The Meaning of Mark 1:11 Explained

Mark 1:11

KJV: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

YLT: and a voice came out of the heavens, 'Thou art My Son -- the Beloved, in whom I did delight.'

Darby: And there came a voice out of the heavens: Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight.

ASV: And a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.

What is the context of Mark 1:11?

What does Mark 1:11 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The Father"s voice from heaven expressed approval of Jesus and His mission in words recalling Genesis 22:2. What the voice said identified the speaker. God"s words from heaven fused the concepts of King ( Psalm 2:7) and Servant ( Isaiah 42:1). This combination constituted the unique sonship of Jesus.
"The first clause of the [1] declaration (with the verb in the present tense of the indicative mood) expresses an eternal and essential relationship. The second clause (the verb is in the aorist indicative) implies a past choice for the performance of a particular function in history." [2]
From this point on, the reader of Mark"s Gospel knows God"s authoritative evaluation of Jesus. This evaluation becomes the norm by which we judge the correctness or incorrectness of every other character"s understanding of Him.
"If Mark refuses knowledge of Jesus" identity to human characters in the beginning and middle of his story, who, then, knows of his identity? The answer is Mark himself as narrator, the reader, and such supernatural beings as God, Satan, and demons." [3]
Jesus began His official role as the Messiah at His baptism (cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 89:26; Hebrews 1:5). He also began His official role as the Suffering Servant of the Lord then (cf. Mark 8:31; Mark 9:30-31; Mark 10:32-34; Mark 10:45; Mark 15:33-39).
"Jesus" baptism did not change His divine status. He did not become the Son of God at His baptism (or at the transfiguration, Mark 9:7). Rather, His baptism showed the far-reaching significance of His acceptance of His messianic vocation as the suffering Servant of the Lord as well as the Davidic Messiah. Because He is the Son of God, the One approved by the Father and empowered by the Spirit, He is the Messiah (not vice versa)." [4]

Context Summary

Mark 1:1-20 - The Beginning Of Jesus' Ministry
The ministry of John the Baptist, Mark 1:1-8. Always the message of John precedes that of Jesus Christ; first the changed attitude of the will, then faith. The greatness of the Baptist revealed itself in his humility. He saw what we must see, that a negative religion, symbolized by water, is not enough: we need to be set on fire.
The opening pages of Christ's public life, Mark 1:9-20. Jesus was recognized by the Baptist, who beheld the opened heavens and the descending Spirit. If the Lord was thus anointed ere He commenced His life-work, how much more must we be! Hast thou become united with Him in His death, made one with Him in His resurrection, and anointed by that same Spirit? Then be sure that thou, too, must be tempted. Sons of men must go the way of the Son of man, now under the opened heavens, then tempted of the devil; on one side the wild beasts, on the other the angels; now driven to loneliness, and then to the crowded street of the cities, there to gather disciples by the energy and beauty of a victorious life. [source]

Chapter Summary: Mark 1

1  The office of John the Baptist
9  Jesus is baptized;
12  tempted;
14  he preaches;
16  calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John;
23  heals one that had a demon;
29  Peter's mother in law;
32  many diseased persons;
40  and cleanses the leper

Greek Commentary for Mark 1:11

Thou art [συ ει]
So Luke 3:22. Matthew 3:17 has this is (ουτος εστιν — houtos estin) which see. So both Mark and Luke have “in thee,” while Matthew has “in whom.” [source]
Thou art my beloved son []
The three synoptists give the saying in the same form: Thou art my son, the beloved. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Mark 1:11

