Proof that the gospel of Mark was written in Latin

By David Bruce Gain
The gospel of Mark survives in Latin and Greek. It has been
thought that, since the text of Old Testament quotations in the
Greek version is generally the same as that in preexisting
Greek versions of the original Hebrew (the Septuagint, LXX),
that Mark wrote in Greek. In Appendix 1 I show that, granted
that Mark, writing in Latin, used Latin translations of the LXX,
the agreements of the Greek text of Mark with the LXX should
be explained as use of established translation equivalents or
the result of changes to our present manuscripts (MSS) to
agree with the text of another gospel, something which, as
my "A reconstruction of the original Latin of the Gospel of
Mark with an English translation and a textual commentary",
found at shows, has
happened all the time to the text of Mark.
Because it has been thought that Mark was written in Greek,
insufficient attention has been paid to the Latin text. I present
here evidence, almost all not adduced before, showing that
the Greek sometimes mistranslates Latin or is based on corrupted Latin - clear proof that the Latin is the original.
Transliteration of the Hebrew/Aramaic alphabet: )bgdhwzxtyklmns(pcqr$+

The most striking evidence that Mark was written in Latin is:
(1) Mark 7.3 reads (here and elsewhere I give the text in my "A
reconstruction", to which I refer readers for a justification of
Pharisaei autem et omnes Iudaei nisi pusillo lauerint manus
non manducant, tenentes traditionem seniorum (the Phari-

sees and all the Jews do not eat unless they have washed
their hands for a short time, maintaining the tradition of the
elders). They only need to wash quickly because the object
is not to clean the hands, but to fulfil the ritual; thus the
Mishnah under Tohoroth (cleanness) yadaim (of the hands)
1.1 states that a quarter of a log of water (the amount contained in one and a half eggshells) is sufficient for ritual washing
of the hands. The Greek: 
  
 (the
Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they have
washed their hands with their fist, maintaining the tradition of
the elders). No sane author would write that all Jews always
washed their hands with their fist. The Greek translator had a
text in which pusillo (for a short time) had been corrupted into pugillo (with the fist). MS a (the best MSS k and e are missing here) preserves the true pusillo in its synonymn momento.
et uenerunt prima sabbati 3 dicentes "Quis nobis reuoluet
lapidem ab ostio monumenti?" Subito autem ad horam tertiam tenebrae diei factae sunt per totum orbem terrae et descenderunt de caelis angeli et surgunt in claritate uiui Dei;
simul ascenderunt cum eo et continuo lux facta est. 4 Tunc
illae accesserunt ad monumentum et uident reuolutum lapidem (And they came on the first day of the week 3 saying "Who
will roll the rock from the entrance to the tomb for us?" Suddenly at the third hour darkness covered the whole world and
angels descended from heaven and rose in the splendour of
the living God; they ascended with him and immediately light
was restored. 4 Then they approached the tomb and saw that
the rock had been rolled back).
A scribe's eye in an ancestor of all MSS except k slipped from
monumenti to monumentum, from tomb to tomb, causing
him to omit monumenti and all words after it before monumentum. Such mistakes are of constant occurrence; many

examples from Mark can be seen in my " A reconstruction".
Monumentum was later corrected to monumenti to give the
required sense "of the tomb". Mark states that, whereas, at
the third hour during the crucifixion, Jesus' enemies were in
the ascendant (15.25-32) here, at the third hour, Jesus is in
the ascendant. Matthew (hereafter Mt) lacking these words in
his Greek translation of Mark, found only a youth sitting in
the tomb (16.5); he naturally assumed it was he who had removed the huge stone and so put this in his account (28.2),
making the youth an angel, a supernatural being, since it
would have been impossible for a single youth to have rolled
away the huge stone unaided.
It will not do to say that the omission was made in Greek by a
scribe whose eye slipped from to and an
ancestor of k was translated before the omission and an ancestor of the other MSS after, because, as shown by reading
my "Reconstruction" there was only one original Latin text.
Differences between MSS come from e.g. corruptions leading
to meaningless Latin or unlatin words, desire to make the
Latin more stylish & conforming it more closely to the Greek
of Mark or to parallel Mt or Luke (hereafter Lk). The striking
agreements of the MSS in the same words or constructions
in many places rule out the theory of independent original
It will not do either to say that the passage found only in k is
the work of an interpolator. All words except uiui are found
elsewhere in Mark. The work of a real interpolator in a passage of this length is blindingly obvious from the so-called
shorter ending in k, which is full of unmarkan language. It
reads omnia autem quaecumque praecepta erant eis qui cum
Petro erant breuiter exposuerunt. Post haec et ipse Iesus
apparuit et ab oriente usque in occidentem misit per illos
sanctam et incorruptam praedicationem salutis aeternae.
Amen (They briefly told those with Peter everything they had
been taught. After this Jesus himself appeared and from the
east to the west he promulgated the sacred and uncorrupted
message of eternal salvation. Amen). The first sentence contradicts verse 8, nor would Mark have used "taught" merely

