From: Peter Phillips (
Date: Fri Mar 06 1998 - 03:06:21 EST

I wonder whether this construction is all that strange in Koine - surely it
is simply "what are you doing as you untie the colt?" - the participle
pointing to an uncompleted action concurrent with the finite verb - how else
would we expect the Greek to be phrased?

Pete Phillips
New Testament Lecturer/IT
Cliff College, Calver, Sheffield
Tel: 01246 582321 Fax: 01246 583739

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy LEEDY <>
To: <>
Date: 05 March 1998 22:08
Subject: TI POIEITE LUONTES (Mk. 11:5)

>A friend of mine just called with a question that has intrigued me.
>He was wondering about the use of the ptcp LUONTES in Mk 11:5: TI
>POIEITE LUONTES TON PWLON?. Kind of an odd use by Koine standards,
>but BDF suggests it was more common earlier (414). It seems natural
>to render the question "Why are you untying the colt?", but the exact
>English parallel "What are you doing untying the colt?" also sounds
>natural. As I think about the difference in English between the
>questions "Why..." and "What are you doing...", it seems to me that
>the latter implies a stronger disapproval. The former could actually
>be a request for an explanation, while the latter seems to imply an
>objection to what is being done. If my young son is inserting a metal
>object into an electrical outlet, I'm going to yell "What are you
>doing...", not "Why are you...". Acts 21:13 contains parallel
>phraseology, where at least a little disapproval also fits the
>context, where Paul asks his companions "What are you doing weeping"
>in response to Paul's refusal to heed their advice based on Agabus's
>What think ye? Is this a legitimate reading of the Greek
>construction? Is the idiom a survival from the classical period? If
>so, what bearing does its presence in Mark have upon the nature of
>Mark's language or upon his sources? Or might the idiom also be
>Latinistic, Carl?
>In Love to God and Neighbor,
>Randy Leedy
>Bob Jones University
>Greenville, SC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:12 EDT