Mark 9:33 What was it that you disputed among yourselves

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

What in this method are you arguing?

KJV : 

Mark 9:33 What was it that you disputed among yourselves by the way?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Jesus asked this question of the apostles, but he also asked it of us and all ages. What are our philosophical debates really about? Since the theme of this chapter of Mark thus far is the nature of spirit and the boundaries between the physical world and the spiritual world, this question is right on point. Our philosophical debates are all about one thing: the purpose of our lives? From this question of purpose we get to goals and ultimately to values. The answer to this question tells us more about the spiritual and purpose of this world.

Whether the apostles realized it or not, in debating "who was the greatest," they were debating values and the best way to measure greatness. From their silence, we can assume that the apostles were debating who was the greatest follower of Christ. However, given the topic of this chapter and that it begins with the transfiguration, they could have also been debating who was the greatest among Moses, Elijah, or Christ, that is, who is the greatest teacher or spiritual leader?

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (irreg sg neut nom) "What" is from tis, which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "many a one", "whoever," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," or "what."

ἐν  (prep) "By" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῇ ( article sg fem dat) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

ὁδῳ ( noun sg fem dat) "Way" is hodos, which means literally "the way" or "the road" but it also means "travel" and "journey."  It is interesting that a term joining a path with philosophy exists in many languages from the west to the east.

διελογίζεσθε;  (verb 2nd pl imperf ind mp) "Was it that you disputed" is from dialogizomai, which means "to calculate exactly", "to add up account", "to debate," and "to argue." Elsewhere it is translated as "reason."

KJV Analysis: 

What  -- The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

was -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek.

it -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek.

that -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek.

you -- This is from the second-person plural form of the verb.

disputed -- "Disputed " is a verb that means "to calculate exactly", "to add up account", "to debate," and "to argue." It is not a common word. Jesus only uses it seven time.

among yourselves -- This is from the form of the verb, which is has the subject of the verb acting on itself.

by -- The word translated as "by" means "in.," "within", "with," or "among." It isn't used commonly to mean "by."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

way? -- "The way" is from a word meaning "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life." In Acts, followers of Jesus are described as those "belonging to the way". 

Front Page Date: 

Sep 13 2019