of what someone told someone else, the style is strikingly
different from Mark's, nor does he ever use breuiter, expono,
appareo, oriens, occidens, incorruptus, praedicatio or salus.
Exquirebant quaenam esset doctrina haec impotabilis et
quoniam spiritibus immundis imperat et obaudiunt illi (they
kept on enquiring about what this undrinkable teaching was
and how he gave orders to unclean spirits and they obeyed
him). Doctrina haec impotabilis (this undrinkable teaching)
is taken up at 14.36, where Jesus asks to be spared from
drinking the cup of suffering: transeat calix iste (may this
cup pass by). Impotabilis (undrinkable) was corrupted to the
impotentabilis found in e (k is missing here), The Greek translator did what he could with this impossible word "able to
powerless", translating the potent element with his 
(authority) in his ' (new teaching
with authority).
Et uenerunt ad illum afferentes paralyticum in grabatto (And
they came to him bringing a paralysed man on a pallet). to
was accidentally lost and a scribe who had just written afferentes (bringing) saw in the meaningless ingrabat (MSS did
not have word divisions) iugerebant (4 were carrying), giving
the Greek translator's 
 (and they came to
him bringing a paralysed man taken by four men) where
bring and take, clumsily, mean the same and they and four
men are, equally clumsily, the same people.
et, surgens, assumens grabattum coram omnibus, abiit ita ut
admirarentur et clarificarent eum quoniam nunquam taliter
uiderant (and, getting up, picking up his pallet in front of
everyone, he went away, astonishing them and making them

glorify him because they had never seen anything like this
before). e's reading eum makes good sense - praising him
(eum) (Jesus) since he cured the paralysed man; they go on
to say that they had never seen anyone else do what Jesus
had done, continuing the focus on Jesus. "Praising God"
(deum) of the other MSS contains the idea that the people
there assumed that God was responsible for Jesus' actions;
this idea is not suggested anywhere else in the passage. If
this were what Mark actually wrote one would expect him to
continue with something like what Mt 9.8 says: praising God
who gave such power to men. Someone very familiar with the
idea of praising God changed eum to Deum, and this was in
the MS translated by the Greek translator and has come into
all copies except e and into Mt and Lk (5.26) whose accounts
are based on Mark.
et scribae Pharisaeorum et Pharisaei dicebant discentibus
eius: "Quare cum publicanis et peccatoribus manducat?"
(and the writers of the Pharisees and the Pharisees were saying to his learners: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and
wrongdoers?") An omission explains the textual variants. It is
very hard to believe the omission occurred in Greek (passing
over (of the Pharisees and) before 
(the Pharisees) but one can readily believe that it
occurred in Latin (passing over Pharisaeorum et before
Pharisaei); the resultant text scribae * Pharisaei dicebant (the
writers * the Pharisees said) is clearly corrupt. Two texts turn
this into sense - the other MSS have et (and) at **; b has scribae Pharisaeorum dicebant (the Pharisees' writers said), but
it is very hard to see why anyone would want to change
either into the text I have printed; b's text is open to the further objection that it makes the only people objecting to Jesus
the Pharisees' writers, i.e people employed by Pharisees to
copy sacred scrolls; what could have induced the Pharisees
to send only their copyists and not also come themselves?

et dixit discipulis suis ut nauicula deseruirent sibi propter turbas, ne premerent eum (and he told his learners that a boat
should be ready for him because of the crowds, in case they
pressed on him). The translator translated nauicula deseruirent sibi with (boats should be
ready for him) (preserved in the best MS B and in the Sahidic)
unaware that nauicula is feminine singular, not neuter plural
(deseruirent being a mistake for deseruiret) (he also mistook
the gender of naui - see the discussion on 4.36); the correction to (a boat) (from 4.1) has come into all the inferior MSS.
Vt audierunt de eo exierunt tenere eum (when they heard
about him they went out to seize him) ("him" is Jesus). The
Greek translator, with   ' 
 (and when they heard from him they went
out to seize him) gives de a possible sense, but one which is
nonsensical in the context; Jesus obviously did not say
"Come and get me"; hence someone emended by adding 
before ' (and when those around him heard they went out
to seize him); but this is still nonsense; obviously it was
Jesus' enemies, not his associates, who wanted to seize him.
uenerunt ad eum turbae (the crowds came to him). ne was
lost after ue, giving the nonsensical uerunt, which was
emended to fuerunt: fuerunt ad eum turbae (the crowds were
with him), which the Greek translator translated with 
4.8 (& 4.20)
et alia ceciderunt in terram bonam et dabant fructum ascendentem et crescentem et afferebant unum tricesimum et unum
sexagesimum et unum centesimum (and some fell on good

ground and was springing up and growing and yielding,
some thirtyfold and some sixtyfold and some a hundredfold).
In the Greek translator's text tricesimum was written xxx,
sexagesimum lx, centesimum c, as in some surviving MSS.
The Greek translator translated these and the unum before
them with and  (one
thirty, one sixty, one a hundred) despite the odd Greek that
this produces.
Hi autem qui sunt circa uiam seminantur sermone (those who
are around the path have speech sown in them). Inferior MSS
transpose qui and sunt, giving hi autem sunt qui circa uiam
seminantur sermone (those are the ones around the path
who have speech sown in them). But no such persons are
mentioned in the analogy which Jesus is now explaining,
only (verse 4) seed sown around the path. The Greek translator read the corrupted text and translated accordingly with
Numquid accenditur lucerna ut sub modium ponatur aut sub
lectum sed super candelabrum (a light is not lit to be put
under a bushel measure or under a bed, but on a stand). In
the text used by the Greek translator accenditur (is ... lit) had
been corrupted. Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879-1959), in "L'
Evangile de Marc a ete ecrit en Latin", page 18 of the reprint
at, suggests it was corrupted to
accedit. It could also have been corrupted to acceditur.
Whichever was in his text, the Greek translator translated it
with  (a light does not come to be put under a bushel
measure ... ), giving odd Greek. The LXX and Vulgate have
/accedo at Dt 26.3 and Jdc 9.52. The Greek and Old
Latin have it at Mt 9.18 (in all MSS except k d) and Mk 11.27
(b d q).

