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Re: Studies on Semitisms in the Gospels

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  • Jim Deardorff
    ... No doubt Black included the more questionable instances because he couldn t be at all certain that they were not relevant. ... Even one would be
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 7, 1998
      At 04:29 AM 6/7/98 -0400, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:

      >COMMENT: Maloney claims to go beyond Black, with whom he differs at several
      >points of substance, methodology, and choice of relevant texts as a
      >comparison basis. For example, he criticizes Black's failure to make use of
      >Qumran Aramaic documents, of which Black, in his 3rd edition, merely says
      >that they do not necessitate "any far-reaching modification of the views
      >presented in Chapter II" (Maloney p19). There is also this direct
      >criticism: "In the body of the book Black examines many syntactic
      >"Aramaisms," relying heavily on the work of his predecessors and adducing
      >almost any kind of Semitic parallels to prove his "Aramaic" case." (Maloney
      >p20). The phrase "*pace" Black" occurs in Maloney. All in all, one has a
      >hard time avoiding the impression that Maloney thinks that Black has been
      >somewhat indiscriminate in identifying Semitisms, and that he is himself
      >applying a far more rigorous methodology to the question.

      No doubt Black included the more questionable instances because he couldn't
      be at all certain that they were not relevant.

      >Maloney's conclusion, as respects the 13 Markan cases of casus pendens, is
      >(1) that those with a resumptive demonstrative pronoun (Mk 3:35, 6:16,
      >7:20, 12:10, 12:40, 13:11, 13:13) are normal in Greek, while unattested in
      >Hebrew or Aramaic, and thus definitely not to be regarded as Semitisms, (2)
      >that those with a resumptive personal pronoun which adds emphasis (Mk 8:38,
      >14:44) are attested (though rarely) in Hellenistic Greek [and thus are
      >perhaps borderline cases], but (3) that those with an unemphatic resumptive
      >personal pronoun (Mk 4:25a/b, 9:42, 11:23) are "probably the result of
      >Semitic interference, whether from Hebrew, imitation of the OG, or
      >(possibly) from Aramaic, since the construction does occur in Biblical
      >Aramaic" (Maloney p90, my capitalization). I don't have Black by me at the
      >moment (the library keeps cancelling my registration, for reasons best
      >known to its computer), but I gather that he might have regarded all 13 of
      >the Markan examples as Semitisms, whereas Maloney identifies only 4 as

      Even one would be significant, 4 are much more so, and some of the remaining
      9 could be also.

      If some of them were in purposeful imitation of a Semitic style, this also
      is not insignificant. It would suggest the writer knew that his readers
      expected an original text to have been written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and
      that in turn suggests that one had been.

      >Sorry to press this, but the implications for text criticism are obviously

      What about Mt 17:6, Bruce -- the "fall on one's face" Aramaism. Do you find
      that as significant as I do? The writer of Mark may not have been
      acquainted with it, and so omitted it for that reason. Of course, he could
      have reasoned it was a redaction, since if the story had been credible the
      three disciples would have fallen on their faces as soon as Jesus shone like
      the sun, or surely by the time they saw Moses and Elijah appear.

      Jim Deardorff
      Corvallis, Oregon
      E-mail: deardorj@...
      Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
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