Does the Gospel of Mark Reveal Jesus’ Anger or His Compassion?

What the Codex Bezae reveals about Jesus’ temperament

Codex Bezae

In the fifth-century C.E. Codex Bezae, an early edition of the New Testament written in Greek, the Gospel of Mark describes Jesus’ anger before healing a leper (Mark 1:41). While later scribes changed Jesus’ anger to compassion, it is likely that Codex Bezae preserves the original reading. Image: Cambridge University Library/ff.288v & 289r from Nn.2.41.

Textual variants among ancient manuscripts aren’t usually as controversial as chapter 1, verse 41 of the Gospel of Mark. Sometimes one scribe spelled a word differently on his manuscript, while another might have accidentally skipped or repeated some of the text he was copying. These cases are minor variants and don’t really change the meaning of the text. Other times, however, scribes added to or even changed text to clarify a passage or suit the theological preferences of their communities. That’s when things get interesting, and this passage in the Gospel of Mark offers an especially intriguing example.

In Mark 1:41, a leper has approached Jesus seeking to be healed. Most Greek manuscripts (the New Testament was originally written in Greek), as well as later translations, say that Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the man. A few manuscripts, however, say that Jesus’ anger was kindled before he healed him. So did the verse mean to convey Jesus’ anger or his compassion? If this were a popularity contest, the “compassion” reading would surely win. In 1998, the authoritative book Text und Textwert recorded only two Greek manuscripts (and a few early Latin ones) that contained the reading expressing Jesus’ anger. But, as Dr. Jeff Cate announced in The Folio,* the bulletin of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center at the Claremont School of Theology, close examination of one of those two Greek manuscripts has shown that it does not contain the word for either anger or compassion. Just as Matthew and Luke did when retelling Mark’s story in their gospels (cf. Matthew 8:2–4; Luke 5:12–16), the scribe of this Markan manuscript simply left it out.

As the point where three of the world’s major religions converge, Israel’s history is one of the richest and most complex in the world. Sift through the archaeology and history of this ancient land in the free eBook Israel: An Archaeological Journey, and get a view of these significant Biblical sites through an archaeologist’s lens.

Mark composes his account of the life of Jesus in this scene from a 12th-century manuscript from Constantinople.

This now leaves the other Greek manuscript, the fifth-century C.E. Codex Bezae, as the sole Greek witness to the reading expressing Jesus’ “anger.” Much like the cheese in “The Farmer in the Dell,” Codex Bezae stands alone.

But most interesting of all, the Codex Bezae may in fact have the better (i.e., original) reading. As New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman pointed out in a 2005 article in Bible Review, “one factor in favor of the ‘angry’ reading is that it sounds wrong.”** It is much easier to believe that early scribes were troubled by Jesus’ anger and changed it to his feeling compassion, rather than the other way around. Later scribes also would have preferred the easier “compassion” reading and copied it until it became the more popular reading. (As Ehrman explains, there are other passages in the Gospel of Mark that seem to support the reading conveying Jesus’ anger.) Thus does Codex Bezae now stand as a lonely witness to what is very likely the original Greek text of Mark 1:41.


Based on Strata, “Jesus’ Anger Rewritten as Compassion,” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2012.

As the point where three of the world’s major religions converge, Israel’s history is one of the richest and most complex in the world. Sift through the archaeology and history of this ancient land in the free eBook Israel: An Archaeological Journey, and get a view of these significant Biblical sites through an archaeologist’s lens.


* Jeff Cate, “The Unemotional Jesus in Manuscript 1358,” The Folio 28, no 2 (2011), p.1.

** Bart D. Ehrman, “Did Jesus Get Angry or Agonize?” Bible Review, Winter 2005.


Related reading in Bible History Daily:

The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Makes All the Difference by James Tabor

Mark and John: A Wedding at Cana—Whose and Where? by James Tabor

What’s Funny About the Gospel of Mark? by Robin Gallaher Branch

The Secret Gospel of Mark in Debate
James D.G. Dunn reviews Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery by Tony Burke

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on May 24, 2012.