Assumpserunt illum quomodo fuit in naui et simul multi erant
cum illo (they took him just as he was into the boat; and there
were many men with him). There were many men with Jesus;
there were his learners and also, perhaps, crew, if his
learners were not the crew. Mark emphasizes that there were
many men with him as this makes the following terror at the
danger of drowning more vivid and the admiration of Jesus,
who has saved them, greater, since it comes from many men.
The Greek translator: 
    '  (they took him,
just as he was, into the boat; and there were many boats with
him). The statement "there were many boats with him" is
pointless in itself; it is also odd that the rest of the narrative
makes no mention whatever of the other boats; they are
treated as if they did not exist, only the effect of the storm on
Jesus' own boat being mentioned. I suggest that the Greek
translator did not have a particularly good knowledge of
Latin; although usually able to translate Mark's simple Latin
without any problems, he was a bit shaky on things like
gender; nauicula (boat) was fine, since the endings told him it
was feminine; the endings of nauis only told him (in some of
its cases) that it was not neuter; he had not seen or heard an
adjective with it often enough to remember its gender (as an
example, nauis occurs ten times in Mark, never with an adjective). So he took the masculine multi (many) to refer to nauis
(as it would, if nauis were masculine), hence translated multi
with  (many boats), giving the strange result I
have discussed above.
Herodes autem timebat Iohannen, sciens eum uirum iustum
et sanctum et obseruabat eum et attente eum audiebat (now
Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a just and dedicated man and he used to watch and listen to him attentively). For "and listen to him attentively" the Greek has 
(and listening to him he was very puzzled and he used to

listen to him gladly). This is nonsense; no one in his right
mind could be glad to be puzzled. The Greek is a combination
of two Latin texts: "he used to listen to him gladly" translates
the correct Latin text, given above. "Listening to him he was
very puzzled" translates the text after the corruption of
attente to attenuate; attenuate eum audiebat = he used to
listen to him simply. Attenuatus also =  at Lv 25.47,
where the LXX translates the Hebrew mk with  
 and the Vulgate with attenuatus frater
tuus uendiderit se ei.
et cum introisset filia ipsius Herodiadis (and when the daughter of this Herodias entered). The Greek: 
  ; ipsius could be masculine
or feminine; the Greek translator (whose text is preserved in
the good MSS B L as well as D 238 565) translates it as
masculine, unaware that Herodias was a woman. A more attentive reader realized this from 17 "Herodias the wife of Philip" and his correction of to  is found in inferior
Venerunt in terram Gennesar et cum exissent de naui (they
landed at Gennesar and when they had disembarked). The
Greek: (they
came to Gennesaret and disembarked). The Latin had no
word divisions, so the Greek translator took et (and) as part
of Gennesar, so creating Gennesaret, a form found nowhere
except in this passage and in authors such as Lk 5.1 and Mt
14.34 dependent on it. The form gnysr is found in Aramaic in
Onkelos, Jonathan and Neofiti targums on Nm 34.11 and Dt 3.
17 and in the surviving targum (Jonathan) on Jos 11.2, 12.3,
13.27 and 19.35 and 1Sm 15.20, Mishnah Maas 3.7 (written in
Mishnaic Hebrew), the Babylonian Talmud Ber 44a (twice)
and Nid 20a, the form gwnysr in Bab.Tal. Meg 6a, BB 122a
(twice), Pes 8.6 (twice) and Er 30a and Gen R 98.17 and 99. 12.

In the Jerusalem Talmud the word is found in the commentary on Ber 6.7 (Schwab Vol 1 p.405), Scheb 9.2 (2.415), Maas
1.2 (3.141), 3.7 (3.173), Bicc 1.11 (3.369), Hagh 2.1 (7.272) and
twice in Meg 1.1 (7.200) - in the second occurrence the plural
is found. The rabbi is commenting on the spelling found at
Jos 12.3. He says: Does the plural mean that there are two
Gennesars? (knrwt m(th $ny gynwsrywt). The form 
is found in Greek at 1Mcc 11.67, Josephus BJ 2.573, 3.463, 3.
506, 3.515, 3.516 and in the adjectival form 
 in AJ 13.158 and it occurs as the
adjective derived from this form () in AJ 18. 28,
18.36, V 349 and Strabo 16.2.16. In Latin Pliny NH 5. 15 has
lacum quem plures Gennesaram uocant (note that he says
that many call it Gennesara). It will not do to say that the
identification of  with Hebrew knrwt caused Mark's
Greek translator to invent the form . Hebrew t
becomes in Greek not  but . Hence, for example, at Jos 19.
35 knrwt becomes 
baptismata calicum et urceorum et aeramentorum et electrorum (washing of cups and jars and bronzeware and amberware). Amberware was not made of amber but of a metal alloy
of the colour of amber. The Greek: 
 (washing of cups and
jars and bronzeware and beds). Beds are odd objects to find
in a catalogue of cups and pots. The Greek translator read a
text in which electrorum (amberware) (found in r w) had been
corrupted into the lectorum (beds) of the other MSS (e, k are
omne ... 19 nec enim introiit in cor eius sed in uentrem et in
secessum exit, purgans escam (everything ... 19 as it has not
entered his heart but his stomach and goes out outside,
clearing food). The Greek:  ... 19 

