First question

From: B.J. Williamson (
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 15:13:10 EDT


This is my first posting request.

Question: Mark 3:29


3:28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies people may speak
will be forgiven them.
3:29 But whoever (OS D’ AN) blasphemes against the Holy Spirit (OUK ECEI
AFESIN) will never be forgiven. He is liable for an eternal sin (singular).


Issue: who or what has no forgiveness?

“he has no forgiveness” (the individual)

“it has no forgiveness” (the act)

I am looking for syntactical considerations that would preclude my
translating OUK ECEI AFESIN as “it (the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) has no
forgiveness. I think that most take this to be “he has no forgiveness.”

Would this translation (it) be forced or awkward?

Are there any syntactical indicators that would suggest “he” as the more
likely reading, as opposed to “it?”

Note that “whoever” (OS D’ AN) refers to those in verse 28 whose sins and
blasphemies will be forgiven. That is, all “other” sins and blasphemies will
be forgiven; verse 29 identifies, therefore, the only exception to the
blasphemies of verse 28.

All comments are more than welcome!

Thank you,

B.J. Williamson

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