Mark 4:11

The previous post in this series is:

Matthew 13:11

The first post in this series about mysteries in the Bible is called Mysteries.

This is a parallel passage to the Matthew 13:11 passage I wrote about previously. The same comments apply, so I will take this opportunity to delve into the Greek a bit.

The Greek text uses musterion. Our English word mystery is a transliteration1 of it. But, we use the word mystery to mean a bunch of things, whereas mysterion carries with it the idea of something hidden. It comes from a root word — muo — that means to shut the mouth.

So, the Greek actually makes it clear that this isn’t just a mystery, like a mystery novel. No, it’s something that is hidden and revealed. Note that this revelation isn’t necessarily for all people. In fact, Jesus’s parables are the classic example of something hidden to most, but revealed to some (the disciples).

So, going forward, I’m going to use an operating definition of mystery as something previously hidden but now revealed (at least to some).

Note that this same idea holds in the Hebrew I mentioned earlier. But, in the New Testament, mysteries are something hidden from the Old Testament readers, but now revealed in the New Testament.

The next post in this series is:

Luke 8:10

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  1. A transliteration is where one language borrows a word from another, and uses its own alphabet.

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