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In Mark 15:34, why was part of the verse left in the Aramaic language instead of being translated into English? Why, if the rest was translated, does that line remain the same?

15:34 Around three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

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Because at that point, for that clause, the Greek switches to Aramaic (they are Aramaic words written in Greek letters, a practice known as transliteration) with the interpretation following.

Mark 15:34 καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· ἐλωι ἐλωι λεμα σαβαχθανι; ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον· ὁ θεός μου ὁ θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπες με;

To translate the Aramaic would make the verse odd. It would read like this:

Around three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

  • But, why didn't the author simply translate the first statement in the first place and simply omit the rest (from "which" onwards). Any ideas? – user862 May 19 '14 at 18:21
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    Maybe he was trying to make it clear why the bystanders thought he was calling Elijah? – Susan May 19 '14 at 19:43
  • Ah, yes, I recall that now. That's obviously it. :) – user862 May 19 '14 at 22:04

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