Gospel of Mark and EUQUS

From: Eric Weiss (eweiss@gte.net)
Date: Sat Jun 07 1997 - 18:50:44 EDT

In the Gospel of Mark, EUQUS is frequently translated by "immediately"
or "just then." In some passages "immediately" as English understands
the term, with its sense of "immediacy" and urgency, seems to me to be
the wrong meaning, though I'm sure many sermons have been preached on
how the Spirit "immediately" drove Jesus into the wilderness (1:12),

I looked up EUQUS in BAGD, and it refers to a scholarly work "on the
originality of the word - not the form - in Mark," and also cites Mark
1:21,23,29 as an "inferential use, weakened to 'then, so then'" and
refers the reader to Moulton-Howard, which I do not have. Louw-Nida
explains EUQUS as "a point of time immediately subsequent to a previous
point of time (the actual interval of time differs appreciably,
depending upon the nature of the events and the manner in which the
sequence is interpreted by the writer) - 'immediately, right away,
then.'" These cites support EUQUS as not always meaning "immediately." I
didn't find much help in other grammars (BDF, Porter and Moule Idiom
books, Young).

My "hunch" based on reading the beginning of Mark (I'd only gotten
through the first chapter when I had these thoughts) was that perhaps
Mark sometimes uses EUQUS for IDOU - "Behold!", like the Hebrew HiNNeH.
Abbott-Smith only lists YaSHaR for the Hebrew behind the LXX EUQUS, but
lists HiNNeH as the LXX translation of IDOU. I looked in my Kohlenberger
Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek NT and saw that the only usages Mark
makes of IDOU are in direct speech or, e.g. Mark 1:2, when quoting a
passage, whereas Matthew and Luke use IDOU in both direct speech and
narrative sequences. This indicated to me that perhaps Mark was
deficient(?) in his usage of IDOU, and that perhaps he used another word
in its place - e.g., EUQUS?

I would like to ask/suggest that perhaps Mark does use EUQUS as a
synonym for IDOU in some of his passages, and context would determine
whether he means "immediately" or just "behold" as kind of a narrative
attention-grabber or "enlivener," which the demonstrative particle IDOU
serves as. Where the other synoptics use EUQUS (Mark 1:10; Matt. 3:16)
or EUQEWS (Mark 1:18; Matt. 4:20) in the parallel passage, Mark's use of
EUQUS probably means "immediately." Where the synoptics use a less
urgent "time" word (Mark 1:12; Matt. 4:1 - TOTE), using "immediately" to
translate Mark's EUQUS might be too strong - it might be better
translated simply as "then." In Mark 14:43, the author uses EUQUS where
the parallel Matt. 26:47 uses IDOU - there may be other sets of parallel
passages like this that seem to show that Mark uses EUQUS for IDOU (I'm
not suggesting Matthean priority here!) - a few verses later Mark 14:45
uses EUQUS (with EUQEWS as a textual variant), and Matt. 26:49 uses

Are there any Marcan scholars/students out there who can
support/clarify/critique/comment on this suggestion of Mark using EUQUS
for Greek IDOU and Hebrew HiNNeH? My speculation is NOT based on lengthy
study, and I'm only a "little Greek."

"Eric S. (and Karol-Ann) Weiss"
part-time grad student at The Criswell College
"Send those testimonies!"

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