[b-greek] Discoourse cohesion, Zero Anaphora & Maj Text

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 15:54:38 EST

Been reading Mark in Hodges & Farstad the last few days. The Majority Text
(Maj) likes to provide explicit person dexis (names, pronouns, etc.) to
relieve the strain on the reader caused by zero anaphora*. This isn't news
to anyone who has studied the tendencies of scribes with an editorial bent
(see Additional Note).

The impact of adding explicit person dexis is to reduce the overall
discourse cohesion of the text. For example, in Mark 11:11 & 11:15 Maj
provides the most explicit kind of person dexis, hO IHSOUS, and by doing
this reduces the discourse cohesion across the boundaries Mk 11:10/11 and
11:14/15. These little "aids" to the reader provided by the well meaning
scribe actually have a negative impact by breaking the anaphoric ties the
bind these segments of the text together.

The inclusion of hO IHSOUS in Mk 11:15 could also be explained as a partial
harmonization either with Matt 21:12 or with Mk 11:11.

Reading the Majority Text along with NA27 seems to be a healthy exercise, if
for no other reason it brings to ones attention textual issues that are not
recorded in NA27. hO IHSOUS in Mk 11:11&15 is a case in point. Neither of
these variants is recorded in NA27.

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

*zero anaphora - person indicated only by verb inflection.

Additional note:

Note that I am personifying the Majority Text and giving it habits. This is
nothing more than a manner of speaking, useful for the purpose of
discussion. I am thoroughly aware of the problems which are just glossed
over by speaking in such a manner.

Also, there are a number of assumptions being made here which could be
challenged. The preference for the shorter reading has been challenged along
with most of the other "canons" of textual criticism. Furthermore,
speculating about the what motivated a scribe is always going to generate

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