'  
 (same meaning). Purgans, agreeing with the
neuter omne, is neuter, but in form could also be masculine.
The Greek translator incorrectly renders it with the masculine
miseror super turbam quoniam tres iam dies sunt mecum
manentes et non habent quod manducent (I am sorry for the
crowd because they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat). The Greek translator: 
 (I am sorry for the crowd because three days now remain for me and they have nothing
to eat). Nonsense caused by his taking tres dies, an accusative of extent of time (for three days) as a nominative, and so
the subject of the verb.
Qui autem me confessus fuerit et meos in natione adultera et
peccatrice, filius hominis confitebitur illum cum uenerit in
claritate patris sui cum angelis sanctis (one who acknowledges me and mine in a false and guilty race, the son of man will
also acknowledge him when he comes in the brightness of
his father with the dedicated angels). The Greek: 
 
 
 
(the same, except for "is
ashamed of" and "will also be ashamed of" instead of
"acknowledges" and "will also acknowledge"). The others
are compared favourably with the false and guilty race, hence
the Latin gives the right sense. The Greek translator read a
text in which confessus and confitebitur (acknowledges and
will acknowledge) had been corrupted to confusus and confundetur.

Non enim sciebat quid responderet; in metu enim fuerat (he
did not know what answer to give; he was afraid). The Greek:
(he did not
know what answer to give; they were afraid). The Latin is
better, as it is Peter's fear, not the others', that makes him incapable of answering. The Greek translator read a text in
which fuerat (he was) had been corrupted to fuerant (they
Helias primo disponit omnia, quia scriptum est super filio
hominis quia multa patiatur et innulletur (Elijah has first made
everything ready, because it is written of the son of man that
he must suffer many things and be made of no account). The
Greek: 
(Elijah, coming first, has restored
everything. And how is it written of the son of man that he
must suffer many things and be made of no account?) The
Greek translator read a text in which quia (because) had been
corrupted to quid (how). This was seen by Couchoud (pages
13-14 in the scribd reprint).
Omnis autem substantia consumetur (all their substance will
be consumed). 9.48 translates Is 66.24; Is continues with
whyw dr)wn lkl b$r, which Mark here takes as and there will
be disdainings for all flesh (i.e. the maggots of 9.48 will cause
all their flesh to be disdained, because consumed by them).
The Greek translator translated correctly with 
but (substance) was corrupted to
giving the nonsensical "as every victim will be destroyed", changed in D to (as
every victim will be salted with salt), under the influence of

(salt) found in the next verse. This is sense in Lv 2.13,
but it makes no sense here, hence the further change to 
(as everyone will be salted with fire).
Si sal fatuum, fatuum fuerit quod illo condietis; habete in
uobis salem; pacati estote in inuicem (if salt has lost its flavour, what you flavour with it will also have no flavour; have
salt in yourselves; be at peace with one another). The Greek:
salt has lost its flavour, how will you flavour it? Have salt in
yourselves; be at peace with one another). Mark's statement
comes, like other analogies of Jesus in his gospel, from
everyday life and is very readily understandable. The "it"
refers to food. In the question in the Greek however, the "it "
refers to salt and the question "How can you put flavour back
in salt?" is vulnerable to an obvious retort; "I don't need to;
I'll get other salt". The Greek translator read a text in which
one fatuum had been lost after the other one, a very common
phenomenon. Couchoud (pages 15-17 in the scribd reprint)
discusses the passage on the basis that the Latin is the
Et circumspexit xii Iesus et dixit (and Jesus looked around at
the 12 and said). The Greek: 
 (and Jesus looked around and
said to his learners). The Greek translator read a text in
which xii (at the 12) had been omitted after xit, so he supplied
"to his learners" to indicate who Jesus was referring to.
Fuerant autem in uia ascendentes Hierosolyma et admirabantur qui sequebantur illum (they were on the road climbing to
Jerusalem and those who were following him were astonish-

ed). The Greek: 
(they were on the road climbing to Jerusalem and they were
astonished; those following him were afraid). This muddle
distinguishes a fictitious group who were astonished (this
group is really his learners) from his learners, who were
afraid. It is a patchwork of two or more hands attempting unsuccessfully to improve matters after the Greek translator
had mistranslated qui sequebantur illum (who were following
him) as if it were qui secuti sunt illum (who followed him),
which the translator took as an equivalent of "his followers".
exsecrationem desolationis stantem ubi non oportet (the
abomination of desolation placed where it should not be).
The Greek translator 
 (same meaning). The Greek translator mechanically translated stantem (masculine or feminine - here actually
feminine) with the masculine although 
is neuter.
et dicebat: "Abba, pater, omnia tibi licent" (and he was saying
"Abba, father, everything is possible with you). The Greek:
(same meaning). Pater is vocative, although in form it could also be
nominative; the Greek incorrectly translates it as a nominative.
et uenit tertio et dicit illis "Dormite iam nunc". Et post pusillum excitauit illos et dixit: "Iam hora est; ecce traditur filius
hominis in manus peccatorum; surgite, eamus" (he came a
third time and says to them: "Sleep now" A little later he woke
them and said: "It is now the hour; the son of man is being
betrayed into the hands of evil men; we must go"). A scribe's

