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Re: [Synoptic-L] Lk 9:39: who "cries out"?

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  • Carl W. Conrad
    ... In a quick search of on-line versions I find what you say constated, although the NET notes that in the Greek the subject is ambiguous and could be either
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 3, 2000
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      At 9:01 PM -0400 7/2/00, Maluflen@... wrote:
      >In a message dated 7/2/2000 2:55:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      >cwconrad@... writes:
      >
      ><< At 10:58 AM -0400 7/2/00, Maluflen@... wrote:
      > >Who (or what) is the subject of the verb krazei in Lk 9:39, and why?
      >
      > <<You might as well join us on B-Greek if you're going to keep raising
      > questions like this!>>
      >
      >Thanks for the invitation, but I think the question is also fully in order
      >for a Synoptic-L discussion as well, unless I badly misunderstand the
      >protocol.
      >
      ><< Text: KAI IDOU PNEUMA LAMBANEI AUTON KAI EXAIFNHS KRAZEI KAI SPARASSEI
      > AUTON META AFROU KAI MOGIS APOCWREI AP' AUTOU SUNTRIBON AUTON.
      >
      > Although KRAZEI might theoretically refer back to AUTON as its implicit
      > subject, what would make that strange is its breaking a sequence wherein
      > all the other verbs pretty surely must have PNEUMA as the subject: AUTON
      > can only be the object of LAMBANEI and SPARASSEI, and although APOCWREI
      > might conceivably refer to the person convulsed, what makes that quite(!)
      > unlikely is that the participle SUNTRIBON, which must construe with the
      > subject of APOCWREI, is neuter and must therefore refer to a neuter
      > subject, PNEUMA being the only candidate at hand. Easier to assume that
      > AUTON, AUTON, AP' AUTOU, and the final AUTON all refer to the masculine
      > person attacked by the spirit.>>
      >
      >
      >So you are arguing, if I understand you correctly, that PNEUMA is the most
      >likely subject of KRAZEI. I agree with you -- for reasons, beyond purely
      >grammatical ones, which I do not wish to raise at the moment, but which are
      >closely related to your observation of the sequence of verbs with PNEUMA for
      >implicit subject. However, are you aware that this option is not taken by
      >most modern versions? I'm not even aware of any modern version that follows
      >this option. I wonder why not? I mean, I wonder if you and I are missing some
      >strong arguments in favor of taking the boy to be the subject of KRAZEI in
      >this verse. Are there any takers to defend the more normal modern translation?

      In a quick search of on-line versions I find what you say constated,
      although the NET notes that in the Greek the subject is ambiguous and could
      be either the boy or the demonic spirit. The Vulgate retains the
      "ambiguity" of the Greek: et ecce spiritus adprehendit illum et subito
      clamat et elidit et dissipat eum cum spuma et vix discedit dilanians eum.

      A parallel (in narrative form, at any rate) to the Lucan passage is in
      Mark's first chapter: MK 1:22-26 KAI EUQUS HN EN THi SUNAGWGHi AUTWN
      ANQRWPOS EN PNEUMATI AKAAQARTWi KAI ANEKRAXEN LEGWN: 'TI hHMIN KAI SOI,
      IHSOU NAZARHNE?' HLQES APOLESAI hHMAS? OIDA SE TIS EI, hO hAGIOS TOU QEOU.'
      KAI EPETIMHSEN AUTWi hO IHSOUS LEGWN, 'FIMWQHTI KAI EXELQE EX AUTOU.' KAI
      SPARAXAN AUTON TO PNEUMA TO AKAQARTON KAI FWNHSAN FWNHi MEGALHi EXHLQEN EX
      AUTOU. Here the subject of the aorist verb ANEKRAXEN would seem to be the
      preceding ANQRWPOS although the substance of the utterance clearly derives
      from TO PNEUMA TO AKAQARTON to which/whom the rebuke and command of Jesus
      is addressed and which is the subject of the final sentence.

      The "ambiguity" of KRAZEI obviously resides in the fact that the voice
      employed by the demonic spirit in the outcry must be the boy's voice even
      if the utterance derives from the spirit. Personally I think that the
      translators have shifted the subject of KRAZEI in the translation to "he"
      for that very reason, the understanding that the outcry must come from the
      boy even if it is caused by the spirit.

      I guess the ambiguity is really there, but it is awkward, and I can't help
      but think (rightly or wrongly) that Luke is too careful an author to shift
      subjects like that in the middle of this sort of a sentence. This is not
      really like the extremely awkward shift in Mark's story of the paralytic
      (2:3 KAI ERCONTAI FERONTES PROS AUTON PARALUTIKON AIROMENON hUPO TESSARWN),
      where the reader (this reader = myself, at any rate) wonders whether the
      subject of ERCONTAI FERONTES can be other than the four carriers indicated
      in AIROMENON hUPO TESSARWN. I certainly think that translators make
      adjustments in such instances and that they have perhaps done so in the
      case of the subject of KRAZEI: a spirit may make an outcry but normally
      does so using the voice of a person or beast.