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61 Responses

  1. Dianelos Georgoudis says:

    From 5th century Codex Bezae Mark 1:40-42. One clearly reads:



    Here link to respective page

  2. wilma says:

    Thank you Christopher . You have a gift from God for discerning His word. I have to agree with both comments to you from Amy and Trevor. Thank you . I also found it hard to read the word ” anger ” from Jesus in this verse when compassion and empathy were the words i was thinking more fitting from my Lord and Saviour JESUS. Jesus came for the sick and the outcasts. I do believe Jesus ‘ s anger at hearing this leper ‘ s request in this way “if you are willing to make me clean, you can do it.” He had great faith but was segregated from worshiping the God of Israel by officials of the Temple .

  3. Daniel says:

    The NIV translates this word as, “indignant” which when you consider Jesus reply to the Father of the demon possessed boy when he asked our Lord “if” he could heal him Jesus said, “If”, all things are possible to those who believe! The Lord was “indignant” because the man doubted if Jesus was willing to heal him, Jesus was “indignant” because “of course He was willing to heal him”

  4. Mark says:

    Some very contorted reasoning here to explain jesus anger …maybe he just got angry …like any human ..after all he only says he was divine in one gospel …so 75% 3 out of 4 gospels by default say human..

    Ps he also said you cannot follow me unless you hate …etc .. why did his followers carry swords ? Oh yes he said he was bringing a sword not peace

  5. Theophilus South says:

    To me it makes perfect sense that our Savior may have been indignant at the leper’s remark, since, while acknowledging His ability to heal him, he also said, “If you are willing. . . .” Christ’s compassion is unquestioned and unquestionable, so perhaps the Redeemer of mankind sensed a inadvertent slight.

    Either way, the man was still healed.

  6. Fran Klapmeyer says:

    Maybe Jesus was angry at the disease and showed compassion to the man.

  7. TruthSurge says:

    Why would a god ever get angry? He created everything and supposedly has everything going according to his master plan? Everything that happens he already knew and some would say CAUSED. Anger only happens when something goes AGAINST your plans, out of your control. If it was foreordained, you wouldn’t be angry about it. TS

  8. Alec N. says:

    If “anger” is the correct term, it hardly allows for the assumption that Jesus was angry *at* the man. I have no authority, but to me, it reads clearly: Jesus is angered at the evil manifest in illness, especially such a terrible illness upon a man who is clearly full of faith! Remember, the body is the temple, and Jesus has zeal for his temple and great anger for what demeans the temple. He hates to see bodies that ought to be a house of prayer be marred into a house of pain!

  9. Tom Kelly says:

    If Jesus ever said anything like

    “Unless you be like little children [- shameless, presumably], you shall not enter the Kingdom;”

    “Which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven you! [or, perhaps, “Your ‘sins’ are fore-given you”? – in either case, have no shame, and so no fear, and so no pain] or “take up your pallet and walk!’?”

    “Love one another as I have loved you [as presumably, we all can – but only IF we are all as fully divine as Jesus was/is];”

    “Such things you will do, AND greater, too;”

    “The Kingdom is within you [to some Pharisees];”

    “You are the Light of the World [to some ordinary men who would later let him down];”

    “Go and sin no more [to an ordinary woman who, presumably, he believed fully capable of living sinlessly];”

    “When you pray, pray ‘OUR Father….'[to ordinary folk who, presumably, Jesus believed shared the same Heavenly Parent he did];”

    “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?;”


    “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended
    to my Father; but go to my brothers, and say to them,
    I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God;”

    then could he possibly have been indicating anything other than the fact that all human beings are just that, fully Human and fully Being, fully flesh and fully spirit, fully body and fully soul, fully ego and fully higher self, fully mortal and fully immortal, fully human and fully divine, fully Child of God, just like every soul who has ever incarnated as human….and fully capable of momentarily, at least, forgetting this and becoming overwhelmed by ego, by Fear, by Satan, by Forgetfulness, by indignation, however “righteous” – in other words, by ANGER?!

