Mark

Written in Greek by the Disciple Mark about 55-CE and based loosely on the Gospel of Matthew,
possibly because there was no Greek translation of Matthew's Gospel available to Greek-speaking gentile converts at the time.

Chapter 1

1 This is the beginning of the good news about Jesus the Anointed.

2 This was written by the Prophet IsaiAh:
'Look!
I'm sending My messenger ahead
To prepare the road that's before you.
3 Listen!
Someone calls out in the desert,
Prepare the way for the Lord;
Straighten out all of his roads!

4 This is why John came; to do baptizing in the desert and to preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 So throughout Judea and JeruSalem, people went there to be baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they openly confessed their sins.

6 John wore clothes that were made of camel's hair and he wore a wide leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey, 7 and this is what he preached:
'Someone greater is coming behind me
Whose sandals I'm unworthy to bend and untie.
8 And though I baptize in the water,
He'll baptize you in [God's] Holy Breath.'

9 Back then, Jesus also came from Nazareth of GaliLee to be baptized in the Jordan by John. 10 And immediately after coming up out of the water, [John] saw the sky split open and the Breath [of God] descend upon [Jesus in the form of] a dove. 11 Then a voice came from the sky that said: 'You're My Son whom I love and with whom I am well pleased.'

12 Then [God's] Breath immediately forced [Jesus] into the desert, 13 where he spent forty days among the wild animals as he was being tempted by the Opposer. However, the messengers [of God] [came and] served him.

14 It was after John had been arrested that Jesus went into GaliLee and started preaching the good news of God. 15 For he was saying:
'This period has reached its fulfillment and the Kingdom of God is at hand. So believe the good news and repent!'

16 Then, as he was walking along [the shore of] the Sea of GaliLee, he noticed Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets on the sea (they were fishermen). 17 So Jesus said to them: 'Come follow me and I'll make you fishers of men.' 18 And right away, they released their nets and started following him.

19 Then going a little farther, he saw James the son of ZebediOu and his brother John sitting in their boat mending their nets. 20 So he called them, and they immediately left their father ZebediOu and his crew in the boat, and they started following [Jesus]. 21 From there, they all traveled on to CapharNaum, where on the Sabbath, [Jesus] entered their synagogue and started teaching… 22 which amazed everyone, because (unlike the scribes) he taught with great authority.

23 Well at the time, there was a man in the synagogue who was under the influence of an unclean spirit, which caused him to shout, 24 'What dealings do I have with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come here to destroy me? I know who you are; you're The Holy One of God!'

25 But Jesus scolded it, saying: 'Put a muzzle on it and come out of him!' 26 So the unclean spirit (after throwing the man into convulsions and causing him to yell loudly) came out. 27 This shocked the people, and they started asking each other, 'What is this, some new teaching? He has the power to give orders to unclean spirits and they obey him!' 28 So after that, the story about him was immediately spread throughout all the land around GaliLee.

29 Thereafter, [Jesus] walked out of the synagogue (along with James and John) and they went directly to the home of Simon and Andrew, 30 where they found Simon's (Peter's) mother-in-law lying down and burning up with a fever, which they immediately pointed out to [Jesus]. 31 So he took her by the hand to help her up, then the fever left her and she started serving them.

32 Well that evening, after sunset, people started bringing him all those who were ill as well as the demon-possessed33 the whole city had gathered at their door! 34 So he cured their various illnesses and he expelled many demons. However, he wouldn't allow the demons to speak, because they knew that he was the Anointed One.

35 Then early the next morning, while it was still dark, he got up and went outside to a remote place where he started praying. 36 However, Simon (and those who were with him) searched 37 for him, and when they found him they said: 'Everyone has been looking for you!'

38 But he replied: 'Let's go somewhere else into the nearby villages, so I can preach there also. For that's why I came outside.' 39 And [after that], he went preaching in the synagogues throughout all of GaliLee and casting out demons.

40 It was there that a leper came to him, who got down on his knees and said: 'If you just want to, you can make me clean!'

41 And moved with pity, [Jesus] stuck out his hand and touched him, saying: 'I want to… be clean.' 42 Then the leprosy immediately left him and he became clean. 43 However, [Jesus] sent him away, giving [the man] strict orders 44 not to tell anyone what he had done. And he said: 'Now, go show yourself to the Priests and give the offering of cleansing that was specified by Moses, as a witness to them.'

45 However after he left, [the man] started telling everyone and spreading the word around, so that Jesus wasn't able to enter the cities openly and he had to camp out in lonely places… yet [the people] still kept coming to him from all directions.

Chapter 2

1 Well after several days, he returned to CapharNaum, and when word got out that he was home, 2 so many people came to him that there wasn't any room around the door. Then he started preaching the Word to them.

3 At the time, four people came to him carrying a man that was paralyzed. 4 But because the crowd was so large, they couldn't get him to [Jesus]. So they dug an opening through the part of the roof where [Jesus] was standing, and lowered down the cot on which the [man] was lying. 5 Then when Jesus saw how much faith they had shown, he said to the paralyzed man: 'Child, your sins are forgiven.'

6 But at this, some of the scribes who were sitting there started reasoning in their hearts: 7 'Why is he talking that way, for this is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins other than the one God?'

8 But through the spirit, Jesus immediately realized that they were reasoning in this way inside themselves, so he asked: 'Why are [such bad] thoughts entering your hearts? 9 Which is easier; to tell the paralyzed man Your sins are forgiven, or, Get up, pick up your cot, and walk? 10 Well, so that you men will know that the Son of Man has been authorized to forgive sins on the earth,' 11 [he then said to the man], 'get up, pick up your cot, and go home.' 12 And at that, the man got right up, picked up his cot, and walked out in front of everyone. Well, everyone there was beside themselves and they started glorifying God, saying, 'We've never seen anything like this!'

13 Then later, he went outside to the seashore, where huge crowds came to him and he taught them.

14 Well, as he was passing the tax office, he noticed Levi the son of AlphaEus, sitting there. So [he] said to him, 'Follow me'… and he got right up and went with him. 15 Then later [that day], as Jesus was reclining at the table in [Levi's] home, several tax collectors and sinners started coming and reclining with him and his disciples (many of whom became Jesus' followers). 16 But when the scribes and Pharisees saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: 'Why is he eating with the tax collectors and sinners?'

17 And because he overheard them saying this, Jesus said: 'Those who are well don't need a doctor, just the ill do. So I didn't come to call the righteous, just the sinners.'

18 Well back then, since the Pharisees and all of John's disciples practiced fasting, they came to [Jesus] and asked, 'Why is it that although the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, your disciples don't fast?'

19 And Jesus replied: 'The sons of the bride chamber can't fast while the bridegroom is among them, because as long as he's with them, there's [no reason to] fast. 20 But the days are coming when the groom will be taken away… and then they will fast. 21 Understand that no one sews patches of new cloth onto old clothes, for if they do, the new [cloth] will shrink and stretch the old cloth, which will make tear worse. 22 Also, if you put young wine into old wineskins, the [new] wine will burst the skins and both the wine and the skins will be lost. So it's best for people use new wineskins for new wine.'

23 Then one day, as [Jesus] was walking through the grain fields on the Sabbath, his disciples started plucking heads of grain [to eat] as they were traveling along. 24 And the Pharisees asked, '{Look!} Why are they doing something that's illegal on the Sabbath?'

25 But he replied: 'Haven't you ever read what David did when he was in need and he and the men that were with him got hungry (in the account about AbiAthar, the High Priest)… 26 how he entered the House of God and ate the Presentation Bread, which isn't legal for anyone to eat other than the Priests, and how he also gave some of it to the men who were with him?'

27 Then [Jesus] said this: 'The Sabbath came into existence for the sake of mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath. 28 But you should also know that the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.'

Chapter 3

1 On another occasion, he entered a synagogue where there happened to be a man with a withered hand, 2 and [the Pharisees] were watching [Jesus] closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath, because they were trying to find something that they could accuse him of doing wrong.

3 However, [Jesus] said to the man with the withered hand: 'Get up and come into the center [of the room].' 4 Then he asked everyone there: 'Is it legal to do something good or bad, or to save a life or destroy it on the Sabbath?' But no one would answer. 5 Then, after looking around at them angrily (because he was saddened by the dullness of their hearts), he said to the man: 'Now, stretch out your hand.' So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

6 Well right away, the Pharisees went outside and met with the followers of Herod and they started talking about ways to destroy him.

7 However, Jesus and his disciples then got up and walked out to the sea, followed by a huge crowd that had come from all around GaliLee and Judea. 8 For people were coming to him from as far away as JeruSalem, Idumea, the other side of the Jordan, and the area around Tyre and Sidon… huge numbers came to him when they heard of the things that he was doing.

9 Well, to keep the crowds at bay, [Jesus] had instructed his disciples to always have a little boat available for him. 10 For because he cured so many who had terrible diseases, people were literally falling on him just to touch him. 11 And when unclean spirits saw him, they would bow low before him and shout, 'You're the Son of The God!' 12 However he scolded them and warned them not to expose him.

13 Then [Jesus] walked up a mountain, where he called for those whom he'd chosen, 14 and he formed a [special] group from these twelve that he started calling Apostles (Sent Ones), who were to stay with him. Thereafter, he also sent them out to preach, 15 and he gave them the power to cast out demons. 16 The names of those in the group of twelve that he formed were Simon (Peter), 17 James (the son of ZebediOu) and his brother John (he called them BoanErges, which means Sons of Thunder), 18 Andrew, Philip, BarTholomew ([NathaniEl]), Matthew, Thomas, James (the son of AlphaEus), ThadDaeus (Judas), Simon the CanaNaean, 19 and Judas IsCariot (who later betrayed him).

Well, whenever he went into a house, 20 so many people would show up that they couldn't even eat a meal. 21 And when [Jesus'] relatives heard what was happening, they tried to take him away because they said that he'd lost his mind.

22 There were also some scribes who had come down from JeruSalem that were telling people he was [under the influence of] BeElZebub, and that he was using the ruler of the demons to cast out the demons. 23 So he called [the scribes] to him and reasoned with them using [these] parables:

'How can the Opposer throw out the Opposer? 24 For if a kingdom's divided against itself, it won't be able to stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house won't be able to stand. 26 So if the Opposer is divided against himself, he'll be unable to stand and he's reaching his end. 27 Also, no one can enter the house of a mighty man and rob him of all his things unless he first ties the man up… only then can he loot his house. 28 So I tell you the truth: Sons of men can be forgiven for almost anything, no matter what sins they commit or whatever blasphemous things they might say. 29 But whoever blasphemes [God's] Holy Breath won't be forgiven through the age, for that remains a sin through the ages.' 30 Of course, [Jesus told] them this because they were saying that he had an unclean spirit.

31 Meanwhile, [Jesus'] mother and brothers had arrived and were standing outside, so they asked [someone] to call for him, 32 because there was a crowd sitting around him at the time. Therefore someone said to him: 'Look! Your mother and brothers are outside and they're looking for you!'

33 But he replied to them:
'Just who are my mother and brothers?'
34 Then he looked at those who were sitting around him in a circle, and said:
'See… my mother and my brothers!
35 For all who do the Will of our God
Are my brothers, sisters, and mother.'

Chapter 4

1 Well on another occasion, when he started teaching by the seaside, such a huge crowd came to him there that he stepped into a boat and sat out on the sea, as the crowd stood on the shore. 2 Then he taught them many things through parables, saying:

3 'Now, pay close attention!
{Look!} A farmer went out to do planting.
4 And as he was scattering seeds,
A few fell onto the road,
Which were then eaten by birds.

5 'Other seeds fell among rocks,
And they sprouted where there wasn't much ground.
But because there was too little soil;
6 When the sun arose, they were scorched…
They withered, because they didn't have roots.

7 'Other seeds fell among briers,
Which grew and choked out those seeds
So they couldn't produce any fruit.

8 But others fell on soil that was good,
Where they flourished and grew, producing much fruit,
Some thirty, some sixty, or a hundred times more.'

9 Then he added: 'Let those who have ears pay attention!'

10 Well later, the twelve and the rest who were around him asked [Jesus] what the parables meant. 11 And he told them this: 'The mystery of the Kingdom of God has just been given to you, for those on the outside only listen to the stories. 12 So although they can look, they can't see; and although they can hear, they don't listen and understand. Therefore they can never turn back and be forgiven. 13 However, if you don't understand the meanings of the parables, how will you be able to understand all the rest?

14 '[Now in the parable]; the one who is scattering the seeds is planting the Word, 15 and where it falls beside the road, the Opposer immediately comes and snatches away all that was dropped there. 16 The same is true of those that fall among the rocks; these are the ones who joyfully accept the word as soon as they hear it, 17 but because they don't have roots, they only last a little while. For when some difficulty or persecution comes along over the Word, they are stumbled.

18 'Likewise, those that are planted among the thorns are the ones who hear the word, 19 but let it get choked out by the concerns of this life, the allure of wealth and desires for other things, so they become unfruitful. 20 However, those who are planted on the fine soil are the ones who listen to the Word and accept it… then they bear fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundred times more.'

21 Thereafter Jesus went on to tell them this:
'You don't put a lamp under a basket,
Nor do you put it under a bed…
You it put on a table, instead.
22 And there is no secret that won't be made known,
Or anything hidden that will not be shown…
23 Let those who have ears pay attention!'

24 He continued:
'Pay attention to what I am saying!
Whatever amount that you measure for others
Is the amount that you will receive…
And more will be added to that.
25 For, those who have will be given more,
But all will be taken from those who don't have.'

26 Then he went on to say:
'The Kingdom of God is much like a man
Who scatters his seeds on the ground
27 And then goes to sleep through the night.
Then when he wakes up the next morning,
He finds that the seeds have sprouted and grown,
And he doesn't know how it all happened!

28 'For the ground produces fruit by itself…
First the blades, then the stalks,
And finally, the full heads of grain.
29 Then as soon as it becomes ripe,
The man arrives with his sickle;
For the time to harvest has come.'

30 And he asked:
'To what [else] can the Kingdom of God be compared…
What parables can we use to describe it?
31 It's much like the small mustard seed,
Which, before it's planted under the ground
Is one of the smallest seeds on the earth.
32 Yet, after it's planted, it grows
To be larger than all vegetation…
It grows branches that can be so great
That birds of the skies can dwell in their shadow.'

33 Yes, this is the way he taught the word to them, speaking in parables for as long as they were able to pay attention. 34 It's a fact that if he wasn't speaking in parables, he wasn't talking to them. However, when they were all alone, he thereafter explained everything to his disciples.

35 Well later that evening, he said to them: 'Now, let's cross over to the other shore.'

36 So after they dismissed the crowd, they left in the same boat that he had been teaching from (and some other boats also came along with them).

37 Well, a gale-force wind then arose and waves were pouring into the boats. --- 38 Meanwhile, [Jesus] was in the stern, sleeping on a pillow. So they woke him up and said: 'Teacher, aren't you worried that we're about to die?'

39 So he got up and scolded the wind, then he said to the sea: 'Be quiet! Hush!' And at that, the wind died down and a great calm set in. 40 And he asked them: 'Why are you so cowardly? Don't you have any faith?'

41 Well, this really frightened them and they started asking each other: 'Who really is this? For even the wind and the sea obey him!'

Chapter 5

1 Then, when they got to the other side of the sea to the country of the Garasenes, 2 [Jesus] got out of the boat and was immediately confronted by a man with an unclean spirit who had come there from the tombs. 3 For he lived among the tombs and no one had been able to restrain him, even with chains. 4 In fact, he had often been bound with leg irons and chains, but he broke the chains and smashed the leg irons, for nothing had enough strength to hold him. 5 So all day and all night long he would go yelling crazily amid the tombs and in the mountains, while he beat on himself with rocks.

6 Then, when he saw Jesus coming in the distance, he ran up to him and bowed low, 7 screaming: 'What dealings do I have with you, Jesus, the Son of the Most High God? I put you under oath by God not to torment me!' 8 [He said this] because [Jesus] had told the unclean spirit to come out of the man.

9 Then [Jesus] asked [the spirit], 'What is your name?' And it replied, 'My name is Legion, because there are many of us!' 10 And [the spirits] repeatedly begged [Jesus] not to drive them out of those fields.

11 Well at the time, there was a large group of pigs feeding up on the mountain. 12 So [the demons] begged Jesus to send them into the pigs, 13 and he gave them permission. So the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, then they all ran down a steep drop-off and fell into the sea, drowning about two-thousand of them.

14 Well thereafter, the herdsmen ran off and reported this to the people in the cities and fields roundabout, and they all went there to see [what had happened]. 15 And when they got to Jesus, they could see that the man who had once been possessed by the legion [of demons] was just sitting there wearing clothes and in his right mind, and this frightened them. 16 Then after [the herdsmen] who'd been there explained what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs, 17 the people begged [Jesus] to leave their district.

