Customs post: such tax collectors paid a fixed sum for the right to collect customs duties within their districts. Since whatever they could collect above this amount constituted their profit, the abuse of extortion was widespread among them. Hence, Jewish customs officials were regarded as sinners (Mark 2:16), outcasts of society, and disgraced along with their families.
 But that you may know that the Son of Man . . . on earth: although Mark 2:8-9 are addressed to the scribes, the sudden interruption of thought and structure in Mark 2:10 seems not addressed to them nor to the paralytic. Moreover, the early public use of the designation "Son of Man" to unbelieving scribes is most unlikely. The most probable explanation is that Mark's insertion of Mark 2:10 is a commentary addressed to Christians for whom he recalls this miracle and who already accept in faith that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God.
grant:Are all the prior occurrences of "Son of Man" in Hebrew texts? Prior to Mark, I mean.
So, more "conflict stories" in Chapter 3, then? There's a note that I'm taking as a warning that things are going to get a little repetitive, describing the simple formula for the conflict story: 1. statement of fact, 2. question of protest, and 3. Jesus replies.
28 "Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" 30 for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
14 He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach15 and to have authority to drive out demons:
20 He came home. Again (the) crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.21 When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."...31 His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.32 A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers (and your sisters) are outside asking for you."33 But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and (my) brothers?"
Apophatic Anarchos:I think early Babylonian astrology *could* be an influencing factor as it is perhaps in the reference to Jesus being annointed in a similar tradition to the annointing of Tammuz, Babylonian culture and its many manifestations spread and are kept alive by many of the tradtional cultures in the middle east to this day.(Much of that referenced in negative terms rather than positive)
Tuna Ghost:Um...I'm pretty sure the twelve tribes of Israel come from Jacob (whose name was changed, after wrestling with god ((who cheated, the cheating cheater)) to "Israel", which means "Struggles with God", which is about as apt a name as one could imagine for the nation of Israel and its people) and his twelve sons.
Evan:Although the Jacob story almost certainly is an etiological myth intended to unify the various clans/tribes of ancient Israel by describing them as brothers descended from the same father (Jacob/Israel). In fact, the names of the tribes (and hence the sons of Jacob) probably came from a variety of sources: for example, homeland (Ephraim - Mt. Ephrath, Benjamin - sons of the south (ben-yemen)), occupation (Issachar - burden bearers), or traditional totems or gods (Zebulon, Asher, Gad).
The use of parables is typical of Jesus' enigmatic method of teaching the crowds as compared with the interpretation of the parables he gives to his disciples, to each group according to its capacity to understand.
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
His message went:"The time is up: God's imperial rule is closing in. Change your ways, and put your trust in the good news!"
Being:Parallels and/or 'forerunner' symbols like this are a common tool of theologians called a "type". The ark being a 'type' of the greater covenant in "Christ".
Being:The main four at the Cardinal points being a Lion, a Bull, a Man, and Serpent, symbols which are at times linked to Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio. A snake may be a bit of a stretch into scorpio symbolism, however I question the snake symbol since actually Dan is coupled with an adders 'sting'. Snakes don't sting, they bite...scorpions on the other hand do sting. Interesting to note that an accepted earlier symbol for Scorpio was actually an Eagle which lines up neatly with "the four beasts surrounding the 'throne of God'" in Revelation. Which is a nice segue into the Christian/fish thing.
EmberLeo:I'm so used to seeing the World card and the Wheel card with the four symbols being the Lion, Bull, Man, and Raptor, and those being equated to the Archangels of the Four Directions.
1 Again he began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. 2 He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:3 "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold." 9 And he said, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that"they may indeed look, but not perceive,and may indeed listen, but not understand;so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.'"13 And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
grant:...and, just in case you're unfamiliar, with the Four Evangelists, too.
21 He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?22 For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.23 Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear."
26 He said,"This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land27 and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.28 Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.29 And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come."
34 Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
30 He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
Mark 4:37-4137 A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.38 Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"39 He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm.40 Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?"41 They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
5 Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.6 Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him,7 crying out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!"8 (He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!")9 4 He asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us."10 And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.12 And they pleaded with him, "Send us into the swine. Let us enter them."13 And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned.
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