Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 20th, 2015, 1:30 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote: Is it safe to say that you are not on same page with Porter on this?
It's safe. Porter is certainly a genius and has many things right but is also wrong in some things. This isn't just my opinion; you can read Steve Runge's kind and gentle critique of Porter in his blog and papers and harsher critique by Randall Buth in this forum. Having also read some linguistic literature - way too little but enough to grow some linguistic instinct - I believe they're right and Porter is wrong in those things. Maybe the biggest obstacle for me is the (over)rigorous SFL framework (Porter and his followers) vs. relaxed eclectic functional-cognitive framework (Runge et. al.). It makes me dislike the whole Porterite school. But this framework thing is actually beyond my competence, so it's my weakness.
Eeli,

I was wanting to review this from 20 year old sources, pulled out my hard copy of Jeffrey T. Reed's dissertation. After presenting his take on verb aspect and discourse prominence J. T. Reed makes some comments on how this framework should NOT be used which seem relevant to our current discussion.
Prominence, however, is rarely signalled by one device,
but more often is the result of a combination of grammatical and semantic features. The
analyst of ancient texts should not depend on the presence of one grammatical category to
determine prominence, but an analysis of several signalling devices. By relying on several
categories a better basis may be established for a particular reading of the text. 1 Nor should
a particular signalling device (e. g. tense-forms) always be treated in terms of prominence;
again, prominence is more a feature of discourse than it is one of grammar (or linguistic
code).
However, the use of verbal aspect (i. e. the morphological forms
which indicate verbal aspect) to indicate prominence is a secondary role-a
pragmatic function of grammar-and, thus, a discourse function not a
morphological function of Greek grammar. Furthermore, I am not claiming that
every time one comes across a particular tense-form that it must be fitted into this
model of prominence. However, both the ancient and modern evidence suggests
that speakers/authors do alternate tense-forms so as to communicate information
status. Perhaps the best basis for a prominence reading occurs when particular
tense-forms are used with particular words (or concepts) so as to set them apart
from other tense-forms used with different words (or concepts) all in the same
linguistic context (i. e. the author is contrasting or setting apart certain information
from other information by means of tense-forms). page 74
A Discourse Analysis of Philippians: Method and Rhetoric in the Debate over Literary Integrity (The Library of New Testament Studies) Jeffrey T. Reed 1995.
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/ ... -online/75
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by Paul-Nitz » September 21st, 2015, 9:14 am

I’m a bit confused by the linguistics (linguine to me!).
And I’m wondering if I’m missing something profound.

Here’s my take on Mark 1:12 εκβάλλει. My conclusions are based on simply reading the chapter with the level of comprehension and fluency it takes to do a public performance reading of the text. I won't put my toe into linguists, but I'd be happy to have linguists correct my understanding.
  • First, I think verses 9-13 should be taken together. In verse 9, there is a clear introduction to a new topic (εγενετο εν εκειναις ταις ημεραις) followed by a major event, he is baptized (ἐβαπτίσθη). That is followed by two narrative “listen up!” markers (καὶ εὐθὺς...) in verses 10-13.

    • 9 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάννου.

      • 10 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν· 11 καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν· σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

        12 Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. 13 καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τεσσεράκοντα ἡμέρας πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ σατανᾶ, καὶ ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.


    Why is is Present Tense εκβαλλει used in verse 12? Seems like it makes it a bit more lively, as if you, the reader, were right there when it happened. It does introduce a new event, but without de-coupling it from the larger Baptism story.
What are the alternatives? What do you think of these possibilities and comments?
  • Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκέβαλλεν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ…
    (IMPERFECT - about the same, less lively, possible confusion for hearers with the homophone εκεβαλον?)

    Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκέβαλεν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ…
    (AORIST - makes a bigger break, disconnects this with the Baptism)

    καὶ αὐτὸν τοῦ πνεύματος ἐκβάλοντος εἰς τὴν ἔρημον, ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ…
    (PARTICPLE - de-emphasizes the role of the spirit, a key connection to the Baptism)
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 21st, 2015, 5:52 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:I
Here’s my take on Mark 1:12 εκβάλλει. My conclusions are based on simply reading the chapter with the level of comprehension and fluency it takes to do a public performance reading of the text. I won't put my toe into linguists, but I'd be happy to have linguists correct my understanding.
  • First, I think verses 9-13 should be taken together. In verse 9, there is a clear introduction to a new topic (εγενετο εν εκειναις ταις ημεραις) followed by a major event, he is baptized (ἐβαπτίσθη). That is followed by two narrative “listen up!” markers (καὶ εὐθὺς...) in verses 10-13.

