In Mark 15:39 what is the function of ὁ ἄνθρωπος?

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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Bill Ross
Posts: 103
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

In Mark 15:39 what is the function of ὁ ἄνθρωπος?

Post by Bill Ross » May 13th, 2019, 6:32 am

Mark 15:39 ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν εἶπεν ἀληθῶς **οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος υἱὸς θεοῦ ἦν**

It seems to me that Mark could have just said:

Mark 15:39 ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν εἶπεν ἀληθῶς **οὗτος υἱὸς θεοῦ ἦν**

Is Mark/the soldier being emphatic about which of the crucified men was the son of God?

Is Mark/the soldier being emphatic about Jesus being human?

Or is there no particular emphasis intended by ὁ ἄνθρωπος?
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What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

Peng Huiguo
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Joined: April 28th, 2019, 2:02 am

Re: In Mark 15:39 what is the function of ὁ ἄνθρωπος?

Post by Peng Huiguo » May 13th, 2019, 12:30 pm

It's a narrative device of "presenting a specimen to the jury". Imagine a narrator reaching this part and pointing to an imaginary Jesus and glancing at the audience as he says the centurion's line. It binds the narrator, the audience, the centurion and Jesus into an immersive, intersective viewpoint (preachers take note). Note also how the women are presented in the next verse.

Mark is best read as an oral storytelling script. Try reading it out loud to an imaginary (or real!) audience, and feel your body compelled to "flesh out" the words. It's pretty magical.
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Bill Ross
Posts: 103
Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: In Mark 15:39 what is the function of ὁ ἄνθρωπος?

Post by Bill Ross » May 13th, 2019, 1:49 pm

Okay, I have no problem appreciating the heightened drama now that you call it attention to it. Thanks. Perfect.
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What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

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