eye slipped from one iam (now) to the next, causing the omission of the intervening words and creating the absurdity of
Jesus saying the idiotic "Sleep because I am about to be
betrayed" ( a rational man would say "we must all try to escape, because I am about to be betrayed") then immediately,
and impossibly, contradicting himself and saying "wake up".
14.44 (dederat autem is qui tradebat signum) (the traitor had
given a sign) 15.7 (fuit autem qui uocabatur Barabbas in carcere cum seditiosis qui in seditione fecerant homicidium)
(there was a man called Barabbas in gaol with insurgents
who had murdered in an insurrection) & 15.10 (sciebat enim
quia per inuidiam tradiderant eum pontifices) (he knew the
chief priests had handed him over out of hatred). The Greek
has the peculiar pluperfects and
for the Latin pluperfects dederat, fecerant,
tradiderant where Greek requires the aorist, showing the
Greek is a translation from Latin.
Et surrexit pontifex in medio et interrogabat Iesum "Nihil respondisti de his quae aduersum te dicunt? (and the high
priest rose in the middle and was asking Jesus "Have you
made no reply to the accusations they are making against
you?") De his was missing from the translator's text (a
scribe's eye skipped from the final i of respondisti to the is of
his); hence he wrote (what
are they accusing you of?) This is nonsense. If the high
priest for some strange reason thought Jesus did not know
what the accusations were, how could he have expected him
to answer them?
Et continuo gallus cantauit et rememoratus est Petrus sermonem quem dixit illi Iesus et coepit plorare (and immediately a
cock crowed and Peter remembered what Jesus had said to
him and began to weep). The Greek translator, I suggest: 

  (and immediately a cock crowed and Peter remembered what Jesus had
said to him and, taking, he cried). The Greek translator read a
text in which coepit plorare (he began to cry) had been corrupted into cepit plorare (he took to cry). The Greek MSS
read but I suggest the original was  as
this fits cepit.
Milites autem abduxerunt eum in praetorium, continuo cogentes totam cohortem (the soldiers took him away to the
headquarters, immediately mustering the whole cohort). In
the copy used by the translator a scribe's eye had slipped
from con to cog, so omitting continuo (immediately), which is
thus not translated in the Greek.
Appendix 1: The Greek's agreements with the Septuagint are
coincidences or later alterations
It has often been supposed that these verses are not genuine
but, since Mark refers to them in 9.13 (see my "Reconstruction") they must be. 1.2 has a quotation from Malachi 3.1,
reading in the Latin ecce mitto angelum meum ante faciem
tuam, qui praeparabit uiam tuam. The (exact) Greek translation is 
The LXX has 
Ecce in Mark is elsewhere translated 6X with
and 6X withso this agreement with the LXX is coincidence. The LXX has not in Mark. The Greek translator
translates mitto with 15X elsewhere, never with
the of the LXX. The Greek translator's 
is found in Mark's place, not the LXX's. He translates facies with twice elsewhere, never with any-

thing else. His agrees with Mark's tuam, not with the
LXX's His is a different word to the LXX's
His Greek is an exact translation of the Latin
andany resemblance to the LXX is coincidence.
1.3 has a quotation from Isaiah 40.3 which reads uox clamantis in deserto: "Parate uiam Domini; rectas facite semitas".
The Greek: 
The LXX is the
same. The Greek translator translates uox with desertus with paro with never with anything
else, and, with this construction, facio with Rectus and
semita do not occur elsewhere in Mark but, in the Old Latin
texts in the Vulgate we find uia recta at Sap.
10.10 and in the Vulgate Psalms from the Greek 26.11 semita
recta 106.7 uiam rectam 
Only clamo is not translated with its usual words, 6X
and 3X; is not used elsewhere to translate it,
although it does translate exclamo at 15.34. I suggest that the
Greek translator used one of the usual words here but it was
later changed to accord with the of the LXX. Luke 3.4 is
a very likely source, as he continues Mark's quotation from
the LXX. Contamination of the Greek translation of Mark
from parallel (II) Matthew or Luke is constant.
Videntes non uideant et audientes non intellegant, ne quando
conuertantur et remittatur illis: The Greek: 
The LXX of Isaiah 6.9-10 has 
Greek translator always translates audio with intellego with and conuerto with and nequando and are standard equivalents (found in the
OldLatin of Prv 25.17, Sir 42.10 & 42.11 & 1Mcc 4.60, as well

