Re: Syntax of Mark 2:2

From: Antonio Eduardo Costa Pereira (
Date: Mon Apr 12 1999 - 20:37:44 EDT

C. Navarro writing through Costa's email.

I am not the only one to have problem with latin transliteration :)

The sentence is very clear to me.

so that neither the house nor the courtyard could contain them anymore.

The Greeks use sparingly words that mean things like "situation", "courtyard",
"household", and other abstract words. Instead of these words, they prefer
a sentence to explain the concept. That sentence is always preceded by
an article. The construction is that of a PROSDIORISMON without the
OUSIASTIKON, i.e., a qualifying phrase without the name that means
"situation", "courtyard", or "household". For instance, instead of saying "The
of the war", Greeks say TA TOU POLEMOU. Instead of saying "the king's household"
the they say hOI PARA BASILEWS. Finally, instead of saying
'the courtyard", they say "TA PROS THN QURAN". In all these examples
(from the litterature, but don't ask me to give the exact citation), you have
the PROSDIORISMOS without the OUSIASTIKON, i.e., attributes (this is how
Carl calls PROSDIORISMON) without the corresponding name, that
may be a situation, the courtyard, or the household. Since the attribute
"TA PROS THN QURAN" can qualify only "courtyard", why make it explicit?

Greek and many other languages (like my mother tongue, Portuguese) often
leave out the subject when it is obvious from the meaning of the verb. Then,
the "house" is the subject of XWREIN (what else could contain people?).
This subject is not expressed. Translate: Neither the house could not contain them.
Mark goes on: nor the courtyard (could contain them). MHDE = nor, unless my
faulty knowledge of English is betraying me..
TA PROS THN QURAN= The places in front of the door= courtyard.
The PROSDIORISMON (the qualifying expression) PROS THN QURAN is
expressed, but the OUSIASTIKA "places" are not. OUSIASTIKA is
what you English speakers call names, I think.

I don't know English grammar notation. Therefore, I use Greek notation.
I hope that I have not been obscure in doing so. In any case, I am sure
that if I was not clear enough, I will find somebody in the B-List who
will be kind enough to improve my explanation.

C. Navarro

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