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Re: KAI EUQUJ, the historic present, and PALIN

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  • K. Hanhart
    ... Dear Brian, Euthus and palin are normal Greek adverbs and the historical present is a phenomenon of syntax also common in classical Greek literature.
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 2, 1999
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      Brian E. Wilson wrote:
      >
      > Karel Hanhart wrote-
      > >
      > >I was impressed by the suggestion of Prof Ben Hemelsoet of the Kath.
      > >Univ. of Amsterdam that the adverb 'euthus' refers to the theme of 1,3:
      > >"MAKE STRAIGHT the way of JHWH" [EUTHEIAS POIEITE]. Although Mark wrote
      > >reasonably good Greek, his mother tongue appears to have been Aramaic.
      > >Like all immigrants he experiments with his second language but not
      > >always sucessfully. He wishes to convey the immediate healing effects of
      > >Jesus' ministry but he wishes at the same time to remind the reader of
      > >the "Way of JHWH". It could perhaps be translated with: "straightway".
      > >The theme of "The Way" governs the entire Gospel which ends with the
      > >promise "he is GOING AHEAD of you into Galilee" (16,8). It is awkward
      > >Greek which would explain Matthew's reluctance to use it as frequently
      > >as Mark did.
      > >
      > Karel,
      > How do we know that Mark did not copy every instance of KAI
      > EUTHUJ, the historic present, and PALIN from a documentary source also
      > used independently by Matthew and Luke? ...the book may be the style of the writer of the source material, and not the style of the writer of the book in which the source material is incorporated.
      >
      > The hypothesis that all three synoptists copied independently from the
      > same documentary source would also explain why both Matthew and Luke
      > contain KAI EUTHUJ, the historic present, and PALIN where Mark does
      > not. For instance, KAI EUTHUJ occurs in Mt 13.20 and in Lk 6.49, neither
      > of these having parallels in Mark. These occurrences are not explained
      > by Professor Hemelsoet. Similarly, there are instances of the historic
      > present, and of PALIN in Matthew and/or Luke which are not parallelled
      > in Mark.
      >
      > It is not sufficient to posit a "reluctance" of Matthew or Luke to use
      > these idioms. We need a hypothesis which explains the occurrences of KAI
      > EUTHUJ, the historic present, and PALIN in Matthew where there is no
      > occurrence in Mark and/or Lk 6,49.


      Dear Brian,

      'Euthus' and 'palin' are normal Greek adverbs and the historical present
      is a phenomenon of syntax also common in classical Greek literature.
      Their occurrence in Mt or Lk without a parallel in Mark does not offer
      hard evidence. 'Euthus' in Lk 6,49 is an example of normal usage. You
      probably overlooked the fact that 'euthus' in Mk 4,16 is parallelled by
      Mt 13,20, Matthew slightly improving the Markan text.
      You may be quite right that all three synoptic authors used documents
      and oral traditions either in Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek. They were
      available at any rate.
      Mark's use of 'euthus' derives from the Hebrew 'yashruw' in the opening
      passage of his Gospel (1,3 - Isa 40,3). Both the word 'Gospel' and this
      citation hail from Isaiah, as you well know. Mark 1,2.3 is a midrash, I
      take it, on an earlier pre-70 document (used in the ecclesia) he had
      before him. I call this document Mark I. This opening midrash in
      canonical Mark includes the reference to Mal 3,1 hinting at the coming
      judgment on the temple priests (Mal 3,3).
      The argument for Markan priority is the fact that "the way" is an
      important theme. In this opening passage Mark emphasizes that Jesus in
      his ministry was 'upright' in the eyes of God and walked straight in
      God's ways - typically Biblical language. I do believe that Mark
      overemphasized the point. Its overly frequent use makes the story sound
      almost childish. Mt went along with Mark's point but used 'euthus' less
      frequently.
      with greetings Karel
    • Brian E. Wilson
      ... Karel, How do we know that Mark did not take virtually all his material from a documentary source also used by Matthew and Luke? The fact you describe,
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 3, 1999
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        >Karel Hanhart wrote-
        >
        >The argument for Markan priority is the fact that "the way" is an
        >important theme. In this opening passage Mark emphasizes that Jesus in
        >his ministry was 'upright' in the eyes of God and walked straight in
        >God's ways - typically Biblical language. I do believe that Mark
        >overemphasized the point. Its overly frequent use makes the story sound
        >almost childish. Mt went along with Mark's point but used 'euthus' less
        >frequently.
        >
        Karel,
        How do we know that Mark did not take virtually all his material
        from a documentary source also used by Matthew and Luke? The "fact" you
        describe, and the other data to which you refer, are all consistent with
        the Gospel of Mark being a cut down version of such a documentary
        source. "The way" could have been an important theme in the common
        source. The word "euthus", the historic present and the use of "palin"
        could have been characteristic of the common source, these idioms
        frequently being retained by Mark but usually edited out by Matthew or
        Luke. The description of Jesus in his ministry being "upright" could
        have been copied by Mark from the common source. And so on. And so on.

        All the data you describe is perfectly consistent with all three
        synoptists having copied from a common documentary source, and therefore
        consistent with the hypothesis of Markan priority being false.

        Best wishes,
        BRIAN WILSON

        E-MAIL : brian@... homepage -
        SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
        10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
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