18 Well, as [Jesus] got back into the boat, the man who was once demonized started begging to come with him. 19 However, [Jesus] wouldn't allow this, for he said, 'Go back to your home and family and tell them all the things that Jehovah has done for you, and about the great mercy He has shown to you.'

20 So [the man] went back to the Decapolis and started telling everyone about the many things that Jesus had done for him, which amazed all the people.

21 Well, after they had crossed back to the other side [of the sea] in the boat, a huge crowd started to gather as Jesus arrived. 22 Then one of the [local] synagogue's head people (a man named JaiRus) came and fell at his feet, 23 and he kept begging him, saying: 'My little daughter is [about to breathe her] last. Please come and lay your hands on her so she can recover and live!'

24 So [Jesus] went off with him, and a huge number followed along, all crowded against him. 25 Among them was a woman who had [endured] a blood flow for some twelve years… 26 she'd suffered a lot at the hands of the healers, and spent everything she had to no avail (she only got worse). 27 So when she heard about Jesus, she came up behind [him] in the crowd and touched his clothes; 28 for she kept saying: 'If I can just touch his clothes I'll be saved [from this condition].' 29 And right away, her fountain of blood dried up and she knew in her body that she had been healed of this plague.

30 However Jesus also recognized in himself that some power had left him when this happened. So he turned around in the crowd and asked, 'Who touched my clothes?'

31 Well his disciples replied: 'You see all these people crowded around you and you ask, Who touched me?' 32 But he kept on looking around to see who did this.

33 Then the woman (who was frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her) came and fell down before him, and told him the truth. 34 And he said to her: 'Daughter; Your faith has saved you! Go in peace, and may this be the last of the plague.'

35 However, while he was still speaking, a messenger came from the home of the synagogue chief, who told him: 'Your daughter has died, so don't bother the teacher.'

36 But when Jesus overheard this, he told the chief of the synagogue: 'Don't be afraid, just have faith.'

37 Well [when he reached the home], he didn't allow anyone to go with him other than Peter, James, and John (James' brother). 38 And when he got inside the synagogue-chief's house and saw all the confusion, crying, and wailing, 39 he asked, 'Why are you creating such an uproar and crying? The little child isn't dead, she's just sleeping!'

40 Well at that, they all started laughing at him. But after he ushered them outside, he took the father, mother, and those who were with him into [the room] where the child was. 41 Then he took [the little girl] by the hand and said: 'Talitha; Cumi!' (which translates as, 'Little girl; Wake up!'). 42 And the twelve-year-old girl got up right away and started walking around.

Well, [the parents] were beside themselves [with joy]. 43 Then he told them to give her something to eat, and he repeatedly ordered them not to tell anyone what had really happened.

Chapter 6

1 Thereafter, he left that place and traveled with his disciples to the town where he was raised. 2 And when the Sabbath arrived, he entered their synagogue and started teaching.

Well, most of those who heard him were shocked, and asked, 'Where did he get these things? Why has such wisdom been given to this man, and why are such powerful deeds being performed through his hands? 3 For isn't this is the carpenter – the son of Mary and the brother of James, JoSeph, Judas, and Simon – and aren't his sisters here among us?' So they were stumbled over him. 4 And Jesus told them: 'A Prophet doesn't go without honor anywhere other than in his own home, among his relatives, and in the area where he was raised.' 5 And as the result, he wasn't able to do any powerful deeds there, other than to lay his hands on a few [sick ones], whom he cured. 6 For he was amazed by their lack of faith.

From there he traveled around the local villages in a circuit, teaching. 7 Then he called the twelve and started sending them out by twos, and he gave them power over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them not to carry anything with them other than a walking stick… no bread and no food pouch or copper money in their sashes. 9 And he told them not to tie on their sandals or to [carry extra] underclothes. 10 For he said: 'Wherever you enter a house, stay in that place until you get ready to leave. 11 But in those places where they don't invite you in or listen to you; shake the dirt off your feet as you leave, as a witness against them.'

12 So they went out and preached, calling for people to repent, 13 as they were casting out many demons and greasing many sick people with oil to cure them.

14 Meanwhile, King Herod had heard how famous [Jesus] was becoming. For people were saying about him, 'John, the man who did the baptizing, has been raised from the dead, and now there are great powers working through him.' 15 However, others were saying that he was EliJah, and some were saying that he was a Prophet like one of the Prophets [of old]. 16 But after he listened to all of this, Herod concluded: 'The John whom I beheaded has been raised!' 17 For it was Herod himself who had John arrested and locked in prison over the matter of taking Herodias (his brother's woman), 18 since John kept telling Herod that he had broken the Law by taking her. 19 And this is why Herodias hated him and wanted him killed… however [until then] she'd been unable to do so.

20 Herod was actually afraid of John, because he knew that he was a righteous and holy man; and as the result, he kept him safely [locked away]. For after he had listened to him for a while, Herod was at a loss as to what to do with him. So he gladly just kept on listening to him.

21 But there came a day that turned out to be convenient for Herod… it was when he was holding a banquet to celebrate his birthday, to which he had invited several high-ranking men, military commanders, and the foremost people of GaliLee. 22 And there the daughter of Herod and Herodias came in and danced before them, which pleased Herod and those at the table so much that the king said to the little girl: 'Ask for whatever you wish and I'll give it to you.' 23 Yes, he swore to her: 'Whatever you ask of me I'll give you, up to half of my kingdom!'

24 So she went out and asked her mother, 'What should I ask for?' And [her mother] replied, 'Ask for the head of John, the one who does the baptizing.'

25 So she ran back to the king and said, 'I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter… right now.'

26 And although this deeply disturbed the king, he didn't want to ignore her because of the oaths and because of those who were reclining at the table. 27 So the king immediately sent his bodyguard and commanded him to bring back [John's] head. And that's when [the guard] went off and beheaded John in the prison, 28 after which he brought in his head on a platter and gave it to the young girl, who gave it to her mother.

29 Well when [John's] disciples heard about this, they came and took his corpse and laid it in a tomb.

30 Meanwhile, all of the Apostles had assembled to meet with Jesus and report to him about everything that they'd been teaching and doing. 31 So he told them: 'I want you to come with me to a private place where you can rest up for a while.' Of course he said this because there were so many coming and going that they virtually had no free time, not even to eat a meal. 32 So they all traveled by boat to a remote place where they thought they could be by themselves.

33 However, some people noticed them leaving and they started telling many others, who all ran from the cities on foot and got ahead of them. 34 So when [Jesus and his Apostles] got out of the boat, they saw an enormous crowd. However, he felt sorry for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he started teaching them many things.

35 Well by then, it was getting quite late. So his disciples came up to Jesus and said: 'This is a very remote place and it's getting late, 36 so we should send the people off into the countryside and villages around here in order to buy some food for themselves.'

37 But [Jesus] told them: 'You give them something to eat.'

And they replied: 'That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread just to feed them?'

38 Then [Jesus] asked: 'How many loaves do you have? Go see!'

And after checking, they said: 'Five, plus two fish.'

39 So he told all the people to lie down on the green grass in rows, 40 and they reclined in rows of fifties and hundreds. 41 Then [Jesus] took the five loaves [of bread] and two fish, looked up toward the heavens and spoke a blessing, then he broke up the bread and divided the two fish, giving it to the disciples so they could set it in front of the people… 42 and they all ate and were satisfied. 43 Well, when they went to pick up the scraps, they found there were twelve baskets full, not including the fish! 44 However, there were about five thousand men who ate the bread.

45 Well right after that, [Jesus] instructed his disciples to get into the boat and travel ahead of him toward BethSaida, which was on the opposite shore. Then he dismissed the crowd, 46 and after excusing himself, he went up the mountain to pray.

47 However later that evening (as the boat was well out to sea and [Jesus] was there by himself on the land), 48 Jesus could see that they were rowing with all their might, since they had a strong headwind blowing against them. So the next morning (while it was still dark), he walked out toward them on top of the sea… in fact, he started to walk right past them! 49 Well when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought, 'It's a phantom,' and they started screaming in fright. 50 For they all saw him and they were all deeply disturbed.

But right away, he spoke to them and said: 'Be brave… it's me! Don't be afraid.' 51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind died down. However, all these events left them stunned, 52 because they really didn't understand the meaning of the bread, since their hearts had been dulled.

53 Well, soon they got across to the land, arriving at GenNesaret and anchoring nearby. 54 However, as soon as they got out of the boat, some people recognized [Jesus], 55 and they ran [to tell people] throughout all that area. So, many people came carrying their ill on cots to the place where they'd heard that Jesus was.

56 And thereafter, wherever he went into a village or city – or even into the fields or markets – they would bring their sick and beg him just to let them touch the fringes of his clothes. And all who touched them were healed.