as often in the Vulgate Psalms from the Greek) so agreement
with the LXX here is coincidence. His text disagrees with
the LXX in having instead of 
instead of not having and 
and having instead of (twice). It partially agrees
with the LXX in having doubtless later harmonization with the LXX, as the later addition of 
and  certainly is.
The quotation from Isaiah 29.13 reads Populus hic labiis me
honorat; cor autem eorum longe est a me. Sine causa autem
me colunt docentes doctrinas mandata hominum. The Greek
' 
The LXX
agrees, except that it makes the third word instead of
the first, reads instead of and the last
three words are the reading of only a minority of the MSS.
The Greek translator also translates populus with at 14.
2. It is true that he translates it with (crowd) 4X, but that
translation would not be suitable here, where the people referred to are the Jewish leaders the Pharisees and the Writers. Labium does not occur elsewhere in Mark, but labia
is found in the Old Latin Sap 1.6, Sir 12.15 (16), 21.19
(16), 21.28 (25) and so on and they are the standards words
for lips in both languages. is also the translation of
honoro in Mark 7.6 and honorifico in 10.19 and sine honore
at 6.4 is translated neither word occurs elsewhere in
Mark. In the Old Latin in the Vulgate we find honoro at
Sap 14.17 & 20, Sir 3.3 &5 (6) and so on. Note that the Greek
translator has kept the Latin order (me colunt) of the verb last
(whereas the LXX has the Greek order 
is the only word used to translate cor (10X). Longe
by itself is only found in one other passage (12.34), where it is
translated by It is found only twice in the Old Latin

translations in the Vulgate. In both (Sir 47.17 (16) and Bar 3.
21) we have longe as here. Est is translated by 
In the only other place it occurs is a translation of
absum (14.41; see my commentary above). Colo is not found
elsewhere in Mark, but in the Old Latin in the Vulgate colo
is found at Sap 15.16, 15.18 and 2Mcc 1.3 (colo 
is found at Sap 11.16 (15), 14.15, 14.16 (17) and 14.17. Colo
is found at Sap 14.15. would not be suitable
here after its use just above). is the invariable
translation of doceo (17X). Doctrina is translated by 
here, by at 1.22 and 1.27. Mandatum is translated by here, by 6X. is the invariable (and very common) translation of homo. Agreements
with the LXX when the translation is the natural one or a common one are of no significance, but there remain est 
doctrina and praeceptum could
well have been changed to on stylistic grounds; the
others look like harmonizations to the LXX.
The quotation from Dt 5.16 reads honora patrem tuum et
matrem tuam. The Greek and the LXX read 
On honoro see 7.6-7 above.
is the regular translation of pater, of mater, and
of suus everywhere. Agreement with the LXX is coincidence. The quotation from Ex 21.16 reads qui maledixerit patri
aut matri morte moriatur. The Greek (and also the parallel Mt
15.4) 
The LXX: 
Maledicois represented by 
here, in 9.39 it is maleloquor that is so translated. Neither
nor maledico/maleloquor is found elsewhere in
Mark. Note that the Greek translator of Mark, following his
source, the Latin text (morte moriatur) has given 
in the Latin order of verb last, while the LXX, with
has it in the Greek order of verb non-

final. The Greek translator translates Mark's morior once with
6 times with for morior is
found in the Greek here and at 9.48, both times in agreement
with the LXX. I suggest that here it is a harmonization to II
(parallel) Mt 15.4.
The quotation from Is 66.24 reads ubi ignis non extinguetur
et uermis non morietur. The LXX and the Greek: (LXX 
(Gk (Gk 
(Gk adds (Gk 
The Greek agrees with the Latin against the LXX in having
future tenses and disagrees with the LXX with instead of
and adding Vermis does not occur elsewhere
in Mark, but in the Old Latin in the Vulgate we always find
uermis/- Ps 21.5 (22.7) Prv 25.20, Si 7.17 (19) 10.11
(13) 19,3, 1Mcc 2.62, 2Mcc 9.9. is the obvious
translation of extinguo, and in 9.43, just before this verse,
inextinguibilis is translated with Agreement of the
Greek with the LXX is coincidence other than for morior
(on which see 7.10 above) and the reversed order
of the clauses. I suggest the Greek here has been changed
to agree with the LXX.#
This reads in k iussit Moses libellum repudii scribere. The
Greek Dt
24.1 Libellus is translated by  here, by at Repudium is not
found elsewhere in Mark. In the Vulgate Old Testament we
have Nm 5.23 libellus Libellus repudii is translated
by here. In the Vulgate we have Dt 24.1,
24.3, Jr 3.8 libellus repudii Is 50.1 liber
repudii Scribo occurs 9X in
Mark, always translated by Agreement with the LXX is

coincidental. Note that the Greek translator of Mark following
his source, the Latin text (libellum repudii scribere) has given
in the Latin order of verb last,
while the LXX (has it in
the Greek order of verb non-final.
10.6 This reads masculum et feminam fecit. The Greek (& Ge
1.27) Masculus & femina
are not found elsewhere in Mark. In the Old Latin in the Vulgate we have Sir 36.23 (21) masculus 1Mcc 5.28, 5.35,
5.51 masculus 2Mcc 7.21 femineus Facio
is common in Mark. is an obvious addition.
Agreement with the LXX is coincidental.
This reads in k et propterea relinquet homo patrem suum et
matrem suam et introibit ad mulierem et erunt in una carne.
The Greek and Mt 19.5 except for the omission of after
and Gn 2.24 except for the addition of after
 A
translator would not have come up with for relinquo or for introeo. Matthew (19.5) has altered the translation to accord with the LXX and the Greek
translation of Mark has been changed to agree with his.
This reads in k (adding ne occidas from b d l q r1 and omiting ne adulterium commiseris written to replace ne fornicatus
fueris) ne occidas, ne fornicatus fueris, ne furatus fueris, ne
falsum testimonium dixeris. The Greek: 
the LXX of
Ex 20.13:  
De 5.17-20 is the same but with