    • 9 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάννου.

      • 10 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν· 11 καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν· σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

        12 Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. 13 καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τεσσεράκοντα ἡμέρας πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ σατανᾶ, καὶ ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.


    Why is is Present Tense εκβαλλει used in verse 12? Seems like it makes it a bit more lively, as if you, the reader, were right there when it happened. It does introduce a new event, but without de-coupling it from the larger Baptism story.
What are the alternatives? What do you think of these possibilities and comments?
  • Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκέβαλλεν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ…
    (IMPERFECT - about the same, less lively, possible confusion for hearers with the homophone εκεβαλον?)

    Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκέβαλεν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ…
    (AORIST - makes a bigger break, disconnects this with the Baptism)

    καὶ αὐτὸν τοῦ πνεύματος ἐκβάλοντος εἰς τὴν ἔρημον, ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ…
    (PARTICPLE - de-emphasizes the role of the spirit, a key connection to the Baptism)
Why focus on verb aspect alone? Why not look at what is going on in terms of participant reference? We have John the baptist introduced rather elaborately as if he will be some sort of VIP in the discourse only to be brutally eliminated from the action in verse 14 Μετὰ δὲ τὸ παραδοθῆναι τὸν Ἰωάννην. We have Jesus introduced with what looks like an assumption that we already know about Jesus so no background information on Jesus, he just arrives as a known person. We have the Holy Spirit announced by John and then introduced as agent at the baptism and the first action the Spirit performs is to drive Jesus into the wilderness. The historical present ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον seems consistent with Jesus' testing in the wilderness as an event of at least equal importance with his baptism and his arrival in Galilee.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by Paul-Nitz » September 22nd, 2015, 11:30 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Why focus on verb aspect alone? Why not look at what is going on in terms of participant reference? We have John the baptist... We have Jesus... We have the Holy Spirit... The historical present ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον seems consistent with Jesus' testing in the wilderness as an event of at least equal importance with his baptism and his arrival in Galilee.
Seems like a choppy narrative, if we take it that way.

No, I wouldn’t just look at verbal aspect, but I focused on it because that seems to be the topic at hand.

I suppose we should analyze each different kind of “marker” in a text, label it with appropriate linguistic terms, and show how it bears on the text. But this sort of analysis is too much for my brain to process. Too many details. Instead, I would add up the verbal aspect choices, the conjunctions, the explicit time references, "participant reference," other bits like ευθυς and εγενετο, and whatever else. As I described, the best way for me add up all those details and subtleties is to learn a text well enough that I can read it as if performing it. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I think that method gives me a synthesis of the many details, a comprehension of the text as a whole.

When I apply that method to Mark Chapter 1, a flow of thought seems clear.
Intro
A - John prepares the people for Jesus to begin ministry
B - Jesus is set apart and prepared for ministry
C - Jesus starts his preaching ministry

Now I suppose if I needed to prove to someone that my view was correct, that my letter "B" should not be split into B) Baptism, and C) Temptation, then I'd have to go back to analysis as a way of proving what I've concluded by synthesis. Ugh. ;)
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David M. Miller
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by David M. Miller » September 22nd, 2015, 12:24 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:The historical present ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον seems consistent with Jesus' testing in the wilderness as an event of at least equal importance with his baptism and his arrival in Galilee.
The historical present highlights the Spirit's propulsion of Jesus into the wilderness as an event of importance along with his baptism and arrival in Galilee. Agreed. But what happened in the wilderness is backgrounded (by the choice of imperfect tense forms and the use of an adverbial participle to describe the testing).
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 22nd, 2015, 4:40 pm

David M. Miller wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:The historical present ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον seems consistent with Jesus' testing in the wilderness as an event of at least equal importance with his baptism and his arrival in Galilee.
The historical present highlights the Spirit's propulsion of Jesus into the wilderness as an event of importance along with his baptism and arrival in Galilee. Agreed. But what happened in the wilderness is backgrounded (by the choice of imperfect tense forms and the use of an adverbial participle to describe the testing).
Yes, Levinsohn addresses in several places in his multitude of publications. Two different issues in regard to verbs: semantic verb types and verb aspect.

Semantic types:
5.3.1 Verb types and natural prominence101
If we encounter a main verb such as was in a narrative, we expect the sentence concerned to be conveying background information. Foley and Van Valin go further; they discern a natural correlation between four basic verb types and background versus foreground information. They use syntactic and semantic criteria proposed by Vendler (1967) to distinguish the following types:102
 achievement (e.g. recognise, find, die)
 accomplishment (e.g. make something, paint a picture)
 activity (e.g. run, drive a car)
 state (e.g. know, have).

