1tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

2tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3sn The Jerusalem temple was widely admired around the world. See Josephus, Ant. 15.11 [15.380-425]; J. W. 5.5 [5.184-227] and Tacitus, History 5.8, who called it “immensely opulent.” Josephus compared it to a beautiful snowcapped mountain.

4sn With the statement not one stone will be left on another Jesus predicted the total destruction of the temple, something that did occur in a.d. 70.

5tn Grk “not one stone will be left here on another which will not be thrown down.”

6tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

7tn Grk “and James and John,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

8sn Both references to these things are plural, so more than the temple’s destruction is in view. The question may presuppose that such a catastrophe signals the end.

9tn Or “Be on guard.”

10tn That is, “I am the Messiah.”

11tn Grk “it is not yet the end.”

12tn For the translation “rise up in arms” see L&N 55.2.

13sn See Isa 5:13-14; 13:6-16; Hag 2:6-7; Zech 14:4.

14tn Grk “They will hand you over.” “They” is an indefinite plural, referring to people in general. The parallel in Matt 10:17 makes this explicit.

15sn Councils in this context refers to local judicial bodies attached to the Jewish synagogue. This group would be responsible for meting out justice and discipline within the Jewish community.

16sn See the note on synagogue in 1:21.

17sn These statements look at persecution both from a Jewish context as the mention of councils and synagogues suggests, and from a Gentile one as the reference to governors and kings suggests. Some fulfillment of Jewish persecution can be seen in Acts.

18tn Grk “in that hour.”

19tn Or “will rebel against.”

20sn See 1 Cor 1:25-31.

21sn But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Jesus was not claiming here that salvation is by works, because he had already taught that it is by grace (cf. 10:15). He was simply arguing that genuine faith evidences itself in persistence through even the worst of trials.

22sn The reference to the abomination of desolation is an allusion to Dan 9:27. Though some have seen the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in the actions of Antiochus IV (or a representative of his) in 167 b.c., the words of Jesus seem to indicate that Antiochus was not the final fulfillment, but that there was (from Jesus’ perspective) still another fulfillment yet to come. Some argue that this was realized in a.d. 70, while others claim that it refers specifically to Antichrist and will not be fully realized until the period of the great tribulation at the end of the age (cf. Mark 13:19, 24; Matt 24:21; Rev 3:10).

23sn Fleeing to the mountains is a key OT image: Gen 19:17; Judg 6:2; Isa 15:5; Jer 16:16; Zech 14:5.

24sn Most of the roofs in the NT were flat roofs made of pounded dirt, sometimes mixed with lime or stones, supported by heavy wooden beams. They generally had an easy means of access, either a sturdy wooden ladder or stone stairway, sometimes on the outside of the house.

25sn The nature of the judgment coming upon them will be so quick and devastating that one will not have time to come down or go inside to take anything out of his house. It is best just to escape as quickly as possible.

26tn Traditionally, “tribulation.”

27sn Suffering unlike anything that has happened. Some refer this event to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. While the events of a.d. 70 may reflect somewhat the comments Jesus makes here, the reference to the scope and severity of this judgment strongly suggest that much more is in view. Most likely Jesus is referring to the great end-time judgment on Jerusalem in the great tribulation.

28tn Grk “the days.”

29tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

30tn Or “the Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 8:29.

31tn Or “false christs”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

32tn Traditionally, “tribulation.”

33sn An allusion to Isa 13:10, 34:4 (LXX); Joel 2:10. The heavens were seen as the abode of heavenly forces, so their shaking indicates distress in the spiritual realm. Although some take the powers as a reference to bodies in the heavens (like stars and planets, “the heavenly bodies,” NIV) this is not as likely.

34tn Grk “they.”

35sn An allusion to Dan 7:13. Here is Jesus returning with full judging authority.

36tn Or “of the sky”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context.

37tn The verb γινώσκετε (ginwskete, “know”) can be parsed as either present indicative or present imperative. In this context the imperative fits better, since the movement is from analogy (trees and seasons) to the future (the signs of the coming of the kingdom) and since the emphasis is on preparation for this event.

38tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

39sn This is one of the hardest verses in the gospels to interpret. Various views exist for what generation means. (1) Some take it as meaning “race” and thus as an assurance that the Jewish race (nation) will not pass away. But it is very questionable that the Greek term γενεά (genea) can have this meaning. Two other options are possible. (2) Generation might mean “this type of generation” and refer to the generation of wicked humanity. Then the point is that humanity will not perish, because God will redeem it. Or (3) generation may refer to “the generation that sees the signs of the end” (v. 26), who will also see the end itself. In other words, once the movement to the return of Christ starts, all the events connected with it happen very quickly, in rapid succession.

40sn The words that Jesus predicts here will never pass away. They are more stable and lasting than creation itself! For this kind of image, see Isa 40:8; 55:10-11.

41sn The phrase nor the Son has caused a great deal of theological debate because on the surface it appears to conflict with the concept of Jesus’ deity. The straightforward meaning of the text is that the Son does not know the time of his return. If Jesus were divine, though, wouldn’t he know this information? There are other passages which similarly indicate that Jesus did not know certain things. For example, Luke 2:52 indicates that Jesus grew in wisdom; this has to mean that Jesus did not know everything all the time but learned as he grew. So Mark 13:32 is not alone in implying that Jesus did not know certain things. The best option for understanding Mark 13:32 and similar passages is to hold the two concepts in tension: The Son in his earthly life and ministry had limited knowledge of certain things, yet he was still deity.

42tc The vast majority of witnesses (א A C L W Θ Ψ 1,13 ¤ lat sy co) have καὶ προσεύχεσθε after ἀγρυπνεῖτε (agrupneite kai proseucesqe, “stay alert and pray”). This may be a motivated reading, influenced by the similar command in Mark 14:38 where προσεύχεσθε is solidly attested, and more generally from the parallel in Luke 21:36 (though δέομαι [deomai, “ask”] is used there). As B. M. Metzger notes, it is a predictable variant that scribes would have been likely to produce independently of each other (TCGNT 95). The words are not found in B D 2427 a c {d} k. Although the external evidence for the shorter reading is slender, it probably better accounts for the longer reading than vice versa.

43tn See the note on the word “slave” in 10:44.

44tn Grk “giving.”