Mark 8:12

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at iol.ie
Wed Jan 23 11:04:56 EST 2002


Erik:
I see Trevor has already given you the basic "steer" on this --- it is 
indeed a "Hebraism", and in
Zerwick, Maximilian S.J. Biblical Greek: Illustrated by Examples. English 
edn. Adapted from the fourth Latin edn. By Joseph Smith S.J. Rome, 1963.

s.400 deals with this topic, and Mk. 8:12 is the first example chosen by 
the author for illustration.

The section reads:
" In addition to its use in conditional clauses, whether 'real' or 'unreal' 
or 'potential'  EI is used as a Hebraism in emphatic negation in the form 
of an oath. The conditional form is explained by the ellipse of an 
imprecatory formula ' ( May God do thus and thus to me ) if .........
AMHN LEGW hUMIN, EI DOQHSETAI TH GENEA TAUTH SHMEION (Mk. 8:12)

That this formula was intelligible Greek is suggested by 3 Kg. 1:52 where 
the Greek has
EI PESEITAI for 'shall not fall' though the Hebrew is not so expressed.

Thus EI introduces a negative oath ( 'certainly _not_ ) to which the 
affirmative ( not found in the NT ) would thus be EI MH .... ( Hebrew IM LO 
) e.g 3 Kg. 21:23
.... EAN DE POLEMHSWMEN AUTOUS KAT' EUQU, EI MH  KRATAIWSOMEN UPER 
AUTOUS  ' surely we shall be stronger than they ' "

Hope this is of help to you.

I might add that this book by Zerwick is best used in conjunction with:
Zerwick, Maximilian,& Grosvenor, Mary. A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek 
New Testament. Rome, 1988. ( and later )

because though this analysis will give a very brief note on, e.g Mk 8:12 it 
was also refer the reader to the appropriate numbered section of Zerwick's 
grammar.


At 14:21 23/01/02, Erik Westwig wrote:

>I'm a beginner and I'm having some trouble with Mark 8:12.
>
>My USB 4th Edition (Revised) has the Greek text:
>KAI ANASTENAXAS TWi PNEUMATI AUTOU LEGEI, TI hH GENEA hAUTH ZHTEI SHMEION;
>AMHN LEGW hUMIN, EI DOQHSETAI TH GENEA TAUTH SHMEIOV.
>
>which my RSV translates as:
>And he sighed deeply in spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek for
>a sign?
>Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation."
>
>My trouble is with the second sentence.  I don't understand how they get
>their negation (no sign shall be given).

Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
mauros at iol.ie






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