Verb Sequence in Mk 6:36

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Mar 26 2000 - 15:14:14 EST

Been mulling over questions about verb sequence for some time now in
connection with reading R.E. Longacre* and as I was reading through Mark
6:30ff again this morning I stumbled onto:

Mk 6:36


The verb sequence . . . AGORASWSIN hEAUTOIS TI FAGWSIN gave me some food
for thought. These two finite verbs seemed to be vying for dominance. I
tried out several emendations.

#1 The First solution was to change AGORASWSIN into a participle and read
FAGWSIN as the final** verb.

#2 The second solution was to leave AGORASWSIN alone and make FAGWSIN an

#3 A third change which could be combined with either #1 or #2 was to read
TI as an indefinite pronoun not an interrogative.

I checked the textual history of this passage and found that Codex D and the
Majority Text both looked suspiciously like rewrites attempting to avoid the
verb sequence problem that caught my eye in the first place.

Then in utter desperation :-))), I looked at the "traditional" grammars, BDF
#368 and Zerwick #349. The didn't really address the verb sequence issue, at
least not in the form which it is addressed by R.E. Longacre in his
discussion of chaining structures.

***Final Solution*** (subject to revision at any time)

My last stab at understanding this was to leave the text as it stands in
Codex B (NA27) and to analyze TI FAGWSIN as an embedded clause which
functions in the next higher constituent level as the direct object of
AGORASWSIN. If this terminology bothers you then we could say that the
object slot in the AGORASWSIN clause is filled by TI FAGWSIN.

I am still a little quizzical about why TI cannot be read as as an
indefinite pronoun and not an interrogative. But that issue is not really
crucial for addressing the question of verb sequence.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

**For a discussion of "final" verbs seen the index in Longacre* on chaining

*Robert E. Longacre, <<The Grammar of Discourse>> (New York: Plenum Press,
2nd edition, 1996).

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