[B-Greek] Looking for a quote

Albert & Julia Haig albert_and_julia at yahoo.com.au
Sat Apr 1 22:32:15 EST 2006


[BJW III]Matthew would have because of being a tax-collector, (although his gospel was also written in Hebrew). Mark, quoting Peter, would definitely have known Greek (traveled with Paul, Barnabas and later, Peter), and John, because of his life known to be in and around Ephesus, would have written in Greek.

But you're assuming that the Matthew was written by Matthew, Mark by Mark and John by John, which as I'm sure you know, most scholars don't agree with. I won't give the reasons here, because (a) they are already well-known and (b) it would be beyond the scope of the list. Whatever reasons you have for the traditional attributions of authorship, would you agree with me that the external evidence for this is weak, and hence at very least has to be supported by internal analysis of the texts? If so, let's approach the problem by making no assumptions about who wrote them, and just examine the texts and see what the indications are about the mother-language of the author(s). If not, then we would have to argue about the external evidence, which would be beyond the scope of the B-Greek list.

The main point is this. At best, your explanation can account for instances where a Gospel's narrator employs the LXX and claims its fulfilment in some event - even though such an approach would be fraught with apologetic difficulties when engaging with Jews, and hence (in my opinion) would seem more likely to  have been done unwittingly then wittingly. But what it can't account for, is why John the Baptist and Jesus, when engaged in discussion/debate with the Pharisees, would invoke a reading found only in the LXX which isn't supported by the Hebrew or Aramaic. Even if we suppose that John the Baptist and Jesus knew the LXX and decided to quote it to the Pharisees, surely the Pharisees would have just responded by pointing out that the Hebrew reads differently.

[RB]If they were, they wouldn't keep talking about Mark's "Aramaic", but would start discussing the serious problem about why they can't find a 2Temple Jewish-Aramaic text that would produce Mark's kind of Greek, while Hebrew fits without problem.

Fair enough. My problem is that although I know Hebrew, I don't know Aramaic, and hence can't make these kind of fine distinctions. I'm happy enough to call the relevant features of the Greek text "Hebraisms", or "Semitisms", if you like, instead of Aramaicisms.

[RB] We have different sets of data here. They had lots of words for 'mind'. Though the 'heart' metaphor was one among many.

This is a really crucial point, and although this might be more appropriate in the Hebrew list rather than the Greek list, I would really appreciate if you could elaborate on this. I don't know any OT Hebrew word specifically meaning "mind", so I assume that you are referring to the Aramaic. As far as I can see, in OT Aramaic (as for instance found in Daniel), there does not appear to be any distinct word for "mind", since lev is used all the time whereever the mind is referred to. But by the time of the Peshitta, it appears from say Mark 12:30 that there was a word that specifically means "mind", perhaps something that came about under Greek influence. So it seems that some time between say the 4th century BC and the 4th century AD, Aramaic adopted a word meaning "mind". I would really appreciate it if you could elaborate on this, and let me know where I can find further information.

Thank you both very much and I'll check up the references, Randall!

All the best,

Albert Haig.

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