Re: Verb Sequence in Mk 6:36

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sun Mar 26 2000 - 18:00:37 EST

At 12:14 PM -0800 3/26/00, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>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.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the text as it stands; you're right:
TI FAGWSIN is the object of AGORASWSIN. Technically speaking it is an
indirect question--that's the reason that TI/ is an interrogative pronoun
and it's also the reason why FAGWSIN is subjunctive.


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 WWW:

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