    If we are indeed all destined to do such things as Jesus Christ did, AND greater, too, should we strive to walk farther on water, or to ask to quickly advance to that state of development, of self-control, of equanimity, of evolution, of self-awareness, of Consciousness, of self-realization, of re-integration, of redemption, of atonement, of enlightenment, of Grace, of Gnosticism, of Love where we no longer experience even the slightest urge to rebuke one another, as Jesus reportedly repeatedly did not only money-changers and Pharisees, but also his own disciples…and as continued to rebuke his Apostles, according to certain canonical gospels, even following his resurrection?

    Or are we to continue to allow ourselves to feel set up to fail, doomed to endlessly try to love one another as he did us, even while believing that Jesus of Nazareth was superhuman, and we are not?

  10. Herman of says:

    Mark had written either “compassion” or “anger”. Only one could be the very word the Holy Spirit inspired him to write down. Some scribe altered what was in his source manuscript, causing the variation. But to come to the conclusion that this only Greek version, the much later than other manuscripts has the original rendering just on grounds that it sounds incorrect, is not only unfounded, it is absurd! And Codex Bezae is filled with many deviations, making it a very unreliable manuscript! One cannot go about with the Word of God in this way.Jesus was filed with compassion, period

  11. Sue says:

    Perhaps both renderings are accurate. Jesus may have been both angry at the havoc Satan was wreaking in this man’s life through the curse that is sickness, and moved with love and compassion to free the man from his curse.

  12. Alberto says:

    As usual, when there is something strange in Mark, Luke provides a useful hint, that had been overlooked. The healing took place in a village/town (Lk 5:12) and the man was blatantly violating the Torah (Lv 13:46). It cannot be excluded that he had been purposefully sent by the scribes to trial Jesus. The story proves that Jesus, who didn’t refrain from healing during the sabbath, did also heal a man while he was sinning, because his pity could not be arrested by sin. The anger of Jesus (Mk 1:41) was well motivated and in agreement with Mk 1:43.

  13. Michael Wojciechowski says:

    The matter was discussed long before Bart Ehrmann. So PLEASE, both experienced BAR authors and young commentators: consult older works as well. Full discussion from 1945: Vaganay in Mélanges E. Podechard, 237-252. Nestle explained the double reading very well refferring to the similarity between both words of them in Aramaic: Philologica sacra, 1896, p. 26. Anger, as lectio difficilior is probably better choice. My article on the leper story (accessible through and ResearchGate): The Touching of the Leper (Mk 1,40-45) as a Historical and Symbolical Act of Jesus, Biblische Zeitschrift 33(1989)1, pp. 114-119.

  14. Jo says:

    As others noted in earlier comments, I too, take the “scholarship” of Bart Ehrman with a grain of salt.

  15. Concerned Greek Student says:

    As others have pointed out, the text-critical methodology of this article is extremely sketchy and unlikely, and violates every consistent canon of criticism that has been developed. If BAR wants to try to argue for this text, it needs to do so with better evidence and arguments. As it stands, it is logically incoherent and weak. Recommend that the editors retract this ‘article’

  16. Johnny says:

    This article does enough to muddy the water but gives no clear view.

    According to your article is would read as this “Then Jesus, moved with anger, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him :I am willing; be cleansed. And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed him, and he was cleansed.” Mark 1:41-42 As a person already stated this does not flow with the rest of the chapter (remember to keep things in context – one of the first rules in translating). Very little question here that the external evident supports σπλαγχνισθείς not ὀργισθείς.

    Anyone can take one word or one verse (like this article and author did) and make it say what they want to. People do this all the time and tries to get the Bible to support various sins or to support their opinions. If you want to know if the word should be translated as compassion or anger, keep it in context with its chapter and book and the (in this case) the New Testament as a whole. If this person fails to do this then they need to go back to school and relearn how to do proper biblical translation. .

