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Re: [XTalk] Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark Used CG in 15:42-16:8, Pt. 2-Fatigue in 16:6

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... Thanks for your comments and other posts. I ll try to just address some of the questions you ve had. ... Just so you know where I m coming from, I require
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 7, 2002
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      At 03:46 PM 2/7/02 -0600, Ted Weeden wrote:
      >Stephen, my apologies for not responding to your very incisive critique to my
      >post. I am behind in responding to many posts because of the number I have
      >received, for which I am appreciative, and because I decided what I really
      >needed to do is to set forth my methodological presuppositions which I have used
      >in working out my thesis. As you probably have noted I posted those
      >presuppositions in a post, "Mark and CG: Methodological Presuppositions,"
      >yesterday afternoon (2/6/02), and now I am trying to catch up.

      Thanks for your comments and other posts. I'll try to just
      address some of the questions you've had.

      >It was at that point, because I began to compare the Greek text of Mark with the
      >Greek text of Crossan's reconstructed CG (Crossan does not provide the Greek
      >text itself), that I spotted what I had not seen before, EQHKAN in 16:6, an
      >occurrence which did not comport in my thinking with EQHKEN in 15:46, though
      >EQHKAN was to be found in the initial statement regarding what I presumed to be
      >the beginning of the burial process in CG 6:21. That is when I began to wonder
      >if Mark had mistakenly copied CG's EQHKAN in composing 16:6. I did not know
      >quite what to call the compositional error until I read Mark Goodacre's
      >editorial-fatigue theory.

      Just so you know where I'm coming from, I require a fairly
      strict set of criteria (which was outlined in Goodacre's
      article) to be present before I'll conclude that a particular
      case is an instance of "fatigue" sensu strictu. If, on
      the other hand, you want to call the EQHKAN in Mark 16:6
      (assuming the rest of the argument holds up) an editorial
      lapse I would not object.

      >> Gundry's analysis on this point is somewhat incoherent. Gundry
      >> correctly recognized that "Mark likes *indefinite* third person
      >> plural verb" (emphasis added), but then he failed to realize that
      >> indefinite verbs, regardless of the actual grammatical number,
      >> also comprehend a singular subject or at the very least render
      >> the actual subject irrelevant.
      >Gundry is a very careful writer. I have not found him to be incoherent. That
      >is why I am wondering if he had a certain ambivalence over how one explicates
      >EQHKAN in 16:6. You mention again the use of a verb in third person plural with
      >reference to a singular subject. In your previous post on this you drew my
      >attention to BDF #130 in which this compositional practice is discussed, and
      >particularly to #130.2 where Markan texts are cited in which this particular
      >rhetorical use of the verb in the third person plural can be found. BDF (#130.
      >2) offers two examples of such Markan use of the verb (10:13 and 15:27). In
      >10:13 the verb is PROSEFERON ("they brought"). However I cannot find the
      >EPOUSIN BDF claims is an example of such a use in 15:27; moreover I cannot find
      >it in Mt. 5:15; Lk. 12:20 and other texts cited there, with the exception of
      >17:23. Am I misreading or misunderstanding BDF at this point? Am I losing it?

      I'll admit that the citation list is misleading, but the EROUSIN
      is meant to apply to Luke 17:23 only. The remaining verses feature
      other 3d pers. pl. verbs, some of which I agree with and some I
      do not.

      Matt 5:15 OUDE KAIOUSIN LUCNON ("neither do they light a candle").
      The referent of the "they" is unclear and the NRSV translates it
      with an indefinite pronoun ("No one after lighting a candle").

      Mark 15:27 recites STAUROUSIN ("they crucify"). A rather poor
      example in my opinion since plural soldiers are clearly in view.

      Luke 12:20 THN YUCHN SOU APAITOUSIN APO SOU ("they demand your
      life from you"). The NRSV, NIV, NASB, NAB, and AV all employ
      the English passive here. The Amplified Bible actually says
      "they" but then footnotes Marvin Vincent, WORD STUDIES as
      saying "The indefiniteness is impressive."

      Luke 14:35 EXW BALLOUSIN AUTO ("they throw it out"). The referent
      for "they" is unclear and the NIV, NASB, NAB, and Rheims use the

      gather and throw them into the fire"). The NRSV and NIV use
      the passive here.

      EQHKAN AUTON ("They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we
      don't know where they put him.") The referent of "they" is
      unclear and not important. Also a good parallel to Mark 16:6.

      Acts 3:2 hON ETIQOUN ("whom they put"). The NIV and NAB used
      the passive voice.

      Rev 12:6 hINA EKEI TREFWSIN AUTHN ("so that there they may
      feed her"). Passive in NRSV, NIV, NAB, and NASB.

