Is it a question or not Mk 1.24b

Joe A. Friberg JoeFriberg at
Thu Nov 11 23:52:49 EST 1999

I truly acknowledge the *possibility* of "us" refering to man + demon, but
doubt the probability of this reference.  I doubt that this is the *usual*
form of reference by a demoniac.  One might compare the "we" of Mk 5.9, but
that represents a third option: pluarality of demons.  While you have
presented references and arguments puported to support the possibility of
"us" refering to man + demon (or man + Spirit as the case may be), do you
have any *examples* of such?  (There may be some, but I can't think of

I see nothing in the current context that necessitates the reading man +
demon: the introduction of the character is singular in v.23; I would fully
expect the congregation heard "us" and included themselves as opposed to
this outsider Jesus, for I do not think they would stop to ponder, 'O, this
man must be demonized since he is acting this way, therefore the demon must
be speaking and including just himself/itself and the man in "us"'; I also
expect the demon was speaking more for the ears of the congregation rather
than to dialogue with Jesus.

This passage in Mark is high drama, not a theological treatise on

God Bless!
Joe Friberg

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeffrey White <jbwwhite at>

> Since the demon was speaking through the man, 'us' logically refers to the
> man and the demon speaking together much as one might speak by the Spirit
> God referring to himself/herself and the Spirit when there is agreement
> between them. In Ephesians 2:2, it says 'tou pneumatos tou nun energountos
> en tois uiois ths apeiqeias'. Mark 1:24 certainly presents a man having a
> demon 'inworking' within him. James 2:19 says, 'ta daimwnia pisteuousin
> frissousin'. Thus the demon and the man speaking together express
> from a belief characterized by an expectation of destruction by the Lord.
> Jeffrey White
> jbwwhite at
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe A. Friberg <JoeFriberg at>

> >Finally, does it make much difference which way it is taken??  In any
> event,
> >a demonized man has simply raised the issue of whether Jesus has come to
> >destroy "us".  Whether he raised the issue as his belief in its
> >as a question to find out if his suspicion was true, or as a taunt to
> >the people against Jesus, does not really matter.  Other questions could
> >raised about this outburst, such as: who is "us"--the man and the demon,
> >the congregation in the synagogue?

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