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Bible Commentaries

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Mark 11

Verse 11

There is a difference between Matthew and Mark in their narrative of the withering of the fig tree; for Matthew says that it was on the day after that Christ made a public appearance as King, while Mark appears to throw it back to the following day. (9) But the solution is easy; for they agree in this respect, that Christ, on the day after that he made his solemn entrance into the city, cursed the tree; only Mark states what Matthew had omitted, that the occurrence was observed by the disciples on the following day., So then, though Mark has stated more distinctly the order of time, he makes no contradiction.

He appears to differ more openly both from Matthew and from Luke in the narrative of chastising the traders; (10) for while both of them declare that Christ, as soon as he entered into the city and temple, drove out those who sold and bought, Mark simply says that he looked around on all things, but has thrown back the driving of them out till another day. (11) But I reconcile them in this way, that Mark, not having spoken about the purifying of the temple, afterwards inserts it, though not in its proper place. He relates that, on the first day, Christ came into the temple, and there looked round on all things. (12) Now why did he look so earnestly, except for the purpose of correcting something that was wrong? For, having been formerly accustomed to pay frequent visits to the temple, it was not the novelty of the sight that affected him. Now as Mark ought immediately to have added, that those who sold and bought in the temple were driven out of it, he says that Christ went out of the city; but, having omitted what was worthy of being related, he inserts it afterwards.

But perhaps some will be more inclined to believe that, in this narrative also, Mark observed the order of time, which the other two Evangelists had disregarded; for though they appear to indicate an uninterrupted succession of events, yet as they do not name a particular day, there would be no impropriety in dividing what we find to be connected in their writings. For my own part, however, I prefer the conjecture which I stated first; for it is probable that this demonstration of his power was made by Christ in presence of a large multitude. But any one who will consider how little care the Evangelists bestowed on pointing out dates will not stumble at this diversity in the narrative.

(9) “ Que le jour ensuyvant les disciples prindrent garde à ce qui estoit advenu à l’arbre;”— “that, on the following day, the disciples took notice of what had happened the tree.”

(10) “ En l’histoire des marchans chassez hors du temple;” — “in the narrative of the merchants driven out of the temple.”

(11) “ Et puis il remet à l’autre jour ensuyvant ceste reformation du temple;” — “and then he throws back to the other following day that reformation of the temple.”

(12) “ Et là regarda tout autour ce qui s’y faisoit;” — “and there looked all around at what was done in it.”

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Mark 11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cal/mark-11.html. 1840-57.