Mark ix.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 4. The law and the prophets were signified by Moses and Elias; both bear testimony to the divinity of Jesus Christ’s mission, which was effectually to close the old, and open the new dispensation. By the apparitions of these two illustrious personages, we learn also that sometimes, though not often, there is, by the permission of heaven, a certain intercourse between the living and the dead. (Bristow)

Ver. 5. Peter had forgotten that the glorious kingdom of Christ was not of this world, but in heaven only; that himself and the other apostles, clothed as they were with their mortality, could not participate in immortal joys; and that the mansions in the house of the Father are not raised with human hands. He again shewed that he knew not what he said, by wishing to make three tabernacles, one for the law, one for the prophets, and one for the gospel, since these three cannot be separated from each other. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 9. Risen from the dead. The disciples believed the resurrection of the dead, but they knew not what Christ meant by by his rising from the dead. Their thoughts were filled with the idea of a glorious kingdom in this world, in which they should enjoy great dignities and offices under the Messias. (Witham)

Ver. 10. The Jews here confound the two comings of Jesus Christ. The Baptist, in the spirit of Elias, will precede the first, and Elias in person, the second coming of Christ.

Ver. 14. The multitude were so solicitous to see Christ that they saluted him when yet a great way off. Some imagine that the countenance of our Saviour, being rendered more beautiful by his transfiguration, attracted the attention and admiration of the people. (Theophylactus)

Ver. 20. Let those blush who pretend to affirm, that all men come into this world clear of original sin, and perfectly innocent like Adam when first created. For why should this child be tormented by a cruel devil, if he had not been under the guilt of original sin, as it is clear, beyond dispute, that he could not be guilty of any actual transgression? (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 22. The answer of our Lord is adapted to the petition of the child’s father. He had said: If thou canst do any thing, have mercy on us: and Christ answered: If thou canst believe, &c. Thus when the leper said: If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, he answered: I will, be thou made clean. (Ven Bede) — [1]All things are possible to him that believeth. The sense is not, as if he that believeth could do all things; but that any thing might be done by the divine power and goodness, in favour of him that had a firm and lively faith. (Witham)

Ver. 23. If the man believed, as he said, why does he add, help my unbelief? It may be answered: because faith is manifold; their is a faith of beginners, and a faith of the perfect. The incipient faith this man already possessed, and he besought our Saviour to help him to the higher degrees of this virtue. No one becomes great and perfect all at once, but must first set off with small beginnings, and thus gradually ascend to the height of perfection. Thus the man, who, by the inspiration of grace has received imperfect faith, may be said at the same time to believe, and still to be incredulous. (Ven. Bede) — Here we are taught that our faith is weak, and has need of support and increase from God’s assistance. When tears accompany our faith, they obtain for us the grant of our petitions. (St. Jerome)

Ver. 26. Him whom the devil had made like to the dead, the goodness of Christ, by his charitable touch, restored to life. Thus proving at once both his divinity and humanity; the former by his wonderful cure of healing, and the latter by performing this cure by a touch of the hand. (Ven. Bede) — The devil could not inflict a real death on the child, on account of the dissent of the Author of life. (St. Chrysostom)

Ver. 27. This person, whom the apostles had forbidden to work miracles in the name of Christ, believed indeed in Christ, but did not follow him, on account of the great poverty of the apostles: he was not perfect, nor had he left all things to follow Christ. The apostles therefore concluded, that such a one was not worthy to work miracles in the name of their divine Master. But for this indiscretion, Christ rebukes them, saying , do not, &c. (Tirinus)

Ver. 31. They could not comprehend what he said; and this not so much through the dulness and stupidity of their understandings, as through their personal affection to him; and because knowing him to be God, they could not conceive how a God could die. (Nicholas of Lyra)

Ver. 37. Who followeth not us, in that special manner, as Christ’s apostles did. (Witham)

Ver. 40. Here we may find that no one, however poor, can be excused from good works; since there is no one who is not able to give at least a cup of cold water; and we are assured that he will not lose his reward. (Nicholas of Lyra)

Ver. 43. Where their worm dieth not. These words are taken out of Isaias lxvi. 24; and are to be expounded of the punishments, and fruitless repentance of the wicked in the next world. (Witham)

Ver. 48. [2]For every one shall be salted with fire. The sense seems to be, that every wicked unrepenting sinner (of whom it was before said, that their worm dieth not) shall be severely and continually punished, though not consumed by the fire of hell. — And every victim shall be salted with salt; that is, even good men shall be cleansed and purified by trials and sufferings in this world, as some victims were to be salted by the law. (Leviticus ii. 13.) (Witham)

Ver. 49. Become unsavoury; i.e. if he, who has once received the faith, should apostatize from it, what is there that can possibly convert him from his wicked ways? since even the salt, with which he was salted, is become unsavoury, i.e. the doctrines he formerly received are no longer of any use. (Nicholas of Lyra)


[1] Ver. 22. Omnia possibilia sunt credenti, dunata to pisteuont.