Foley and Van Valin point out (p. 371) that clauses “with achievement and accomplishment verbs will strongly tend to occur in the temporal structure”. In other words, such clauses tend to present foreground information in narrative. In contrast, clauses “with activity and state verbs [will strongly tend to occur] in the durative/descriptive structure”. That is to say, such clauses tend to present background information in narrative. [1]
Verb Aspect:
Foley and Van Valin point out that there is an inherent correlation between perfective versus imperfective aspect and foreground versus background (see also Hopper 1979:215f):
[T]he perfective aspect is the primary aspectual category found in the temporal structure of narrative discourse ... and imperfective aspect is primary in durational/descriptive structure. (p. 373), [2]
Mark 1:12 Καὶ εὐθὺς τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτὸν ἐκβάλλει εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. 13 καὶ ἦν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τεσσεράκοντα ἡμέρας πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ σατανᾶ, καὶ ἦν μετὰ τῶν θηρίων, καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.

ἐκβάλλει is a accomplishment verb. ἦν is stative. πειραζόμενος is an accomplishment or an activity verb. διηκόνουν is probably an activity. Verb aspect has been discussed ad nauseam. All of this lines up to put the temptation and the angelic activity off the main story line if we accept the framework under discussion. I am not overwhelmed by the mass of literature produced by advocates of this framework. I am waiting for the next stage in New Testament narrative discourse analysis. I am anticipating a post-Levinsohn school, perhaps Mike Aubrey will be a member.


[1] SELF-INSTRUCTION MATERIALS on NARRATIVE DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, Stephen H. Levinsohn, SIL 2012. http://www.sil.org/~levinsohns, page 75.
[2] ibid p.76
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by David M. Miller » September 23rd, 2015, 11:43 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:I suppose we should analyze each different kind of “marker” in a text, label it with appropriate linguistic terms, and show how it bears on the text. But this sort of analysis is too much for my brain to process. Too many details. Instead, I would add up the verbal aspect choices, the conjunctions, the explicit time references, "participant reference," other bits like ευθυς and εγενετο, and whatever else. As I described, the best way for me add up all those details and subtleties is to learn a text well enough that I can read it as if performing it. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I think that method gives me a synthesis of the many details, a comprehension of the text as a whole.
Paul, I share your hesitation about linguistic analysis for linguistic's sake. I've been persuaded, however, that the choice of different tense forms in Greek narrative meant something not inuitive to me as a wanna-be second language Greek speaker. (In an over-simplified nutshell: aorist indicative for the main sequence of events; imperfect for offline / background description; present as a highlighting device, often at a break in paragraphs.) And I find that thinking about the choices sheds fresh light on familiar texts.
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by David M. Miller » September 24th, 2015, 1:08 am

David M. Miller wrote:
serunge wrote:There has indeed been a tendency to treat these principles as rules, but they simply don't work.
Perhaps I should add that this is all pretty new to me. As I try the theory on for size, I find it helps to treat the principles as rules. Otherwise, I am liable to continue reading as I always have.
Actually, what I was originally asking—and am still wondering—is whether the connection between the semantic meaning of the imperfect (imperfective aspect + past time) and offline information (the pragmatic function) is consistent enough to be a “rule.”

To get a better feel for how this does (or doesn't) work, I expanded the dataset to include imperfect verbs in Mark’s narrative description in Mark 8-10, many of which are verbs of speaking. I came up with four categories, all of which—to my mind—fit the normal pragmatic “offline” function of the imperfect*:

(1) Scene-setting imperfect verbs that precede the mainline in a pericope. For the most part, these correspond closely to Steve Runge’s description of “offline” as “something that does not advance the discourse.” In other cases, I suspect I have adopted a slightly broader understanding of “offline” to include varieties of less prominent information.
(2) An interlude between a series of mainline events (one example).
(3) Imperfect verbs that follow a series of mainline events, typically either elaborating an earlier event, summarizing it or providing a final “tableau” as the camera shifts elsewhere.
(4) Imperfect verb forms that introduce a dialogue or a speech by Jesus. Often the imperfect verb introduces a question. I was surprised by how many of the imperfects in this section of Mark are verbs of speaking.

*There may be an element of circularity here since I began by assuming that there is a consistent pragmatic effect conveyed by the choice of imperfect verb, and then tried to identify what it might be. The results are interesting nonetheless.