      >But back to PROSEFERON in Mk. 10:13. It strikes me that PROSEFERON in 10:13
      >could be read either as an aggregate of people (thus: "they" ) or as a
      >collective, and thus referring to the singular "one." It is not clear to me in
      >this case which is meant. Moreover, I have yet another probing question.
      >When the use of the third person plural is used with the singular meaning
      >understood, I understand how that could be the intended meaning when the subject
      >of the verb has not been previously identified and thus is left unspecified.
      >But what about the case of an act, such as burial which has been described with
      >a specified singular subject, Joseph in Mk.15:46, followed by the reference back
      >to that act performed by that specificed singular subject, shortly thereafter,
      >in which the subject of the verb referring to that act, burial, is in the third
      >person plural? In other words is not the subject of EQHKAN in 16:6 really
      >understood to be Joseph? Now you can argue that the EQHKEN in 15:46 is really
      >a collective use of the third person singular, meaning Joseph and his serviants.
      >If that be the case and the intent, then why not use EQHKEN again with the same
      >collective meaning in 16:6? At best there seems to be an inconsistency in my
      >mind in the use of "person" in the verbal form as it is represented in 15:47 and
      >16:6. Of course, one way to check out what Mark's stylistic practice is would
      >be to check the entire Markan Gospel to see what he does in other cases in which
      >an act is ascribed to a singular individual and is referred back to later as an
      >act ascribed to "they." I do not have time to do that kind of tedious work
      >now. Perhaps you have some insights regarding the questions I pose.

      Two studied treatments of impersonal plurals in Mark are C.H.Turner
      in J.K.Elliott, THE LANGUAGE & STYLE OF MARK (Brill, 1993): 4-12 and
      39-45 and E.J.Pryke, REDACTIONAL STYLE IN THE MARCAN GOSPEL (Cambridge,
      1978): 107-115. Turner gave lots of examples where Mark seems to go
      back and forth between the singular and plural, with Matt. and Luke
      often correcting Mark. I suggest now that you may have discovered
      another example.

      >> [Mark 15:46 states that Joseph rolled (PROSEKULISEN, singular)
      >> the stone. The sheer physics of the operation, as recognized
      >> by Mark's audience, implies that Joseph had help.]
      >Agreed the physics of the matter does suggest Joseph must have had help. That
      >is certainly an issue in the real world of the "Einsteinian" space-time
      >continuum, but I do not find either the laws of Newtonian or Einsteinian physics
      >to be operative in the narrative world Mark has created. In that world, Newton
      >and Einstein to the contrary, Jesus walks on water (see my post on
      >methodological presuppositions).

      How about Aristotelian physics? ;-) It is true that our physical
      rules are violated when certain miracles are narrated, but it
      does not seem to me that Joseph's rolling the stone is intended to
      be a miracle story.

      >> Your position would be stronger if Matthew and Luke surgically
      >> corrected EQHKAN by a simple letter change, but Matthew and Luke's
      >> redaction was much more radical: Matthew rewrote the sentence,
      >> and Luke omitted it. This suggests the fault is elsewhere and
      >> the change of EQHKEN to a different verb EKEITO in Matthew and
      >> its omission in Luke is merely collateral damage.
      >You are correct. It could suggest that; yet it could also suggest that they
      >recognized an error and chose to correct it, each in his respective way.

      You could be right. C.H.Turner has many examples of Matthew
      and Luke correcting Mark's number usage.

      >> Furthermore,
      >> the fact that no scribe copying Mark changed EQHKAN to EQHKEN
      >> shows that, whatever narrative difficulty there was, it was not
      >> perceived before modern times.
      >That is a good point. However, Nestle does not give all the variant readings
      >of a text in all the manuscripts. It does look like there was some scribal
      >redaction of the portion of 16:6 that leads into EQHKAN AUTON in the textual
      >apparatus cited in the eighth revised edition of Nestle. It is not clear to me
      >whether those variant readings omitted EQHKAN AUTON altogether and thus those
      >readings did not refer back to the burial itself.

      You are right about Nestle, which is why I looked at Tischendorf's
      8th ed. and Swanson. No variants are cited.

      >It may not work, but I ask you to reserve judgment until I have presented my
      >entire argument. The editorial fatigue, if that is what it is finally, is only
      >a small part of my thesis. Again the argument in support of the thesis is

      Please note that my comments presumed the strict fatigue
      criteria from Goodacre's article. If you had a broader
      understanding editorial lapses in mind, then your milage
      my vary. However, looking over at Turner's notes on
      Markan usage, it appears that mixing up singular and
      plural is so pervasive that it would be unnecessary
      to invoke dependent on a source to explain only one of

      Stephen Carlson

      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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    • jlupia2
      Ted Weeden has pointed out problems of so-called inconsistencies in the drink motif in the Crucifixion Narrative . The following are some thoughts I have
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 8, 2002
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        Ted Weeden has pointed out problems of so-called
        inconsistencies in the "drink motif" in the "Crucifixion Narrative".