Chapter 7

1 Now, some Pharisees and scribes came from JeruSalem and surrounded him, 2 because they had seen some of his disciples eating bread with unwashed hands. 3 For none of the Pharisees (or any of the Judeans would eat [anything] unless they vigorously washed their hands first, since they followed the traditions of the elders… 4 nor did they eat anything that they brought [home] from the market until after they had rinsed it. And they observed many other traditions that had been passed down, such as soaking cups, pitchers, and copper pots in water.

5 So these Pharisees and scribes asked him: 'Why don't your disciples follow the traditions of the elders? Look, they eat bread without washing their hands first!'

6 But [Jesus] replied, 'IsaiAh prophesied well about you hypocrites when he wrote:
With their mouths, these people approach Me,
And with their lips, they offer Me praise…
But they're far away from Me in their hearts.
So they bow before Me in vain,
Since they're teaching the ideas and instructions of men!

8 'You're ignoring the Commandments of God, while you hang on to these traditions of men… 9 you zealously push aside the Commandments of God so you can observe your traditions! 10 [For example]; though Moses told you to honor your father and mother and that anyone who says bad things to his father or mother should be put to death, 11 you say that a man should tell his father and mother that everything he owns with which he might help them has already been set aside as a holy gift! 12 So you don't allow [people] to do anything at all [to help] their parents. 13 And by these traditions that you're passing on, you're nullifying the Word of God… you're doing so many things like that!'

14 Then he called the crowd to him again and he said to them: 'I want all of you to pay close attention and be sure that you understand! 15 There's nothing on the outside that goes into a man that can make him unclean. Rather, it's the things that come out of a man that defile him.' 16 – –

17 Well, after he left the crowd and went back inside the house, his disciples asked him what he meant by what he said. 18 And he asked them: 'Don't you understand either? Nothing from the outside that enters a man can make him unclean, 19 for [such things] don't go into his heart, but into his belly and then into the sewer. Therefore, everything you eat is clean! 20 Rather, it's the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. 21 It's things that come from the inside – from the heart – that bad thoughts come… things such as immorality, thievery, murder, 22 adultery, selfish desires, wicked actions, deceitfulness, lack of restraint, eyes that are wicked, blasphemy, arrogance, and unreasonableness. 23 It's all these wicked things that come from the inside of a man that make him unclean.'

24 Then he got up and left. And from there, he traveled [north] into the area of Tyre and Sidon, where he entered a house. Yet, although he didn't want anyone to know where he was, he couldn't escape their notice. 25 So when a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard where he was, she came and bowed low at his feet 26 (she was a Greek woman of Syrian-Phoenician extraction). And she kept asking [Jesus] to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But he told her: 'The children should be satisfied first… it isn't right to take bread from the children and throw it to the puppies.'

28 But she replied: 'Yes Lord; but don't the puppies under the table eat the crumbs [that fall from] the little children?'

29 So he said to her: 'Because you said this, go! The demon has left your daughter.'

30 Then when she got back home, she found the child lying on her bed, and the demon was gone.

31 Thereafter, he left the area of Tyre and traveled through Sidon to the Sea of GaliLee, and then on through the middle of the region called the Ten Cities. 32 There they brought him a man who was deaf and dumb, and they begged [Jesus] to lay his hands on him. 33 So [Jesus] took him away from the crowd to a private spot and put his fingers into the man's ears. And after spitting, he touched his tongue; 34 then he looked up into the sky and groaned, saying, 'Eph phatha,' (which means, 'Be opened').

35 Well, the man's hearing ability was opened and the thing that held his tongue was loosened, so he started speaking normally. 36 Then Jesus commanded those who were there not to tell anyone about this… but the more he commanded them, the more they spoke about it. 37 For everyone was amazed beyond belief, and said, 'He does everything well… he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak!'

Chapter 8

1 Back in those days, there was another huge crowd [listening to him] that had nothing to eat. So [Jesus] called his disciples and said to them: 2 'I feel sorry for the crowd, because they've stayed here with me for the past three days and they have nothing to eat. 3 If I just send them home hungry, they may give out on the road, for some of them have for a fact come a long way.'

4 But his disciples asked: 'Where could anyone find enough loaves [of bread] here in this isolated place to satisfy that many people?'

5 And he asked them, 'How many loaves do you have?'

And they replied, 'Seven.'

6 So he told the crowd to get down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve… so they passed them out to the crowd. 7 They also had a few little fish. And after offering a blessing over them, Jesus told [the disciples] to serve these also. 8 Well, everyone ate until they were satisfied, and when they picked up the leftovers, [they filled] seven provision baskets. 9 Yet [there were] about four thousand who were fed!

Then after that, he sent the crowd away, 10 and he immediately got into the boat with his disciples and traveled into parts of DalmaNutha. 11 It was there that the Pharisees came up and started arguing with him, demanding that he should give them a sign from heaven (so as to test him). 12 But he breathed a deep sigh and asked them: 'Why is this generation always looking for signs? I tell you the truth; this generation won't be given a sign!' 13 And with that, he walked over and got back into the boat, and traveled on to the opposite shore.

14 Well, it so happened that [the Apostles] had forgotten to bring along any [bread] for the trip. So except for one loaf, they had nothing to eat in the boat. 15 And as the result, when [Jesus] started warning them saying, 'Keep your eyes open and watch out for the fermentation of the Pharisees and the fermentation of Herod,' 16 they started quarreling with each other over the fact that they didn't have any bread. 17 And when [Jesus] recognized this, he asked them: 'Why are you arguing about not having any bread… don't you understand yet and don't you get the meaning… are your hearts so dull when it comes to understanding? 18 You have eyes; Can't you see? You have ears; Can't you hear? Do you remember when 19 I broke five loaves [to feed] five thousand, and how many baskets full of leftovers were you able to pick up?'

And they replied, 'Yes, twelve.'

20 'And when I broke the seven loaves [to serve] four thousand men; [do you remember] how many provision baskets full of leftovers you picked up then?'

And they said, 'Seven.'

21 So he asked them: 'Don't you understand all of this yet?'

22 Well from there, they traveled on to BethSaida, where the people brought him a man who was blind, and they begged [Jesus] just to touch him. 23 So he took the blind man by the hand and led him outside of the village, then he spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him and asked, 'Do you see anything?'

24 And the man looked up and said, 'I see men… they look a little like trees, but they're walking around.'

25 So [Jesus] laid his hands on the man's eyes again, and after that, he started seeing through. And before long, [his eyesight] was completely restored and he was able to see everything clearly. 26 So [Jesus] sent him home with the warning: 'Don't return to that village.'

27 Then from there, Jesus and his disciples traveled on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. And as they were on the way, he asked his disciples: 'Who are the people saying that I am?'

28 And they replied: '[Some say you're] John the Baptist, others say you're EliJah, while others say you're one of the Prophets.'

29 Then he asked: 'But who do you say that I am?'

And Peter answered: 'You're the Anointed One.'

30 Then he ordered them not to talk about this to anyone. 31 And that's when he started teaching them that the Son of Man would have to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and then be killed… but after three days, he would arise. 32 Yes he told them plainly [what was about to happen], but then Peter took him aside and started scolding him. 33 However, [Jesus] turned and looked at his disciples, and he started scolding Peter, saying, 'Get behind me opposer, because you aren't thinking God's thoughts, but those of men!'

34 Well after that, he called the crowd and his disciples to him and told them: 'If any of you want to be my disciples, [you'll have to] deny your own desires, then pick up your impaling poles and keep on following me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever is willing to lose his own life for my sake and for the [sake of the] good news, will save it.

36 'What good does it do for a man if he gains the whole world but loses his life… 37 and what would a man give in exchange for his life? 38 Well, if anyone is ashamed of me and my words before this adulterous and sinful generation; the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he arrives in the glory of his Father with his holy messengers.'

Chapter 9

1 Then he went on to say this to them: 'I tell you the truth; some of you who are standing here won't taste death before you see the Kingdom of God coming in power.' 2 And six days later, Jesus took just Peter, James, and John along to a private spot on a high mountain, where he changed form in front of them. 3 For his clothes started to glow much whiter than anyone on earth who washes and bleaches clothes could whiten them… 4 and then EliJah and Moses appeared and started talking to Jesus.

5 Well in reaction, Peter said to Jesus: 'Rabbi, it's good for us to be here. So, let us erect three tents… one for you, one for Moses, and one for EliJah.' 6 However, he really didn't know what he was saying, because they were all so frightened.

7 Then right away, a cloud formed that covered them all, and a voice came from the cloud that said: 'This is My loved Son; Listen to him!' 8 And when they looked around, they suddenly saw just Jesus standing by himself.

9 Well, as they were coming back down the mountain, [Jesus] ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Son of Man was to be resurrected from the dead. 10 So they took these words to heart.

However, shortly thereafter, they started talking among themselves about what [Jesus meant] when he spoke of being resurrected from the dead. 11 Then later, they asked him: 'Why do the scribes say that EliJah must come first?' 12 And [Jesus] replied: 'EliJah does indeed come first and he restores everything. But, why do you suppose it was written about the Son of Man that he will be tried, suffer greatly, and be treated as a no-account? 13 I tell you this: EliJah has in fact already come and they did whatever they wanted to him, just as it was written about him.'

14 Then when they got back to the rest of the disciples, they found that a large crowd had gathered around them, and there were some scribes who were arguing with them. 15 But when the crowd saw [Jesus], they were stunned and everyone ran up to him and started greeting him.

16 So he asked [the disciples]: 'What have you been arguing about?'

17 And someone in the crowd replied: 'Teacher, I was bringing my son to you, because he has a spirit that won't allow him talk. 18 And whenever it takes control of him, it throws him on the ground, he foams [at the mouth] and grinds his teeth, and then he just goes limp. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they couldn't.'

19 And Jesus said: 'O you faithless generation; How much longer do I have to be with you, and how much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me!'

20 So they brought [the boy] to him, and at the sight [of Jesus], the spirit immediately threw [the child] into convulsions… he fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming [at the mouth].

21 Then [Jesus] asked the father: 'How long has this been happening to him?'

And he replied: 'Since he was a child 22 it has thrown him into the fire and into the water repeatedly to destroy him. So if you can do anything, [please] feel pity and help him!'

23 And Jesus replied: 'You said, If you can! Don't you know that everything is possible for those who have faith?'

24 Then the father of the young boy immediately shouted, 'I do have faith… but help me to have more faith!'

25 Well at the time, Jesus could see that more people were running toward [them]; so he scolded the unclean spirit and said, 'I order you to come out of him, you spirit of speechlessness and deafness, and don't go back into him anymore!'

26 Then, after shouting and going through several convulsions, [the spirit] came out. However, [the boy] looked like he was dead. So most of the crowd started shouting, 'He's dead!' 27 But then Jesus took him by the hand, lifted him up, and he was able to stand erect.

28 Well after that, [Jesus] went back into the house, and his disciples went in with him. But they asked him in private: 'Why couldn't we cast it out?'

29 And [Jesus] replied: 'This is the kind that will only come out through prayer.'

30 Well from there, they traveled on through GaliLee. And [Jesus] didn't want anyone to find out [where they were going], 31 because he wanted to spend time teaching his disciples and explaining to them that he (the Son of Man) was going to be betrayed into the hands of men who would kill him… but then after being dead for three days, he would stand again. 32 However, they still didn't grasp the meaning of what he was saying, and they were afraid to ask him any more questions.

33 Thereafter, they returned to CapharNaum (which is where [Jesus was staying]). And there he asked them: 'What were you arguing about along the road?' 34 However, none of them wanted to answer, because they'd been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 So he sat down and called the twelve over; then he said to them: 'If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last and the servant of all.'

36 Then he took a little boy and stood him in their midst, and he put his arms around him and said: 37 'Whoever welcomes someone like this little boy in my name also welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me is welcoming the One who sent me.'

38 [Then later], John said to him: 'Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he isn't one of your followers.'

39 But Jesus told him: 'Don't try to stop him, because those who do powerful deeds in my name won't be too quick to say bad things against me… 40 for those who aren't against us are for us. 41 I tell you the truth; anyone who gives you so much as a cup of water to drink because you're walking in the name of the Anointed One, will not lose his reward. 42 But as for anyone who becomes a snare to one of these little believers… it would be better if the type of millstone that's turned by a burro was hung around his neck and he was cast into the sea!

43 'Therefore, if your hand traps you, cut it off; for it's better enter life physically handicapped than to have both hands and go into the garbage dump… into the fire that can't be put out. 44 – – 45 And if your foot is a trap to you, cut it off; for it's better to enter life lame than to have both feet and end up in the garbage dump. 46 – – 47 Also, if your eye is a trap to you, pluck it out and throw it away; for it's better to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye than to have both eyes and be thrown into the garbage dump, 48 (see Isaiah 55:24) where the worms won't come to an end and the fire is never extinguished. 49 For you will all be salted with fire in the same way that a sacrifice is [offered with] salt. 50 And though salt is good; if it loses its salty flavor, how can it be used for seasoning? So, have salt in yourselves and stay at peace with each other.'

Chapter 10

1 Well from there, he traveled on to the border of Judea and he crossed the Jordan, where great crowds came [to see] him. So, as was his custom, he started teaching them.

2 However, the Pharisees also came there, and to test him, they asked him whether it was legal for a man to divorce his woman. 3 So [Jesus] asked them: 'What Commandment did Moses give you?'

4 And they replied: 'Moses allowed [us to] write out a certificate of dismissal and let her go.'

5 Then Jesus said: 'He wrote this commandment for you because you're so hardhearted. 6 However, back in the earliest [days] of their creation, [God] made them male and female [and said]: 7 This is why a man will leave his father and mother, 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore, what God has put together under the same yoke shouldn't be separated by any man.'

10 Well, when they got back home again, the disciples asked him about this. 11 And he told them: 'Whoever divorces his woman and marries another is committing adultery against her. 12 And if a woman leaves her man and marries another, she is committing adultery.'

13 Then people started bringing their young children to [Jesus] so that he could just touch them… however, the disciples scolded them. 14 And when Jesus saw this, he was irritated and said to them: 'Let the young children come to me… don't try to stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to people like this. 15 I tell you the truth; Anyone who doesn't welcome the Kingdom of God like a young child won't ever get into it.' 16 Then he took the children in his arms and started blessing them, laying his hands on them.

17 Well, as Jesus was leaving, someone ran up and fell to his knees before him and asked: 'Good Teacher; what must I do to inherit age-long life?'

18 But Jesus replied: 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except the one God. 19 You know the Commandments: Don't murder; don't commit adultery; don't steal; don't give false testimony; don't defraud; honor your father and mother.'

20 But the man said: 'Teacher, I've kept all those things since my youth.'

21 Well, because Jesus saw what the man was on the inside, he felt love for him and said: 'Then there's just one thing that is missing; Go and sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in the heavens… then come be my follower.'

22 But [the young man] grew very sad at what [Jesus] said and went off grieving, because he owned too many things.

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples: 'What a difficult thing it is for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of God!' 24 And because the disciples were surprised at those words, he added: 'Children, it will be difficult to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it would be easier [to thread a rope] through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of God.'

26 Well at this, they were even more shocked and they asked: 'Then, who can actually be saved?'

27 And looking straight at them, Jesus said: 'With men, this is impossible… but that isn't true of God, for all things are possible with [Him].'

28 Then Peter said to him: 'Look! We've left everything to follow you!'

29 And Jesus told him: 'I tell you the truth; There's no one who has left a house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news 30 who won't get a hundred times more now, --- and age-long life in the era that is coming. 31 However, many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.'

32 Well, as they were traveling up to JeruSalem, Jesus started walking out in front of them, which amazed everyone (and it worried his followers). So he took the twelve aside and told them everything that was about to happen to him, saying: 33 '{Look!} We are walking up to JeruSalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, who will then condemn him to death and turn him over to the gentiles. 34 They in turn will make fun of him, spit on him, whip him, and finally kill him… but after three days, he will stand again.'

35 Then [sometime later], James and John (the two sons of ZebediOu) came up to him and said, 'Teacher, we want to ask you to do something for us.'

36 And he asked: 'What do you want?'

37 So they said: 'Allow us to sit, one at your right hand and the other on your left, in your glory.'

38 But Jesus replied: 'You don't know what you're asking. Can you drink from the cup that I'll be drinking and can you be immersed in the same type of baptism with which I'll be baptized?'

39 And they replied: 'We can.'

Then Jesus told them: 'You will indeed drink from the cup that I'll be drinking and be immersed in the baptism with which I'm being baptized. 40 However, sitting at my right or left isn't mine to give. That belongs to those for whom it has been prepared.'

41 Well when the ten others heard what they had asked, they were very irritated with James and John. 42 But Jesus called [them all] to him and said: 'You know that those who appear to be ruling the nations act like masters over [their subjects]… and [you know] how the greatest among them like to use their power. 43 This isn't the way it should be among you. For whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be everyone's slave. 45 [Remember that] the Son of Man didn't come here to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.'

