Worms, Fire, and Eye-Gouging: What Does Jesus Mean by the Violent Language in Mark 9

Jesus uses a lot of violent language at the end of Mark 9:38-50. Millstones hung around people’s necks who are cast into the sea. Eyes gouged out and hands chopped off. People salted with fire. What’s up with all this? What does it mean? Using Proverbs, Leviticus, Isaiah, and some intertestamental literature, Chad Bird leads us into the Jewish thought world from which Jesus drew these graphic images.

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