Mark 3:23 How can Satan cast out Satan?

KJV Verse: 

Mark 3:23 How can Satan cast out Satan?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

By what means do it have itself the power, suffering to toss out suffering?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Did Jesus used the term "Satan" to a real person or did he, as the Hebrew word is generally interpreted in the Jewish tradition, use the term to address the nature of adversity? In this verse and those that follow, we get a clearer idea.  In my earlier work, I translated "satan" as "adversity" or "adversary," but more recently as "suffering" because many of the verses translate better that way, this one included. See this article on the meaning of the words Demons, Devils, and Satan. And this one specifically on the word Satan as Lies and Suffering. 

KJV Analysis: 

How   "How" is the adverb that means "how", "by any means", and "I suppose". 

can The word translated as "can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power.

Satan "Satan" is from an Aramaic word meaning "adversary" or "opponent".  See this article on the word and this article on this word and related terms. It seems to translated best as "suffering" with "demons" as a special type of suffering: a mental disorder. Suffering can either bring us closer to God or push us away. It pushes us away when we tell ourselves lies about the nature of suffering.

cast out "Cast out" is a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT.  The form is someone or some thing acting on itself.

Satan? "Satan" is from an Aramaic word meaning "adversary" or "opponent". This is the closest Jesus comes to using it to refer to the OT "Lucifer".  See this article on the word and this article on this word and related terms

 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πῶς (adv/conj) "How" is from pôs (pos) which means "in any way", "at all", "by any means," and "I suppose."

δύναται ( verb 3rd sg pres ind mp ) "Can" is from the verb, dunamai (dunamai) which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

Σατανᾶς (noun sg masc nom) "Satan" is from satan (satanus, satan), which means "adversary", "opponent," and
"accuser." These are Hebrew origin words, appearing in Greek only in the New Testament. The traditional Jewish view does not portray "satan" as an evil angel (explanation here). A case can be made that our personalization of Satan is largely an artifact of incomplete translation.

Σατανᾶν noun sg masc acc) "Satan" is from satan (satanus, satan), which means "adversary", "opponent," and
"accuser." These are Hebrew origin words, appearing in Greek only in the New Testament. The traditional Jewish view does not portray "satan" as an evil angel (explanation here). A case can be made that our personalization of Satan is largely an artifact of incomplete translation.

ἐκβάλλειν; ( verb pres inf act ) Cast out" is from ekballô (ekballo) and means "throw out", "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter." The general idea of ballo is "to throw without caring where something falls," so it isn't like putting something into a specific place. This term is always used when Christ speaks of casting out spirits or ejecting someone from a place where they are unwanted.

 

Related Verses: 

Jun 1 2019