A Translation of Mark Chapter 11

RomansText1“For this reason I am telling you, believe that you have received the things that you are asking and praying, and it will happen for you. However, whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, in order that your Father who is in heaven might forgive your transgressions.” (Mark 11:24-25)

I find it interesting, in fact, intensely interesting, that Jesus often links forgiving others with answered prayer. There is something about refusing to forgive someone else that hurts our ability to have our own prayers answered.

This is an important concept. Many people focus on the importance of believing what we pray when we pray, and this is certainly important. However, if we only focus on believing, without also recognizing what Jesus taught about forgiving, we are only focused on half the story. Powerful prayer starts with forgiving others, and then becomes even stronger as we believe for what we are praying.

On to our translation:

Mark 11:1-33
A Translation by Randal Cutter

11:1   When they were approaching Jerusalem by Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples

11:2   and instructed them, “Go into the village ahead of you and, as soon as you enter it, you will find a colt that has been tied. No one has ever sat upon it. Untie it and bring it here.”

11:3   “If someone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’ He will immediately send it back here.”

11:4   So they went and found the colt tied outside at a door on the street, and they untied it.

11:5   Some of those who were standing there asked them, “What are you doing untying the colt?”

11:6   But they spoke to them just as Jesus had instructed, and they gave the disciples permission.

11:7   They brought the colt to Jesus, and they threw their garments upon it, and he sat on it.

11:8   Many also spread their clothing on the road, and others cut leaf-filled branches from the fields.

11:9   Those who went ahead, and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one coming in the name of the Lord.”

11:10   “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David. Hosanna in the highest.”

11:11   Jesus entered Jerusalem, went to the temple, and examined every part of it. Then, because it was already evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

11:12   On the next day, after they departed from Bethany, Jesus grew hungry.

11:13   When he spotted a fig tree with leaves some distance away, he approached to see what he might find on it. When he arrived at the tree, he did not find anything except leaves, for it was not yet the season for figs.*

11:14   In response, he said to it, “May no one eat fruit from you ever again.”

11:15   When they came to Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple and began to cast out those buying and selling in the temple. He also overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stands of those selling doves.

11:16   In addition, he did not allow anyone to carry their goods through the temple.*

11:17   He taught them and explained to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a bandits’ lair.”

11:18   When the chief priests and scribal scholars heard, they began to seek how they might destroy him, because the entire crowd was astonished by his teaching.

11:19   When evening came, he went out from the city.

11:20   In the morning, when they passed by the fig tree, they saw it was withered from the roots.

11:21   Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered away.”

11:22   Jesus responded and said to him, “Have faith in God!”

11:23   “I am telling you the truth, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Lift yourself off the ground and throw yourself in the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he is speaking will happen, it will happen for him.”

11:24   “For this reason I am telling you, believe that you have received the things that you are asking and praying, and it will happen for you.”

11:25   “However, whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, in order that your Father who is in heaven might forgive your transgressions.”

11:26   “If you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

11:27   They came again to Jerusalem, and while he was walking around in the temple, the chief priests, the scribal scholars, and the elders approached him.

11:28   They asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things?” and, “Who gave you this authority that you do these things?”

11:29   In response, Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

11:30   “The baptism of John, was it from heaven or from men? Answer me.”

11:31   They discussed it among themselves saying, “If we say that it is from heaven, he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’

11:32   “But can we say that it is from men?”* They were afraid of the crowd, for the people all believed John truly was a prophet.

11:33   They responded to Jesus and said, “We do not know.” So Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”


11:13  Not the season for figs: It wasn’t the season for ripe figs, but when a tree was in leaf, there was the possibility that it would have unripened fruit, which isn’t tasty, but it will do if you are hungry.

11:16  Carry goods through the temple: Herod’s temple took up about one sixth of the total geographic area in Jerusalem. It was massive, and a major road block to getting easily from one side of Jerusalem to another. The easy route was through the temple. Of course, carrying things through the Court of the Gentiles not only disrespected the worship of the Gentiles, it violated the spirit of rest. Jesus stopped this type of traffic.

11:32  Can we say? — Although most of the major translations do not interpret the words of the scribal scholars and chief priests as a question, the Greek text includes a question mark. I have translated it appropriately for a question mark.


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Image credit: Randal Cutter/iPhone 6s/Photoshop Oil Paint Filter