[B-Greek] EKBALLEI: simple word in strange context (Mk 1:12)?

Barry Hofstetter nebarry at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 20 14:44:42 EST 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: "'Biblical Greek'" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 2:35 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] EKBALLEI: simple word in strange context (Mk 1:12)?

> Although I've never read this narrative snippet before without a nagging
> curiosity (one tends to think how insignificant Mark's version is in
> comparison with those of Matthew and Luke and therefore doesn't ask the
> question: why does MARK describe the temptation this way, and what did HE
> understand it to mean?), I've never raised the question directly before and
> I don't recall seeing it discussed by any commentator. I would welcome any
> thoughts or Hinweise to relevant literature.

Both Swete and Cranfield suggest that the word means word refers to "strong
impulse," and Swete supplies some citations from other authors that the
reference is not so much a violent expulsion in this context as simply an
emphasis on the activity of the Spirit in moving Jesus.  Exegetically, I recall
that Mark has a strong preference for active vs. passive verbs.  In the first
chapter, the narrative flow is intended to be rapid, and active verbs combined
with markers such as EUQUS tend to highlight that movement.  The choice would
then be for the stylistic purpose to support the narrative emphasis.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Professor of Theological and Biblical Studies
    The Center for Urban Theological Studies, Philadelphia, PA

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