The scope of flashback in Mark 3:21-31 (reposted)

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Sun Jan 12 23:30:13 EST 2003

> Hmm, I think my question was: does the text of Mark IMPLY  that the
> inserted narrative happened between the event of 3.21a (the
> departure of Jesus' family) and the event of 3.31 (the arrival of Jesus'
> family)? Do you mean that the text itself says nothing about it,
> that is, it does not matter for the purpose of Mark when the inserted
> narrative happened? I think it makes sense. What was important to Mark
> would have been the parallelism between the judgement of Jesus' family
> and that of the scribes. But this is a new thing to me. I tend to
> to sort the events in a story in a linear or partially linear order, as
> far as I can. Are you saying that I have to resist such a habit at least
> when I read Mark?

To your last question I would say yes. Not only Mark, but any Greek (or
English) text that is translated fairly literally from a Semitic language or
was formulated by people brought up with Semitic thought patterns. Mark's
use of KAI is often called the Semitic KAI, because it implies an additional
theme or part of a theme, not necessarily a later development. It
corresponds to the Hebrew waw. The structure is thematic, and often
circular/repetitive rather than step-by-step chronological.

Iver Larsen

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