I am currently working on a lot of writing projects including two feature articles for the seminary magazine, but I wanted to stop and share what I am working on right now for my Greek exegesis class. One of my classes this semester is a Greek exegesis course that focuses on the Gospel of Mark.
Our first major assignment asks us to consider Mark 10: 46-52. I think that what I am writing right now illustrates the importance of understanding Greek for ministry and using it to enrich our sermons and our teaching to congregations.
Here I consider how words are translated and the deep meaning behind these words by looking at a word that can be translated as path, journey, road, or way.
The rendering of ὁδόν in verse 46 as roadside in the NRSV, probably to set the visual scene for the reader, removes a lot of the spiritual power behind this word. A quotidian term like roadside is easily ignored and skipped over as one reads to get to the miracle. Furthermore, ὁδόν in verse 46 must be connected to ὁδῷ in verse 52. Prior to meeting Jesus, this man is outside or beside “the way”, meaning Bartimaeus is not yet part of the spiritual and physical journey that Jesus is taking his followers on. Furthermore, as a blind man he is on the margins of society, sitting by the road he is literally pushed to a physically marginal space. Jesus’s acknowledgement of his cries and healing of his blindness moves this man in a literal sense back onto the road, back into an awareness that he, Bartimaeus, is part of God’s journey and path in life.
Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:52