46 Well before long, they arrived at JeriCho. And as [Jesus] was leaving JeriCho (along with his disciples and quite a crowd), there was a man called BarTimaeus (a blind beggar) who was sitting alongside the road. 47 And when he heard that Jesus the Nazarene [was passing], he started shouting, 'Jesus… son of David… have mercy on me!' 48 And when many [in the crowd] told him to be quiet, he started shouting even louder: 'Son of David… have mercy on me!'

49 So Jesus stopped and said: 'Call him over.'

Then they called the blind man and told him: 'Cheer up and come here, because he's calling for you!'

50 Well at that, the man threw off his robe, jumped to his feet, and went over to Jesus.

51 Then Jesus asked: 'What do you want me to do for you?'

And the blind man replied: 'My Teacher; Let me see again!'

52 Then Jesus said to him: 'Go, for your faith has made you well.' And immediately, he was able to see! And thereafter, he too started following Jesus.

Chapter 11

1 Now, as they were getting close to JeruSalem (they were near BethPhage and BethAny on the Mount of Olives), he sent two of his disciples ahead 2 and told them: 'Go into the village across from us; and as soon as you enter, you'll find a colt that is tied, which no man has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 And if anyone asks why you're doing this, just tell him that the Lord needs it, and he will immediately let you take it.'

4 So they went and found the colt tied outside a door on a side street, and they untied it. 5 Then when some of those who were standing there asked why they were untying the colt, 6 [the disciples] told them what Jesus had said, and they let them take it.

7 So they brought the colt to Jesus, then they put a robe over it and he mounted it. 8 And thereafter, many [of his disciples] started spreading their robes out over the road, while others were laying down palm fronds that they'd cut from trees in the fields. 9 Then those who walked in front of him and behind him started shouting, 'May [God] save him! Praise the one who comes in the Name of Jehovah! 10 Praise the Kingdom of our Father David that is coming! Save him, we pray, from the heights!'

11 Well from there, [Jesus] rode into JeruSalem. [And when he got there], he went into the Temple and looked around. But because it was late, he just [went back] to BethAny with the twelve.

12 Then the next morning (as he was leaving BethAny), because he was noticed leaves on a fig tree 13 and he was hungry, he went over to see if he could find some [fruit]. But when he got there, he found nothing other than just the leaves, because it was [a little early in the year] for figs. 14 So [Jesus] said to [the tree]: 'May no one eat fruit from you for the rest of the age' (and his disciples heard [him say] this).

15 Well from there, they traveled on into JeruSalem. Then [Jesus] entered the Temple and started throwing out those who were buying and selling. He also pushed over the moneychanger's tables and the seats of those who sold doves… 16 and he wouldn't allow anyone to carry things through the Temple. 17 He kept teaching them and saying, 'Though it is written, My house will be called a House of Prayer for all nations; you've turned it into a den of thieves!' 18 And when the chief priests and scribes heard about this, they started looking for ways to destroy him. However, they were afraid of him, because his teaching always amazed the crowds.

19 Then (when it got late) they left the city. 20 And as they were returning early the [next] morning, [the disciples] noticed that the fig tree had become all withered up from its roots. 21 So, because he remembered what Jesus had said, Peter said to him: 'Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered!'

22 And Jesus told him: 'You must have faith in God. 23 For I tell you the truth; If you would say to this mountain, Rise and be thrown into the sea… if you don't have any doubts in your heart but have faith; whatever you say will happen, will happen. 24 This is why I've told you that if you believe that you will receive anything you ask for in prayer, you will receive it. 25 But as you're standing there praying, you must [also remember to] forgive anything that others may have done to you, so that your Father in the heavens will forgive your mistakes.' 26 – –

27 Well, after they got back to JeruSalem and as Jesus was walking around in the Temple, the chief priests, scribes, and elders all came up to him 28 and asked: 'Who told you that you could do these things… who gave you the authority?'

29 And Jesus replied: 'I'm going to ask you a question, and if you answer me, I'll tell you where I got the authority to do these things. 30 Did the John's baptism come from heaven or from men? Tell me!'

31 So they started reasoning among themselves and saying, 'If we say it was from heaven, he'll ask: Then why didn't you believe him? 32 But if we say it was from men… ' So they didn't answer because they were afraid of the crowds, for [the people] believed that John was a Prophet. 33 Therefore they told Jesus: 'We don't know.'

And Jesus told them: 'Then I'm not going to tell you where I got the authority to do these things.'

Chapter 12

1 Well after that, Jesus started teaching them using this parable:

'There was once a man who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a vat for a wine press, built a lookout tower [to protect it], and then he rented it out to some tenant farmers before he traveled abroad. 2 And when the [harvest] season arrived, he sent a slave to the farmers to get some of the vineyard's fruit. 3 But they grabbed [the slave], beat him up, and sent him away with nothing. 4 So he sent another slave to them. This one they hit on the head and treated dishonorably. 5 Then he sent another, whom they killed… and [he sent] many others, some of whom they flayed with whips and others whom they murdered.

6 'Well, [the master] had one last [person whom he could send], a dearly loved son. So he sent his son to them, saying, Surely they'll respect him!

7 'But those farmers said to each other: This is the heir! Let's kill him, and then his [land] will be ours! 8 So they grabbed him and killed him, then they threw [his body] outside of the vineyard. 9 Now, what do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? Won't he come and destroy those tenant farmers and entrust the vineyard to others?

10 'Have you ever read the scripture that says:
The stone that the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone…
11 It's by Jehovah that this came to pass,
And it's a wonderful thing in our eyes.
'

12 Well [when he said] this, they started to realize that he was applying the parable to them. So after that, they started looking for ways to arrest him. However, because they were afraid of the crowd, they released him at that time and left.

13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and some of the followers of Herod to him to try to get [Jesus] to say something [they could use against him]. 14 So these people came to him and said: 'Teacher; we know that you tell the truth and that you aren't impressed by anyone, for you don't look at what men are on the outside, but you truly teach the ways of God. So tell us: Does the Law require us to pay the head tax to Caesar or not… 15 should we pay, or shouldn't we pay?'

But noting their hypocrisy, he said: 'Why are you testing me? Bring me a silver coin.'

16 So they brought him [a coin], and he asked, 'Whose image and inscription is on this?'

And they replied, 'Caesar's.'

17 Then Jesus said: 'Pay Caesar's things to Caesar, but God's things to God'… and that left them bewildered.

18 Now, the SadDucees (who say there's no such thing as a resurrection) came to [Jesus] and asked: 19 'Teacher; Moses wrote that a brother of a man who dies and leaves his woman without a child should take his woman and sire offspring for him. 20 So, let's say that there were seven brothers. The first one took a woman, but he died without offspring. 21 Then the second took her, but he also died without offspring, as did the third, and so on… 22 so none of the seven left her with any offspring. And finally, she also died. 23 Whose woman will she be in the resurrection, since all seven of them had her as theirs?'

24 Then Jesus replied: 'This is why you're so misled, for you don't understand the Scriptures or the power of God! 25 When the dead are resurrected, they won't marry or be married, because they will be like [God's] messengers in the heavens.

26 'When it comes to the dead that will be raised; haven't you read in the book about Moses (in the story about the thorn bush) that God said to him, I am the God of AbraHam, the God of IsaAc, and the God of Jacob? 27 Notice that He isn't the God of the dead, but of the living! Yes, you are very misled!'

28 Well, one of the scribes who had just arrived and overheard the things that were being said knew that [Jesus] had given a good answer. So he asked: 'Then, which is the primary Commandment?'

29 And Jesus answered: 'The primary one is this: Hear, O IsraEl; Jehovah your God is your only Lord. 30 So you must love your God Jehovah with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. 31 The second one is this: You must love your neighbor as yourself. No Commandments are greater than these.'

32 Then the scribe said: 'That's good… you're speaking the truth, teacher, when you say that He is One and there is no other, 33 and that loving Him with our whole heart, understanding, and strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves is worth much more than all of our whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.'

34 And when Jesus recognized that [the scribe] had responded intelligently, he said to him: 'You aren't far from the Kingdom of God.'

Well from then on, no one else had enough courage to ask him any more questions.

35 So in reply to a question that had been raised while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, Jesus went on to ask [the scribes] this: 'Why do you say that the Anointed One is to be a son of David? 36 For through the Holy Breath [of God], David said,
Jehovah said to my Lord;
Sit here at my right hand
'Til I put your enemies under your feet.

