From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Fri May 28 1999 - 07:01:53 EDT
At 1:54 PM +1000 5/28/99, Richard A. Creighton wrote:
>Mark 2:1 contains the phrase TA PROS THN QURAN - Zerwick/Grosvenor
>translate this as "space near the door".
>How is the TA functioning here?
>Are there other examples of the definite article being used in this kind
>of way in the NT?
There was a rather full discussion of this verse--which you identified in
the subsequent post as Mark 2:2 rather than 2:1--earlier this year. You may
wish to consult the archives for March 7 and 8 (subject-header:
"Interpretation of Mark 2:2??") and April 12-14 (subject-header: "Syntax of
Mark 2:2"). There certainly was much attention paid there to the sense of
TA PROS THN QURAN. I think there was full agreement about the nature of
this phrase as meaning "the area near the door" but there were differing
views as to whether the phrase referred to areas inside the door (my view)
or to the courtyard of the house (another view). There were also
alternative views of the syntax of the phrase, some arguing that it
functioned as the subject of CWREIN, while I argued that CWREIN functioned
as an impersonal verb and TA PROS THN QURAN was a substantive accusative of
respect: "so that there was no room, not even with respect to the area near
The phrase itself is pretty standard Greek in all periods from at least the
sixth-century B.C. onwards into Byzantine Greek: the article, whether
singular or plural, constitutes all elements within it as a substantive
phrase that can serve any of the functions of a noun or substantive; thus
we have phrases like hOI TOTE = "men at that time" or TO AGAQA PRATTEIN =
"performing good actions," or one thinks especially of such Platonic
abstractions as AUTO TO AGAQON and AUTO TO KALON ("the good itself" and
"the beautiful itself").
Here are just a few of many examples of this sort of phrasing in the GNT:
Acts 23:11 ... hWS GAR DIEMARTURW TA PERI EMOU EIS IEROUSALHM ...
Acts 24.22 EIDWS TA PERI THS hODOU ...
Rom 15:17 ECW OUN KAUCHSIN EN CRISTWi IHSOU TA PROS TON QEON ...
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
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