Re: Mark's Greek

Carl W. Conrad (
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 05:44:43 -0500

At 10:21 PM -0500 10/17/96, David L. Moore wrote:
>At 10:49 PM 10/17/96 -0400, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>>At 09:52 10/17/96 -0400, David L. Moore wrote:
>>> I did a search of the NT and found that the idiom of IDE addressed
>>>to a plural audience is at least as common in John as in Mark. Matthew, and
>>>even Paul also employ the expression. Its absence from Luke, both in his
>>>Gospel and Acts, seems to confirm my surmise that it is a Semitic idiom.
>>Thank you for doing the legwork on this. I checked the references in
>>my BDF and found the index of citations to be incompete, but some of
>>these passages (not Mk16:6 though) are discussed in BDF:
>>$ 144 n. . . . . The nom. with IDOU ($ 128(7)) and IDE (e.g. IDE
>> hO AMNOS TOU QEOU Jn1:29 and often) is explicable on the
>> basis that these are frozen imperatives like AGE FERE
>> (IDOU is a particle already in Att.), a conclusion which
>> follows from their combination with the plural (e.g. IDE
>> AKOUSATE Mt26:65, AGE hOI LEGONTES Jm4:13; cf. 5:1, $ 364(2)).
>> . . . .
>>Section 127(7) explains that EINAI is omitted following IDOU and is
>>a Semiticism on the model of Hebr. HINNEH, Aram HAH.
> So the expression is dealt with in the grammars. Well! I'm still
>hoping Carl will complete the TLG search. I'm wondering if IDE with a
>plural referent will appear in the non-Semitic authors. I would guess it
>will be in Philo.

Well, I started but did not complete the TLG search, partly because I had
started it with the acute accent on the ultima of IDE, corresponding to the
circumflex on the ultima of IDOU. According to LSJ, this oxytone form of
IDE is Attic and is an adverb rather than an imperative (as, I think we
should say, IDOU is really an adverb). I have an idea that the accentuation
of these IDE forms in the NT may be wrong--that perhaps they all ought to
be oxytones--but there's not really a good way to prove it, since the early
MSS don't have accents. I want to go back and complete that search (my x4
CD-ROM drive still takes quite a bit of time to go through the TLG D disk)
for both the oxytone and paroxytone forms of IDE. One problem with the
paroxytone IDE is that it is also a variant form of the conjunction HDE
[)H/DE], probably owing to Itacism and the late similar pronunciation of H
and I. Context should distinguish the two, however.

It may well be--and I guess the probabilities are with David's
hypothesis--that this is a Semitism and represents the Hebrew HINNEH.
However, I have the impression that this Semitic HINNEH is also represented
by the IDOU form very frequently in both LXX and GNT, and so I am wondering
whether the IDE may not be, after all, an alternative form of the adverbial
IDOU--not an imperative at all. So I'd still like to be able, if possible
to verify the suspicion of a Semitism; if IDOU already is used for HINNEH,
then the variant IDE may already be rooted in earlier Greek as a variant
form of IDE.

I think, at any rate, that the numerous instances discovered by David are
quite sufficient to show that the IDE in Mk 16:6 is not an instance of
Marcan "bad" Greek at all.

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