Re: Mark's Greek

Carl W. Conrad (
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 06:13:12 -0500

At 8:06 PM -0500 10/16/96, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>At 12:32 10/16/96 -0400, David L. Moore wrote:
>>At 07:58 AM 10/16/96 -0400, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>>>Now, as for a place which is not nicely written (from a grammatical
>>>perspective), and one which has been bothering me, is Mk16:6
>>>We have IDE, singular, apparently spoken to three women (the imperative
>>>in v7 is plural).
>> How about, "Behold: the place where they laid Him." The IDE in
>>singular may correspond to a Semitic idiom. _Hinneh_ is used as a particle
>>of interjection in Hebrew and from what I could gather, is unconjugated (See
>>Gen. 19:2, for instance.) - although it may take plural pronouns in
>>accusative to indicate phrases like "behold us," "behold them." Often,
>>however, it is used absolutely as the Gk word IDE in this passage.
>Hmm. I would expect the more common IDOU to be used instead. Perhaps
>the command was intended only for Mary Magdalene, even though the other
>women were present in the tomb (v5) and addressed to (v6), with plural
>imperatives used both before and after.

There's a question, of course, whether we are to regard Mk 16:1-8 as an
authentic tradition or a Marcan creation. To me it has seemed not unlikely
that the last verse ("they told nobody, because they were scared witless")
is an indication of Marcan composition much like Plato's comment in the
Phaedo that Plato wasn't present on that last day of Socrates' life (and
therefore won't vouch for the literal accuracy of his account of the

Apart from that, I've been toying with a couple possibilities. I looked
about a little yesterday to try to test my hypothesis that IDE is a
dialectal variant of the more common IDOU and can be used as an
interjection rather like the French "voici" or "voila"--which are hardly
more than a "Hey, lookee!" and not real imperatives. I want to do a TLG
search, and now that I've finally got Don Wilkins' new TLG search program
to working, I'll give it a try.

Yet one other possibility is that we ought to understand IDE hO TOPOS
hOPOU EQHKAN AUTON as parataxis with typical (or not really untypical)
ellipsis for:


"See here: this is the place where they laid him." I don't know whether
that's really plausible either, but inasmuch as ellipsis is such a normal
thing in Greek of every period and punctuation is very much an editorial
judgment, I think it might just be possible to punctuate (mutatis mutandis,
so far as the punctuation marks are concerned): IDE: hO TOPOS hOPOU EQHKAN

I'll post the results of my search for IDE later.

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