From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Apr 21 1997 - 20:38:18 EDT
At 10:27 AM -0500 4/21/97, Mark Goodacre wrote:
>I still wonder, though, whether this may be an example of very loose
>language - i.e. the KAQARIZWN does not refer back to LEGEI in 7.18
>but stands alone? Certainly Mark is famous for some strained
>grammar. The oddity would then explain scribes changing to KAQARIZON
>in the attempt to make the participle agree with PAN TO . . . Or
>does this rather strain plausibility?
I don't quite understand what you mean by "stands alone"? That it is
grammatically absolute? I would not ever want to affirm anything like that
except as a last resort, if even then. And yes, Mark is reputed to have
strained grammar, but as I indicated this morning, I've come around
completely on that matter and now feel that the questionable grammar in
Mark is not his own but is in the tradition which he passes on without
making the sort of redactional changes which Matthew and Luke make in order
to smoothe out the text. I still prefer to think that Mark has not
scissored-and-pasted WITHIN his cited tradition, but has pasted KAQARIZWN
PANTA TA BRWMATA at the end, even though the participle KAQARIZWN is
considerably distant from its implicit subject noun.
>"the logic of affirming that"anything coming into a man's ... STOMACH"
>should "cleanse all foods"
>is ultimately not very convincing . . .": unless one takes
>KOILIA here more broadly as 'digestive tract' and something that food
>passes through - a contrast with KARDIA. Thus the saying is
>affirming that food does not defile because it does not stay in the
>body but passes through it. The passing through, into the latrine,
>effectively cleanses the food, a crude but understandable image.
My point was rather that, IF one wants to understand the KAQARIZWN as
referring to TO EIS THN KOILIAN EISPOREUOMENON (with or without changing
the gender of the participle), then although one might argue that
completion of the digestive process somehow "purges all foods," yet it
seems to me a curious way of stating that if one says that "incoming food
... purges all foods." And KAQAROS is the proper term for foods, is it not?
Paul in Rom 14:20 says, MH hENEKEN BRWMATOS KATALUE TO ERGON TOU QEOU.
PANTA MEN KAQARA, ALLA KAKON TO ANQRWPWi TWi DIA PROSKOMMATOS ESQIONTI.
Finally PANTA BRWMATA seems to be an inclusive phrase.
>"Mark's fairly consistent stance regarding the ritual law of Judaism
>. . .": I would agree with this reading of Mark. But I would still
>see 'declaring' all foods clean here as rather over-translating
>something which in the Greek seems much less weighty. Look at how
>blatantly Mark flags up editorial comments when he really wants to
>stress one - 13.14!
For my part, I can't see this larger pericope as anything less than radical
in its implications for Jesus' attitude toward Kashrut. It starts out with
the observation in 7:2 that Jesus' disciples EAT BREAD with IMPURE HANDS.
It then goes on in 7:3-4 to list a number of purificatory practices
observed by Pharisees. In Jesus' teaching, what begins as a defense of the
behavior of his disciples against failure to observe Kashrut, Jesus
launches into a full-scale attack upon "traditions of the elders" used to
neutralize the force of authentic moral law. There seems to be a radical
antithesis here developed between an inner KAQAROTHS of the heart closely
bound up with the moral law, on the one hand, and a superficial KAQAROTHS
of foods eaten, of hands and vessels for cooking, observances bound up with
the ritual law. If this little phrase, KAQARIZWN PANTA BRWMATA, seems
"tacked on" to a context where it doesn't fit so very well, one might
compare the uncomfortable fit of the successive verses in Mk 2:27-28 -- KAI
ELEGEN AUTOIS, TO SABBATON DIA TON ANQRWPON EGENETO KAI OUC hO ANQRWPOS DIA
TO SABBATON. hWSTE KURIOS ESTIN hO hUIOS TOU ANQRWPOU KAI TOU SABBATOU,
where one might suppose that the last line is Marcan redaction.
Finally, although the larger context might not seem to weigh so forcefully
in the argument with all readers, it seems to me that the immediately
following episode of the Syrophoenician woman is loaded with ironic
contrasts between Gentile faith (the dogs beneath the table that are
allowed to eat the children's food) and Jewish exclusivist tradition ("It's
not right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs"). While one
tends to think of Luke as the gospel closest to the Pauline mission, I know
that I am not alone in thinking that Mark is much more attuned to the
Gentile mission and the Pauline theme that "Christ is the end of the Law."
For my part, therefore, I think that the phrase KAQARIZWN PANTA BRWMATA is
indeed an expression of Mark's radical interpretation of Jesus as
transcending traditional Jewish norms.
I'm sorry if I've gotten carried away on this little issue, but I stated my
view this morning in my first response that I thought this textual problem
was one that really required application of all the critical tools
available. In sum, I think that grammar, logic, and the prevalent tenor of
Mark's gospel as well as the immediate and larger context of the
participial phrase support the forceful translation as "declaring all foods
clean." Jesus is here acting in his capacity as KURIOS THS KAQAROTHTOS, if
I may coin such a phrase comparable to KURIOS TOU SABBATOU in 2:28.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
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