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It is true that the "anarthrous" usage of "Jesus" (Ἰησοῦς) in Mark 1:9 is unusual. Of 82 occurrences of the name in Mark, only eight of them lack the article (1:1, 9, 24; 5:7; 10:47[x2]; 16:6, 19). There is something of a pattern, though, as aside from 1:1, 9; and 16:19 (which is in the disputed "long ending" of Mark), these occur with an epithet, not a ...


Within the surrounding dialogues various parties (the Pharisees and Sadducees) try to entrap Jesus, but this skeptical scribe listens and affirms the truth when he hears it. We would expect the scribe to believe Jesus' answer to be a basically agreed upon interpretation of what is the greatest commandment, but we would not expect him to add in, "...is ...

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