37 So if David called him Lord; how could he be his son?'

[Well, all the while], the huge crowd was listening to him with a lot of pleasure. 38 So as he was teaching, he gave them this warning: 'Watch out for the scribes who like to walk around in robes, who wish to be greeted in the markets, 39 and who want the front seats in the synagogues and the first positions at the meals. 40 For despite the fact that they devour the homes of widows, they like to put on great pretenses and deliver very long prayers. This is why they're going to receive a heavier judgment.'

41 Then, as he was sitting across from the [Temple] Treasury, he noticed the crowd dropping money into the box, and he could see that the rich people were dropping in many coins. 42 But he also noticed a poor widow who went up and dropped in just two small copper coins (they weren't worth very much). 43 And at that, [Jesus] called his disciples over and said: 'I tell you the truth; this poor widow put in more than all the rest who were dropping their money into the Treasury chest, 44 because they're throwing in something of which they have plenty. But this needy woman dropped in everything that she had… her whole [means of] living!'

Chapter 13

1 Then, as he was leaving the Temple, one of his disciples said: 'Teacher; just look at these stones and these buildings!'

2 And Jesus said to him: 'Do you see these great buildings? There won't be a stone left on top of a stone here that won't be thrown down.'

3 Then, as he was sitting in a quiet spot on the Mount of Olives across from the Temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him and asked: 4 'When will these things happen… what will be the sign that all these things are about to end?'

5 So Jesus said to them: 'Be careful so that no one misleads you, 6 for many will come in my name, saying, I'm [the one], and they'll mislead many. 7 And when you hear of wars and reports of wars, don't worry, because [these things] must happen… but that isn't the end. 8 For though there will be wars between nations and nations and between kingdoms and kingdoms, and there will be famines and rumblings in one place after another; these things will be just the beginnings of the birth pangs.

9 'At that time, watch out for yourselves, because you'll be led before religious courts, you'll be whipped in the synagogues, and you'll have to stand before governors and kings for my sake, as a witness to them. 10 But first, the good news must be preached to all the gentiles. 11 However, when this happens and they're leading you off to face your accusers; don't worry about what you should say… just say whatever is given to you in that hour, since [God's] Holy Breath will be doing the speaking, not you.

12 'Then brothers will hand over their brothers for death, fathers [will hand over] their children, and children will oppose their parents and have them put to death! 13 For everyone will hate you because of my name. However, those who endure to the end will be saved.

14 'Now when you see the disgusting destroyer standing where it shouldn't (the readers should pay attention to this), then those in Judea should flee to the mountains. 15 The man who is standing on his roof shouldn't go down to take anything out of his house, 16 and the person who is out in a field shouldn't go back home to pick up his clothes.

17 'Also, woe to those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days… 18 keep praying that this doesn't happen during the winter! 19 For a difficult time will arrive in those days that won't be like anything that has happened since the earliest creation by God until now, or should ever happen again. 20 And if Jehovah hadn't shortened those days, it's likely that no flesh would be saved. But for the sake of the elected ones whom He's chosen, He will shorten those days.

21 'Then if anyone says to you, Look; here's the Anointed One! or, Look; there he is! Don't believe it! 22 For false anointed and false prophets will arise bringing signs and omens that could possibly mislead even the elected! 23 Now, you must be careful, because I've warned you!

24 'Then in the days that follow this difficult time,
The sun will grow dark and the moon will not shine;
25 The stars will fall from the skies,
And the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26 For they'll see the Son of Man coming
In the clouds, with great power and glory.
27 Then he'll send his messengers off
To gather his elected from the four winds…
From the ends of the lands to the ends of the skies!

28 'Now, learn from the parable of the fig tree:
When its branches grow tender
And it starts putting out leaves,
You know that summer is near.
29 So, when you see these things start to happen,
Know that he's near… at the doors.

30 I tell you the truth; This generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Though the lands and the skies should pass away, my words will not pass away.

32 Yet, no one knows the day or the hour, not the messengers in heaven or the Son… just the Father. 33 So stay awake and keep watching, because you don't know what time he will arrive!

34 'It's like a man who before leaving his house and traveling abroad instructed each of his slaves to just go on doing their jobs. However, he commanded his doorkeeper to stay awake! 35 This is why you must stay awake… because you don't know when the Master of the house will be returning… whether it's in the evening, at midnight, at rooster crowing, or early in the morning. 36 So when he suddenly arrives, make sure that he doesn't find you sleeping. 37 And what I'm saying to you, I'm saying to everyone: Stay awake!'

Chapter 14

1 Now, it was just two days before Passover and the festival of No fermentation, and the chief priests and the scribes were trying to come up with devious ways to grab [Jesus] and kill him. 2 But they said, 'Not at the festival… not at any time when it will create a commotion!'

3 Well, as [Jesus] was reclining at a meal in the house of Simon the leper (in BethAny), a woman came in carrying a very expensive alabaster jar of perfumed oil (genuine nard). And after breaking open the alabaster, she poured it over his head. 4 But at that, some [of his Apostles] started grumbling among themselves and asking each other, 'Why [is she] wasting this perfume? 5 We could have sold the ointment for as much as three-hundred silver coins and given it to the poor!' So they were very displeased with her.

6 But Jesus said: 'Leave her alone… why are you making trouble for her? She just did a good thing for me! 7 You'll always have the poor with you, and you can do good things for them whenever you wish, but you won't always have me. 8 She did what she could by pouring perfumed ointment on my body ahead of time for my burial. 9 And I tell you the truth: Wherever the Good News is preached anywhere in the world, what this woman did will be told in memory of her.'

10 [However after that], Judas Iscariot (one of the twelve) went to see the chief priests in order to betray him. 11 And when they heard [his offer], they were delighted and they promised to pay him in silver. So he started looking for an opportunity to betray [Jesus].

12 Then, toward the first day of No Fermentation (when the Passover sacrifices are offered), [Jesus'] disciples asked him: 'Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?'

13 So he sent two of his disciples off, telling them: 'Go into the city, and there you will meet a man who is carrying an amphora of water… follow him, 14 and wherever he goes inside, tell the master of the house that the Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?' 15 He will then show you a large upper room that's already furnished… make the preparations there.'

16 Well at that, the disciples left and went into the city, where they found everything just as he said; so they prepared for the Passover. 17 Then that evening, [Jesus] went there with the twelve, 18 and as they were reclining and eating at the table, Jesus said: 'I tell you the truth; One of you who is eating with me will betray me!'

19 Of course, they were all deeply saddened by this, and they each asked whether they were the one. 20 But he told them: 'It's one of the twelve who is dipping into the common bowl with me. 21 It's a fact that the Son of Man is going to be taken away, just as it was written about him… but woe to the one who betrays the Son of Man, for it would be better had he never been born!'

22 Well, as they were eating, [Jesus] took a loaf and offered a blessing over it. Then he broke it and gave it to [his Apostles] saying, 'Take it, for this is my body.'

23 Then he took a cup, and after offering thanks for it, he handed it to them and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them: 'This is my blood of the Sacred Agreement that is being poured out [on behalf of] many. 25 I tell you the truth; I definitely won't drink from the fruit of the vine again until the Day that I drink it new in the Kingdom of The God.'

26 And finally, after singing songs of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 It was there that Jesus said to them, 'All of you will be stumbled over me tonight, because it is written:
I will strike down the shepherd,
And all the sheep will be scattered.

28 But after I wake up, I'll go ahead of you into GaliLee.'

29 But Peter said to him: 'Even if all the others are stumbled, I won't be!'

30 And Jesus said: 'I tell you the truth; Today… tonight… before a rooster crows twice, you will deny knowing me three times.'

31 Yet [Peter] insisted, saying, 'Even if I have to die with you, I definitely won't deny you.' And all the others were saying the same thing.

32 Then later, when they got to a place called GethSemane, he said to his disciples: 'Sit down here while I [go over there] to pray.'

33 So he took Peter, James, and John along with him, and he became deeply upset and bothered. 34 For he said to them: 'My soul is grieved to the point of death, so wait here and stay awake!' 35 Then he went a little way forward and fell to the ground, praying that if it was possible, he could be freed from that hour. 36 And he said: 'Papa! Father! Everything is possible for You, so remove this cup from me! Yet, not as I wish, but as You wish.'

37 Well when he returned, he found them all sleeping. And he said to Peter: 'Simon, are you sleeping? Didn't you have enough strength to stay awake for just one hour? 38 Now, stay awake and keep praying that you won't be put to the test! But indeed; although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.' 39 Then he went off and prayed once more, saying the same things.

