[B-Greek] Mark 7:18-19
borikayaama_tekiri at sil.org
Mon Nov 2 14:46:39 EST 2009
To comment first on a couple of Iver's points, I don't think it is correct to say that KAQARIZON is
a "fairly late reading" and pass it off as a copyists' lapse due to inattention. The earliest Greek
MSS that read it are in fact Sigma/042 and Phi/043, from the 6th century. Neither the NA apparatus
nor Wieland in his Textual Commentary are aware of these (nor incidentally is Caragounis in his
More to the point, it should be borne in mind that the Sinaitic Syriac version (4th - 5th c.)
presupposes a clause that is integral with the preceding speech. Mrs Lewis (who discovered the MS)
translated it as "that not everything which entereth into a man defileth him, because it entereth
not into his heart, but into the belly, and is cast out, and all meat [= food] is purged." Matthew
Black (Aramaic Approach) translates it as "... for it enters not his heart but his belly, all the
food being cast out and purged away." So that version, as well as the Greek Codex Bezae (5th c.) and
several other early versions, do not presuppose the interpretation of Origen.
For the sake of historical perspective, I point out that Origen's interpretation was not commonly
held in the West until the late 19th century. It was revived by Field (see his Notes on the
Translation of the NT, 1899, pp. 31-32, online at archive.org), and thence was taken into the
Revised Version (1881) and the modern English and other European versions. Standard 19th c
commentaries that I have seen either read KAQARIZWN and explain AFEDRWNA as its "logical subject"
(e.g. Meyer, Alford) or read KAQARIZON and explain it as in loose apposition to the preceding clause
Regarding the question mark after BRWMATA in the Nestle editions, whether you call this "recent"
depends on what you mean by recent. I see from archive.org that Nestle's 5th edition (1906) has the
question mark after BRWMATA, but his 2nd edition (1899) has it after EKPOREUETAI. Nestle originally
constructed his text by majority agreement of the editions of Westcott & Hort, Tischendorf's 8th and
Weymouth. Then in 1901 he substituted Weiss for Weymouth. Both Tischendorf's 8th and Weiss have the
question mark after BRWMATA and so they overruled Westcott & Hort. (The first UBS edition of 1966
follows W-H but the third follows Nestle.)
Personally, in the past I always accepted the position of the modern English versions, but reading
more widely of late makes me more doubtful. Evidently it's reasonable enough to suppose that
KAQARIZWN could refer back to KAI LEGEI. Field cites a similar example from Xenophon (Anabasis
7.1.22), though the intervening passage there is only about half as long. But I tend to sympathize
with John Sanders' concern that there is nothing else in the text that suggests that this is what
Mark is getting at. It wouldn't surprise me if Origen and other expositors had taken this clause out
of context because it expressed such a good truth when read as Mark's comment.
I don't quite see why people label the clause as nonsense if it is taken as part of Jesus' words.
KAQARIZW can be taken in a literal sense just as much as in a ritual sense, and presumably as with
KAQAIRW its object can just as well be the undesirable item that gets cleared away as the thing that
is cleared of something undesirable. Also, there seems to be a question mark over the sense of the
word BRWMATA. Alexander Pallis (A Few Notes on the Gospels According to St Matthew and St Mark,
1903, also online at archive.org) argues from modern Greek that it means "filth" in this context
rather than food, i.e. referring to excreted material; see also the entry in LSJ, sense III. And
Black in his Aramaic Approach makes a similar remark about Aramaic 'ukhla. Thus taken, IMO it fits
the context well enough.
Iver Larsen wrote on Sun Nov 1 01:39:35 EDT 2009
I think that if people cannot connect KAI LEGEI with
KAQARIZWN, then they have too short an attention span, and that often happens to
copyists. The neuter participle is apparently a fairly late reading. (The Greek
witnesses quoted in NA are from the 9th century onwards.)
It is unfortunate that some editors punctuated the text wrongly. The question
mark after BRWMATA in NA 27 is a recent mistake, but I don't know in which
version of NA it first occurred. It would have helped to put the question mark
after EKPOREUETAI where it belongs. According to the NA 27 apparatus, this is
how Origen and Chrysostom understood it. The NA 25 apparatus says that
Westcott-Hort (1895) had the question mark after AKPOREUETAI.
John Sanders wrote on Sun Nov 1 09:51:16 EST 2009
is nothing in the text that indicates that either the disciples or the
Pharisees interpreted this phrase in this matter. This is so revolutionary
that it changes the focus of the parable from one of ritual inadequacy to
one that constitutes a complete change in what foods are acceptable. Yet
there is no indication that is what anyone perceived.
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