[2] Ver. 48. Omnis enim igne salietur, et omnis victima sale salietur, pas gar puri alisthesetai, kai pasa thusia ali alisthesetai.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Christ is transfigured. He casts out the dumb spirit. He teaches humility, and to avoid scandal.

1 And *after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John: and leadeth them up to a high mountain apart by themselves, and was transfigured before them.

2 And his garments became shining, and exceedingly white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can make white.

3 And there appeared to them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

4 And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Rabbi, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

5 For he knew not what he said: for they were struck with fear.

6 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying: This is my most beloved Son: hear ye him.

7 And immediately looking about, they saw no man any more, but Jesus only with them.

8 *And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them not to tell any man what things they had seen, till the Son of man shall be risen again from the dead.

9 And they kept the word to themselves: questioning together what that should mean: When he shall be risen from the dead.

10 And they asked him, saying: *Why then do the Pharisees and Scribes say, that Elias must come first?

11 He answering, said to them: Elias, when he shall come first, shall restore all things: and how *it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be despised.

12 But I say to you, that Elias also is come, (and they have done to him whatsoever they would) as it is written of him.

13 And coming to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the Scribes questioning with them.

14 And presently all the people seeing Jesus, were astonished and struck with fear: and running to him, they saluted him.

15 And he asked them, What do you question about among you?

16 *And one of the multitude, answering, said: Master, I have brought to thee my son who hath a dumb spirit.

17 Who wheresoever he taketh him, dasheth him, and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away; and I spoke to thy disciples to cast him out, and they could not.

18 He answering them, said: O incredulous generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him to me.

19 And they brought him. And when he had seen him, immediately the spirit troubled him: and being thrown down upon the ground, he rolled about, foaming.

20 And he asked his father: How long a time is it since this hath happened unto him? But he said: From his infancy.

21 And oftentimes hath he cast him into the fire, and into waters, to destroy him. But if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

22 And Jesus saith to him: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

23 And immediately the father of the boy crying out, with tears, said: I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief.

24 And when Jesus saw the multitude running together, he threatened the unclean spirit, saying to him: Thou deaf and dumb spirit, I command thee, go out of him; and enter no more into him.

25 And crying out, and greatly tearing him, he went out of him, and he became as one dead, insomuch that many said, He is dead.

26 But Jesus taking him by the hand, lifted him up, and he arose.

27 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately; Why could not we cast him out?

28 And he said to them: This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

29 And departing from thence, they passed through Galilee, and he would not that any man should know it.

30 And he taught his disciples, and said to them: *The Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise again the third day.

31 But they understood not the word: and they were afraid to ask him.

32 And they came to Capharnaum. And when they were in the house, he asked them: What did you treat of in the way?

33 But they held their peace: for in the way they had disputed among themselves, *which of them should be the greatest.

34 And sitting down, he called the twelve, and saith to them: If any man desire to be first, he shall be the last of all, and the servant of all.

35 And taking a child, he set him in the midst of them: and when he had embraced, he saith to them:

36 Whosoever shall receive one such child as this in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

37 *John answered him, saying: Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us, and we forbade him.

38 But Jesus said: Do not forbid him: *For there is no man that doth a miracle in my name, that can soon speak ill of me.

39 For he that is not against you, is for you.

40 *For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ, Amen, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

41 *And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

42 *And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than, having two hands, to go into hell, into unquenchable fire:

43 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

44 And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than, having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire:

45 *Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

46 And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee, with one eye, to enter into the kingdom of God; than, having two eyes, to be cast into the hell of fire:

47 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

48 *For every one shall be salted with fire: and every victim shall be salted with salt.

49 *Salt is good: but if the salt become unsavoury; wherewith will you season it? Have salt in you, and have peace among you.



1: Matthew xvii. 1.; Luke ix. 28.

8: Matthew xvii. 9.

10: Matthew xvii. 10.

11: Isaias liii. 3. and 4.

16: Luke ix. 38.

30: Matthew xvii. 21.; Luke ix. 22. and 44.

33: Matthew xviii. 1.; Luke ix. 46.

37: Luke ix. 49.

38: 1 Corinthians xii. 3.

40: Matthew x. 42.

41: Matthew xviii. 6.; Luke xvii. 2.

42: Matthew v. 30. and xviii. 8.

45: Isaias lxvi. 24.

48: Leviticus ii. 13.

49: Matthew v. 13.; Luke xiv. 34.