      --

      Carl W. Conrad
      Department of Classics, Washington University
      Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
      cwconrad@... OR cwconrad@...
      WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 7/3/2000 7:01:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time, cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu writes:
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 3, 2000
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        In a message dated 7/3/2000 7:01:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
        cwconrad@... writes:

        << In a quick search of on-line versions I find what you say constated,
        although the NET notes that in the Greek the subject is ambiguous and could
        be either the boy or the demonic spirit. The Vulgate retains the
        "ambiguity" of the Greek: et ecce spiritus adprehendit illum et subito
        clamat et elidit et dissipat eum cum spuma et vix discedit dilanians eum.

        [...]
        The "ambiguity" of KRAZEI obviously resides in the fact that the voice
        employed by the demonic spirit in the outcry must be the boy's voice even
        if the utterance derives from the spirit.>>

        Hmm. Yet the utterance is not articulated, and may therefore be unarticulate
        in this instance (Mark describes the spirit as ALALON), as opposed to what we
        find, e.g., in Lk 4.

        << Personally I think that the
        translators have shifted the subject of KRAZEI in the translation to "he"
        for that very reason, the understanding that the outcry must come from the
        boy even if it is caused by the spirit.>>

        I am sure that your analysis here is basically correct. Yet for exegetical
        (and translation) purposes it is perhaps best to retain the precise
        perspective of Luke, if that can be accurately surmised (see below).

        My present interest in this text comes from the fact that I am currently
        preparing a paper to be read at the CBA meeting in Los Angeles in August on
        demoniacs in Lk. This paper is part of a larger project to illustrate the
        superiority of the Gospel Hypothesis over the Two-Source Hypothesis for the
        interpretation of individual Synoptic texts and parallels.

        In this set of parallels, Matt's text seems to be the most primitive. The
        subject of all the verbs that describe the troubled son is the boy himself,
        even though his actions may betray the presence of a lurking demon. A
        demon/spirit is not mentioned explicitly, however, until the very end of the
        story (17:18b), when it actually departs (from him: i.e., the lad) at the
        command of Jesus. So a differentiation between boy and demon coincides
        literarily with the separation of the two that occurs with the exorcism
        itself.

        Luke's version comes next. Luke has noted the primitive undifferentiation in
        Matt's account between boy and possessing demon. He remedies this from the
        start by clearly distinguishing the two early in his narrative: v. 39: the
        spirit takes hold of him... From this point forward all the verbs have the
        spirit for subject (i.e., if the subject of KRAZEI is also the spirit, as we
        both think) and, when transitive, the beleaguered lad for object (the only
        verb of which the boy is subject is the ESTIN in the father's statement: hOTI
        MONOGENHJ MOI ESTIN).

        Mark's text is clearly the latest of the three, and, as is his usual custom,
        Mark conflates the perspectives described above: he has numerous sentences
        with the spirit as subject, as in Luke, and others with the boy as subject,
        as in Matt. He clearly shows, however, that the actions of the boy described
        by these verbs are being caused by the malicious attacks of the demon (see
        especially 9:18). This is a logical development, in the direction of
        explicitness, from the earlier accounts where implicitness in this regard is
        a sign of primitivity. It is Mark's usual development in terms of popular
        appeal that is most evident in this story. His audience can see vividly, from
        Mark's verbal portrayal of the boy's strange behavior, the effects of
        internal demonic possession. The dialogue throughout the narrative, and
        especially the catechesis on faith, is also highly developed in the direction
        of a Gospel drama in Mark's account. In Mark 9:14-29, there are no fewer than
        52 verbs (not counting ALALON as a verb) that have no parallel in either Lk
        or Matt. On the Two-Source Hypothesis, AMatt and ALk have independently
        chosen to omit each of these 52 verbs in their respective renditions of the
        story. Unlikely in the extreme.

        Leonard Maluf
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/2/2000 9:07:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Maluflen@aol.com writes: [Responding to Carl Conrad]
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 6, 2000
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          In a message dated 7/2/2000 9:07:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          Maluflen@... writes:

          [Responding to Carl Conrad]

          << So you are arguing, if I understand you correctly, that PNEUMA is the most
          likely subject of KRAZEI. I agree with you -- for reasons, beyond purely
          grammatical ones, which I do not wish to raise at the moment, but which are
          closely related to your observation of the sequence of verbs with PNEUMA for
          implicit subject. However, are you aware that this option is not taken by
          most modern versions? I'm not even aware of any modern version that follows
          this option. >>

          I have just noticed that the NEB does indeed translate Lk 9:39 so as to make
          PNEUMA the subject of all the verbs, including KRAZEI:

          "From time to time a spirit seizes him, gives a sudden scream, and throws him
          into convulsions with foaming at the mouth, and it keeps on mauling him and
          will hardly let him go.."

          So in Matt, once the narrator begins to describe the condition of the boy,
          all the verbs have the boy as their subject (primitive undifferentiation); in
          Luke, all the verbs have the spirit as their subject, and most have the boy
          as their object; Mark represents a perfect conflation of these perspectives,
          with a number of verbs having the spirit, and a number having the boy as
          subject. Furthermore, the actions of the boy in Mark (Matthean perspective)
          are clearly seen to be reactions to, caused by, the malicious activity of the
          demon (Lukan perspective). Both differentiation between the two agents and
          subordination of the second's activity to that of the first are most highly
          developed in Mark's account.

          Leonard Maluf
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