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Mark 16: 17-18 "take up" or "kill serpents"???

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  • talmidim@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/26/2009 5:48:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com writes: There is also the issue of what text one has to
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 26 7:11 AM
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      In a message dated 4/26/2009 5:48:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com writes:
      There is also the issue of what text one has to interpret. The Appalachian snake-handlers would most likely not have sprung up if it weren't for Mark 16.9-20. I'm not saying that those twelve verses endorse this, nor that patristic writers who thought the text was authentic warmed up to the idea, but I am saying that if our Bibles did not have these verses, the snake-handlers wouldn't exist.
       
      Regarding Mark 16:18, I found it quite interesting that Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva and other older English translations did not in any way suggest that the believers would "take up" serpents, but rather they would either "kill serpents" or "drive them away".  Why would none of  these old  mention "taking up serpents" if that was what all the manuscripts at their disposal indicated.
       
      Here is the quote from Tyndale:
       
      Mark 16:17
      And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils, and shall speak with new tongues,
      16:18
      and shall ***kill serpents.*** And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
       
       
      Here is site which parallels several Old Engish Bibles of Mark 16:18
       
      Wycliffe                              Tyndale                 Geneva               Websters/KJV
       
      18 they *shall do away* serpents; and if they drink any venom, it shall not harm them. They shall set their hands on sick men, and they shall wax whole. [+they shall do away serpents; and if they shall drink any venom, or deadly thing, it shall not harm them. They shall put their hands upon sick men, and they shall have them well/and they shall have well.]18 and *shall kill serpents*. And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.18 And shall *take away* serpents, and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.18 They shall *take up* serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover
       
       
       
      How unfortunate for those dead "Snake Handlers" that the only Bible they ever read was the KJV!
       
      MB
       
    • Jack Kilmon
      ... From: talmidim@aol.com To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:11 AM Subject: [textualcriticism] Mark 16: 17-18 take up or
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 26 10:29 AM
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        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:11 AM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Mark 16: 17-18 "take up" or "kill serpents"???

         
         
        In a message dated 4/26/2009 5:48:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com writes:
        There is also the issue of what text one has to interpret. The Appalachian snake-handlers would most likely not have sprung up if it weren't for Mark 16.9-20. I'm not saying that those twelve verses endorse this, nor that patristic writers who thought the text was authentic warmed up to the idea, but I am saying that if our Bibles did not have these verses, the snake-handlers wouldn't exist.
         
        Regarding Mark 16:18, I found it quite interesting that Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva and other older English translations did not in any way suggest that the believers would "take up" serpents, but rather they would either "kill serpents" or "drive them away".  Why would none of  these old  mention "taking up serpents" if that was what all the manuscripts at their disposal indicated.
         
        Here is the quote from Tyndale:
         
        Mark 16:17
        And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils, and shall speak with new tongues,
        16:18
        and shall ***kill serpents.*** And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
         
         
        Here is site which parallels several Old Engish Bibles of Mark 16:18
         
        Wycliffe                              Tyndale                 Geneva               Websters/KJV
         
        18 they *shall do away* serpents; and if they drink any venom, it shall not harm them. They shall set their hands on sick men, and they shall wax whole. [+they shall do away serpents; and if they shall drink any venom, or deadly thing, it shall not harm them. They shall put their hands upon sick men, and they shall have them well/and they shall have well.]18 and *shall kill serpents*. And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.18 And shall *take away* serpents, and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover.18 They shall *take up* serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover
         
         
         
        How unfortunate for those dead "Snake Handlers" that the only Bible they ever read was the KJV!
         
        MB
         
         
        "Taking up serpents" (Peshitta Syriac }wlq$n )twwxw Judean Lq$) was an Aramaic idiom for "doing something dangerous" and "drinking poison" was an idiom for taking in errant teachings.  I think the Greek translation of this idiom ofeij arousin " was accurate with the verb airw to lift or carry.  The correspondence with Acts 28:3-5 cannot be coincidence.
         