A full listing of the verses in each category follows:

(1) Imperfect verbs that precede the mainline

Mark 9:30-32 31 Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνοῖ· 31 ἐδίδασκεν γὰρ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀποκτανθεὶς μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστήσεται. 32 οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα, καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο αὐτὸν ἐπερωτῆσαι.
[*]Clear offline scene-setting conveyed by imperfect verb forms.
[*](To be sure, it also implies that the teaching went on for some time, but this is less a specific event that advances the plot than a summary description of travel and Jesus’ teaching during that time.)

Mark 10:1 Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἀναστὰς ἔρχεται εἰς τὰ ὅρια τῆς Ἰουδαίας [καὶ] πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, καὶ συμπορεύονται πάλιν ὄχλοι πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ ὡς εἰώθει πάλιν ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς.
[*]The imperfect verb is part of a description (conveyed mostly by the historical present) that helps set the scene for the discourse that follows. (This example may belong under 2 below.)

Mark 10:13 Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται· οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.
[*]The imperfect describes the scene: They were bringing children to him. This is followed by the disciples’ response—the first mainline action in the pericope—in v. 13.

Mark 10:32 Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα, καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο. καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν
[*]A string of imperfect constructions sets the stage for the mainline event of Jesus’ teaching, signalled by ἤρξατο at the end of the verse.

Mark 10:46 Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἰεριχώ. Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ Ἰεριχὼ καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλου ἱκανοῦ ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου Βαρτιμαῖος, τυφλὸς προσαίτης, ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν.
[*]The imperfect is clearly offline, setting the scene.

Mark 10:48 καὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ πολλοὶ ἵνα σιωπήσῃ· ὁ δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν· υἱὲ Δαυίδ, ἐλέησόν με.
[*]Obviously, the beggar kept crying, but this is still offline, setting the scene for Jesus’ response.

(2) An interlude
Mark 8:23-24 καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ τυφλοῦ ἐξήνεγκεν αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς κώμης καὶ πτύσας εἰς τὰ ὄμματα αὐτοῦ, ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν· εἴ τι βλέπεις; καὶ ἀναβλέψας ἔλεγεν· βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ὅτι ὡς δένδρα ὁρῶ περιπατοῦντας.
[*]Mainline events in this healing narrative are carried by the aorist indicative.
[*]The conversation between Jesus and the blind man is in the imperfect—not, I take it, because Jesus and the blind man were repeating themselves. The choice of imperfect may indicate that the conversation fills in the picture without carrying the storyline forward. It is an interlude.
Mark 8:25 εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, καὶ διέβλεψεν καὶ ἀπεκατέστη…

(3) Imperfect verbs that follow the mainline
Mark 8:21 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· οὔπω συνίετε;
[*]One could argue that the imperfect advances the narrative—and there may well be an element of sequence after the disciples’ answer in v. 20—but it repeats the question raised already in v. 17, and seems to function as a summary or a “fade-out”* at the end of the scene. *A label apparently coined/used by Randall Buth. I would include Mark 14:31 here as well.

Mark 8:25 εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, καὶ διέβλεψεν καὶ ἀπεκατέστη καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα.
[*]The verb could be imperfect because it describes the man’s on-going condition after the healing. It is likely also offline information that describes the effects of restored sight without actually advancing the narrative.

Mark 8:32 καὶ παρρησίᾳ τὸν λόγον ἐλάλει. καὶ προσλαβόμενος ὁ Πέτρος αὐτὸν ἤρξατο ἐπιτιμᾶν αὐτῷ.
[*]The imperfect verb form describes how Jesus was speaking as he predicted his death and resurrection (cf. 8:31).

Mark 9:4 καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἠλίας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ καὶ ἦσαν συλλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ.
[*]The imperfect periphrastic describes what Elijah and Moses were doing when they appeared to the disciples. The mainline event (their appearing) is conveyed by the aorist ὤφθη.

Mark 9:15 καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐξεθαμβήθησαν καὶ προστρέχοντες ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν.
[*]Note the contrast between the aorist ἐξεθαμβήθησαν and the imperfect.
[*]Arguably, this is an offline event that fills in information about the crowd that Jesus saw (v. 14).

Mark 9:20 καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν τὸ πνεῦμα εὐθὺς συνεσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων.
[*]The imperfective aspect conveys the process of rolling around, but the description is also background, elaborating what the convulsions (συνεσπάραξεν) looked like.