        The following are some thoughts I have had on this subject.

        The Drink

        1. Historical Background

        Plato was the first author to use the term anaisthesia.
        According to Isidorus, Serapion, and Pliny, Nat. hist. xxxv, 94 the
        Romans used Mandrake or Mandragora juice and atropine as
        an anesthetic. Nepenthes was a plant mixed with wine that was
        drunk to remove sorrow. In the Odyssey it is referred to as an
        Egyptian drug. It was given to Telemachus by Helen at the court
        of Menelaus when he sought news of Odysseus. Xenophon, in
        his history called the Anabasis tells us that story of how his
        soldiers lay on the ground in a drunken madness after having
        eaten some wild honey at Colchis. Pliny refers to such honey as
        meli maenomenon or the mad honey. This honey was produced
        by bees that gathered toxins from Nerium or dogbane, the
        Mediterranean oleander, and from the Rhododendron ponticum,
        among other such toxic plants of the region. Pliny tells us that
        aged meli maenomenon was made into a mead-wine.
        Although Romans developed various anesthetic drinks they
        never offered them to prisoners to deaden or ease their pain at
        execution. So, the significance of the drink offered to Jesus must
        have another meaning. All four Gospels mention that Jesus was
        offered a drink during the crucifixion. Luke 23: 36 and John 19:
        29 both agree that it was vinegar. Historically, Roman soldiers
        carried a potable tart or pungent wine used to quench or slake
        their thirst when water was not readily available. Frequently they
        washed down their food with this acetum or vinegar. The
        presence of the acetabulum or oxybaphon (OXUBAFON) or
        vinegar dipping vessel attested to by John 19:29 who uses the
        word SKEUOS instead evokes the image that the Roman
        soldiers had been eating and drinking as they guarded the
        executed prisoners. We know that Roman soldiers made a fire
        and cooked grain or meat for the afternoon meal. Luke is even
        more precise about this. In 23:36 he mentions the vinegar and
        in 23:44 says it was about the sixth hour. For the Romans the
        sixth hour was the time for the prandium (PRWHN) or lunch.
        This presence of the acetabulum is strengthened by Poll. 6.85
        and Athen 11.494 b, who attest to the food at table was dipped or
        sopped into the acetabulum. John relates that a soldier dipped
        a spongia (SPONGIOS) into the acetabulum to soak up some of
        the vinegar. The Greeks used OXALMH, a wine and brine
        mixture, medicinally, as cited by Philumenus, Ven., 32.3, quoting
        Apollonius. They also had OXOS a vinegar put to the nose as a
        mode of torture mentioned by Aristophanes, Ranae, 620 . The
        Romans putting the sponge to Jesus' lips would have not
        necessarily served as a drink since he was far within reaching
        distance to have easily offered him a cup. To press the sponge
        to his lips was to force him to inhale the fumes of pungent OXOS
        (vinegar) as a torture much like the quote from Aristophanes.
        Then taking a small twig of hyssop he used it as a batillum or
        scooper to press it against Jesus' lips, which were well within
        arms reach. However, this twig of hyssop was more probably
        the peniculi cited by Ter. Eun. 4.7,7; Martial 12.48; and Plautus
        Stich. 2.2,23. These were sponges on short sticks Roman
        soldiers carried for cleaning their boots described by Plautus in
        Menaechm. 2.3, 40. Romans used three grades of sponges (1)
        TRAGOS which was a hard and course variety, (2) MANOS a soft
        type, and (3) ACILLEION, a fine variety. This latter type was also
        used for fitting the ocrea or greaves which were leg armor, and
        for lining helmets. So, the sponge on a short stick and
        wine-viegar were commodities commonly held by Roman
        soldiers and are in keeping with what we should expect to find if
        the story is consistent with the historical facts.

        2. Pesharim

        Besides having evidence of this custom practiced in his day
        Luke and John also had the Sacred Scriptures. When they wrote
        their Gospels they needed to discover how the events in Jesus'
        life fulfilled the description of the messiah given in the
        prophetical writings of the bible. This method "pesher" was
        used by Jewish scholars who studied the scriptures to see how
        they might be fulfilled in their day. The apostles used this
        method to see how the events in Jesus' personal life were the
        fulfillment of Sacred Scriptures in their day. These Evangelists,
        therefore, cite vinegar as the drink offered to Jesus on the cross
        since it serves as a pesher, or fulfillment of a prophecy about the
        Messiah, proving once again that Jesus is it. In Psalm 69: 21-22
        we read:

        "In thy sight are all that afflict me; my heart hath expected
        reproach and misery. And I look for one that would grieve
        together with me, but there was none: and for one that would
        comfort me and there was none. And they gave me gall for my
        food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."

