1:21 Then 1 they went to Capernaum. 2 When the Sabbath came, 3 Jesus 4 went into the synagogue 5 and began to teach. 1:22 The people there 6 were amazed by his teaching, because he taught them like one who had authority, 7 not like the experts in the law. 8 1:23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit, 9 and he cried out, 10 1:24 “Leave us alone, 11 Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One 12 of God!” 1:25 But 13 Jesus rebuked him: 14 “Silence! Come out of him!” 15 1:26 After throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 1:27 They were all amazed so that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands the unclean spirits and they obey him.” 1:28 So 16 the news about him spread quickly throughout all the region around Galilee.
[1:21] 2 sn Capernaum was a town located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region, and it became the hub of operations for Jesus’ Galilean ministry.
[1:21] 3 tn The Greek word εὐθύς (euqus, often translated “immediately” or “right away”) has not been translated here. It sometimes occurs with a weakened, inferential use (BDAG 406 s.v. 2), not contributing significantly to the flow of the narrative. For further discussion, see R. J. Decker, Temporal Deixis of the Greek Verb in the Gospel of Mark with Reference to Verbal Aspect (SBG 10), 73-77.
[1:21] 5 sn The synagogue was a place for Jewish prayer and worship, with recognized leadership (cf. Luke 8:41). Though its origin is not entirely clear, it seems to have arisen in the postexilic community during the intertestamental period. A town could establish a synagogue if there were at least ten men. In normative Judaism of the NT period, the OT scripture was read and discussed in the synagogue by the men who were present. (See the Mishnah, m. Megillah 3-4; m. Berakhot 2.) First came the law, then the prophets, then someone was asked to speak on the texts. Jesus undoubtedly took the opportunity on this occasion to speak about his person and mission, and its relationship to Old Testament fulfillment.
[1:22] 7 sn Jesus’ teaching impressed the hearers with the directness of its claim; he taught with authority. A study of Jewish rabbinic interpretation shows that it was typical to cite a list of authorities to make one’s point. Apparently Jesus addressed the issues in terms of his own understanding.
[1:22] 8 tn Or “the scribes.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateu") as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.
[1:24] 11 tn Grk “What to us and to you?” This is an idiom meaning, “We have nothing to do with one another,” or “Why bother us!” The phrase τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί (ti Jhmin kai soi) is Semitic in origin, though it made its way into colloquial Greek (BDAG 275 s.v. ἐγώ). The equivalent Hebrew expression in the OT had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12, 2 Chr 35:21, 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his own, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13, Hos 14:8). Option (1) implies hostility, while option (2) merely implies disengagement. BDAG suggests the following as glosses for this expression: What have I to do with you? What have we in common? Leave me alone! Never mind! Hostility between Jesus and the demons is certainly to be understood in this context, hence the translation: “Leave me alone….” For a very similar expression see Lk 8:28 and (in a different context) John 2:4.
[1:24] 12 sn The confession of Jesus as the Holy One here is significant, coming from an unclean spirit. Jesus, as the Holy One of God, who bears God’s Spirit and is the expression of holiness, comes to deal with uncleanness and unholiness.