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Gospel of Mark Sadness Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter:Verse)

Quote #7

And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. (NRSV 15:24)

And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. (KJV 15:24)

Wait a second, this doesn't seem all that sad. But wait—the words sound kind of like Psalm 22:18, another song of lament. We're probably supposed to notice this and understand the overall mournful tone of the crucifixion.

Quote #8

Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (NRSV 15:29-30)

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. (KJV 15:29-30)

Here we get another allusion to Psalm 22, this time to 22:7-8. All of these allusions to Psalms really put Mark into a minor key. Play the guitar or piano? Let an E minor rip and you'll get a sense of how to hear this part of the story.

Quote #9

At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (NRSV 15:34)

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (KJV 15:34)

Wait, why isn't Jesus speaking English? Oh, we kid. But the foreign language here is Aramaic, which Mark translates into Greek for Greek readers and which the NRSV and KJV translate into English for us Anglophones. The words are a near quotation of Psalm 22:1 and the final evocation of this Psalm of lament. They are also Jesus's last words—words of utter sadness and abandonment.

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