One of the great Textual Criticism issues of GMark is whether or not Jesus is angry at 1:41:
A quick survey of relatively good translations:And being moved with compassion, he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou made clean. (ASV)
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... V;NRSV;ESV
|American Standard Version (ASV)
And being moved with compassion, he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou made clean.
|New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
|New International Version (NIV)
Jesus was indignant.[a] He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
Mark 1:41 Many manuscripts Jesus was filled with compassion
|New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Moved with pity,[a] Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!”
[a]Mark 1:41 Other ancient authorities read anger
Mark 1:41 Gk he
|English Standard Version (ESV)|
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”
There is surprisingly little Manuscript support quantitatively for angry/indignant. "Angry" has achieved major candidate support here thanks mainly to Bart Ehrman, commonly thought of as one of the all-time great Textual critics, who has championed it. Ehrman's argument has additionally received the blessing of Evangelical Textual Critic Daniel Wallace.
The NIV's selection of "indignant" has made some Christian Bible Scholarship (CBS) angry so there has been a recent increase in CBS attempts, both professional Mark 1:41 and Ehrman and amateur(ish) Mark 1:41 - Angry or Compassionate? to champion "compassionate". To its credit though, there are also many CBS articles accepting Ehrman's argument.
The purpose of this Thread will be to evaluate the likely original of Mark 1:41, "Angry" or "Compassionate".
The main argument for "compassion" is the overwhelming Manuscript support for it. As noted though at my Skeptical Textual Criticism Blog Skeptical Textual Criticism under Skeptical Textual Criticism methodology, a minimum of External evidence combined with The Difficult Reading Principle has the potential to be decisive in determining likely original.
Regarding the limits of "minimum" here logic tells us that in general the more difficult the reading, the less Manuscript support there is likely to be. So let's compare the manuscript support for "angry" with the two other most famous difficult readings for GMark, 1:1 and 16:8 [Greek] http://www.laparola.net/greco/index.php :
|Mark 1:1 |
omission of [the Son of God]
|א* Θ 28c 530 582* 820* 1021 1436 1555* 1692 2430 2533|
|Mark 1:41 |
|Mark 16:9-20 |
omission vs. inclusion
|א B 304|
So how do the above compare in terms of relative difficulty?:
|Verse||About Jesus?||About Jesus' Character?||Negative Description of Jesus' Character?||Commentary|
|1:1 Omission of "son of God"||Yes||Yes||No||As expected, the least difficult reading has the most Manuscript support. There is no negative issue about Jesus' character.|
|1:41 Jesus angry||Yes||Yes||Yes||A direct negative description of Jesus' character. Jesus' showing negative emotion in reaction to a request for healing. The opposite emotion we would expect. The most difficult reading.|
|16:8 No resurrection reunion||Yes||Yes||No||What is omitted is about Jesus' authority and not character. You could argue that the post resurrection narratives are the most important part of the Gospels and therefore omission would be the biggest difficulty but "difficulty" here is defined by what early Christianity thought and not what we think. In general early Christian attitude was that negative implications were not difficulties compared to the explicit and specifically no post-resurrection reunion here was not much of a difficulty because even though a resurrection reunion was preferred you could just assume that "Mark" (author) only choose to end the narrative there.|
So it does look like 1:41 is the most difficult reading and therefore has the least Greek Manuscript support.
Skeptical Textual Criticism