New Defender's Study Bible Notes
12:1 parables. Parables such as this are also given in Matthew, Luke, or both. See notes on Matthew 21:33,42. This frequent semi-duplication could raise questions, but there is always at least a possible explanation consistent with Biblical inerrancy. The parables and other discourses of Jesus were actually spoken in Aramaic, so the gospel writer(s) would have to translate them into Greek, and this could certainly account for minor differences in the wording of their accounts. Furthermore, Mark and Luke at least in most cases, were not present at the time, so would have to get their accounts from Peter or some other eye-witness. The doctrine of inspiration does not in any way negate the use of the writer’s own research, vocabulary and style in reporting the event, as long as there are no errors or irrelevancies in the final result. Usually other reasons can also be discerned for the differences, in line with the particular emphases of the writer. For example, Matthew’s account of this parable puts more emphasis on the willful culpability of the Jewish leaders (compare Mark 12:9 with Matthew 21:41), in effect showing that they condemn themselves by their own words. Matthew’s gospel was written especially for the Jews, seeking to bring them to accept their true Messiah despite the bitter opposition of their religious leaders.
12:10 read this scripture. The scripture cited by Christ is Psalm 118:22-23. This same passage was later used by Peter in I Peter 2:7 and Acts 4:11.
12:26 in the book of Moses. Citing Exodus 3:6, the Lord here confirms that the book of Exodus was written by Moses.
12:29 first of all the commandments. See Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Jesus called this “the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:38).
12:30 all thy strength. Mark here adds the phrase “and with all thy strength” to the first commandment as given in Matthew 22:37. Probably Matthew, writing mainly for Jewish readers, knew they were more occupied with the heart, soul and mind, whereas Mark, writing more for a Roman audience, and Luke (10:27) thinking of Greeks and Gentiles in general, both retained Christ’s emphasis on strength as well. Both versions are factually accurate, of course, so no problem of inerrancy is involved. The main point in both is certainly that love for God with our whole being is the most important of all rules for living.
12:31 the second. This second great commandment (Leviticus 19:18) is called “the royal law” in James 2:8. See also Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14.
12:35 say the scribes. As to the cogent manner in which Jesus answered both the Sadducees (Mark 12:18-27) and the scribes and Pharisees (Mark 12:35-37) with Scripture, see comments on Matthew 22:29-32 and 22:45.
12:36 by the Holy Ghost. Note here Christ’s doctrine of inspiration, quoting Psalm 110:1. “David himself said by the Holy Ghost.” Compare David’s own assertion to the same effect (II Samuel 23:2).
12:42 two mites. When Jesus sat to watch those who gave to the treasury, it was the last act of His public ministry. The record of the widow’s mites, with His commendation, has indeed borne great fruit through the centuries, so that she really did give more than all the rest (Mark 12:43). Jesus here enunciates the great truth that God measures a gift not by its amount but by its motive and the amount left ungiven.
12:42 farthing. See note on Matthew 5:26.