the order 13 15 14 16. Mt 19.18 is also the same, but with the
order 15 13 14 16 (the order in Mark). Mt has taken the verbs
from the LXX and Mark's translation has been modified from
This reads benedictus qui uenit in nomine Domini. The Greek
(from Ps 118.26) 
Benedico is translated with 5X, 
once and once. Venio is very
common, as is nomen and dominus Agreement with the LXX is coincidental.
This reads domus mea domus adorationis uocabitur. The
Greek (from Is 56.7) 
Domus is very common, uoco common.
translates adoratio here and oratio at 9.29. Agreement with the LXX is coincidental. Mark continues speluncam
latronum. The Greek (from Je 7.11) 
is the obvious translation of the similar sounding
spelunca and is the translation of latro elsewhere
(14.48 & 15.27).
12.10 This reads lapidem quem reprobauerunt aedificantes,
hic factus est in caput anguli; a Domino factus est hic; est
admirabilis in oculis nostris. The Greek (& Ps 118.22-3 & Mt
21,42) 
Mt has altered
the text to agree with the LXX and II Mt has been substituted
for Mark.
This reads ego sum Deus Abraham et Deus Isaac et Deus

Iacob, The Greek (& Ex 3.6) 
is the regular translation of
Deus and of et, so agreement with the LXX is coincidental.
12. 29-30
This reads Audi, Israel, Dominus Deus noster unus est et
diliges Deum tuum de toto corde tuo et de totis uiribus tuis.
The Greek (Dt 6.4-5 is the same except for for
is the invariable translation of audio, a common translation of
dominus (the other translation, is impossible here
when immediately follows in apposition). is the
regular translation of unus, of sum, the invariable translation of diligo, the usual translation of totus,
the invariable translation of cor. Agreement with the
LXX is coincidental.
This reads diliges proximum tuum tamquam te. The Greek (&
Lv 19.18) 
is the invariable translation of diligo. Proximus is not elsewhere translated by but the other translations (in
proximo at 13.29 and proxima castella 
at 1.38) are not suitable for a person, which the
proximus here is. In the Old Latin in the Vulgate we find proximus at Sir 5.14 (12), 10.6. 13.19 (15), 15.4 (5) and so
on. Tamquam is translated by here and at 1.10. In the Old
Latin in the Vulgate we find tamquam at Sap 2.2, 2.3, 2.3
(4), 2.6 and so on. Agreement with the LXX is coincidental.

This reads non est praeter ipsum. The Greek (& Dt 4.35) 
is standard for non est,
for ipsum; is an obvious supplement, a
standard translation of praeter.
This reads in k dicit Dominus domino meo "Sede ad dexteram meam quoadusque ponam inimicos tuos suppedaneum
pedum tuorum". The Greek (& Ps 109.1 & Lk 20.42-3) 
Luke has
changed the quotation to agree with the LXX and the Greek
translation of Mark has been changed to agree with his.
exsecrationem desolationis. The Greek (& Mt 24.15) 
Da 12.11 The
Old Latin in the Vulgate: Sir 1.24 (26), 13.20 (24), 17.23 (26), 19.
20 (23) exsecratio Vulgate Psalms from the Greek
72 (73) 19 desolatio Vulgate Da 12.11 (& Old Latin
MSS apart from k with the exception of i (which has aspernatio)) abominatio instead of k's exsecratio. The agreement of k
and the Old Latin in the Vulgate shows exsecratio is earlier
than abominatio.
This reads in k filium hominis uenientem in nube. The Greek
Dn 7.13
The Latin singular nube has been changed to the Greek plural agreeing with the LXX, from II Mt 24.30.
This reads in k percutiam pastorem et oues dispergentur.

The Greek 
Za 13.7 reads 
Percutio occurs here and in 3 other
passages, which have 3 different transations, none being the
found here. Greek Mk has been accommodated to
II Mt 26.31, which is closer to the LXX.
Appendix 2: The Greek reads like a translation from Latin
1: The Greek translation of Mark has verbs in the Latin order
Couchoud, in La place du verbe dans Marc (Journal of Theological Studies 30 (1928) 47-51, noting that the normal Latin
word order is verb last, whereas that is not the case in Greek,
quotes the Latin together with the Greek translation of various passages of Mark. I give his references. A * quotes or
refers to the II passage of Luke, who has followed the translation of Mark, but given the verb in the normal Greek order:
3.10 ut eum tangerent 
3.11, *5.10, 8.22 obsecrarunt ut eum tangeret 
Note that, when adding 
not present in the Latin, the translator has written it in the
normal Greek order but, when translating eum tangeret, he
has put in the Latin order. *9.18 (twice), *9.37, *12.12,
*12.13, *14.1, 14.10, *14.11. Infinitifs complements: 5.4, *9.32:
timebant illum interrogare 
*10.32, *12.12, *12.34. Propositions interrogatives: *5.31, *9.19. Propositions directes 14.30
ter me negabis Mt 
14.65; 16.7.
2: Latinisms in the Greek translation of Mark
I take this list from R.H. Gundry: Mark, a commentary on his
apology for the cross, 1993, pp.1043-5, supplying discussion
and references. # indicates that it is found in all the Old Latin
MSS of Mark, * that the word also occurs elsewhere in Greek.
04.21#* modius. Also Mt 5.15, from Mk. At Lk 11.33 it
seems to be an interpolation from Mk.

