Re: Mark 14:3

David L. Moore (
Mon, 09 Sep 1996 22:56:26 -0400

Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:
> >
> >Quick question: What sort of genitive is kephalhs in Mark 14:3?
> >
> >
> >Thanks,
> >
> >
> >Kevin Grenier
> How about a partative genitive?

That's an interesting suggestion!

Liddle & Scott reports that Theocritus (3rd Cent. B.C.) uses KEFALH
to refer to the top, or brim of a vessel (L&S s.v. KEFALH, II:1:c).

Since the ALABASTRON was formed in such a way as to keep its
contents from being dispensed at more than a few drops at a time, breaking
the ALABASTRON could form a rim (KEFALHN) from which the ointment could be
copiously poured. If this is the meaning here, it would explain the
widespread effort to correct the passage by adding KATA (so A, Theta, fam.
13, and the Majority) or EPI (so D and the Latin tradition). It would also
remove the apparent contradiction in comparison to Luke 7:38 and John 12:3.

Matthew (26:7), however, definitely testifies to anointing of the

David L. Moore                             Director
Miami, Florida, USA                        Department of Education                     Southeastern Spanish District            of the Assemblies of God