Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Oct 7 06:58:45 EDT 2001

At 6:03 PM -0700 10/6/01, c stirling bartholomew wrote:
>At 12:46 PM -0700 10/6/01, c stirling bartholomew wrote:
>>> It would seem that church fathers had it right on this one. This is a
>>> description of descent into the nether world.
>on 10/6/01 2:39 PM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>> I quite agree with you on this one, Clay. It seems to
>> me that for TA KATWTERA to refer to the incarnation we would have to assume
>> the fully-dualistic cosmological conception of the created world as a dark
>> prison for souls never meant to dwell there. I would think to that the
>> genitive qualifier THS GHS should in this instance mean that TA KATWTERA
>> designates a region of the earth--and ought not to be viewed appositionally
>> as identical with the earth.
>If we are right about this, then Eph 4:9 and 1Pet 3:18-22 would seem to blow
>a hole in Dennis R. MacDonald's hypothesis* that Mark's gospel is
>intentionally borrowing plot patterns from Homer's Odyssey.
>MacDonald sees the naked young man escaping from the garden (Mk 14:51-52) as
>patterned after Elpenor in Homer Od. 10.552-53. But if we assume that a
>tradition about Jesus' descent into Hades was available to Mark, and he was
>intentionally mimicking the Odyssey, then it is very difficult to see why he
>would include a reference to Elpenor but excluded the descent into Hades.
>Of course we don't know for sure that this descent into Hades was available
>to Mark. But if it was, this puts a lot of strain on MacDonald's hypothesis
>which seems like it is suffering from a fair amount of strain already.

Well, Clay, I've read MacDonald's book and I personally think the strain it
bears is an intolerable one: I find it impossible to take seriously. My own
view of the naked young man (NEANISKOS  with a SINDWN escaping from the
garden links him rather to the NEANISKOS at the tomb in Mk 16. I doubt Mark
knew of a tradition of Jesus' descent into Hades--but these are all issues
outside the proper scope of B-Greek.

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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