May 30, 2005

Sea and Land Again (Mark 4:1)

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

Back in March, I Interacted with something from R. T. France’s commentary on Mark. While discussing Jesus’ parable of the soils (Mark 4:1-20), he includes a footnote interacting with Mary Ann Tolbert’s observation that Jesus tells the parable while He is on the sea and the crowds are on the land. Jesus is not Himself on the soil. The audience is, and Jesus compares them to soil. They are on the soil and they are soil.

France doesn’t buy it, but it is attractive, given that the same word is used throughout to refer both to where the crowd is standing and to where the seed lands in the parable. In my earlier comments, I said I liked his suggestion.

On the other hand, we should also remember that Jesus’ audience is not limited to the people on the land. They aren’t the only ones who are soil. So are the disciples and other followers of Jesus who are with Him in boats on the water. So maybe Tolbert’s suggestion does break down. Still, it’s worth thinking about.

Posted by John Barach @ 11:55 am | Discuss (0)

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