Re: Idioms - off thread

From: Mark B. O'Brien (
Date: Sat Feb 22 1997 - 17:17:34 EST


On Fri, 21 Feb 1997 11:45:10 -0600 Jack Kilmon <>
> wrote:
>> Ellen,
>> I regret using your post to point out a problem of idioms, but you
>said it.
>> Also, I regret posting this to the rest of the list, as it really
>> deal with Biblical Greek.
> Actually, it's a very interesting issue to biblical Greek. I
>be very interested in a discussion of Aramaic/Hebrew idioms that had
>translated to Greek in the LXX and NT as literal. These literal
>of idioms sometimes underpin entire theological dogmata.
> An example would be an Aramaic idiom <aram>wxwwt) n$qlown
>as OFEIS APOUSIN. Mk 16:18
> "Taking up serpents" was an idiom similar to our "bucket of
>or "bag of snakes" meaning troublesome or even dangerous. This does
>prevent a group of nuts from passing around rattlesnakes in Sunday

I'm kind of curious to see how you do actually translate Mk 16:18 then,
based on this apparent Aramaic idiom. Part of my curiosity lies in the
fact that this little section of Mark really does seem to be talking
about some extraordinary activities, so it seems to me just as likely
that he really is talking about literal snakes, etc. How this applies to
our current situation is a whole 'nuther matter (!!), but I'm not sure
that all of vv. 17-18 is made more "palatable" by the identification of
this particular reference as idiomatic...

Best regards,


Rev. Mark B. O'Brien
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dallas Christian College, Adj. Prof.

"I have always thought that the acquisition of language and culture gave
a person completely new aspects of personality." -- Head of Humanities
and Art, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:06 EDT