Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

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Ben C. Smith
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Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm

Subject: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:45 pm
I have looked for examples of the above kinds of syntactic awkwardness in the gospels, and (really) I have not yet found any which do not point to sources as the above do. I imagine such examples do exist, and I have simply not found them yet, but there are enough of the above, I think, to make the argument that such examples of awkwardness are a pretty decent indicator of sourcing.
Okay, I have now searched more thoroughly, and after finding a few more potential examples remembered that John C. Hawkins might have a list in Horae Synopticae, which he did, on pages 135-136 (only for the gospel of Mark). Not all of the examples I am going to list here are of the same kind as the ones listed in the other post.

I am listing the passages only in Greek (at least for now), since some of the issues are not all that apparent in English. I am hoping that Kunigunde can chime in on these examples, as well:

Mark 3.7-8: 7 Καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρησεν πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ πολὺ πλῆθος ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας [ἠκολούθησεν], καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας 8 καὶ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰδουμαίας καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου καὶ περὶ Τύρον καὶ Σιδῶνα πλῆθος πολὺ ἀκούοντες ὅσα ἐποίει ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτόν. [Hawkins allows that this example does not quite amount to anacoluthon. The listing of all the place names has the effect of making the sentence cumbersome, and without the ἠκολούθησεν variant it is not obvious where to mark the divide between the first πολὺ πλῆθος and the second πλῆθος πολὺ, but there are several places where it could fall.]

Mark 3.14-19: 14 καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα [οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν] ἵνα ὦσιν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν 15 καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν [θεραπεύειν τὰς νόσους καὶ] ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια· 16 [καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς δώδεκα,] καὶ ἐπέθηκεν ὄνομα τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρον, 17 καὶ Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτοῖς ὀνόμα[τα] βοανηργές, ὅ ἐστιν υἱοὶ βροντῆς· 18 καὶ Ἀνδρέαν καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον καὶ Μαθθαῖον καὶ Θωμᾶν καὶ Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ἁλφαίου καὶ Θαδδαῖον καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν Καναναῖον 19 καὶ Ἰούδαν Ἰσκαριώθ, ὃς καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτόν. [This one is a veritable disaster zone, honestly, with lots of variants among the manuscripts, some of which are included in brackets above. That bit about Jesus giving Simon the name Peter, in the accusative, and then the list of other disciples, also in the accusative, following on as if their names also belonged to Simon, is pretty jarring.]

Mark 4.8: 8 καὶ ἄλλα ἔπεσεν εἰς τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν καὶ ἐδίδου καρπὸν ἀναβαίνοντα καὶ αὐξανόμενα καὶ ἔφερεν ἓν τριάκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν. [Hawkins includes this example only because Westcott and Hort have εἰς for the first ἓν, but quite arbitrarily, as Hawkins allows. This one should not count at all.]

Mark 4.31-32: 31 ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, 32 καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῦν. [The participle, which would be literally translated as "being," should be a finite verb like ἐστὶν. The second "when it is sown" actually resets the sentence as if the participle had not just led it into a dead end. The repeated "upon the ground/land" is not very elegant, but is not a failure syntax or grammar. Quite a few variants here in the manuscripts.]

Mark 5.22-23: 22 Καὶ ἔρχεται εἷς τῶν ἀρχισυναγώγων, ὀνόματι Ἰάϊρος, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν πίπτει πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ 23 καὶ παρακαλεῖ αὐτὸν πολλὰ λέγων ὅτι τὸ θυγάτριόν μου ἐσχάτως ἔχει, ἵνα ἐλθὼν ἐπιθῇς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῇ ἵνα σωθῇ καὶ ζήσῃ. [Jairus says, "My daughter is at death's door," so that "you might come and lay hands on her," and so on. This one is somewhat similar to the ones I have listed in the other post which have to do with the syntax between narration and dialogue.]

Mark 7.18-19: 18 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε; οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι 19 ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἀλλ᾽ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται, καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα; [This is a famous one. The final participial phrase in verse 19, with a masculine participle, must attach itself to the understood "he" (Jesus) in verse 18. The Byzantine tradition makes the participle neuter so that it can agree with the neuter "all/everything" within the dominical saying, thus drawing the participial phrase into the saying, as well. But the best manuscripts have the masculine.]

