Re: Mark 14:67

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Oct 10 1996 - 08:36:17 EDT

At 9:37 PM -0500 10/9/96, Rick Strelan wrote:
>I'd welcome any comments on two aspect of Mk 14:67: just why is the older
>form (at least I believe it is that) HSTHA used - is it at all possible
>that it reflects the spoken Greek of Jerusalem?? Would Peter have conversed
>on this occasion in Greek,then?

Is HSQA really archaic and no longer at least concurrent in the Koine? I
haven't run a check through the TLG stuff, but although the rfc books I've
checked do say that HS is a late form of the 2nd sg. imperfect, I somehow
doubt that HSQA has passed out of use. It's a good question at any rate; at
some point middle voice forms of the imperfect of EIMI come into currency
as they are current today in the modern language. I suspect that it was
happening way back when already, and I wonder whether the old ending -SQA
might even have had a middle voice "ring" to it. This is, of course, PURELY
speculative (I probably have no business even typing out what is the idlest
of speculations).

As for the other question, I don't think we can really decide whether Mark
is giving us a conversation that is supposed to have taken place in Greek
or not; I don't think it is at all impossible that Peter spoke Greek, or
even improbable, but wheher or not we are to understand this conversation
as being held in the Greek language seems to me speculative one way or the
other. In the absence of a clear indication, my inclination would be to
assume the conversation is in Aramaic--but I'm not sure that my inclination
has any solid grounds. At any rate, in the absence of some feature of the
account suggesting it, I doubt that the HSQA is intended to represent
Jerusalem Greek in particular.

>Secondly, the statement emphasises on the one hand Peter (SU) and on the
>other hand, Jesus (IHSOU) which is separated from TOU NAZARHNOU.
>Presumably, the verb HSTHA operates for both nouns. But isn't it
>grammatically possibly to read the sentence with the sense: "You were with
>the Nazarene. You were of Jesus (ie, you belonged to Jesus - cf 1 Cor
>1:12)"? In other words, the preposition META governs the first noun but not
>the second?

The problem with this, in my opinion, is that there's no good reason for
the META to construe only with TOU NAZARHNOU while HSQA construes with both
TOU NAZARHNOU and TOU IHSOU. I don't think that the separation of TOU IHSOU
>from TOU NAZARHNOU is significant; I think that TOU IHSOU is a clarifying
appositive to TOU NAZARHNOU and that the sentence has a very distinct
rhetorically effective word-order that can be reproduced readily in English
thus: "You TOO were with the Nazarene--(with) Jesus." You're wanting to
make the HSQA the verb of two clauses. The suggested parallel with 1 Cor
1:12 is interesting, but the predicate genitive here seems unlikely to me,
given the presence of a META with another genitive that can readily be
connected with TOU IHSOU. The whole passage seems to depend upon the
servant woman's recognition of Peter's Galilean character and his therefore
not unlikely association with "the Nazarene" who is called "Jesus."

I might just note further and make the concession to Edward Hobbs (who has
advised me to reconsider the style of Mark's Greek), that this pericope is
in first-rate Greek, not at all the kind of Greek I think of when I
bad-mouth Mark's native competence in Greek.

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

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