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And he says to them, “Do you not grasp this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables? Bible

“grasp...understand.” In the REV, the word “grasp” is translated from the Greek word oida (#1492 οἴδα), and the word “understand” from the word ginōskō (#1097 γινώσκω) (cp. Word Biblical Commentary). Many times in the New Testament the two words are synonyms, which explains why so many English versions translated them both as “understand” here in Mark 4:13. But it seems that if they meant the same thing in Mark 4:13, then one of the words would have been used twice instead of them being juxtaposed to each other. Oida sometimes has the sense of knowing intuitively, while ginōskō often has the meaning of knowing through a process, such as learning by experience. It seems here that Jesus thought his parable was so clear that his disciples would just “grasp” what he was saying, and when they didn’t, he wondered how they would come to understand all his parables.


Commentary for: Mark 4:13