Mark 11.31-32: 31 καὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες· ἐὰν εἴπωμεν· ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ· διὰ τί [οὖν] οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ; 32 ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν· ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον· ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάννην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν. [The asyndeton between "But shall we say, 'From humans?'" and "They feared the crowd" is pretty stark, but hardly ungrammatical or whatnot. The syntax is not really broken here; nor is the grammar.]

Mark 12.19: 19 διδάσκαλε, Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν ὅτι ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ καὶ καταλίπῃ γυναῖκα καὶ μὴ ἀφῇ τέκνον, ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ. [Using ἵνα to introduce what ought to be an apodosis after the protasis marked off by ἐάν is weird. The sense of the first clause is that "Moses wrote... that if someone's brother dies," and the sense of the second is that "Moses wrote... in order that the brother might" marry the widow. The verb ("wrote") is taking both an indirect clause with ὅτι and a result clause with ἵνα.]

Mark 12.38-40: 38 Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν· βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς 39 καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις, 40 οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι· οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα. [Here the participle κατεσθίοντες should be a finite verb, making οἱ a relative pronoun. As it stands, the nominative participle finds nothing to agree with grammatically in the sentence. It is a dangling participle, essentially. Some manuscripts, like Bezae, fix the problem.]

Mark 13.14: 14 Ὅταν δὲ ἴδητε τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως ἑστηκότα ὅπου οὐ δεῖ, ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω, τότε οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη.... [The issue is that "abomination" is neuter but the participle which modifies it, "standing," is masculine. This is all grammar, not syntax. But Hawkins allows that it is probably a constructio ad sensum; that is, the abomination is in some way seen as a person, and not just as an object.]

Mark 14.3: 3 Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς, συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς. [I agree with Kunigunde here; this construction can be seen as quite elegant. I would not fault it.]

Mark 14.49: 49 καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἤμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ διδάσκων καὶ οὐκ ἐκρατήσατέ με· ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαί. [An additional phrase is needed in order to complete the sense. I vote for a simple "it is," since it is fine to omit verbs of being from a sentence where they are clear; this one might be a bit strained, but I think it would work. Matthew 26.56 opts for the more complicated but fitting τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν.]

The instances which seem to be most relevant to the examples I gave in the other thread are: Mark 3.14-19; Mark 5.22-23; Mark 7.18-19. The other examples are not really of the same kind, to my eye; they generally involve a questionable choice in the case of a single word, rather than an entire clause slipped into an unexpected place or wielded in an unexpected way (involving phrases rather than words). If we think that Mark himself is responsible for the infelicities in all three of these passages, then I would have to downgrade my confidence in this sort of syntactic break to "merely plausible," down from "a pretty decent indicator." I also would probably wish to withdraw my tentative example of Matthew 4.14-16. However, I think these residual cases ought to be examined more carefully, and I intend to do so at some point. It is hardly beyond the realm of possibility that Mark 3.14-19 got the apostles' names from a source, for example, and bungled the syntax while inserting the datum that Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter. And the participial phrase at the end of Mark 7.18-19 has always read like an editorial comment slipped in from the margin by a scribe or some such. I have no special insights into the Jairus example in Mark 5.22-23 yet.

At any rate, my list of syntactic anomalies in Mark is now closer to complete.

Ben.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Charles Wilson
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Re: Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:16 pm

Ben Smith wrote:The issue is that "abomination" is neuter but the participle which modifies it, "standing," is masculine. This is all grammar, not syntax. But Hawkins allows that it is probably a constructio ad sensum; that is, the abomination is in some way seen as a person, and not just as an object.
First Rate, as usual.

I want to note that I agree here about seeing the Abomination... as an "event" and also a "person". I believe that the Abomination of Desolation was a description of the defeat of Alexander Jannaeus at the hands of Demetrius Eucerus.

This is to be completely hidden since it is to be rewritten as End Times Prediction
.

Josephus, Ant.., 13, 14, 1:

"SO Demetrius came with an army, and took those that invited him, and pitched his camp near the city Shechem..."
Shechem is near the Temple at Gerizim.