        Yet another meaning can be gleaned from Sacred Scripture that
        does not refer to the Messiah but the disciples. Proverbs 10:26

        "Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so is the
        dawdling messenger to the one who sends him."

        The association of the vinegar in Luke's text to the Roman
        prandium indicated the presence of smoke from the fire
        customarily used for cooking in the field. The reference to
        Proverbs 10:26, if it was intended, associated through the
        imagery of Luke's text possibly drew the analogy that lacking true
        devotion to Jesus by witnessing the Gospel with all due
        diligence grieves him like that historical vinegar offering or the
        smoke from the soldier's campfire.

        Matthew 27:34, rather, says they offered him wine mixed with
        gall. Here it is possible that Matthew was also referencing
        Psalm 69. Matthew may have been trying to purposefully allude
        to the manner of execution offered to the Greek philosopher
        Socrates, who was given wine mixed with hemlock, since
        hemlock was sometimes called gall (Hosea 10:4). The Greeks
        had a variety of wine called ABROTONINOS since it was mixed
        with wormwood from the Artemisia arborescens or ABROTON.
        This way the parallel between Socrates and Jesus could easily
        be accomplished. Socrates was put to death because he taught
        virtue to the youth of Greece. By doing this he violated the
        tradition of the Greek pagan polytheistic religion. Likewise,
        Jesus also violated the human traditions that began to strangle
        the spiritual life out of Judaism. He too taught people how to live
        meaningful and virtuous lives. Creating this parallel between
        these two great men would have facilitated the apostles to easily
        convert the Greek speaking people who already knew about
        Socrates. Recently, J. S. Kloppenborg (1992) pointed out that
        Luke's attention to Jesus' final words was reminiscent of the
        Greek manner of describing the last words of Socrates.

        Mark 15:23, on the other hand, says it was wine mixed with
        myrrh. Pliny Nat. Hist. 14.15;92, and 14.19,107 tells us that the
        finest wines were scented with myrrh. The first thought is that
        this was intended to have symbolic meaning and not be taken
        literal. Why would Roman soldiers have on them the finest
        wines at an executioners post? Furthermore, why would they
        offer Jesus the finest wine? However, Roman soldiers imbibed
        on perfumed wines during meals. Their jentaculum or breakfast
        typically consisted of a wine scented with seselis or silis at
        meal. It was from this scented wine that the jentaculum was
        sometimes called silatum. Since Romans frequently consumed
        scented wines at meals it seems only natural that at crucifixion
        sites these wines served as an emunctary, an inhalant to
        cleanse their noses like a snuffer, to fumigate the foul stench
        from those crucified. This scented wine served as an aromatic
        deodorant to freshen the air they inhaled. This was
        accomplished by keeping the cups or goblets at their mouths
        tilted upward so that the rim touched the bridge of their nose.
        Consistent on the level of assonance puns or words of similar
        sounds being associated the Aramaic or Hebrew word for myrrh
        "mor" was associated with the Latin "morsus" meaning "a
        pungent taste" as used by the Roman poet Marcus Valerius
        Martialis (1st cent. B.C.-1st cent A.D.), commonly called Martial.
        This would have been a poetic way of expressing the salvific
        crucifixion of Jesus as a bitter cup whose fragrance is the
        perfume of the tomb. Since myrrh was used for burial, as
        attested to by John 19:39, the myrrh in the wine symbolizes the
        death of Christ associated with the cup of wine or Eucharist.
        This interpretation is reinforced by the use of the term for myrrh
        in Latin. Since Roman goblets were made of a mineral called in
        Latin "murrah' or `murra," meaning myrrh, a term also used by
        Martial to signify the goblets themselves. Also mor may have
        been targeted as an assonance pun on morus or the mulberry
        tree. This black berry bearing tree was an arbor infelix, the type
        used in the manufacture of the patibulum.

        Just a few thoughts.


        John N. Lupia
        Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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      • Horace Jeffery Hodges
        ... If anyone s intersted, look at what I have to say on the vinegar (and food and drink generally) in two SBL papers. These are online:
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 8, 2002
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          John Lupia wrote:

          > Ted Weeden has pointed out problems of so-called
          > inconsistencies in the "drink motif" in the
          > "Crucifixion Narrative".

          If anyone's intersted, look at what I have to say on
          the vinegar (and food and drink generally) in two SBL
          papers. These are online:


          Jeffery Hodges

          Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
          Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
          447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
          Yangsandong 411
          South Korea

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