  17. Kathryn Barnhill says:

    Kris, I totally agree with the steps you enumerate but have to stick to #2 and #3. I’d learn Hebrew if I could. I knew Russian once so I have learned another language that uses different letters (Cyrillic ) but I think I’m to old now – I can’t even learn Spanish properly. As to propounding any doctrine, I have no doctrine. I have only each day to try and understand God’s will for me that day and to carry it out and what I can know of God’s will from a human life, I find in the life of Jesus. My Christianity, like Judaism, is a faith of doing not of doctrine. I cannot fully understand Rabbi Jesus unless I can hear him with the ears and understanding of the Scriptures and the Talmud a first century CE Jew would have had.

  18. Kathryn Barnhill says:

    Actually use of the term gut-wrenching is extremely descriptive. I find many situations to be gut-wrenching. I find beheadings to be gut-wrenching. I can totally identify with Jesus finding some situation gut-wrenching. When I feel this, it is a mixture of revulsion, horror and pity bound together with wanting to help or fix it or stop it. Thanks for the insight into the ordinary meaning of the Greek or Coine, as the case may be, term.

  19. Aaron says:

    I don’t see a problem reconciling Jesus’ anger in this situation. The anger doesn’t have to directed at the leper. However, I do think it’s quite a stretch to make the “lonely witness” claim given the scant evidence and questionable source of the quote. Also, Jesus doesn’t seem like an angry guy, all things considered. I’m not sure this topic deserves much attention.

  20. HeLovesYou! says:

    There seems to be Hebrew concept that defies proper english translation. It is the concept of saltiness. As I read the Gospels, Jesus was quite salty. Zest, vigor, again, there does not seem to be the right word in English. That is what I believe the text is trying to convey to us. Jesus was filled with courage, … passion. Anger or Angst might also be a word to describe this.

  21. Lisa Hercl Nevares says:

    Regarding the concern that Jesus was committing a sin by being angry (whether during the incident referred to in this article or, any other involving Christ and/for Yahweh Himself)…Yeshua, as part of The Perfect Trinity us unable to sin. His anger (as with God) is a righteous anger, one justified by Their position as Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Creators of the universe).
    Regarding the text noted in the article about whether Jesus became angry prior to acting upon His Compassion for the one He healed…It makes perfect sense that Christ could have become angry for a number of reasons: #1) The leper is noted as qualifying his request with “if you are willing” – an indication by the leper as to possible doubts about Christ’s intentions for, or capabilities to perform the healing (and/or this qualifying statement could be an indication of the lepers own doubts about Jesus’ capabilities and intentions, but the leper transfers the responsibility for those doubts upon the Lord); #2) The NIV states that Yeshua was “indignant” which carries the connotation of displeasure or offense – again, possibly due to what I noted in #1. #3) Christ had been very concerned about when His miracles were to be made public (inclusive of Jew and Gentile, alike) – refer to His response to His mother Mary when she asked Him to turn water into wine noting that His hour “had not yet come” (John 2:4 NIV) which substantiates His request of the leper to go and show himself to the Priests (the representatives of the God’s Chosen people, at the time, to whom Messiah was initially sent to share His Gospel Message). #4) Perhaps, Jesus in His Divine Foreknowledge already knew that the leper was not going to comply with His directive to tell the priest, which in turn could have annoyed Christ (caused Him to be indignant, irritated or angry). #5) In keeping with His concern for the Jewish social and religious climate of the day, Jesus was instructing the leper to follow such protocols when He said “Bring gifts for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded for their testimony.” (Mark 1:44 Aramaic Bible/Plain English); however, His anger could have been due to His anticipation of the lepers failure to fulfill Moses command and thereby add to the list of things that the Sanhedrin would soon compile against Yeshua.

  22. David Allen South says:

    the new testament was never penned in greek! that is a lie! anyone that says it was did not do any viable research! more proof than you need!

  23. Polk Culpepper says:

    Why does it have to be one or the other? Is this a false dichotomy? I would submit that Jesus is both angry and compassionate, in that part of compassion, biblically speaking, is anger – anger at religious, economic, and political systems that discriminate and ostracize lepers. And compassionate toward the victims of such injustice. This was typical of the Prophets, as well.