"...they came to a battle, and Demetrius was the conqueror..."
Here, in Classical Semitic Language, one would expect the Triumph Language from Demetrius: "I raised Heaps of Corpses"or some similar proclamation. The Greeks have defeated the Jews.
Compare with this Piyyut, apparently written by R. El'iazar ha-Qallir:

"Instead of a sound of weeping
a Devine [as given in the quote] voice was heard in Malchijah
"the youngsters gained a victory in Antioch"
The four heads of the tiger ( a symbol for the Greeks)
were shattered by the youngsters of Immer
in command of the guard (god)
To announce in the streets of Jabnit [Galilean Settlement given to the Mishmarot Group Immer]
that the spear has slashed
every Greek tongue"

(Uzi Leibner, by way of Shulamit Elizur)

Instead, we get something completely Absurd:

"Now as Alexander fled to the mountains, six thousand of the Jews hereupon came together [from Demetrius] to him out of pity at the change of his fortune; upon which Demetrius was afraid, and retired out of the country...".

This doesn't appear to be Classical Greek Triumph Language either.

Mark 13: 14 (Moffatt):

[14] "But when you see the appalling Horror standing where he has no right to stand (let the reader note this), then let those who are in Judaea fly to the hills

At this time there is a Culture between the Jews and the Greeks. If you don't think this is important, then the following makes no sense to you:

Mark 5: 20 (RSV):

[20] And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decap'olis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marveled.

Julius Caesar gave Aristobulus 2 a pair of Legions for a Syrian Campaign and he was poisoned by Pompey (See: Revelation, "The Little Scroll"). It was all downhill from there. The Latins favor the Greeks. The Source is Pro-Jewish, Pro-Janneus and must therefore be hidden.

The Abomination of Desolation was rewritten from the defeat of Jannaeus at the hands of Demetrius Eucerus. The general aura comes from the Greek orientation of the description (for Roman readers). It was Demetrius Eucerus who committed the Abomination of Desolation.

"...standing where he ought not to stand" therefore makes perfect sense.

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Re: Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:57 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm
At any rate, my list of syntactic anomalies in Mark is now closer to complete.
A very good overview

While I agree with almost every oberservation, I would rate some cases differently. First, I think that there are at least three intentional anacoluthons, namely Mark 5:23, 11:32 and 14:49. (I assume that there is no need to show that intentional anacoluthons were used by the ancients. The writings of Horace and Petronius should be rich sources.)

I have never thought about Mark 5:23, but it was always my view that Mark 11:32 and Mark 14:49 are intentionally.

In Mark 11:31-32 one can see how it works in the heads of Jesus' opponents und that there is a great dilemma. The abrupt end of their reasoning gives a good effect to show their fear and that the second possibility was an absolute no-go-area. (But shall we say, ‘From man’?”... They were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”) btw I would say that the whole construction of the last clause, especially with the ὄντως before ὅτι looks more „awkwardly“ than Hawkins' point, at least absolute quirky. (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάννην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν).

I saw Mark 14:49 always as a work of his irony and assumed that the verse should express the idea that Jesus is starting to say one of his most important sentences, but no one listens to him anymore („Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But that the scriptures might be fulfilled ...” And they all left him and fled.)

I think the situation in Mark 5:23 is a classical one for an intentional anacoluthon to express the deep emotions of a speaker. I would put it in this way: „My little daughter is near death … so that you might come and lay your hands on her … so that she might be saved and live ...“

(Sorry for the short comments. More time tomorrow)

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:57 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm
At any rate, my list of syntactic anomalies in Mark is now closer to complete.
A very good overview

While I agree with almost every oberservation, I would rate some cases differently. First, I think that there are at least three intentional anacoluthons, namely Mark 5:23, 11:32 and 14:49. (I assume that there is no need to show that intentional anacoluthons were used by the ancients. The writings of Horace and Petronius should be rich sources.)

....

