Re: Mark 14:3

Carl W. Conrad (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 12:54:26 -0500

At 9:43 AM -0500 9/10/96, David L. Moore wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> At 4:04 PM -0500 9/9/96, wrote:
>> >Quick question: What sort of genitive is kephalhs in Mark 14:3?
>> One might argue that it's a particular kind of partitive that I once
>> learned to call "genitive of the target"--or a genitive of the sphere
>> within which; but it's probably simpler to think of it as genitive with the
>> verb KATAXEW; in general verbs with prefix KATA- tend to be construed with
>> a genitive.
> Does anyone know of an instance in which there is a genitive used in
>this sense but without EPI or KATA as it is here in Mk 14:3? I looked
>the references to "on" in Strong's Concordance for the Gospels and Acts and
>could find no instances of such a construction. Strong's may be deceptive,
>however, since it lists "on" in Mk. 14:3 as corresponding to KATA, which
>indicates the concordance is based on a non-critical Greek text.

I'm not quite sure what you're looking for, David, but I find in LSJ s.v.
KATAXEW, I find, even in Homer, something very close to Mk 14:3:


Achilles is speaking of how his father Peleus treated a pair of horses:
"who very often would pour over their manes (XAITAWN) liquid olive oil."

It strikes me that this is essentially the same construction as in Mk 14:3.
Later instances are cited from Herodotus, Aristophanes, Homer, all using
the verb KATAXEW, an accusative of what's poured and a genitive of what it
is poured upon.

Now, of course, if one supposes that one's grammatical database ought to be
restricted to Hellenistic Greek only or to NT only, the parallel to Mk 14:3
might be harder to find!

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR