[B-Greek] Mark 7:18-19
albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Sat Oct 31 20:44:54 EDT 2009
On Oct 31, 2009, at 5:14 PM, Carl Conrad wrote:
> As much sense as it may make that the KOILIA should be purged/
> cleansed, does it not even so seem odd to no one that we're talking
> NOT about "purging the stomach" but rather abut "purging/purifying all
> foods." That remains for me the stickler that renders the reading
> KAQARIZON insupportable.
Carl's astute observation tempts me to break my rule of not commenting
on the NT unless the LXX is involved. As he notes, the object of
KAQARIZW/ON is not KOILIA but PANTA TA BRWMATA. Thus the text is not
about purging the abdomen but about purifying all the foodstuffs.
From that perspective one might then suggest that KAQARIZW (= class.
KAQAIRW) has to do not with purging or ritual purification but rather
with a separating of what is useful from what is waste. So, for
example, LSJ (sub KAQAIRW) cites an instance (albeit from ii AD) of
winnowing grain, i.e., separating the kernels from the chaff. Like
winnowing the human digestive tract might be said to separate the
nutrients from the waste (left-over). Both enter the KOILIA but only
the latter is excreted.
Why the masculine participle (KAQARIZWN)? While the dash in my NT text
reflects, of course, an editorial decision, it seems nonetheless
appropriate, given the syntactic interruption. Since ANQRWPOS is
clearly the thematic subject of the passage, might ANQRWPOS therefore
account for the masculine participle? It is thus ANQWRWPOS, or rather
his digestive process that "purifies," i.e., separates the waste from
To be sure, the comment is an aside (an editorial comment on Jesus'
words), and not strictly a propos the contrast between what goes into
the KOILIA in distinction from what comes out of the KARDIA. Yet,
without the aside, might the text be read to suggest that what a
person eats simply enters the mouth, passes through the bowels, and is
then excreted? Surely the ancients knew better than that!
One might thus gloss KAQARIZWN PANTA TA BRWMATA as: "---- seeing that
he (ANQRWPOS) purifies (purges?) all foodstuffs."
Anyway, my two farthings
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Albert Pietersma PhD
21 Cross Street,
Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
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