  24. Casio Querea says:

    I do no have any problem with seeing Jesus angry in this verse. We have seen him angry in other texts as well. Sometimes we consider ourselves hollier than Jesus and that is why we can not acept that Jesus got angry.

    I do not see the case of reading hebrew and dismiss the greek text. Where is the hebrew or aramaic text of the new testament to read it?

  25. Mike anthony says:

    “But most interesting of all, the Codex Bezae may in fact have the better (i.e., original) reading. As New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman pointed out in a 2005 article in Bible Review, “one factor in favor of the ‘angry’ reading is that it sounds wrong.”** It is much easier to believe that early scribes were troubled by Jesus’ anger and changed it to his feeling compassion, rather than the other way around. Later scribes also would have preferred the easier “compassion” reading and copied it until it became the more popular reading.”

    Tremendously sketchy. We are to accept a singular text unsupported by others on the basis that all other scribes through the years would have wished to tamper with the text. Group psychoanalysis of people living hundreds of years ago is poor poor scholarship and vacant hermeneutics.

  26. Luana Jo Patten says:

    Since you are Not showing us the Actual writing. I can”t judge for myself. I can”t take your word for it..This is the internet. Thanks anyway. I”ll have to find it on some other site.

  27. Charles Lefteruk says:

    Maybe what we should what we take from, it is that even in anger as long as it is Righteous, Healing an Good work can be done. Just a thought God Bless.

  28. PSGott says:

    I seem to remember reading that the expression “moved with compassion” or “pity” is our best effort at translation. The original meaning would convey an intense physical feeling. Almost like being “sick to your stomach.”.His “anger” would be more of a rightous indignation that mankind, because of it’s fall into a sinful state, had to endure such pitiful conditions. This was not what God had originally intended. Satan is the cause and the one behind this. Jesus anger was not uncontrolled rage, but rather an intense feeling of compassion for the individual and rightous indignation toward Satan and his effect on humanity. In this he would not be sinning but would be loving, compassionate, and justified.

  29. tapani annila says:

    Kiitos hienosta artikkelista “Does the Gospel of Mark”. Minusta alkutekstissä puhutaan “vihaten armahtamisesta”. Vastaavia hepreasmeja Raamatussa on mm Psalmissa 2:11 “iloitkaa pelolla”. Jeesus kohtasi sairaassa Saatanan työn, jota vihasi, mutta toteutti samalla omaa armahtamistaan. Toisinaan heprean sanoilla voi olla vastakohtaisiakin merkityksiä.

  30. mark james says:

    Not saying there is sin in Jesus Gods Christ but there is sin in the Heavenly realm of Ones soul which is dead by reason of our err into sin and controlled by the Demonic forces in the Heavenly Eternal realm of Ones being and can only be “CAST OUT” by Gods Messiah within us called Jesus as Gods Only Christ in us our Hope of Salvation to Glory Amen!

  31. mark james says:

    Our Warfare is ALL Spiritual against those foul spirits that operate in the hearts as is the flesh of ALL MEN.
    Jesus could SEE the culprit was Satan NOT this man and He Jesus became angry IN Spirit and yet did Not err into sin.
    Regarding the destruction of All flesh in the flood. It was exactly that “FLESH” as in all humans. Not the demons that were indwelling them as they would Appear again in Ham’s (Unclean) grandson Canaan as he made up the “SEVEN” Evil Nations that Joshua and the Jews crossed over into their land to be conquered by God Himself as they had to “OBEY” Him to See the exodus of the demon spirits that were occupying the Land of Promise called today be God our Jesus who is Gods Messiah as Christ IN You our only Hope of our Fathers Glory which is Eternal Life as in Knowing God NOT Living forever Amen?