Mark 12:6 A beloved son [υιον αγαπητον]
Luke 20:13 has τον υιον τον αγαπητον — ton huion ton agapēton Jesus evidently has in mind the language of the Father to him at his baptism (Mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17; Luke 3:22). [source]
Luke 3:22 The Holy Ghost [το πνευμα το αγιον]
The Holy Spirit. Mark 1:10 has merely the Spirit Alone in Luke who has also “as a dove” (ως περιστεραν — hōs peristeran) like Matthew and Mark. This probably means that the Baptist saw the vision that looked like a dove. Nothing is gained by denying the fact or possibility of the vision that looked like a dove. God manifests his power as he will. The symbolism of the dove for the Holy Spirit is intelligible. We are not to understand that this was the beginning of the Incarnation of Christ as the Cerinthian Gnostics held. But this fresh influx of the Holy Spirit may have deepened the Messianic consciousness of Jesus and certainly revealed him to the Baptist as God‘s Son.And a voice came out of heaven Same construction of infinitive with accusative of general reference. The voice of the Father to the Son is given here as in Mark 1:11, which see, and Matthew 3:17 for discussion of the variation there. The Trinity here manifest themselves at the baptism of Jesus which constitutes the formal entrance of Jesus upon his Messianic ministry. He enters upon it with the Father‘s blessing and approval and with the power of the Holy Spirit upon him. The deity of Christ here appears in plain form in the Synoptic Gospels. The consciousness of Christ is as clear on this point here as in the Gospel of John where the Baptist describes him after his baptism as the Son of God (John 1:34). [source]
Luke 9:35 Out of the cloud [εκ της νεπελης]
This voice was the voice of the Father like that at the baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:22; Mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17) and like that near the end (John 12:28-30) when the people thought it was a clap of thunder or an angel.My son, my chosen (ο υιος μου ο εκλελεγμενος — Ho huios mou ho eklelegmenos). So the best documents (Aleph B L Syriac Sinaitic). The others make it “My Beloved” as in Mark 9:7; Matthew 17:5. These disciples are commanded to hear Jesus, God‘s Son, even when he predicts his death, a pointed rebuke to Simon Peter as to all. [source]
Luke 3:22 And a voice came out of heaven [και πωνην εχ ουρανου γενεσται]
Same construction of infinitive with accusative of general reference. The voice of the Father to the Son is given here as in Mark 1:11, which see, and Matthew 3:17 for discussion of the variation there. The Trinity here manifest themselves at the baptism of Jesus which constitutes the formal entrance of Jesus upon his Messianic ministry. He enters upon it with the Father‘s blessing and approval and with the power of the Holy Spirit upon him. The deity of Christ here appears in plain form in the Synoptic Gospels. The consciousness of Christ is as clear on this point here as in the Gospel of John where the Baptist describes him after his baptism as the Son of God (John 1:34). [source]
John 1:34 I have seen [εωρακα]
Present perfect active of οραω — horaō John repeats the statement of John 1:32 Have borne witness Perfect active indicative of μαρτυρεω — martureō for which verb see John 1:32. This is the Son of God The Baptist saw the Spirit come on Jesus at his baptism and undoubtedly heard the Father‘s voice hail him as “My Beloved Son” (Mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17; Luke 3:22). Nathanael uses it as a Messianic title (John 1:49) as does Martha (John 11:27). The Synoptics use it also of Christ (Mark 3:11; Matthew 14:33; Luke 22:70). Caiaphas employs it to Christ as a Messianic title (Matthew 26:63) and Jesus confessed under oath that he was (verse Matthew 26:64), thus applying the term to himself as he does in John‘s Gospel (John 5:25; John 10:36; John 11:4) and by implication (the Father, the Son) in Matthew 11:27 (Luke 10:22). Hence in the Synoptics also Jesus calls himself the Son of God. The phrase means more than just Messiah and expresses the peculiar relation of the Son to the Father (John 3:18; John 5:25; John 17:5; John 19:7; John 20:31) like that of the Logos with God in John 1:1. [source]
John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name [πατερ δοχασον σου το ονομα]
First aorist (note of urgency) active imperative of πνευμα — doxazō and in the sense of his death already in John 12:16, John 12:23 and again in John 13:31; John 17:5. This is the prayer of the πσυχη — pneuma (or σαρχ — psuchē) as opposed to that of the ονομα — sarx (flesh) in John 12:27. The “name” (πωνη εκ του ουρανου — onoma) of God expresses the character of God (John 1:12; John 5:43; John 17:11). Cf. Matthew 6:9. A voice out of heaven (και εδοχασα και παλιν δοχασω — phōnē ek tou ouranou). This was the Father‘s answer to the prayer of Jesus for help. See note on the Father‘s voice at the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:11) and on the Father‘s voice at the transfiguration (Mark 9:7). The rabbis called the audible voice of God εδοχασα — bath -δοχασω — qol (the daughter of a voice). I have both glorified it and will glorify it again (kai edoxasa kai palin doxasō). This definite assurance from the Father will nerve the soul of Jesus for the coming ordeal. Cf. John 11:40 for edoxasa and John 13:31; John 17:5 for doxasō f0). [source]
John 5:37 He hath borne witness [εκεινος μεμαρτυρηκεν]
Εκεινος — Ekeinos (that one; cf. John 5:35, John 5:38), not αυτος — autos Perfect active indicative of μαρτυρεω — martureō the direct witness of the Father, besides the indirect witness of the works. Jesus is not speaking of the voice of the Father at his baptism (Mark 1:11), the transfiguration (Mark 9:7), nor even at the time of the visit of the Greeks (John 12:28). This last voice was heard by many who thought it was thunder or an angel. The language of Jesus refers to the witness of the Father in the heart of the believers as is made plain in 1 John 5:9, 1 John 5:10. God‘s witness does not come by audible “voice” Cf. John 1:18; John 6:46; 1 John 4:12. Ακηκοατε — Akēkoate is perfect active indicative of ακουω — akouō to hear, and εωρακατε — heōrakate is perfect active indicative of οραω — horaō to see. It is a permanent state of failure to hear and see God. The experience of Jacob in Peniel (Genesis 32:30) was unusual, but Jesus will say that those who have seen him have seen the Father (John 14:9), but here he means the Father‘s “voice” and “form” as distinct from the Son. [source]

What do the individual words in Mark 1:11 mean?

And a voice came out of the heavens You are the Son of Me beloved in You I am well pleased
καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν Σὺ εἶ Υἱός μου ἀγαπητός ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα

φωνὴ  a  voice 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: φωνή  
Sense: a sound, a tone.
ἐγένετο  came 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: γίνομαι  
Sense: to become, i.
ἐκ  out  of 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐκ 
Sense: out of, from, by, away from.
οὐρανῶν  heavens 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: οὐρανός  
Sense: the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it.
Υἱός  Son 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: υἱός  
Sense: a son.
μου  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
ἀγαπητός  beloved 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀγαπητός  
Sense: beloved, esteemed, dear, favourite, worthy of love.
εὐδόκησα  I  am  well  pleased 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: εὐδοκέω  
Sense: it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure.