Re: Mark 7:2 TOUS ARTOUS

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 11:00:35 EDT


My own reaction is that this fits the categorical function of the article.
Nontheless, on the discourse coherence, the ARTOUS topic does seem to
function to provide thematic coherence, which is likely even more important
in the construction of the gospels than a strict narrative coherence
accomplished by an anaphoric reference to the leftovers would be.

Now this brings up a related question for me: What do we make of the Pres.
Ind. ESQIOUSIN? I suppose it could refer to the particular occasion; or,
ISTM it may better refer to a generic and customary situation to which the
scribes and Pharisees were reacting (in which case it could well include
events such as Mk 6.33-44). In English the former could be
translated: "some of his disciples were eating [bread / food / their food]"
and the latter possibly: "some of his disciples ate [bread / food / their
food]". In either case, there seems to be several ways of handling TOUS
ARTOUS, but without trying to make it anaphoric.

Have a good day, and God Bless you!
Joe A. Friberg
Arlington, Texas, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: "clayton stirling bartholomew" <>
To: "Biblical Greek" <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 2:31 PM
Subject: Mark 7:2 TOUS ARTOUS

> I have been puttering around in MK 6-7 for quite a while now and every
> I read . . . ESQIOUSIN TOUS ARTOUS (Mark 7:2 ) I want to stop and ask:
> Apparently this question came into the mind of not a few scribes since
> Tischendorf's favorite MS. omits TOUS along with a bunch of others. But
> Vaticanus reads TOUS so we know it must be original :-)))))
> Ignore the previous paragraph, it is a side track.
> The question: TINAS ARTOUS; raises a number of issues related to
> coherence. I have seen it suggested** that the referent (collective
> singular) of TOUS ARTOUS (Mark 7:2 ) is the same as the referent of
> in Mk 6:43. If this is the case then how do we explain the significant
> narrative distance between the TOUS ARTOUS and KLASMATA?
> In other words, assuming that the chronology between Mk 6:43 and 7:2 is
> linear, which is not a safe assumption, even it it is linear we have the
> disciples carting around TA KLASMATA for a while and I would think it
> have become somewhat wet and spoiled during the storm.
> It seems like a bit of a reach to make this connection between Mk 6:43 and
> 7:2. So why TOUS ARTOUS and not ARTOUS. S.E. Porter* makes a distinction
> between categorical and particular uses of the article. The categorical
> sets apart the substantive as a member of a SET of things distinct from
> other SETs of things. However, Porter does not specifically state that a
> categorical use of the article rules out anaphoric reference. In other
> it seems like TOUS ARTOUS might be both categorical and anaphoric.
> If TOUS ARTOUS is anaphoric and is coreferential with KLASMATA in Mk 6:43
> then this will have some impact on the question of discourse coherence in
> this section of Mark. We might postpone that question until we settle the
> question: Is TOUS ARTOUS anaphoric? But perhaps these questions need to be
> answered together. Perhaps we need to address the discourse coherence
> question to answer the question: Is TOUS ARTOUS anaphoric?
> Do you see what I am driving at?
> A simple little question like TINAS ARTOUS; may require an analysis of
> constituents above the clause and paragraph level for an adequate
> --
> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
> Three Tree Point
> P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
> *S.E. Porter, Idioms of NT Greek, p104 ff.
> **W.B. Swete, Mark 1913, p142.
> ---
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