"Handing Over"


Here’s another favorite observation of mine.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15 ESV)

This is just a minor issue, but one thing I really find unfortunate in English Bibles is how inconsistent they are in rendering the word paradidomi, “to hand over” or or “to deliver up,” when it’s a key word in the gospels, particularly that of Matthew and Mark. It is the same word used when Jesus predicts His being handed over to death (cf. Mark 9:31; 10:32-34 and parallels), and when that prediction comes true: when Judas hands Jesus over to the chief priests (Mark 14:10-11, 17-21, 42, 44 and parallels; this isn’t evident in most translations since they would render the word paradidomi when used of Judas as “betrayed”), when the chief priests hand Jesus over to Pilate (Mark 15:1, 10), and when Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified (Mark 15:15).

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered (paradidotai) into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. (Mark 9:30-32)

And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over (paradothēsetai) to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over (paradōsousin) to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” (Mark 10:32-34 ESV)

Here’s the thing: the phrase in Mark 1:14 rendered in English as “after John was arrested” or “put into custody” is in Greek “after the handing over (to paradothēnai) of John.” Even at the very beginning of the gospel, with that one word, Mark already gives us a clue as to what will soon happen to Jesus.

In fact, the word is also used of believers in 13:9-13 - so in a sense there’s that idea of the Christian sharing in Jesus’ being persecuted ‘handed over’ to death:

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over (paradōsousin) to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over (paradidontes), do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over (paradōsei) to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

BTW it’s not just Mark who makes the connection, but also Matthew: “Now when he heard that John had been arrested (paredothē, lit. ‘had been handed over’), he withdrew into Galilee.”



Very nice reflection :slight_smile: Dr Brant Pitre mentions that in ancient Jewish writings, the ‘scapegoat’ was ‘handed over to the Gentiles’ to be killed. I found that quite fascinating.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.