Re: Mk 2:21

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Apr 18 1999 - 07:18:11 EDT

At 6:35 AM -0500 4/18/99, Moon-Ryul Jung wrote:
>Dear Carl,
>thanks for your kind answers to my questions.
>But they force me to ask some clarifying questions.
>> >
>>To sum up the alternataives:
>> (a) TO PLHRWMA (the whole patched garment, which shrinks after being washed
>> and dried) pulls the new (piece of cloth) away from the old (piece of
>> cloth);
>In that case, how should we take AP' AUTOU ? Does it modify TO PLHRWMA as
>adjective? But the expression "The fullness from that" seems difficult to

I think I answered that a bit farther on down, but what I was saying got
confused with the second alternative, a section of my post that you didn't
cite--I wrote:

"I think this second alternative is more likely, BUT if PLHRWMA is taken to
mean the "patch," then we'll have to understand TO KAINON as an attribute
of TO PLHRWMA and AIREI either absolutely or with an implicit object, the

>> OR
>> (b) TO PLHRWMA TO KAINON--the new patch pulls away from it--AIREI--from the
>> old--TOU PALAIOU. This is somewhat awkward and requires AIREI to be
>> understood either absolutely or with an only implied object. If this is
>> what was intended, then we must understand TO KAINON TOU PALAIOU as a
>> quasi-parenthetical clarification of the meaning of AIREI TO PLHRWMA AP'
>> AUTOU: "the patch pulls away from it, i.e., the new piece from the old."
>I like this option better.
>> >3) In CEIRON SCISMA GINETAI, is SCISMA the subject of GINETAI?
>> Most likely, yes, and in that case CEIRON will be a predicate adjective:
>> "the tear gets worse."
>But in this case, I would expect an article in front of SCISMA. Can we
>omit it?

Yes, that's no real problem in a sort of proverbial style, because (a)
SCISMA is the only noun and must be the subject, and (b) we have standard
word-order for this kind of clause with predicate adjective (CEIRON)
preceding the copula (GINETAI) and the subject (SCISMA) coming last.
Nevertheless, the article with the subject would be preferable in better
expository Greek prose. Also, in my appended comment, I said that I rather
think the phrasing here may be affected by conversion of an Aramaic
original being reproduced in Mark's Greek and my own hypothesis that the
Greek which "Mark" himself writes being 'better' than the Greek of what he
derives or retains from the oral tradition which he is redacting. But that
is purely hypothetical, of course.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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