From: Jeffrey B. Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Nov 13 1998 - 13:30:31 EST
Springboarding from, and as a result of, my work on the LP, I am
currently engaged in writing a paper on Mk.
14:38, the command of Jesus that his disciples, Peter, James and
John, petition God that the might be protected from "entering into"
a phenomenon denoted by the term PEIRASMOS. (The text is
PROSEUXESQE, hINA MH ELQHTE EIS PEIRASMON, and I'm taking hINA as
epexegetical). Traditionally, when the question of what the author
of GMark intended to be seen as the object of the petition, most
scholars claim that it is either the exemption of those who are
to utter the prayer from experiencing an impending test of their
own faithfulness, or their preservation from yielding to its
pressures when it arrives. For it is almost universally assumed that
PEIRASMOS referred to within Mk. 14:38 signifies a "probing and
proving of PISTIS", and the expression MH ELQHTE EIS means either "do
not encounter" or "do not succumb to".
But I think there is reason to contend that it is neither escape on
the part of Peter, James and John from their experiencing a test of
their own faithfulness nor protection from their yielding to it
that Mark has in view as the petition's object. Quite the contrary,
in my eyes what Mark presents Jesus as urging the disciples to ask
for in praying MH ELQHTE EIS PEIRASMON is help to avoid their
*perpetrating* a "testing of faithfulness".
Now what seems to me to indicate this is that in the Septuagint,
when the construction MH + a form of ERXESQAI + EIS is used, as it
is in Mk. 14:38, in a command the object of which is something
other than a place, the resultant phrase does *not* mean "do not
encounter or succumb to" but "do not commit or engage in" that
something. For example, there is the instance of Ps. 142:2 (LXX)
where KAI MH EISELQHS EIS KRISIN META TOU DOULOS SOU which, to my eyes,
means, "do not engage in judging your servant".
Similarly, in Jer. 16:5 (LXX) the
divine command MH EISELQHS EIS QIASON AUTON obviously means "do not
engage in mourning". And in Josh. 23:6 Joshua's final exhortation
to the Israelites MH EISELQATE EIS TA EQNH TA KATALELEIMMENA TAUTA,
KAI TA ONOMATA TWN QEON AUTWN OUK ONOMASQHSETAI EN hUMIN means "do
not engage in the idolatrous practices which typify the "nations".
Also relevant in this regard is the fact, evident from Dan 3:2--a
royal command of Nebuchadnezzar to all his retainers and officers
to "enter into" (ELQEIN EIS) the EGKAINISMOS, the dedication
ceremony, of a golden image which he himself had "set up"--that the
positive form of the construction, i.e., the construction absent
MH, means "join in", for ELQEIN EIS TON EGKAINISMON THS EIKONOS THS
XRUSHS, HN ESTHSE NABOUXODONOSOR hO BASILEUS is a command to
*participate* in this dedication ceremony.
So three questions here:
1. Have I interpreted this evidence correctly?
2. Are there other examples in biblical Greek of the use of the
constructions (a) MH + a form of ERXESQAI + EIS and (b) a form of
ERXESQAI + EIS in a command the object of which is something other
than a place? (I would be grateful if any listmember who has software
with the ability to do construction searches would run through the LXX
and the GNT [and, for that matter, non-biblical Greek texts] would
do so and send the results to me).
3. If so, is it the case that in these instances the resultant
phrase does not mean "do not (or "do") encounter or succumb to"
but "do not (or "do") commit or engage in" that something?
Many thanks in advance for help with this.
-- Jeffrey B. Gibson 7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A Chicago, Illinois 60626 e-mail email@example.com
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