[b-greek] Re: ERCETAI ... EIS TO MNHMEION in John 20:1

From: Manolis Nikolaou (aei_didaskomenos@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Mar 28 2002 - 08:58:20 EST

> G'day all,
> I am looking at whether it is possible to resolve Mark 16:2
> and John 20:1 on the question of what time the women went
> to the tomb of Jesus.
> John 20:1 says, that Mary:
> "PRWI SKOTIAS ETI OUSHS" I think is clear enough, at least for
> my purposes ("early, while it was still dark" or similar.
> i.e. before sunrise).
> The question I have is to do with the ERCETAI ... EIS TO MNHMEION.
> The NIV translates this "went to the tomb".
> This translation suggests that Mary TRAVELLED while it dark,
> and allows the possibility that it became light during the
> journey (thus allowing a harmonisation with Mark 16:2, which
> has them arriving after sunrise).
> However it seems to me that the use of EIS rather than PROS
> (note that PROS is used in 20:2 when Mary goes back to get Peter)
> means that "came to the tomb" (as in the NRSV) is a better translation,
> carrying the sense that Mary ARRIVED AT the tomb when it was dark.
> So I have two questions:
> 1. Is the sense "ARRIVED AT THE TOMB" the more likely meaning;
> 2. Is the sense "TRAVELLED TO THE TOMB" even a *possible* meaning.
> Regards,
> Peter Ballard
> Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
> pballard@ozemail.com.au
> http://www.ozemail.com.au/~pballard/

Although the sense "arrive" seems to be more likely here, I don't think
you can depend on EIS to interpret ERCOMAI that way. As you can see in
20.3 (HRCONTO EIS TO MNHMEION), "ERCOMAI EIS" might mean "I go to, walk to
some place", as well as "I arrive somewhere". In case the verb was in the
past tense its meaning would be clear. However, because of the historic
present (is this the english term?)that occurs, I think both
interpretations are possible.

Manolis Nikolaou

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