Mark 15
Vincent's Word Studies
And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.
And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.
And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.
But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
Them that had made insurrection with him (συστασιαστῶν)

Fellow-rioters. But the better texts read στασιαστῶν, rioters, omitting the σύν, with (fellow): and the Rev. accordingly omits with him.

Who (οἵτινες)

Denoting a class of criminals.

The insurrection

Note the article: the insurrection for which Barabbas and his fellows had been imprisoned.

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
Crying aloud (ἀναβοήσας)

But the best texts read βὰς, having gone up. So Rev., went up.

Ever (ἀεὶ)

Omitted by the best texts.

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
Moved (ἀνέσεισαν)

A feeble translation. Σείω is to shake. Hence σεισμός, an earthquake. See on Mark 13:7. Better as Rev., stirred up. Wyc., The bishops stirred the company of the people.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
And they cried out again, Crucify him.
Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
To content (τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι)

Lit., to do the sufficient thing. Compare the popular phrase, Do the right thing. A Latinism, and used by Mark only. Wyc., to do enough to the people.

And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.
Into the hall called Pretorium

Mark, as usual, amplifies. Matthew has simply the Pretorium. The courtyard, surrounded by the buildings of the Pretorium, so that the people passing through the vestibule into this quadrangle found themselves in the Pretorium.

Band (σπεῖραν)

Originally anything wound or wrapped round; as a ball, the coils of a snake, a knot or curl in wood. Hence a body of men-at-arms. The same idea is at the bottom of the Latin manipulus, which is sometimes (as by Josephus) used to translate σπεῖρα. Manipulus was originally a bundle or handful. The ancient Romans adopted a pole with a handful of hay or straw twisted about it as the standard of a company of soldiers; hence a certain number or body of soldiers under one standard was called manipulus.

And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

See on Matthew 27:28. Matthew adds the word for soldier's cloak. Mark has simply purple.

And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

Better impress, as Rev. See on in margin. Matthew 5:41. Note the accuracy in designating Simon.

And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

See on Matthew 27:33.

And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
They gave (ἐδίδουν)

The imperfect tense is used in the same sense as in Matthew 3:14 (Rev.), "John would have hindered." They were for giving; attempted to give. So Rev., excellently, offered.

Wine mingled with myrrh (ἐσμυρνισμένον οἶνον)

Lit., myrrhed wine. See on Matthew 27:34.

And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
What each should take (τίς τί ἄρῃ)

Lit., who should take what. An addition of Mark.

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
The superscription of his accusation

Matthew, simply accusation; Luke, superscription; John, title. See on Matthew 27:37.

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

Rev., robbers. See on Matthew 27:38.

And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
Ah! (οὐὰ)

The Latin vah!


The same word as at Mark 13:2.

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
The Christ

See on Matthew 1:1. Referring to the confession before the high-priest (Mark 14:62).

King of Israel

Referring to the confession before Pilate (Mark 15:2).

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

See on Matthew 27:48.

And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
The veil

See on Matthew 27:51.

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
Son of God

Not the Son of God, which Rev. has retained, but a son of God. To the centurion Christ was a hero or demigod. See on Matthew 27:54.

There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

See on Matthew 27:56.

(Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
Followed - ministered (ἠκολούθουν - διηκόνουν)

Both imperfects: were in the habit, accustomed to.

And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

See on Matthew 27:57.

The day before the Sabbath (προσάββατον)

The fore-Sabbath. Peculiar to Mark, and only here.

Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counseller, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
Joseph of Arimathaea (Ἰωσὴφ ὁ ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας)

Lit., Joseph, he from Arimathaea: the article indicating a man well known.

Honorable (εὐσχήμων)

Compounded of εὖ, well, and σχῆμα, form, shape, figure. On the latter word, see on Matthew 17:2. In its earlier use this adjective would, therefore, emphasize the dignified external appearance and deportment. So Plato, noble bearing ("Republic," 413). Later, it came to be used in the sense of noble; honorable in rank. See Acts 13:50; Acts 17:12.


A member of the Sanhedrim, as appears from Luke 23:51.

Went in boldly (τολμήσας εἰσῆλθεν)

Lit., having dared went in. Daring all possible consequences.

And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

This query and the asking the centurion are peculiar to Mark.

And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
Body (πτῶμα)

Better, Rev., corpse; as the word is used only of a dead body. See on Matthew 24:28.

And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

See on Matthew 27:60.

And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Beheld (ἐθεώρουν)

Imperfect tense. Were looking on meanwhile. The verb also implies steady and careful contemplation. They took careful note.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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