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Mark 1:41 - Kirsopp Lake Had an Idea

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  • james_snapp_jr
    In Mark 1:41, Codex D stands virtually alone among Greek MSS by reading ORGISQEIS instead of the usual SPLANCHNISQEIS. Several Old Latin copies support
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 27 10:25 AM
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      In Mark 1:41, Codex D stands virtually alone among Greek MSS by reading ORGISQEIS instead of the usual SPLANCHNISQEIS. Several Old Latin copies support ORGISQEIS in one way or another.

      My idea: ORGISQEIS is a sub-Diatessaronic reading. In a Syriac Diatessaron, the Syriac word for "filled with compassion" was confused with the Syriac word for "filled with rage," due to their similarity, and subsequently on an occasion when that Diatessaron-copy was translated into Greek, this word was represented by ORGISQEIS. And this contaminated the Old Latin tradition, which contaminated D.

      (Chase and Harris made entire books arguing that D's text was contaminated with readings that originated as quirks related to translations (or mistranslations) from Syriac, and even though a lot of their claims evaporate in the boiling-pot, enough remains to justify the basic idea that the Old Latin and the Old Syriac share a common influence, and the Diatessaron may be that influence.)

      But in 1923, Kirsopp Lake had another, somewhat more elegant, idea, that deserves to be heard. And it does not involve anything as dramatic as Jesus becoming angry at the leper.

      In the 1923 Harvard Theological Review, on pages 197-198, Lake proposed that ORGISQEIS is the original reading, and that proper punctuation is the key to understanding the text correctly. Lake wrote:

      "I suggest that it should be punctuated and translated as follows: 'And there came to him a leper beseeching him and kneeling and saying to him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean; and he [the leper] put out his hand in a passion of rage and touched him. And he [Jesus] said, I will; be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was clean. And he rebuked him and immediately drove him out."

      Lake's case is short but sharp. And, although he does not mention it, such an understanding of the text (which is only possible without the name of Jesus in v. 41) could perhaps shed light on v. 45's statement that Jesus "could no longer publicly enter a city," the reason being not because he attracted large crowds (inasmuch as we see him in Capernaum in the very next episode, with a large crowd), but because he was obligated to endure a quarantine-period.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • Wieland Willker
      Jim, yes, interesting ideas, all of them are already noted in the online commentary. Note Ephrem, who, in his Diatessaron commentary, writes (McCarthy):
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 27 11:14 AM
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        Jim,

        yes, interesting ideas, all of them are already noted in the online commentary.

         

        Note Ephrem, who, in his Diatessaron commentary, writes (McCarthy):

        "Therefore our Lord showed him two things in response to his double [attitude]: reproof through his anger, and mercy through his healing. For, in response to if you are willing, he was angry, and in response to you can, he was healed."

         

         

        Best wishes

            Wieland

               <><

        ------------------------------------------------

        Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany

        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie

        Textcritical Commentary:

        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html

         

      • james_snapp_jr
        Wieland, Hm; I remember reading the textual commentary but I must ve forgotten that part (which I re-read just now.) Something occurs to me: suppose a bold
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 2, 2010
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          Wieland,

          Hm; I remember reading the textual commentary but I must've forgotten that part (which I re-read just now.)

          Something occurs to me: suppose a bold but inexperienced copyist read the Alexandrian text of Mark 1:41 in his exemplar and misinterpreted it so as to construe it to mean the same thing that Lake proposes that the Western reading means – with the difference that this copyist, reading the Alexandrian text, thought that the text said that the leper was the person filled with compassion! Such a copyist might conclude that the producer of his exemplar wrote nonsense, and replace the nonsensical-seeming word with the most similar word he could think of that seemed sensible.

          Yours in Christ,

          James Snapp, Jr.
        • Jeff Cate
          Interesting discussion on an interesting variant. Instead of wondering if a copyist
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 2, 2010
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            Interesting discussion on an interesting variant.

            Instead of wondering if a copyist misunderstood Mark, I've wondered if we are the ones who have misunderstood Mark...

            What did the evangelist intend by SPLAGXNIZOMAI in 1:41 (and also in 8:2; 6:34; and 9:22)? A hundred years ago, Swete mentioned that Mark's use of SPLAGXNIZOMAI is the earliest known usage of the verb in a *metaphorical* sense. Prior to that, the verb is only known to be used in a literal sense for the eating of the entrails of an animal sacrifice. Even Lightfoot noted that this verb does not seem to originate from classical Greek and was perhaps a coinage of the Jewish diaspora.

             

            Obviously, the verb is based on the noun SPLAGXNA which had already been used metaphorically for a long, long time. And Helmut Koester in the TDNT cites plenty of examples in which SPLAGXNA early on didn't merely refer to the emotion of love/compassion, but any strong impulsive emotion even anger, lust, and jealousy.

             

            So if Mark is the first or one of the first to use the *verb* SPLAGXNIZOMAI (not the noun) in a metaphorical sense, how do we know he intended it to mean "moved with compassion"? Could it be possible that the verb was intended as "moved with anger" (not compassion) and that's why Matthew and Luke omit the participle?