In Mark 11:31-32 one can see how it works in the heads of Jesus' opponents und that there is a great dilemma. The abrupt end of their reasoning gives a good effect to show their fear and that the second possibility was an absolute no-go-area. (But shall we say, ‘From man’?”... They were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”) btw I would say that the whole construction of the last clause, especially with the ὄντως before ὅτι looks more „awkwardly“ than Hawkins' point, at least absolute quirky. (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάννην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν).
I actually demurred from calling 11.32 an example of anacoluthon; I wrote, "The asyndeton between 'But shall we say, "From humans?"' and 'They feared the crowd' is pretty stark, but hardly ungrammatical or whatnot. The syntax is not really broken here; nor is the grammar." But your view goes beyond this, and I think I agree with it. As for the position of the ὄντως, might it not be modifying εἶχον instead of ἦν?
I saw Mark 14:49 always as a work of his irony and assumed that the verse should express the idea that Jesus is starting to say one of his most important sentences, but no one listens to him anymore („Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But that the scriptures might be fulfilled ...” And they all left him and fled.)
Very interesting! Never thought of it that way. I wrote, "An additional phrase is needed in order to complete the sense. I vote for a simple 'it is,' since it is fine to omit verbs of being from a sentence where they are clear; this one might be a bit strained, but I think it would work. Matthew 26.56 opts for the more complicated but fitting τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν." But an interrupted sentence... that is actually quite clever.
I think the situation in Mark 5:23 is a classical one for an intentional anacoluthon to express the deep emotions of a speaker. I would put it in this way: „My little daughter is near death … so that you might come and lay your hands on her … so that she might be saved and live ...“
This one... I am still not sure about. I mean, I think I get what you are saying, but when I read it I still do not "feel" it that way. But maybe with time... perhaps eventually....

(^ See what I did there?)
(Sorry for the short comments. More time tomorrow)
No problem. :cheers: Thanks for your input.
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Re: Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:01 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:22 pm
As for the position of the ὄντως, might it not be modifying εἶχον instead of ἦν?
Yes, I think so. But I assume that no one would agree that the translation should be „for all had (held ?) really John that he was a prophet“
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:22 pm
This one... I am still not sure about.
No problem. It may be a matter of feeling.

Back to the OP. As syntactic errors I would count Mark 3.16-19 (a very serious mistake), Mark 4.31-32, Mark 7.18-19, Mark 12.19, Mark 12.40 (perhaps a rather slight mistake). With one exception there is not much to say about it. It is simply there. The exception is Mark 4.31-32 and in advance I'm afraid that you will not follow me, so take it as an invitation to my wonderland :mrgreen:

I think Mark's style can be, and is mostly, very fluently and chapter 1 may be a good example. It is not only that Mark's stories are action-packed and many times the word „immediately“ is used, it is also that Mark's vocabulary, grammar and syntax form a fast-paced style. Imho often it swings from one clause to another. You can read it aloud and it would sound well with a fine and discreet rhythm. Not that Mark was a rhyming man, but imho he had a literary style with an eye for rhythm and pace and often we can see not only that, but also how he constructed the rhythm. Mark 14:3 may be one of the best examples.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm

Mark 14.3: 3 Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς, συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς. [I agree with Kunigunde here; this construction can be seen as quite elegant. I would not fault it.]

There are two rows with three parallel clauses and in each row with the pattern „long clause with participle - short clause with participle and repetition of a word - clause with the verb“

long clause with participle Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, And being of him in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,
short clause with participle and repetition of a word κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ having reclined of him
clause with the verb ἦλθεν γυνὴ it came a woman
long clause with participle ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς having an alabastron with perfume of pure nard, very costly
short clause with participle and repetition of a word συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον having broken the alabastron
clause with the verb κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς she poured it on his head

The participles make it faster and the repetitions function a bit like rhyms. Related to the grammar one could critizise the second αὐτοῦ, but related to the rhythm it serves well. Συντρίψασα may be not the first word choice, but it sounds well and the sound gives a bit an impression of the breaking of the flask. One could also critizes that κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς is not a worthy anointment of a Messiah, but to have the „κ“ as the first letter of the first word and the last word of the clause is a fine effect.

