Re: The Nature of Greek Definite Article in Mk 2:23

From: Al Lukaszewski (
Date: Sat Apr 17 1999 - 01:58:26 EDT

>In Mk 2:23, I read EN TOIS SABBASIN. It is translated to "In One Sabbath".
>I wonder why definite article is used if it means "a certain sabbath day"?
>Is it related to the nature of Greek definite article, which is not
>found in English?

This may be coming from HASHABBAT in Ex 20.8 which is translated TWN
SABBATWN in LXX. I have not had opportunity to do a full-blown study of
the matter, but SHABBAT seems to be modified with an article fairly
regularly in BH. When it is not, it seems to typically be in a construct
or similarly bounded relationship with a preceding or proceeding word.
>Also, why plural SABBASIN?

Just a guess, but could the author be alluding to a habit of Jesus and the
disciples. Their gleaning on the one day when the widows would not have
done so might be in order to show something akin to depravity -- humbling
themselves lower than some of the least fortunate in Jewish society.

Hope this sheds some light,

Al Lukaszewski

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