        I am glad Jesus, when preparing to leave Capernaum for Jerusalem, did not tell his disciples, "Let's hit the road."  Today is Sunday and there would be a gaggle of nuts out on I-10 slapping the tarmac and being flattened by 18-wheelers.
         
        I think idiom is the primary source of mistranslation.
         
        One of my best examples of a translation that without appeal to Aramaic is downright silly is Luke 14:26.  I will transliterate the Greek and phoneticize the Aramaic since I am not sure Hebrew and Greek fonts unicode here.

        EI TIS ERXETAI    PROS ME KAI OU MISEI TON PATERA
        If someone comes    to       me   and   does not hate the  father
        EAUTOU KAI THN MHTERA KAI THN GUNAIKA KAI
        of himself   and    the   mother      and    the    wife          and
        TA TEKNA KAI TOUS ADELFOS KAI TAS ADELFAS
        the  children  and    the     brothers     and    the    sisters
        ETI TE              KAI THN YUXHN EAUTOU OU DUNATAI
        and in-addition   also   the    life         of himslef  he is not able
        EINAI MOU MAQHTHS
        to be    ny       disciple

        The Aramaic would be:

        MAN DATE L'WATHY         W'LA          SANE L'ABUHY
        Whoever comes to me   and does not set aside his father
        W'L'IMMEH      W'LATT-TEH
        and his mother     and the wife
        W'LABNAWHY W'L'AXUWHY W'L'AXWATEH
        and the children   and the brothers  and the sisters
        WAP L'NAPSHEH TALMIDA LA MISHKAX DIHWE LY
        even his own life         disciple not of mine can he be

        Before we get to the ONE important difference in this translation, lets first talk about this Aramaic back-translation.  It was derived from a straightforward back-translation of the Greek as well as the Old Syriac that, in this case, does not differ from the Western orthography. Immediately apparent is the couplet paralellism that so often is a highmark of "Jesus stuff" which I attribute to mnemonic devices for oral transmission. Bultmann attributes this as an "I" saying (History of the Synoptic Tradition 163 also in James Dunn and Scott McKnight, "The Historical Jesus in Recent Research" Sources for Biblical and TheologicalStudy Vol 10) from the primitive Jerusalem group and ts Aramaic origin is discussed by Jeremias,"Die Sprache der Lukasevangeliums 1986, Denney, ExpTim 21(1909-1910) and T. W. Manson "The Teachings of Jesus" Cambridge U.P  1955 237 and, of course, there is an enormous corpus of books on the Aramaic of Jesus.  Another aspect for me, not only the Aramaic prose parallelism but the biographical confirmation from Mark 6:3.  Jesus is referring to his own family as an example but did he really use the expression "hate?"  It does not make sense from a Torah observant teacher.Lets look at the treatment of this Q source saying by Matthew  10:37 "He that loves father or mother MORE than me...."  Was this a Matthean redaction of the Aramaic source or was Luke's a Lukan Redaction?  This requires that we look closer at the Aramaic word )ns "sana" in the Aramaic version above.Sana could indeed be translatedinto Greek as "hate." Aramaic words had multiple meanings. This has been the cause of a number of Greek variants on translations between text types...variants that will distill to one on back-translation.
         
        The Aramaic word sana means "hate" or "stand up straight' or "put out a light" or "threshing floor" or "set to one's side." (Errico "Let There be Light" 1985).  It has been used also in the LXX and Targums for "love less."  "To set aside" one's family also  conforms with Jesus' remark at Matthew 12:50.  Matthew, therefore, redacted his source as mentioned above.

        Aramaic lacks comparatives so "more than" or "less than" can be "first" and "last."  The Hebrew cognate for the Aramaic sana is "shana" and is used in much the same way as you will see in Deuteronomy 21:15-17 and Malachi 1:2-3.

        Similarly the Talmud enjoins students to have more affection for their teachers than their fathers...." his teacher has priority, for his father brought him into this world, but his teacher, who has taught him wisdom, brings him into the world to come."
        None of the current translations, to my knowledge, uses the correct translation of this idiom.  Like handling snakes or drinking poison it leaves readers scratching their heads.