  32. Tom Kelly says:

    Especially when playing our tole as parent, counselor, guide, messenger-angel, teacher or healer, when others suddenly or unexpectedly show us disrespect, distrust or contempt, rather than simple straightforward aggression, caught off guard, our ego may be stirred to respond before we get a chance to rein it in. My current understanding of this Mark passage is that, asked by Jesus if s/he wished to be healed, a person with a skin disease responds with a sneer:

    “If you WANT to, you can heal me!” implying by tone as much as in content that Jesus (i) could feel free do do as he pleased, as he would, anyway, only healing for his own, personal satisfaction/gratification/glory, as it were, (ii), if he, Jesus, did so, the other party would not owe him anything in return and/or (iii) it would be no “skin off my nose” EITHER way, thank you very much!

    Such unexpected hostility/sneering can catch any of us unawares, often to effects which later may seem comical but right then are far from it. It is as though the ego or “pain-body” or demon/s of the other part has/have instinctually sought an energy feed from our ego/pain-body/demon/s. If Jesus reacted with any anger, then the “leper’s” demon/s had succeeded, at least for a moment. JUST as in Matthew 16:23 when Jesus rebuked Peter’s demon’s: “Get behind me, Satan!” and also in Mark 1:25 where he is said to have rebuked another “unclean spirit.”

    If Jesus, who knew so well that we can never really be blamed for we never really know what we do when we act less than lovingly, again continued to rebuke folks even following his resurrection, as we are told he did, then I see our call, our encouragement, our empowerment to do such things as he did and greater, too, to be a call not so much to walk farther on water as to catch our rebukes before we utter and, eventually, before we even FEEL them surface, or feel them, at ALL!

    Every peace, joy and blessing to you all, fellow hard-of-heart, unbelievers, disbelievers, Pharisees and hypocrites, I say, knowing that I am a Pharisee, too, but that, as Jesus assured us, acc. to Luke 17:21, the Kingdom, God, Heaven, Christ – is within all us Pharisees as surely as it within every human being who has ever lived or will live.


  33. James Snapp, Jr. says:

    One of the problems with the “angry” variant is that the theory that it is the original implies not only that the major transmission-lines altered the text, but that the text was altered in the same way. It’s kind of like looking at a tree with multiple branches with oranges on them, and seeing one branch that is bearing one lemon. It seems more likely that one is looking at a tree which is an orange tree down to the roots but on which a lemon-branch has been grafted.

    “But where did Codex Bezae’s reading come from then?” someone is sure to ask. From retro-translation from Latin. Codex D/d is not just a “Greek manuscript,” article-writer. It is Greek-Latin. Please adjust the text of the article accordingly, preferably with a note that Codex D is notoriously inaccurate.

    What happened:
    (1) Someone, attempting to translate the Gospel of Mark from Greek into Latin, encounters the word “Splangchistheis” and is not sure what to do with it: “Moved in his gut?” — “Gut-wrenched??” — “Churned within”???. He rendered it as “angry.”
    (2) Later, someone familiar with this Latin (mis-)translation tidied up a Greek text of Mark in the ancestry of Codex Bezae by tweaking the Greek word in Mk. 1:41, replacing the question-raising “splangchistheis” to the clearer and less nuanced “orgistheis” (angry).

    And that’s all there is to that. Codex Bezae is simply wrong at this point, as it always is when it has no allies among the Greek manuscripts that have not been influenced by the Old Latin transmission-line(s).

  34. WJessen says:

    I would consult New Testament scholar Dr Craig Evans on this because Bart Ehrman’s scholarly integrity is up for question as he himself has indicated that he has purposefully obscured the truth in order to persuade people on certain topics. See debates between both men.

  35. Peter L Johnson, Newcastle, Australia. says:

    ‘Mar 1:41, NIV: “Filled with xxxxxxxxx, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”

    Yes, our Lord was willing to heal this man of LEPROSY and reached out and TOUCHED him and healed him. … No, you just don’t do that, unless you are ANGRY at his CONDITION of being leprous, or COMPASSIONATE toward him because he was leprous and desired healing.

    Either way, Jesus’ anger or compassion relate to the leprosy. He can be angry because of the man’s suffering and need, and he can be compassionate because of the man’s suffering and need.

    …. and he reached out and touched him and healed him. Who among us would risk doing that?

