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Mark 6 is the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. In this chapter, Jesus goes to Nazareth and faces the rejection of his own family. He then sends his Apostles in pairs to various cities in the region where they also face rejection. Finally, Jesus goes back to the Sea of Galilee and performs some of his most famous miracles, including the feeding of the 5000 and walking on water. This chapter also gives an account of the murder of John the Baptist.

Mark 6
Codex Alexandrinus 013a Mc 6,27-54.JPG
Leaf containing Mark 6:27-54 in Codex Alexandrinus from c. AD 400-440.
BookGospel of Mark
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part2



The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 56 verses.

Rejection of Jesus at NazarethEdit

Mark relates the story of Jesus' rejection at Nazareth, "his own country". The account is also found in Matthew 13:53-58 and it is related at an earlier point in Jesus' ministry in Luke, 4:14-30. His neighbours question his authority and do not seem to think much of the Jesus they remember or his family. "Isn't this the carpenter (τέκτoν, tektōn)? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?"

Jesus replies with a proverb, Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.[1]John 4:44 records the same sentiment: Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country, but in John's account the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast.[2]

Jesus' brothers are here and in Matthew and probably Acts 12:17 mentioned by name, though not his sisters.[weasel words] This chapter, coupled with Mark 3:21,31-35 paint a negative view of Jesus' family relations, though other sources, such as Galatians 1:19 show that James was at least active in the early Church after Jesus' crucifixion. The negative view of Jesus' family may be related to the conflict between Paul and Jewish Christians.[3]

Mission of the Twelve and the death of John the BaptistEdit

Jesus sends the twelve out to the various towns, in pairs, to heal the sick and drive out demons. They are only to take their staffs and that if any town rejects them "... shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them." (11) which is "... a gesture both of contempt and of warning."[4][full citation needed]

Supposed head of John the Baptist, enshrined in Rome

Mark then tells of the death of John the Baptist at the hands of Herod Antipas. Herod is married to his wife Herodias, former wife of his brother Herod Philip I. John condemns Herod so Herod incarcerates John. Herodias seeks revenge on John during a birthday party for Herod. Her daughter dances for Herod and persuades Herod to kill John. John's disciples take his body and put it in a tomb. This account is also found in Matthew 14:1-12. The year in which John died is unknown. Josephus has Herod killing John to quell a possible uprising around AD 36.[citation needed] Herod Philip died in 34 and Herod Antipas died sometime after 40 after being exiled to either Gaul or Spain.

Feeding of the five thousand and walking on waterEdit

Walking on water, by Ivan Aivazovsky (1888).
Mark 6:30-41 in Uncial 0187 (6th century).

Mark then relates two miracles of Jesus. The "apostles", (οι αποστολοι, hoi apostoloi) come back (regroup) and Jesus takes them on a boat to a deserted place where they can rest. Verse 6:30 is the only time in the received canonical texts where Mark uses "οι αποστολοι": some texts also use this word in Mark 3:14 [5] and it is most frequently – 68 out of 79 New Testament occurrences – used by Luke the Evangelist and Paul of Tarsus. When they land, a large crowd is already waiting for them. Jesus teaches them several unrecorded things, then feeds the entire crowd of 5,000 men (Greek: ἄνδρες, andres, most frequently meaning 'male adult' in New Testament usage [6]) by turning five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed everyone. Matthew 14:21 says there were 5,000 men "besides woman and children".

Jesus sends the disciples in a boat ahead of him to Bethsaida. It is night and they are only halfway across when Jesus walks across the lake and meets them. At first they are scared and think it is a ghost, but Jesus reveals himself and gets into the boat, amazing the disciples.

These two miracles occur in John 6:1-24 and Matthew 14:13-36 and the feeding of the crowd is in Luke 9:10-17.

The feeding of the 5,000 people and the resurrection of Jesus appear to be the only miracles recorded simultaneously in all four Gospels.[7]

Healing of the sick of GennesaretEdit

The tzitzis strings of one corner of a tallit

They reach Gennesaret and people recognize Jesus. People bring sick people on mats to wherever they hear Jesus is. They beg him to let them touch him, even only touching the "fringe of his cloak"[8] (6:56NRSV), and all the people who do so are healed. Jesus seems willing to help all who ask for it.[9] Raymond E. Brown argued that this section leaves readers suspecting that such enthusiasm for healing is not the right comprehension of or faith in Jesus.[10] This section is an example of a Marcan summary, in which several stories about Jesus are all wrapped up into one description. They help show the magnitude of his power and perhaps the nature of the danger the authorities see him as presenting to the public order.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Mark 6, accessed 18 November 2017
  2. ^ John 4:45
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2006-09-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "Wilson (1992) [Wilson, A.N. Jesus: A life. 1992. New York: Norton & Co.] has hypothesized that the negative relationship between Jesus and his family was placed in the Gospels (especially in the Gospel of Mark) to dissuade early Christians from following the Jesus cult that was administered by Jesus' family. Wilson says: " would not be surprising if other parts of the church, particularly the Gentiles, liked telling stories about Jesus as a man who had no sympathy or support from his family" (p. 86). Butz (2005) [Butz, Jeffrey. The brother of Jesus and the lost teachings of Christianity. 2005. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions.] is more succinct: " the time Mark was writing in the late 60s, the Gentile churches outside of Israel were beginning to resent the authority wielded by Jerusalem where James and the apostles were leaders, thus providing the motive for Mark’s antifamily stance... (p. 44)." Other prominent scholars agree (e.g., Crosson, 1973 [Crosson, John Dominic. “Mark and the relatives of Jesus”. Novum Testamentum, 15, 1973]; Mack, 1988 [Mack, Burton. A myth of innocence: Mark and Christian origins. 1988. Philadelphia: Fortress]; Painter. 1999 [Painter, John. Just James: The brother of Jesus in history and tradition. 1999. Minneapolis: Fortress Press])."
  4. ^ Miller 26
  5. ^ See the Westcott-Hort text
  6. ^ Strong's Greek Concordance: 435
  7. ^ Delbert Burkett (10 July 2002). An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity. Cambridge University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-521-00720-7. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  8. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Jesus: "Jesus wore the Ẓiẓit (Matt. ix. 20)"; Strong's Concordance G2899; Walter Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, 3rd ed., 1979: "κράσπεδον: 1. edge, border, hem of a garment – But meaning 2 is also possible for these passages, depending on how strictly Jesus followed Mosaic law, and also upon the way in which κράσπεδον was understood by the authors and first readers of the gospels. 2. tassel (ציצת), which the Israelite was obligated to wear on the four corners of his outer garment, according to Num 15:38f; Dt 22:12. ... Of the Pharisees ... Mt 23:5." See also Christianity and fringed garments.
  9. ^ a b Kilgallen 124
  10. ^ Brown 136


  • Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament Doubleday 1997 ISBN 0-385-24767-2
  • Kilgallen, John J., A Brief Commentary of the Gospel of Mark Paulist Press 1989 ISBN 0-8091-3059-9
  • Mark 6 NIV Accessed 28 October 2005
  • Miller, Robert J., The Complete Gospels Polebridge Press 1994 ISBN 0-06-065587-9

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Mark 5
Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of Mark
Succeeded by
Mark 7