From: Benjamin Raymond (
Date: Sat Apr 25 1998 - 00:46:03 EDT

At 01:33 AM 4/24/98 +0000, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
>At 10:03 4/22/98 -0500, Benjamin Raymond wrote:
>>I've a question if anyone is interested. In Mark 16:6 we find the
>>NEANISKOS saying IDE hO TOPOS to the women. All the other imperatives here
>>are in the plural, yet this is singular. On top of that, the following
>>object(?) is nominative.
>>1. Why does the object (if it is indeed an object proper) take the
>>nominative in Mark? I understand this is not unknown in the NT (e.g., Mark
>>3:34), but it still seems rather strange to me.
>>2. Why does Mark use the singular imperative?
>These answers are related. IDE here is an example of a frozen imperative,
>like AGE and FERE, in which it acts more like a particle like IDOU than a
>true imperative. This explains both why IDE does not agree in number with
>the women (it is no longer a declinable imperative) and why the hO TOPOS
>is in a parenthetical nominative. See BDF $ 144, p. 80 (Funk's notes).

Thanks, especially for the reference. Is "frozen imperative" a term of
Funk's creation?

This would have been my tentative conclusion, but Matthew's different
reading caught my attention.

>>Matthew seems to have altered this with the smoother IDETE TON TOPON, but
>>Mark's account remains nevertheless.
>Whether Matthew "altered" Mark's IDE would be a good topic for the new
>Synoptic-L list, but I note that Matthew is not adverse to using IDE with
>the plural at 26:65 IDE NUN HKOUSATE THN BLASPFHMIAN (Mk14:64 omits IDE

Sorry about that; it may have been a Freudian slip, as I've been delving
into the synoptic problem of late. Since you mentioned it, would you
happen to have subscription info for this "Synoptic-L" list?

Without getting into redactional issues, the difference between the Markan
and Matthean grammer is still rather striking to me. Funk mentions in the
same note that IDOU is already a particle in Attic. What about IDE (in the
first century)? How do you think the grammar affects the different
accounts? Matthew still seems smoother to me here; Mark appears somewhat
rougher and more dramatic. What I'm getting at is the different effect
these two constructions would have on a reader. Is IDETE TON TOPON more of
an Atticism, perhaps a more "proper" way saying it, albeit less shocking
than Mark's reading? I'm trying to understand why each author would have
chosen his particular syntax.

Thanks again for the help.

And Ben Crick wrote:
>My quick stab at this would be to say that Mark is using the 2 sing
>imperative IDE as if it were a demonstrative like the French "Voici" or
>"Voilą": "See!" or "Look!", or "here is/are..." or "there is/are...".

Yes, that makes sense. Voici la solution, n'est pas? D'accord. (I haven't
studied French since the tenth grade. How am I doing? :-)

>As the verb 'to be' is understood, it looks as if IDE has a direct object
>in the Nominative; but in fact it behaves as the complement of IDE.
>Russian /Vot!/ behaves in the same way.

And Russian to boot! Interesting. Thanks, fellow Ben.


Benjamin Raymond
senior, Harding University School of Biblical Studies
HU Box 11871, 900 E Center
Searcy, AR 72149-0001

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