  36. Luana Jo Patten says:

    It would help me if you gave the words for angry and compassion in Greek, Hebrew, Latin and any other language that my affect it. What were the scribes native language ? Etc.
    What would Jesus have to be angry about.?

    Thanks: Sincerely Luana

  37. Paul says:

    Some Bible translations render this passage as “moved with pity”.

    The book “Insight On The Scriptures” (vol. 2) makes this observation:
    Jesus Christ perfectly reflected the personality of his Father in the display of pity. He “felt pity” for the crowds, even when his privacy was interrupted, “because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt 9:36; Mr 6:34) The sight of persons who were bereaved or who had leprosy or who were blind moved Jesus to feel pity, so that he brought them miraculous relief. (Mt 14:14; 20:30-34; Mr 1:40, 41; Lu 7:12, 13)

    Another reference work makes this comment:
    On another occasion, a leper approached Jesus and pleaded: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” How did Jesus, a perfect man who had never been sick, respond? His heart went out to the leper. Indeed, “he was moved with pity.” (Mark 1:40-42) He then did something extraordinary. He well knew that lepers were unclean under the Law and were not to mingle with others. (Leviticus 13:45, 46) Jesus was certainly capable of healing this man without any physical contact. (Matthew 8:5-13) Yet, he chose to reach out and touch the leper, saying: “I want to. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy vanished. What tender empathy Jesus expressed!

    Then there is this observation:

    Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
    STRONGS NT 4697: σπλαγχνίζομαι

    σπλαγχνίζομαι; 1 aorist ἐσπλαγχνίσθην (cf. Buttmann, 52 (45)); (σπλάγχνον, which see); properly, to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence, to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity): absolutely, Luke 10:33; Luke 15:20; σπλαγχνισθείς with a finite verb, Matthew 20:34; Mark 1:41

  38. Bellisima says:

    This ‘learned man’ has submitted a document with ‘credentials’ and his paper will be examined by future generations. From the response of the discerning readers and believers, the author’s argument for ‘anger’ cannot stand. Shamefully, this is not the only example of academic authors who have disputed the validity of the scriptures and have strayed form the intent and truth of the gospel, poisoning the waters and stirring up strife. Can this one example stand up to the character of Christ revealed in other scriptures? I don’t think so, therefore this interpretation is not valid.

  39. Gary says:

    I have a different take on this. Having been in the ministry for over 45 years and having prayed for many seriously ill people I don’t find anger to be inappropriate. I is well within the area of the possible and may even be probable. Many times in ministering to the sick I have found an emotion of anger rise up within me, not anger at the person, but anger at the devil who brings the sickness to attack a persons body and in this case bind them for years with it. Acts 10:38 mentions Jesus going about healing all who were oppressed of the devil. This could be one of those events.

  40. Kris says:

    I would question the total validity of Greek text, due to the fact that the Israel of that day, among the common Jewish population, Aramaic Hebrew would have been the language of preference. The transcribing of Hebraic to Greek would have in itself presented problems if there were no written Hebraic documents from which to use in translation. It is also possible, via oral communication (mouth to ear to interpreter, to paper) that a Greek version could have been made but it would surly lack the fullness of Hebraic implications, given that some word in Hebrew will not translate to Greek. So the best that could be done here, is to use a Greek word silimalar which may or may not reveal the “Intent” of the speaker. I think the Mark question is one of those instances in which “intent” is lost due to translation. I would suggest a proper approach to Biblical studies would be: 1. Become a student of the Hebrew language 2. Become a student of the Torah of Moses 3. Understand the difference between the Torah of Moses and the Oral Rabbinic Laws (Talmud) 4 Don’t be quick to propound doctrine in defense of a demonimation, but secretly ponder things for yourself, you will not find the truth, the Truth will find you…

  41. Rick Carpenter says:

    I wonder if the text originally meant “He was filled with emotion” and then *later* the Greek came to mean “emotion of anger”.

    Witness the change in meaning of the English word “awful”.

