and became very troubled and distressed.” Again, the sense of alarm, anguish, distress, is very real. There’s a real point Mark (and Luke in his take) wants to get over here that puts Jesus’ feet very firmly on the human ground. Jesus has realised that he has to take a decision, to bend his will to that of his Father. It’s the wilderness temptation all over again, but this time with death close to hand. The words Mark uses are at the upper end of emotion and he really seems to want to drive them home. In fact, I wonder if "very sad" really quite does justice to the meaning.


* Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996.
 
Posted by GeorgeNZ (# 18672) on :
 
Thank you Nigel that is extremely helpful in that it changes to a large degree how I read it, but yours makes more sense than my 'interpretation'. Looking at the original word certainly makes a difference, but I still find the translatoion as 'sorrowful' and interesting choice.

while I don't have the skill it makes a lot of sense of a comment I heard by NT Wright that he likes to do his morning quiet time reading in the original language.
 
Posted by Mamacita (# 3659) on :
 
NigelM I just have to say that's a beautiful piece of writing. GeorgeNZ, what a good question. Sometimes focusing on a detail like that can reveal so much.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:
Jesus knows what is going to happen, he has predicted his resurrection, but he also knows the pain those he loves must experience and not just over the next few days.

A further thought is that Jesus is sorrowful because of the sad state of humanity. Maybe they are past the possibility of being reformed.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
A further thought is that Jesus is sorrowful because of the sad state of humanity. Maybe they are past the possibility of being reformed.

A sorrowfuness that crosses the passages of time with great ease. Something so human (S)He was assigned to express and to feel it.
 
Posted by Martin60 (# 368) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by GeorgeNZ:
Jesus knows what is going to happen, he has predicted his resurrection, but he also knows the pain those he loves must experience and not just over the next few days.

A further thought is that Jesus is sorrowful because of the sad state of humanity. Maybe they are past the possibility of being reformed.
No. He was being 110% human. Not divine. Staring a foul death in the face that He COULD avoid. Agony. So that NONE are past the possibility of being reformed. By ignorant, unknowing faith.
 


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