40 However when he came back, he found them all sleeping again, because their eyes were heavy… and they just didn't know what to say to him. 41 [And finally], he returned a third time and told them: 'Here you are resting and sleeping. That's enough! The time has arrived! Look! The Son of Man has now been betrayed into the hands of sinners! 42 Get up, let's go! Look! My betrayer is nearby!'

43 Well immediately (while he was still talking), Judas (one of the twelve) arrived with a mob, which included the chief priests, scribes, and elders, all of whom were carrying swords and clubs.

44 Then the betrayer gave the sign that they had agreed on when he said, 'The one that I kiss is him… grab him and arrest him!' 45 So he went up [to Jesus] straight away and said, 'Rabbi!,' and then he kissed him tenderly.

46 Well at that, they grabbed [Jesus] and arrested him. 47 However, one of those who was standing nearby drew his sword and struck the chief priest's slave, cutting off his ear.

48 Then Jesus said to [the mob]: 'Did you come here with swords and clubs to arrest me like some robber? 49 Why, I was with you in the Temple where I taught for days, but you didn't grab me then. However, this has happened so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.'

50 Then [the Apostles] all abandoned [Jesus]and ran away. 51 But a certain young man (who had slipped a linen nightgown over his naked body) started following close behind… and then [the mob] tried to grab him too, 52 so he ran away naked, leaving his covering behind.

53 From there they led Jesus to the [house of the] High Priest, where all the chief priests, elders, and scribes had assembled. 54 Then Peter (who had been following him at some distance) went into the courtyard of the High Priest and sat there among the building supervisors, warming himself in front of the fire.

55 Meanwhile, the chief priests and those of the Jewish religious court were trying to find witnesses against Jesus so that they could hand him over for execution. However, they couldn't find any. 56 Many did come forward to give false testimony against him, but their stories just didn't agree. 57 Then some stood up and perjured themselves with the words, 58 'We heard him say that he will tear down this Most Holy Place that was made with hands and build another that isn't made with hands in just three days.' 59 Yet, even these witnesses couldn't agree.

60 So finally, the High Priest stood up in their midst and questioned Jesus, asking, 'Don't you have an answer… what is it that they're accusing you of?'

61 But [Jesus] remained silent and didn't reply to anything he asked.

Then the High Priest questioned him again, asking, 'Are you the Anointed One, the Son of the Praised One?'

62 And Jesus replied: 'I am… and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of the skies!'

63 Well at that, the High Priest ripped his clothes and said, 'Why do we need any more witnesses? 64 You've heard the blasphemy! So, what's your opinion?'

Then they all [voted to] condemn him and hold him for execution. 65 Some also started spitting on him, as they covered his face and hit him with their fists, shouting, 'Prophesy!' [And finally], the building supervisors (after slapping him in the face) took him into custody.

66 Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below, and one of the High Priest's servant girls 67 had noticed him [standing there and] warming himself. She looked at him very hard, and then she said, 'You were also with the Nazarene… this Jesus!' 68 But he denied it, saying, 'I don't know him and I don't know what you're talking about!'

Then when he went outside to the courtyard entrance, 69 the servant girl saw him again and said to those who were around her: 'He's one of them!' 70 But once more, he denied it. However, some who were standing around him said to Peter: 'Sure you're one of them, because you're also a Galilean!' 71 But Peter started cursing and swore, 'I don't know this man that you're talking about!' 72 Well right away, a rooster crowed a second time, and that's when Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him: 'Before a rooster crows twice you will have disowned me three times.' And at that, he broke down and cried.

Chapter 15

1 Well at dawn, the chief priests sat down with the elders and scribes to consult with the complete Jewish religious court; and thereafter, they bound Jesus and handed him over to Pilate.

2 So Pilate asked him: 'Are you the King of the Jews?'

And he replied: 'You said it yourself!'

3 Then the chief priests started accusing him of many other things. 4 So Pilate questioned him again and asked, 'Don't you have any reply? Look at all the charges they're bringing against you!'

5 But Jesus wouldn't say anything more, which amazed Pilate.

6 Well, it was [Pilate's] custom to release any prisoner that they asked for at the festivals. 7 And at the time, there was one man in jail called BarAbbas, who was with a group of rebels that had committed murder during a rebellion. 8 So when the crowd came [to Pilate] to petition him to release a prisoner (as it was their custom), 9 Pilate asked, 'Do you want me to release the King of the Jews to you?' 10 (because he knew that the chief priests had only handed him over because they were jealous of him). 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd and had them demand the release of BarAbbas instead.

12 So Pilate asked: 'Then, what shall I do with this one whom you call, the King of the Jews?'

13 And once again, they shouted: 'Impale him!'

14 But Pilate asked: 'Why? What bad thing did he do?'

However, they just kept shouting louder and louder, 'Impale him!'

15 So to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released BarAbbas to them. Then after having Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be impaled.

16 Well from there, the soldiers took him out into the courtyard of the Governor's Palace and assembled all the troops. 17 There they covered him with purple [cloth] and braided a crown of thorns, which they slipped over [his head], 18 and they started greeting him, saying, 'Rejoice, O you King of the Jews,' 19 as they were hitting him on the head with a measuring rod and spitting on him. Then they got down on their knees and bowed to their faces before him.

20 Finally (after they'd had their fun), they stripped him of the purple [cloth], put his clothes back on, and took him out to be hung on the pole. 21 So they drafted a man named Simon (a Cyrenian who was coming in from the fields… the father of Alexander and Rufus) to carry the pole. 22 And from there, they took him to GolGotha (which translates as, Skull Place). 23 Then then they tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh; but he wouldn't take it. 24 So finally, they hung him on the pole and threw dice to see who would get his clothes.

25 It was during the third hour that they hung him on the pole, 26 and they put a sign over him that showed the charge against him: 'The King of the Jews.'

27 There were also two robbers who were hung on poles along with him, one on his right and the other on his left. 28 – –

29 Then those who were passing by started saying terrible things to him, shaking their heads and shouting, 'Bah! O you who would tear down the Temple and rebuild it in three days… 30 save yourself! Come down from the pole!'

31 And that's also the way that the chief priests and scribes were joking about him, saying, 'He saved others, but now he can't save himself! 32 Let the Anointed One who is the King of IsraEl come down from his pole so we can witness it and believe in him!' And even those who were hanging with him mocked him.

33 Thereafter, [a great] darkness came over the whole land from the sixth to the ninth hours. 34 And at the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' (which translates as, 'My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?'). 35 And when some of those standing there heard it, they said, 'Look; He's calling for EliJah!'

36 So someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine and held it up on a reed to give him something to drink. But the rest said, 'Leave him alone… let's see if EliJah comes to take him down.' 37 But then Jesus let out a loud groan and died.

38 Well at that, the curtain [that separated] the Most Holy ripped in two from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion who was standing across from him saw all the things that happened when he died, he said, 'This man truly was God's Son!'

40 Meanwhile, there were some women who had been watching from a distance. Among them was Mary of Magdala, Mary (the mother of Little James and Joses), Salome, 41 and many others who had traveled with Jesus to JeruSalem and who used to serve him back in GaliLee.

42 Well, since it was already late in the afternoon, and because it was Preparation (the day before the Sabbath), 43 JoSeph of HariMathea (a well-known member of the Council who was also awaiting God's Kingdom) got up enough courage to go before Pilate and ask for the body of Jesus. 44 However, Pilate didn't know if he was dead yet; so he called the centurion to ask if he had died. 45 Then, after checking with the centurion, he released the body to JoSeph.

46 So JoSeph then went out and bought some fine linen. And after taking Jesus down, he wrapped him in the cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been cut into the bedrock… and thereafter he rolled a stone up to [cover] the tomb's entrance. 47 But Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses [just sat there], looking at the place where he had been laid.

Chapter 16

1 Then, after the Sabbath, Mary of Magdala, Mary (the mother of James), and Salome brought spiced ointments with which to grease his body 2 (they went to the tomb early the next morning after sunrise). 3 And one asked the other, 'Where can we find someone to roll the stone away from the tomb entrance for us?' 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the extremely large stone had already been rolled away. 5 So when they entered the tomb, they saw a young man who was sitting on the right wearing a white robe, and they were shocked! 6 But he said to them: 'Don't be surprised; you're looking for Jesus the Nazarene who was impaled… but he isn't here, he arose! Look, here's the place where they laid him! 7 Now, go tell his disciples and Peter that he's going ahead of them into GaliLee… they'll see him there, just like he said.'

8 Well when they came out, they ran from the tomb, because they were shaking with excitement. But then they didn't say anything to anyone, because they were too afraid.

NOTE: Neither of the conclusions to Mark have been included, because

their authenticity is questionable.

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