  42. Nemoque says:

    Be angry but do not sin.

  43. tom says:

    If Jesus was a man whose soul was fully immortal and fully divine, and whose body was fully physical and fully animal and and fully human and fully mortal and fully divine, then I think he was just like all humans, and I think his mission was to show us this, even if it takes us 2,000 or more years to get it. If he asked us – all – to love one another as he had loved us, I do not think he was trying to set us up to fail, us being mere humans incapable of a love which only a child of God is capable of.

    I find it surprising that stories pointing to Jesus ego have managed to survive in the canonical gospels handed down to us, at all. But they have.

    Even though Jesus, of all people, knew that we ought to forgive one another endlessly for, after all, we know not what we do when we act less than fully lovingly, he himself appears to have fallen into the trap of not instantly forgiving others their lapses, especially when infected by their fear, their hardheartedness, and their disbelief.

    Even after his resurrection, as a ghost with a body (as aren’t we all?), Jesus is said to rebuke the remaining apostles for their disbelief, before asking for food.

    Apparently infected by Peter’s fear, he addresses him, “Get behind me, Satan!” Perhaps he was joking? If not, he seems to have been angry, or to have shown “indignation”,” which is surely a form of anger? Likewise in clearing the temple, in repeatedly rebuking his followers for their disbelief, their hardness of heart, their failure to have faith even as a mustard seed and to heal others accordingly, in cursing the fig tree, in asking his companions to steal – or “borrow” – an ass or colt for him, in asking that this cup pass and in asking his Father why he had forsaken him.

    Jesus had an ego. We all do. Like everything else, it is a blessing. We can learn to use it more and more wisely but, as long as we live, we are unlikely to ever lose it completely, and that is okay. But, if we wish to be like him and greater than him, rather than being like his disappointing followers in the Bible, as recounted to us, we can try to remain calm when others rebuke or test us, show us fear or hatred, forget their Christitude, their own divinity, as Peter famously did, remembering that it may more likely have been an observation than a command, not a Hey, YOU! Love your neighbor as yourself! so much as a, “Hey, you love your neighbor as yourself, at any moment, for that is how we are all – ALL – created.

    Much love.


  44. Charles says:

    By the way, if the interpretation of how Jesus felt was so important how come in Matthew 8:1-4 (NIV) it doesn’t mention the word anger?

    These modern interpretations are bogus.

  45. Charles says:

    It is always interesting to me to read articles that are commenting on the translation of an ancient language into English. Without going into what each one is there are homonyms, homophones, and homographs in theEnglish language. Example: pray and prey. So if one hears that word, unless he has heard the context in which it has been given etc. he may interpret it incorrectly.

    Additionally, if, at the time the scribe was writing and he used a word, the meaning of which could not be translated into another language, what did he use?

    You tell me. Do I rely on someone who is “suppose” to be an expert to interpret the Bible?

    We are to read the Bible and pray. God will give us the meaning. I heard a priest give a homily on vs 40-41 and he put it into this context. The leper ask Jesus “if you are willing”. In other words you (Jesus) are God, I know you can do it, so I (the leper) will accept the outcome. THAT, is what we need to do in our lives: to accept, when we pray, what God’s answer will be.

    Jesus reached out to people who were lost, forgotten, sinful or hurting and to think that there was any other kind of emotion really needs to be investigated.

  46. Danny Nix says:

    Do not put too much into Ehrman’s reading or telling. For a long time, he has shown that he is not with Jesus but instead is against Him and the Gospel.

  47. Selah Stewart says:

    If Yahshua was angry, it was with the Priesthood as they are not doing their Spiritual duties or the man with leaper would have went to them! That’s why he told the man to go the Priest and ask for the offering according to Laws of Moses as a witness to THEM the priest! As the Priesthood under Herod were not good shepherds or healers!

  48. Gayle Erwin says:

    Yes, Jesus got angry at those who would attempt to silence the blind man or keep him from coming to Jesus. This is similar to the anger he showed to those who didn’t want him to heal the man with the withered hand at the synagogue in Mark 3.

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