        Regards,

        Jack Kilmon
      • brian boland
        Hi! Lamsa has a footnote saying Aramaic idiom for enemies Does the original Greek sense of the word also carry that conation? Brian j Boland
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 26 12:50 PM
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          Hi!
          Lamsa has a footnote saying " Aramaic idiom for enemies" Does the original Greek sense of the word also carry that conation?
          Brian j Boland



        • Jack Kilmon
          Fir ... From: brian boland To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 2:50 PM Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 16: 17-18 take up
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 27 12:26 AM
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            Fir
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 2:50 PM
            Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 16: 17-18 "take up" or "kill serpents"???

            Hi!
            Lamsa has a footnote saying " Aramaic idiom for enemies" Does the original Greek sense of the word also carry that conation?
             
             
             
             
            The original sense of the word was in the Aramaic since it was an Aramaic idiom that had the same sense as our idiom "a bucket of worms."  The idiom did not transmit to the Greek in translation.  It meant a dangerous or difficult undertaking.  Lamsa is not a credible source.
             
            Jack Kilmon
          • andrewcriddle
            ... Although the Verb AIRW can mean take away/kill; I suspect that the older English translations are influenced by serpentes tollent (from tollo)) the Vulgate
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 27 4:48 AM
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              --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, talmidim@... wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > In a message dated 4/26/2009 5:48:46 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
              > textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com writes:
              >
              > There is also the issue of what text one has to interpret. The Appalachian
              > snake-handlers would most likely not have sprung up if it weren't for Mark
              > 16.9-20. I'm not saying that those twelve verses endorse this, nor that
              > patristic writers who thought the text was authentic warmed up to the idea,
              > but I am saying that if our Bibles did not have these verses, the
              > snake-handlers wouldn't exist.
              >
              > Regarding Mark 16:18, I found it quite interesting that Wycliffe, Tyndale,
              > Geneva and other older English translations did not in any way suggest
              > that the believers would "take up" serpents, but rather they would either
              > "kill serpents" or "drive them away". Why would none of these old mention
              > "taking up serpents" if that was what all the manuscripts at their disposal
              > indicated.
              >
              Although the Verb AIRW can mean take away/kill; I suspect that the older English translations are influenced by serpentes tollent (from tollo)) the Vulgate rendering, which is more likely to suggest such an interpretation.

              Andrew Criddle
            • Robert Relyea
              ... That is likely the case for Wycliffe, which is a translation from the Vulgate, not the Greek. bob
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 28 10:19 AM
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                andrewcriddle wrote:
                --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, talmidim@... wrote:
                 
                Regarding Mark 16:18, I found it quite interesting that  Wycliffe, Tyndale, 
                Geneva and other older English translations did not in any  way suggest 
                that the believers would "take up" serpents, but rather they would  either 
                "kill serpents" or "drive them away".  Why would none of  these old  mention 
                "taking up serpents" if that was what all the  manuscripts at their disposal 
                indicated.
                    
                Although the Verb AIRW can mean take away/kill; I suspect that the older English translations are influenced by serpentes tollent (from tollo)) the Vulgate rendering, which is more likely to suggest such an interpretation. 
                
                Andrew Criddle
                  
                That is likely the case for Wycliffe, which is a translation from the Vulgate, not the Greek.

                bob


              • George F Somsel
                The Greek of which word?  george gfsomsel … search for truth, hear truth, learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, defend the truth till
                Message 7 of 7 , May 6, 2009
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                  The Greek of which word?
                   
                  george
                  gfsomsel


                  … search for truth, hear truth,
                  learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
                  defend the truth till death.


                  - Jan Hus
                  _________



                  From: brian boland <brianjboland@...>
                  To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 12:50:51 PM
                  Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 16: 17-18 "take up" or "kill serpents"???

                  Hi!
                  Lamsa has a footnote saying " Aramaic idiom for enemies" Does the original Greek sense of the word also carry that conation?
                  Brian j Boland
                  .


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