Mark 1:19 "kai autous"

From: Tom Launder (
Date: Wed May 29 1996 - 23:35:40 EDT

Hello all,

I have been studying the Gospel of Mark and have come across a grammatical
question that I have not answered for myself sufficiently.

In Mark 1:19 We have Jesus seeing James and John and then the text says:
"kai autous en tw ploiw katartizontas ta diktua."

NASB "who were also in the boat mending the nets."
NIV "in a boat preparing their nets."
NKJV "who also *were* in the boat mending their nets."
NAB "They too were in their boat putting their nets in order."
LIVB "in a boat mending their nets."
RSV "who also were in the ship mending their nets."
GLIT "And they were in the boat mending their nets."
BBE "who were in their boat stitching up their nets."

My question deals with the "kai autous." How is this to be understood?
Some translate the "kai autous" as a relative pronoun and others supply an
elliptical "eimi" and seem to make the "autous" the subject.

I looked up the passage in BDF and it told me that here the "kai" is
epexegetical (BDF 442[9]).

How is it that some treat the phrase as if it were a relative pronoun? I
think that this is the area that I understand least. I just wonder how they
arrived at "who" from "autous."

One commentator just went and supplied an elliptical "eiden" and made the
"autous" the direct object.

Thanks for your help,


The hypocrite sets his watch, not by the sun, that is the Bible, but by the
town clock; what most do, that he will do. Vox populi is his vox Dei.
                William Gurnall "A Puritan Golden Treasury"

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:43 EDT