             

            And then when SPLAGXNISQEIS in Mk 1:41 was translated over in Old Latin mss, translators would have a dilemma... how to render the emotion of the verb in Latin. In Latin, the noun VISCERA is the equivalent to the Greek noun SPLAGXNA, but there is no Latin verb for the Greek verb SPLAGXNIZOMAI. So an interpretive decision would have to be made... was SPLAGXNISQEIS implying anger (Latin IRATUS) or compassion (Latin MISERTUS). And then maybe the use of MISERTUS on the Latin side of Codex Bezae is what caused the nearly unique Greek reading ORGISQEIS (essentially, cross-pollenization from the Latin side to the Greek side of the bi-lingual codex). (I say "nearly unique" since that reading is also found in 1358 as Wieland notes.)

            Anyway, just some of my thoughts on the issue...

            --Jeff Cate,
            Riverside, CA



            ---------- Original Message ----------
            From: "james_snapp_jr" <voxverax@...>
            To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 1:41 - Kirsopp Lake Had an Idea
            Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2010 12:15:36 -0000

             

            Wieland,

            Hm; I remember reading the textual commentary but I must've forgotten that part (which I re-read just now.)

            Something occurs to me: suppose a bold but inexperienced copyist read the Alexandrian text of Mark 1:41 in his exemplar and misinterpreted it so as to construe it to mean the same thing that Lake proposes that the Western reading means – with the difference that this copyist, reading the Alexandrian text, thought that the text said that the leper was the person filled with compassion! Such a copyist might conclude that the producer of his exemplar wrote nonsense, and replace the nonsensical- seeming word with the most similar word he could think of that seemed sensible.

            Yours in Christ,

            James Snapp, Jr.



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          • Jeff Cate
            Correction: In my last paragraph, I meant to say IRATUS on the Latin side of Bezae, not MISERTUS. --Jeff Cate, Riverside, CA ... From: Jeff Cate
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 2, 2010
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              Correction: In my last paragraph, I meant to say "IRATUS" on the Latin side of Bezae, not "MISERTUS."

              --Jeff Cate,
              Riverside, CA



              ---------- Original Message ----------
              From: "Jeff Cate" <Jeffcate@...>
              To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 1:41 - Kirsopp Lake Had an Idea
              Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2010 16:48:57 GMT

               

              Interesting discussion on an interesting variant.

              Instead of wondering if a copyist misunderstood Mark, I've wondered if we are the ones who have misunderstood Mark...

              What did the evangelist intend by SPLAGXNIZOMAI in 1:41 (and also in 8:2; 6:34; and 9:22)? A hundred years ago, Swete mentioned that Mark's use of SPLAGXNIZOMAI is the earliest known usage of the verb in a *metaphorical* sense. Prior to that, the verb is only known to be used in a literal sense for the eating of the entrails of an animal sacrifice. Even Lightfoot noted that this verb does not seem to originate from classical Greek and was perhaps a coinage of the Jewish diaspora.

               

              Obviously, the verb is based on the noun SPLAGXNA which had already been used metaphorically for a long, long time. And Helmut Koester in the TDNT cites plenty of examples in which SPLAGXNA early on didn't merely refer to the emotion of love/compassion, but any strong impulsive emotion even anger, lust, and jealousy.

               

              So if Mark is the first or one of the first to use the *verb* SPLAGXNIZOMAI (not the noun) in a metaphorical sense, how do we know he intended it to mean "moved with compassion"? Could it be possible that the verb was intended as "moved with anger" (not compassion) and that's why Matthew and Luke omit the participle?

               

              And then when SPLAGXNISQEIS in Mk 1:41 was translated over in Old Latin mss, translators would have a dilemma... how to render the emotion of the verb in Latin. In Latin, the noun VISCERA is the equivalent to the Greek noun SPLAGXNA, but there is no Latin verb for the Greek verb SPLAGXNIZOMAI. So an interpretive decision would have to be made... was SPLAGXNISQEIS implying anger (Latin IRATUS) or compassion (Latin MISERTUS). And then maybe the use of MISERTUS on the Latin side of Codex Bezae is what caused the nearly unique Greek reading ORGISQEIS (essentially, cross-pollenization from the Latin side to the Greek side of the bi-lingual codex). (I say "nearly unique" since that reading is also found in 1358 as Wieland notes.)

              Anyway, just some of my thoughts on the issue...

              --Jeff Cate,
              Riverside, CA



              ---------- Original Message ----------
              From: "james_snapp_ jr" <voxverax@yahoo. com>
              To: textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 1:41 - Kirsopp Lake Had an Idea
              Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2010 12:15:36 -0000

               

              Wieland,

              Hm; I remember reading the textual commentary but I must've forgotten that part (which I re-read just now.)

              Something occurs to me: suppose a bold but inexperienced copyist read the Alexandrian text of Mark 1:41 in his exemplar and misinterpreted it so as to construe it to mean the same thing that Lake proposes that the Western reading means – with the difference that this copyist, reading the Alexandrian text, thought that the text said that the leper was the person filled with compassion! Such a copyist might conclude that the producer of his exemplar wrote nonsense, and replace the nonsensical- seeming word with the most similar word he could think of that seemed sensible.

              Yours in Christ,

              James Snapp, Jr.



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