Mark 8:22-10:52

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Home > The New Testament > Mark > Chapters 8b-10
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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • 8:30: In verse 30 (and elsewhere in the New Testament), the Greek word for "Christ" (christos) means "messiah" or "anointed one."
  • 8:34: Deny. The Greek word translated as "deny" (aparneomai) in verse 34 may be stronger than the translation suggests. It is the same word used in places such as Mark 14:30ff, where Peter acts as if he doesn't even know about Jesus.
  • 8:36: The word translated as "man" in verse 36 is anthropos, which includes females.


  • The Greek word translated as "transfigured" is metamorphoo (a cousin of the English word "metamorphosis"), which means to change to another form. The word is rare in the New Testament.
  • The phrase "so as no fuller on earth can white them" is given in modern translations as "whiter than any bleach on earth could make them" or something similar.
  • Verse 4 appears in the Joseph Translation thusly: "And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses, or in other words, John the Baptist and Moses; and they were talking with Jesus."
  • Elias is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Elijah.
  • Elias is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Elijah. But that does not answer the usage in D&C 110.
  • Verse 13 is given in the Joseph Smith Translation thusly: "Again I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, but they have done unto him whatsoever they listed; and even as it is written of him; and he bore record of me, and they received him not. Verily this was Elias."
  • 9:19: Jesus in verse 19 is growing increasingly frustrated. He has performed miracle after miracle, and yet people still don't believe.
  • 9:23: The theme that healing can come for those who believe has been dominant throughout much of the gospel of Mark to this point. In verse 23, Jesus makes the principle explicit: "all things" are possible for those who believe.
  • Verse 9:28 suggests that the disciples, not just Jesus, have been healing people. Their inability to heal the boy in this case apparently wasn't a matter of lack of faith, but a lack of prayer.
  • 9:29: Not all Greek manuscripts include the phrase for "and fasting" in verse 29.
  • 9:34: The disciples' silence in verse 34 suggests that they knew Jesus wouldn't approve of them arguing over who would be the greatest.
  • 9:40: Verse 40 (which says, in essence, that those not against Jesus are on his side) and Matthew 12:30 (which says that those who are not for Jesus are against him) seem like they may be contradictory. But an examination of the context of these two verses indicates that they may be complementary.
One reason we may tend to see the verses as contradictory is because when we say someone is "not for" or "not against" us, we tend to think of people who are more or less neutral. But Jesus in neither case appears to be talking about people who are neutral. In Matthew, the verse comes just before verses where Jesus is talking about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and just after verses where people were attributing Jesus' miracles to Beelzebub. These people weren't just "not for" Jesus; they were antagonistic to his ministry.
In the story in Mark, however, the people being discussed aren't opposing Jesus. They're healing people in his name, apparently without being given authority to do so. There is no indication in Mark that they are doing this in order to harm Jesus' ministry. In fact, it is possible that they were sincere and may have even believed they were doing the work that Jesus wanted them to do. At the very least, according to Jesus' words, they were people that were doing good things and would soon be unable to speak against Jesus. Again, these people in being "not against" Jesus weren't neutral; at the very least, they were leaning toward Jesus and thus could be counted on his side.
For modern Latter-day saints, this passage can serve as a lesson that we shouldn't reject out of hand other Christians who do good things, even heal people, even though they haven't been given direct authority. It is clear from this passage that there are people outside of the church who nevertheless help the mission of Christ and will receive their reward for doing so.
  • 9:43, 45, 47: The Greek word for "hell" in verses 43, 45 and 47 is gehenna. The word originally referred to a valley where garbage was burned.
  • 9:48: Not all the Greek manuscripts include verse 48.
  • 10:2: The Greek verb translated as "tempting" (peirazo) in verse 2 refers not to tempting someone to do evil, but to testing someone, in this case to see if he will give the right answer.
  • 10:25: Over the centuries, some people have attempted to soften the words of Jesus in verse 25. Some have said that the reference is to the Needle's Eye, an especially tight passageway in Jerusalem; however, there is no evidence that such a passageway existed at the time of Jesus. Furthermore, the disciples' response to Jesus indicates that they understood Jesus to mean exactly what he was saying, and Jesus himself said in verse 27 that for people getting saved is indeed impossible. The point here is that salvation is possible only through God.
  • 10:27: The Greek word translated as "men" in verse 27 is anthropos, which includes women.
  • 10:27: Verse 27 in rendered in the Joseph Smith Translation thusly: "And Jesus, looking upon them, said, With men that trust in riches, it is impossible; but not impossible with men who trust in God and leave all for my sake, for with such all these things are possible."
  • 10:44 The Greek word doulos, translated as "servant" in verse 44, is given in some modern translations as "slave," "bondman" or "bondservant." It suggests someone who is totally subject to the wishes of another.
  • 10:45: The Greek word lutron, translated in verse 45 as "ransom," appears in the New Testament only here and in a parallel passage in Matthew 20:28. It refers to the price paid to redeem a slave or someone held captive.
  • 10:52: As in previous healings in the gospel of Mark, Jesus connects the healing of the blind man directly with the faith he has shown (verse 52).

Unanswered questions

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Prompts for further study

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  • 8:22-26: Why does it take two steps to completely restore the man's sight?
  • 8:32: Why does Peter rebuke Jesus?
  • 8:33: Why does Jesus use such strong language to rebuke Peter?
  • 9:2-13: Why Moses and Elijah?
  • 9:2-13: If Elias here is understood to refer to John the Baptists per the Joseph Smith Translation and this is not an improper use of the term "Elias", then what strong reasons do we have to presume that other accounts of this event are using the word Elias to refer to Elijah? What strong reasons do we have to presume that Elijah was even here?
  • 9:13: When Jesus says (verse 13) that Elias already has come, what is he referring to? The Transfiguration? John the Baptist?
  • 9:13: What connection does this selection have to do, if anything, with D&C 110, where Elijah and Elias are presented as separate people?
  • 10:9: Whom has God "joined together"?
  • 10:9: According to this passage, when is divorce wrong?
  • 10:13-16: What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God "as a little child"?
  • 10:17: The rich man asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. In his answer, Jesus told him what he could do to have treasure in heaven (verse 21). Are these the same thing?
  • 10:21: When Christ says take up the cross, what does that phrase mean to this young man when the Savior had not yet been crucified?


This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Verse 9:28

  • See this post at the FPR blog for some discussion of this verse (why Jesus says prayer and fasting is required, but doesn't pray or fast himself).

Verse 9:42

  • The Juniper Tree recorded by the Brothers Grimm (use of millstone paralleling this text)

Verses 10:34-35

  • Secret Gospel of Mark insertion. See this article for an insertion between these verses from the so-called "Secret Gospel of Mark."


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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