Mark 10:16 καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος αὐτὰ κατευλόγει τιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας ἐπ᾽ αὐτά.
[*]Fade-out summary or “tableau” at the end of the pericope.

Mark 10:22 ὁ δὲ στυγνάσας ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ ἀπῆλθεν λυπούμενος· ἦν γὰρ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά.
[*]As we would expect, the explanatory clause uses an imperfect construction (ἦν…ἔχων).

Mark 10:52 καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὕπαγε, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε. καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέβλεψεν καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.
[*]The imperfect is a natural choice for the process of following (but not a necessary choice). My guess: It describes the result. Possibly also a summary.

(4) Imperfect verb forms used to introduce a dialogue or speech

Mark 9:11-12 11 Καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες· ὅτι λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς ὅτι Ἠλίαν δεῖ ἐλθεῖν πρῶτον; 12 ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτοῖς· Ἠλίας μὲν ἐλθὼν πρῶτον ἀποκαθιστάνει πάντα· καὶ πῶς γέγραπται ἐπὶ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἵνα πολλὰ πάθῃ καὶ ἐξουδενηθῇ;
[*]One could argue that the question carries the narrative forward in the sense that Jesus’ answer responds to the question. But the question (and questioner) is less significant than the reply by Jesus introduced by ἔφη (2nd aorist) in v. 12. The question is placed in the background. It could also be imperfect because it depicts the process. (These options are not mutually exclusive.)

Mark 9:24 εὐθὺς κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν· πιστεύω· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ.
[*]This is the man’s response after Jesus’ retort (introduced by εἶπεν) that all things are possible for the one who believes in v. 23, and before Jesus’ healing (in the aorist) in v. 25.

Mark 9:28 Καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς οἶκον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ κατ᾽ ἰδίαν ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν· ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό;
[*]The disciples’ question is introduced by the imperfect. Again, Jesus’ response is introduced by εἶπεν (v. 29).

Mark 9:33 33 Καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Καφαρναούμ. Καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ γενόμενος ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς· τί ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ διελογίζεσθε; 34 οἱ δὲ ἐσιώπων· πρὸς ἀλλήλους γὰρ διελέχθησαν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ τίς μείζων.
[*]Jesus’ question and the disciples’ response of silence sets the background for Jesus’ teaching in vv. 35f.

Mark 10:2 Καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γυναῖκα ἀπολῦσαι, πειράζοντες αὐτόν.
[*]Imperfect introducing speech (or possibly still setting the scene after 10:1).

Mark 10:10 Καὶ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν πάλιν οἱ μαθηταὶ περὶ τούτου ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν.
[*]Imperfect introducing speech. Here followed by historical present.

Mark 10:17 Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν προσδραμὼν εἷς καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν· διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ, τί ποιήσω ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;
[*]Imperfect introducing speech.

Mark 10:26 οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς· καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι;
[*]Tricky: The amazement is background. The adverbial participle that follows indicates their speech, to which Jesus responds in the historical present (v. 27). Either offline indicating the response of the crowd or another example of the imperfect introducing speech (of less important characters)—or both.
David M. Miller
Briercrest College & Seminary

MAubrey
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by MAubrey » September 24th, 2015, 2:39 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:I am anticipating a post-Levinsohn school, perhaps Mike Aubrey will be a member.
I'd have to start doing discourse analysis for that to happen. :D
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Re: Mainline, Background and Historical Present in Mark 1

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 26th, 2015, 6:04 pm

MAubrey wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:I am anticipating a post-Levinsohn school, perhaps Mike Aubrey will be a member.
I'd have to start doing discourse analysis for that to happen. :D
What, you are not doing discourse analysis? It is a rather overcrowded field. I am not really "doing" discourse analysis either. But with books being published that make NT text linguistics sound like an extension of the Mouce-Wallace framework i can't resist the temptation to protest. I just read a post from early 2015 by one of the self-appointed experts saying that participles are "backgrounded" information in narrative. That is stated as a rule and belongs to Mouce-Wallace way of thinking. Participles may indeed be found in contexts where they represent activity outside the "backbone" (Longacre) of the narrative but saying that doesn't neccessairly imply less importance to the story. The "backbone" (Longacre) of the narrative may be totally boring travel information whereas the the activity represented by the participles my be much more profound and salient in terms of the authors goals for telling the story. I'm trying to track down examples of this.

http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... =52&t=3332
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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