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Re: tc-list Mk 3.20 versions in Legg - beware!

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  • Mr. Gary S. Dykes
    Jean Valentin wrote: I come accross something quite puzzling in Legg s apparatus in Mk 3.20. Some greek mss have ochlos without article, others have ho
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 4, 1999
      Jean Valentin wrote:
      I come accross something quite puzzling in Legg's apparatus in Mk 3.20.
      Some greek mss have "ochlos" without article, others have "ho ochlos" with
      an article.
      I think there's a little (big?) mistake when it comes to the versions. Legg
      claims that the Latin versions, the Sinaitic Syriac version and the Ethiopic
      version support "ho ochlos" with an article. This seems quite a problem to
      me, as those three languages make no difference between determination and
      indetermination. It is in fact impossible to decide whether they support one
      or the other variant. It seems to be quite a mistake to me!
      We can even go further: Legg claims that the Sinaitic Syriac supports the
      singular instead of the plural "ochloi" supported by several greek mss and
      the other Syriac versions. This too is imprudent: the old syriac versions
      omit very often the "seyome", that double dot that indicates the plural in
      the Syriac language. It is correct to assume that the other versions support
      the plural, as they are more careful in that respect and they _have_ this
      sign here, but I think it would have been better not to say anything about
      the Sinaitic Syriac here.
      Just a tip to those who do not know Syriac and wish to know what it says:
      remember (1) Syriac does NOT differentiate between determination and
      indetermination (however, Syropalestinian does!), and (2) the old Syriac mss
      sy.s and sy.c are not very careful to indicate every plural. Just do not
      take Legg's apparatus for granted when it takes position on these two

      Pardon me, sir, but I think the above may need some clarification. In all
      three common dialects of the Syriac "articles" can be expressed. However,
      the terms, "determination" and "indetermination" (both from "determinate")
      are usually found in modern linguistics jargon. When applied to some
      Indo-European and all Semitic languages they can be misleading. In Koine
      Greek (and classical and pre-classical Mycenaean) the article did not truly
      "determine" a noun, and in many cases was not even associated with the noun
      which followed it, as it could have been an anaphoric, or a demonstrative
      pronoun et cetera. Technically speaking a determiner "limits the meaning of
      its associated noun in some way". If one maintains this definition of the
      Greek article one would encounter some conflicts, in light of word order
      verses inflections .

      Equivalent, in certain ways, to the Greek article in Syriac is the Emphatic
      state of the noun. By this device the Syriac can indicate "a specification"
      or some other distinction. These Syriac nouns end with the Syriac letter
      Alaph ")". However, the use of the Emphatic state does not always mean that
      the translators are indicating an original "article" present in the original

      In the Peshitta, and other versions of Mark 3:20, the Emphatic state is
      used, and in the noun one sees seyame dots, (and these dots, are sometimes
      accidentally omitted by scribes in a hurry!) indicating plural "crowds",
      thus the word looks in Syriac as )Sy^k "the crowds".
      Note in verse 22, "the scribes" using the same state and number in the

      For comparative purposes, amongst the Semitic languages, one might refer to
      LANGUAGES, page 98 or section 12.74. Most basic Syriac grammars say about
      as much. For the modern term of "determinant" it may be best to follow
      Moscati and use "definiteness" and "indefiniteness" as well as "mimation"
      and "nunation" all of which he defines.

      As far as Ethiopic is concerned, it too uses a distinct state, also called
      to as the Emphatic state, whose paradigm is comparable to the Semitic
      languages. So when Legg stated (and I have not his work) that the Ethiopic
      and Syriac languages showed or supported the presence of the article in the
      underlying Greek, he was obviously referring to the presence of the Emphatic
      state being evidenced. Latin has no definite article, true, but as Metzger
      points out (VERSIONS...) an article can be expressed by means of a relative
      clause, see Metzger page 366. However, this device is not always employed.

      I cannot speak for all exegetes of the Greek, but the above explains how
      many critics see a definite article in certain versions (translations) of
      the Greek. And again may I mention that much variation exists, and the above
      are simply basic guidelines, not canons set in concrete.

      at your service,
      Mr. Gary S. Dykes
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