Re: Mark 14:3

From: Carlton L. Winbery (
Date: Wed Sep 11 1996 - 12:51:31 EDT

With reference to the string on the genitive KEPHALHS:
>>> 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!
I think that that is an excellent example. I would call both adverbial
genitives of place. The key is location. I think the key element is that
the genitive is used to show location. Another eg. (though the translation
"on" is not apprepo) is Mt. 1:12 BABULWNOS, "to babylon". This would
function better with EPI but Carl's eg shows that it can be used without

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. NT & Greek La College

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