04.28# herba in the sense of blade of grass. Mt 13.26
is from Mk.
05.09#* legio. Lk 8.30 is from Mk.
06.27#* speculator
06.37#* denarius. Jn 6.7 is from Mk.
12.14* census. Mt 22.17 follows Mk, but Lk 20.22
replaces the word with 
quadrans. Lk 21.2 omits the word.
15.15#* flagellis caedo. Mt 27.26 is from Mk. Lk
23.25 omits.
15.16#* praetorium. Mt 27.27 is from Mk.
15.39 & 44 & 45#* centurio. Mt 27.54 & Lk 23.47
replace with at 15.39. They omit the other
2.23 iter facere, so a q. Omitted by Mt 12.1 & Lk
6.1. In the Old Latin in the Vulgate we have iter facio 
Sap 11.2, 14.1, 1Mcc 13.31, 2Mcc
12.10 & in the Old Latin New Testament Lk 13.22. In the Vulgate Jdc 17.8, 1Sm 28.22, Act 9.3, PsG
67.5, PsG 67.20, Lk 8.1, Lk 10.33,
Act 10.9, Act 20.13. Iter facio is common in
Latin; Mk 2.23 is the only passage quoted with 
although we do find in two passages.
3.6 & 12.13#* Herodiani.
3.6 consilium dederunt (k is missing;
the other Old Latin MSS have consilium faciebant (facientes a
iniebant q)). In the Old Latin in the Vulgate consilium do 
1Mcc 9.59, 9.69, and in the Old Latin of Jn 18.14. In
the Vulgate Nm 24.14, 2Sm 17.15 (2X) 17.21 and
so on. 2Sm 16.23, 17.7, 15.1 
(Mt 27.1 changes it to 
Lk 22.66 omits it) consilium fecerunt Old Latin MSS. In the Old
Latin of the Vulgate consilium ago 1Mcc 8.15, 
2Mcc 14.20. In the Vulgate 
PsG 70.10, Is 30.1, Mt

12.14 (cf Mt 27.1 above) Mt 26.4, Jn 18.14, Act 9.
*15.15 satisfacere c (not in d ff2 k). In the
Vulgate Act 24.10 
Add the Latin ending -enus in , the only form
found in the Greek translation of Mk (1.24, 10.47, 14.67, 16.6),
found elsewhere in the NT only in Lk 4.34 (from Mk 1.24). The
rest of the NT only has the Greek form , 10x in Lk
(2x in Lk & 8x in Acts), 2x in Mt and 3X in Jn. In view of Lk's
practice elsewhere, it is clear that the Greek form should be
read at Lk 24.19, where the MSS are divided.
3: Greek words are explained with Latin words.
At 12.42 the Latin has minuta duo, quod est quadrans (2 small
coins, that is, a quadrans) the Greek has 
At 15.16 the Latin has atrium, quod est praetorium (the courtyard, that is, the praetorium); the Greek has 
showing the Greek is a translation of the Latin.
Appendix 3: The use of Greek words is no proof of translation from Greek.
The following Greek words in Mark are also found in other
Latin texts up to his time: alapa. amphora, aromata, bracchium, cathedra, cophinus, daemonium, grabatus, hymnus, leprosus not found but lepra is, moechor, myrrha, mysterium,
nardus, paralyticus, paropsis, petra, petrosus, phantasma,
sinapi, spongia, sporta, stola, thesaurus, zona.
Some words occur in some manuscripts but not in others:
Anastasis: All MSS (including k) have resurrectio at 12.18. At
12.23 (same section) other MSS have the same word, but k
the Greek equivalent anastasis. Discolus: At 10.24 all other
MSS have difficile, but k has the Greek equivalent discolum.
I suggest both are glosses that have come in from the Greek

texts at these points.
Teloneum (2.14): (toll booth) is frequent in Greek
papyri. It is just an accident that Mark is the earliest surviving
author to use it in Latin.
Words of Jewish ritual have come to Mark in Greek translations: archisynagogus (5.38), azyma (14.1, 14.12), gazophylacium (the collection box at the Jerusalem temple) (12.41, 12.
43), holocautoma (12.33), pascha (14.1 etc), synagoga (1.21
Mark also uses Greek words as special religious words for
which there was no Latin equivalent. Angelus 1.2 is in a quotation from Malachi 3.1, which Mark clearly knew from a Greek
translation, either directly or from a Latin translation of it. The
Greek Old Testament is an obvious source of his other uses
of the word, at 8.38, 12.25 and 13.27 & 32. Apostoli (those
sent) at 6.30 distinguishes those sent by Jesus from ordinary
individuals sent by someone else. It must have been heard
constantly by Mark (and continues in constant use in the New
Testament). Baptizo and derivatives (1.4 etc) are used to distinguish special Christian immersion from ordinary immersion. Blasphemia and derivatives (3.28 etc), Christus (1.1 etc),
diaconus (9.35 etc), euangelium (1.1 etc), propheta & pseudopropheta (1.2 etc) and scandalizo (4.17) are also Christian
terms Mark was familiar with. Parabola could also be included, except that I suspect it has come into other MSS from the
Greek translation and Mark wrote k's similitudo (12.1 & 12, 13.
28 - k only starts at 8.8).

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