Re: "a" or "the" ?? (Mark 15.39)

Date: Thu Mar 26 1998 - 11:09:57 EST

Mark Goodacre wrote:
> Allison Sanders wrote:
> >I have just completed an assignment for my Mark class, and am
> >interested to know what other people think of this question. We were
> >asked to write a brief paper discussing whether the centurion
> >considered Jesus to be THE son of God, or A son of God in Mark
> >15:39.

> But the really interesting issue with 15.39 is how are we expected to
> take it as readers? Is the centurion being sarcastic? I think so.
> Look at the context in Mark; we need to get John Wayne in *The
> Greatest Story Ever Told* out of our minds. Jesus has just died in
> agony, uttering a last, despairing cry and the centurion looking on
> shrugs his shoulders and says "Huh, truly *this* is the son of God".
> The dramatic irony is that the reader knows that he is indeed the son
> of God, for the reader has been allowed to see TO KATAPETASMA TOU
> NAOU ESCISQH EIS DUO . . . (15.38), something the centurion cannot
> see.

This is a marvelous discussion. Did the centurion consider Jesus to
be A, or B? And the answer might be NEITHER!! The lack of an article
does indeed seem to argue for the sarcastic 'neither' view, which then
makes the 'debate' so evenly balanced. He would then be saying in
English idiom a scathing "Son of God indeed!"

George Blaisdell

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