[B-Greek] OYE in Matthew 28:1

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon Mar 6 04:36:49 EST 2006

>>You may want to let this picture sit a while if it is new for you.
>>There are quite a few interesting ramifications and more than one way
>> to read synoptically.
>>(I have a 25-page article on this forthcoming in May 2006 that I will
>> send you offlist.)
>>Randall Buth
>Hi, Randall,
>To let that picture sit will take much long time, if it ever sits.  I
>myself was confused about the whole passion chronology, including this
>post-resurrection narratives.
>Two words OYE and EPIFWSKOUSH, each has doubling meaning
>(after/late-on and at-dusk/at-dawn) and you are sticking to one which
>seems to put the Bible into a self-contradictory position.
>In Mark, it clearly says within the context of the time-event  that
>this happened in the morning time not at the dusk after sunset.  (Note
>the example of EPIFWSKOUSH in Lk  23:54  is in a different time-event
>to tell clearly it is in the evening.)
>Consider two phrases in Mk 16:2 LIAN PRWI ~ ANATEILANTOS TOU hHLIOU.
>Don't you think this verse gives us a proper time orientation?  This
>way the Bible harmonizes itself, perfectly to me. [This is one of the
>essential position for interpretation of the Bible as I know; if
>understanding/rendering puts the Bible in a contradictory position in
>whole or in part, it is one's understanding, not the Bible to blame.]

You will note that Mark does not tell you when the tomb first became
empty, he also records a "going out" on the night before, plus he
specifically says that the "women told nothing to anyone because they
were afraid" (16:8). As I mentioned in the quote above, there are more
than one way to read the accounts synoptically. John mentions two
visits by Mary, the first of which has a completely empty tomb, and
Mary has no message of a resurrection after the first visit. Except
for John's double visit, Mt-Mk-Lk all appear to collapse the women's
visits into one, although the details and results are strikingly
different. For example, Matthew can be read as having the women and
angel talk over the soldiers stretched-out bodies (yet without
referring to them), or that conversation can be seen as telescoping,
jumping over time and details. I read Mark 16:2 as a second visit to
the tomb. Untangling the details of the women's visits goes beyond
Greek, though.

The question of wording needs to be addressed. Bert raised the
question of OPSE and EPIFWSKEIN EIS MIAN SABBATON ('dawning of the
first day'). I responded as to what I see as the most probable reading
of those words, Saturday evening. There is no scholarly disagreement
against the beginning of the first day at sundown, Saturday evening.
You will find some scholarly agreement to my reading of Matthew,
though the majority read Matthew as referring to Sunday morning.

However, it is important to point out that when they read Matthew as
referring to Sunday morning it is usually based on their understanding
of Mark and/or synoptic relationships, not Matthew's Greek itself. If
one assumes that Matthew is working off of Mark directly, then that
assumption makes sense. While I agree that Matthew knew Mark, I do not
assume that his resurrection account is a direct rewrite of Mark.
There is much more going on under the surface, including the choosing
of rare vocabulary, different details, and other connections to what
may lie behind Luke as well. That is why the article is 25 pages. It
could have been much longer, as Tom Wright has shown, without even
referring to the language question of Matthew. (N.T. Wright, The
Resurrection of the Son of God 2004, 800+pages?) ANyway, the list
needs to focus on Greek. Synoptic questions only enter as they
exemplify Greek readings. Mark 16:2 can legimately be compared, as you
have done, but it does not define. The situation is much more
complicated than that and requires careful comparison about which
events are truly the same and which may only appear the same on first
glance. In the final analysis, every text must be allowed to speak for

Randall Buth

Randall Buth, PhD
ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
randallbuth at gmail.com

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