Prominence in Passive Construction with hUPO in Mk 1:9

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at
Tue Sep 25 17:37:31 EDT 2001

on 9/24/01 6:19 PM, Mark DelCogliano wrote:

> What got me thinking about word order and relative prominence with regard to
> this particular verb in the true passive construction was that, in his new
> commentary on Mark, Joel Marcus* notes that the very grammatical
> constructions of Mk 1:9-11 give all the stress to Jesus over against John
> (who received alot of attention in the preceding verses). Jesus is the
> grammatical subject of the main verbs including that of the passive usage of
> BAPTIZW, with John being reduced to a mere grammatical agent. While one may
> buy this or not, an analysis of the word order of 1:9 seems to give credence
> to the fact that Mark is giving all attention to Jesus and thus minimizing
> the contribution of John in Jesus' baptism.



If KAI begins a new clause, then there is no explicit subject for the verb
EBAPTISQH with in this clause, only the anaphoric pronominal verb inflection
pointing back to the subject of the previous clause.

hUPW IWANNOU is in the clause final position which can be used for the
purpose of increased prominence. Fronting a constituent (placing before the
main verb) is not the only position of marked prominence within a clause.

If we compare the prominence level of a subject that his reduced to a
pronominal verb inflection with an agent like hUPW IWANNOU in clause final
position, I would venture to guess that hUPW IWANNOU is the more prominent
of the two. 

Note that this whole analysis start with an IF statement: If KAI begins a
new clause . . . . The purpose of this is just to point out an alternative
analysis for your contemplation. I don't intend to wage a battle with Joel
Marcus or anyone else on this topic. Just a suggestion.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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