In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

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Bill Ross
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In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Bill Ross »

[Mark 14:12 MGNT] (12) καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα

It seems that imperfect of πάσχα with the singular of ἔθυον is normally taken to be describing the custom that the Passover was killed on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread:

[Mark 14:12 NLT] (12) On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal for you?"

That certainly seems to work (though I'm trusting the expertise of the commentators about the normalcy of the singular being taken to stand for the group). The NASB20 seems to either also be describing the custom or that it was happening at that moment:

[Mark 14:12 NASB20] (12) On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover [lamb] was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?"

That also seems to make sense, with the same assumption on normalcy.

Does the grammar prefer one sense above the other?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

What you are asking specifically is unclear to me, but there is no imperfect of πάσχα, it's a noun. ἐθυον is third person plural, the generic "they" which some translations capture with the passive voice, but it's actually active, and is in fact imperfect, "when they were sacrificing the passover." The specific animal for sacrifice, the lamb, is understood from context.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Bill Ross »

Lol, the dotard reversed the words again.

Thanks for the answer.
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.
Bill Ross
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Bill Ross »

The lexicon shows that πάσχα is indeclinable, so I guess the singular/plural is moot:

https://logeion.uchicago.edu/%CF%80%CE% ... F%87%CE%B1
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.
Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Bill Ross wrote: April 7th, 2021, 6:26 pm The lexicon shows that πάσχα is indeclinable, so I guess the singular/plural is moot:

https://logeion.uchicago.edu/%CF%80%CE% ... F%87%CE%B1
Did you notice the singular neuter article? It's normally considered singular.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Bill Ross
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Bill Ross »

Okay, then is it specifically saying one animal was being killed or is it probably referring to all the lambs in the process of being slaughtered for the passover?
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.
Stephen Carlson
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Stephen Carlson »

Bill Ross wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:32 pm Okay, then is it specifically saying one animal was being killed or is it probably referring to all the lambs in the process of being slaughtered for the passover?
It's generic, so it doesn't matter.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
Bill Ross
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Bill Ross »

Thanks.

Just so you know why this interests me, and in case it elicits more clarification, if it turns out that if Mark 14:12 can be understood in a way that agrees with John, it would help resolve a 1700 year old problem. So I'm wondering if Jesus ate the Passover at a non-standard time (a day or so early), and so Mark 14:12 refers to the slaughter of just the one lamb. It seems that the grammar would work, would it not? Grammatically, though it has a host of other serious contextual problems.

I'm just trying to be clear that, grammatically... there is no issue understanding Mark to be saying a single lamb is being killed when they ask Jesus about the place to prepare the lamb. Among the contextual problems, is, why are they asking a practical question during a solemn ceremony? But if the grammar's okay, maybe I can find a reason for the poor timing.
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.
Stephen Carlson
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Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Stephen Carlson »

Bill, Brant Pitre has written an entire book on the subject, Jesus and the Last Supper, where he argues that it is actually John who is misunderstood today. I recommend you read it and come back here with any questions that come up.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
Bill Ross
Posts: 223
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: In Mark 14:12, how should ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον be understood?

Post by Bill Ross »

Thank you Stephen. He's quite a polished speaker. He never says "Um." He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the scriptures.

At the moment my concern is to settle the grammatic issue. Can I be confident that the grammar is okay with the idea that what is in view is the single lamb of a non-authorized, off-calendar sacrificial offering? I hold out little hope that this will fix the centuries old problem, but I feel I should work the math.

And I will be watching Pitre to see if he has anything to contribute to the problem.

Thanks for sharing.
What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.
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