Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

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Stephen Carlson
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Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Mark 11:3 wrote:Ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει, καὶ εὐθὺς αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε.
The lord needs it, and he will immediately send it back here.
Almost all translations render ἀποστέλλει as an English future.

Why the use of the present ἀποστέλλει and not future ἀποστελεῖ?
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 1st, 2012, 1:04 pm

I'll note that the Matthean parallel uses the future:
Matt 21:3 wrote:Ὁ κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει· εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς.
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Jordan Day » April 1st, 2012, 2:26 pm

My guesses...
1) early scribal error (see W et pauci)...though highly unlikely
2) Mark's Jesus is stressing the expeditious return of the borrowed donkey.
3) Mark's vulgar/vernacular style occasionally produces unexpected verb tenses (as well as asyndeta and anacolutha)
4) Mark is less concerned with "time" in this particular use of the indicative (similar to Mark 1:11 ευδοκησα), and Mark is rather focusing on the aspect of the verb. In this case, he is less concerned with the mere fact that the donkey will "return" but that "Jesus is sending it back". It seems to me to suggest that the donkey will return on its own by Jesus's control. I may be grasping at straws here, but it may parallel with how the Hebrews occasionally let an animal's action determine "what the Lord has said" because they believed that the Lord could control animals (1 Sam. 6:1-12).
When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.”They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it away empty, but by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.” The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?” They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and pay honor to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When hea treated them harshly, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way? “Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the Lord and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the Lord has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us and that it happened to us by chance.” So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves. They placed the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors. Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Scott Lawson » April 1st, 2012, 8:35 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:Why the use of the present ἀποστέλλει and not future ἀποστελεῖ?
...ἐίπατε Ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει, καὶ εὐθὺς αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε.
Aorist Imperative

...ἐρεῖτε ὅτι Ὁ κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει· εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς.
Future

Might it not be due to the alternative uses of the Imperative. See Robertson 874 and 943.

Scott
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RandallButh
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by RandallButh » April 2nd, 2012, 2:42 am

Stephen, it is a good question. The Greek itself was distinguished orally by accented syllable and graphically by the single vs. double lamba.
Jordan has provided the simplest answer with number 2, 'he is going to send it back immediately'. Mark is using the present for the 'immediate future' reflected in the translation 'is going to ...'. Aspectual speculation about Philistines is unnecessary. One may add that colloquially there was an increase in the use of the participle/present tense in Mishnaic Hebrew for futures.
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Brett » April 2nd, 2012, 7:47 am

Isn't this simply a Present Tense to draw attention to the fact that the return of the colt is even now in progess. The colt is being returned via the Lord's temporary ride. The consummation of the return is already in progress. The one guaranteeing the return is the Lord himself. That should ease any concern the owner has.
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by RandallButh » April 2nd, 2012, 9:21 am

Isn't this simply a Present Tense to draw attention to the fact that the return of the colt is even now in progess.
No, unless you invoke a strange sense ''in process'.
The colt hadn't been taken yet when the command and statements were given.
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 2nd, 2012, 12:38 pm

This discussion has been helpful.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 2nd, 2012, 10:10 pm

I should probably add that I found Buth's explanation basically convincing.

As a matter of curiousity, there is a similar interchange between the future and present between Matthew and Luke in a Double Tradition parallel:
Matt 23:34 wrote:ἀποστέλλω πρὸς ὑμᾶς προφήτας καὶ σοφοὺς καὶ γραμματεῖς
Luke 11:49 wrote:Ἀποστελῶ εἰς αὐτοὺς προφήτας καὶ ἀποστόλους,
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Louis L Sorenson
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Re: Mark 11:3 ἀποστέλλει

Post by Louis L Sorenson » April 3rd, 2012, 6:49 pm

We do the same thing in English colloquial speech. If I'm borrowing something from someone, I have four choices to convince convince him my intentions to return the property are legitimate.
Don't worry, I may bring it back. (the remote)
Don't worry, I will bring it back. (the future)
Don't worry, I will bring it back tommorrow.
Don't worry, I'm bringing it back tommorrow.
Don't worry, I'm bringing it back (implied future adverb). (the immediate)
Which statement engenders the most confidence in my listener that my intentions are true and will be followed up on.

Mark 11:3
καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ· τί ποιεῖτε τοῦτο; εἴπατε· ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει, καὶ εὐθὺς αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε.
I doubt whether an official grammatical discourse feature needs to be assigned to this usage, but I don't see it as being any different from that. I could be inserting my English idiom onto the text, but I think it's a reasonable explanation.
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