Epi in Mark 2:26

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Aug 23 20:17:09 EDT 2001

At 4:08 PM -0500 8/23/01, Christopher A Robinson wrote:
>Dear all,
>I have been discussing with someone why I think that the explanation that
>Mark 2:26 could be read as "in the time of Abiathar" is incorrect. It does
>not seem to me that the Greek supports this interpretation. It is true
>that the preposition "epi" could be read as "in the days of." However,
>isn't this only the case if there is the genitive form of the definite
>article in the passage? Without the genitive definite article, doesn't it
>read "At the time Abiathar was high priest"?

Upon what are you basing that restriction to instances with the article? My
understanding is rather that EPI localizes temporally within the limits
indicated by the word or phrase in the genitive; for that reason I really
don't understand the distinction you are suggesting here. So far as I know
the passage in question (Mk 2:26) is the only instance of EPI + gen. in a
temporal sense in the GNT, but LSJ points to plenty of instances of the
collocation with and without the article:

II. of Time, in the time of, e. proterôn anthrôpôn Il.5.637 ,23.332; e.
Kronou Hes.Op.111 ; e. Kekropos, e. Dareiou, etc., Hdt.8.44,6.98, etc.; e.
tôn triakonta Lys.13.2 ; oligarchia hê e. tôn tetrakosiôn katastasa
Isoc.8.108 ; e. toutou turanneuontos, e. Leontos basileuontos, e. Mêdôn
archontôn, etc., Hdt.1.15,65, 134, etc.; e. tês emês basileias Isoc.3.32 ;
ep' emeu in my time, Hdt.1.5, 2.46, etc.; hê eirênê hê ep' Antalkidou
D.20.54 , cf. X.HG5.1.36; hai ep' Asdrouba genomenai homologiai Plb.3.15.5
; ep' eirênês in time of peace, Il.2.797, 9.403; ep' emês neotêtos
Ar.Ach.211 (lyr.); e. Lachêtos kai tou proterou polemou Th.6.6 ; ep'
hêmerês hekastês v.l. for -êi -têi in Hdt.5.117.
b. later e. deipnou at dinner, Luc.Asin.3; e. tês trapezês, eph' hekastês
kulikos, Plu.Alex.23; e. tês kulikos, e. tou potêriou, Luc.Pisc.34,

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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