Re: Mark 2:23b

Date: Mon Jun 15 1998 - 02:22:08 EDT

Jim West wrote:

>N.B.- I am not sure what you mean by your phrase "I would like to see any of
you >translate..."- but I have not taken it in a negative tone and am certain
that it was >not intended as a combative challenge.

Sorry to sound that way. I realized after I had already sent it that it could
sound that way. No, it is not a *combative* challenge. But the passage
itself I consider a challenge.

Jim further wrote:

>"and it happened on the sabbath that they walked by the grain field, and his
>disciples started to pick heads of grain on the way"
>(less literal- and more english)- "So, on the sabbath as they walked by a
grain >field, the disciples plucked some heads of grain as they went on their

I know most translations translate it this way or something close. But I have
a problem with "started to pick" or "went on their way." HRXANTO, the third
person, aorist, indicative, middle voice of ARCOMAI, is used well over a
hundred times in the GNT and LXX, and this form always takes the infinitive
following. But here in Mark all of a sudden, translators rather than having
the POIEIN being what is being "begun," they have the participial TILLONTES as
what is being begun. This here in Mark 2:23 is the only exception to it, and
I don't see any justification for the exception.

Vincent in his Word Studies says this is a Latinism of Mark, from "iter
facere." But Mark uses the HRXANTO-infinitive arrangement 25 times elsewhere
in the ordinary way, in the Greek way, in which his gospel is written. So I
guess I don't buy "started to pick."

As for "went on their way," wouldn't that be redundant, because the verse
already starts with PARAPOREUESQAI, saying "he was passing" or "going his
way"? And there is nothing to translate into the English word "their."

These are some of the reasons I consider the passage a challenge. Any more
insights would be appreciated.

Regards, (David Palmer)

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