I think if an opportunity arised Mark made efforts to structure the text and at the end to get a rhythm. That may be the essential purpose of his doublings and repetitions of syllables, words and phrases, even in Mark 3.14-16 (I removed two variants from the quote)
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm

Mark 3.14-19: 14 καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα ἵνα ὦσιν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν 15 καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια· 16 [καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς δώδεκα,] καὶ ἐπέθηκεν ὄνομα τῷ Σίμωνι Πέτρον, 17 καὶ Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτοῖς ὀνόμα[τα] βοανηργές, ὅ ἐστιν υἱοὶ βροντῆς· 18 καὶ Ἀνδρέαν καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον καὶ Μαθθαῖον καὶ Θωμᾶν καὶ Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ἁλφαίου καὶ Θαδδαῖον καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν Καναναῖον 19 καὶ Ἰούδαν Ἰσκαριώθ, ὃς καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτόν. [This one is a veritable disaster zone, honestly, with lots of variants among the manuscripts, some of which are included in brackets above. That bit about Jesus giving Simon the name Peter, in the accusative, and then the list of other disciples, also in the accusative, following on as if their names also belonged to Simon, is pretty jarring.]

In Mark 7:19 is also a singsong.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm

Mark 7.18-19: 18 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε; οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι 19 ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἀλλ᾽ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται, καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα; [This is a famous one. The final participial phrase in verse 19, with a masculine participle, must attach itself to the understood "he" (Jesus) in verse 18. The Byzantine tradition makes the participle neuter so that it can agree with the neuter "all/everything" within the dominical saying, thus drawing the participial phrase into the saying, as well. But the best manuscripts have the masculine.]


Back to Mark 4.31-32.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:06 pm

Mark 4.31-32: 31 ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, 32 καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῦν. [The participle, which would be literally translated as "being," should be a finite verb like ἐστὶν. The second "when it is sown" actually resets the sentence as if the participle had not just led it into a dead end. The repeated "upon the ground/land" is not very elegant, but is not a failure syntax or grammar. Quite a few variants here in the manuscripts.]

It seems Mark wished the build two rows, each row starting with ὅταν σπαρῇ. The base of the structure may be therefore
ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως,
…........ ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς)…
…........ καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ ...

In the second row comes first the little singsong ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται and than four words ending with „-on“ μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων, what gives a rolling rhythm. I agree that the repeated ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς at the end of the first row is not elegant, but that is Mark and repetition counts in his view. Inbetween there are again six words ending with „-on“ and inbetween the problematic ὂν. Again, it's a rolling rhythm with the pattern „long – short - long - short - long - short“.

μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν

You have the choice. Correct grammar with ἐστὶν or a fine rhythm with ὂν? I surmise we can see Mark's decision in the text as it stands.

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Re: Anacoluthon in the gospel of Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:26 pm

This is a fabulous post, Kunigunde. I have to admit that I do not often read Greek (any Greek, not just Mark's) with the rhythm in mind, unless it is actually poetry by genre (and even then I can get lost counting long and short syllables). Funny, since I read English with an ear for it all the time, and even do the same with Spanish and, often enough, Latin.

Another thing I do not often do is read the text with the express purpose of hearing how it sounds out loud. I recall a discussion of two verses in John by J. A. T. Robinson, pointing out the adverb οὕτως in each case:

John 4.6: 6 ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πηγὴ τοῦ Ἰακώβ. ὁ οὖν Ἰησοῦς κεκοπιακὼς ἐκ τῆς ὁδοιπορίας ἐκαθέζετο οὕτως ἐπὶ τῇ πηγῇ· ὥρα ἦν ὡς ἕκτη.

John 13.25: 25 ἀναπεσὼν οὖν ἐκεῖνος οὕτως ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε, τίς ἐστιν;

The issue, of course, is what the οὕτως could be doing there. The grammar is perfectly transparent, but why "thus" in these cases? But, if you read the verses out loud like a storyteller would deliver them, with interpretive feeling, it is hard not to make a physical motion imitating Jesus sitting down or the beloved disciple leaning back — "thus," "like so," "like this" — when one gets to the adverb.

These verses in John were what I was reminded of when you wrote earlier about how certain anacolutha in Mark might signify great emotion in the voice of the speaker. These are not exactly the same phenomenon, I know, but both require an actively engaged reading of the text with feeling and sensitivity, preferably out loud.

I am still considering all that you wrote in your most recent post, but wanted to say: Well done! :cheers:
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

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