Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Torah ?

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Jean-Michel Colin
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Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Torah ?

Post by Jean-Michel Colin » July 20th, 2015, 4:36 pm

In Mark 1: 40-45
Καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτὸν λεπρὸς παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν [καὶ γονυπετῶν] καὶ λέγων αὐτῷ ὅτι ἐὰν θέλῃς δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.
41καὶ σπλαγχνισθεὶς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἥψατο καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· θέλω, καθαρίσθητι·
42καὶ εὐθὺς ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα, καὶ ἐκαθαρίσθη.
43καὶ ἐμβριμησάμενος αὐτῷ εὐθὺς ἐξέβαλεν αὐτὸν
44καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· ὅρα μηδενὶ μηδὲν εἴπῃς, ἀλλ’ ὕπαγε σεαυτὸν δεῖξον τῷ ἱερεῖ καὶ προσένεγκε περὶ τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ σου ἃ προσέταξεν Μωϋσῆς, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.
There is obvious evidence that some of the vocabulary, especially : καθαρίσαι - ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα - τῷ ἱερεῖ - προσέταξεν - Μωϋσῆς is heading towards some ritual still valid at Jesus's time. My question is :
- do somebody have any idea of any text of the Torah that uses the same vocabulary ? (septuagint or even hebrew)
- who is "the priest" of Mark 1:44 ? Where there in Galilee a ἱερεύς able to receive the offering of the leper ? Weren't they all in Jerusalem ?
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 20th, 2015, 5:37 pm

These are questions that perhaps a good commentary on Mark may answer. Here, we tend to focus on reading the Greek as Greek, and the background material is merely a means for understanding what the text says at a linguistic level.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 25th, 2015, 1:39 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:These are questions that perhaps a good commentary on Mark may answer.
Searching for words in a mechanical way can be a little misleading, if there is not only one word that can be used to denote the same action or thing. It is better to match images created by the words with similar images - perhaps described using different vocabulary. In effect that is to say, that in the same way that the evangelists use different language to paint the same pictures of Jesus as the Christ, they some times allude to OT images, that may have been constructed with different words. Your knowledge of synonyms will help you in doing that.
Jean-Michel Colin wrote:My question is :
- do somebody have any idea of any text of the Torah that uses the same vocabulary ? (septuagint or even hebrew)
If you wanted to look at ritual vocabulary, you might like to try Section 53 of Louw and Nida - Religous Activities, but the words you are looking at are not limited to that set.

It is the type of work that you have to use intelligently. προσφορά (53.15) the offering is listed there, but προσένεγκε (προσφέρειν) (Mark 1:44) which could / should be included in your list of words of interest is at §57.80 of Louw and Nida.

The use of ἥψατο (Mark 1:41) probably means that his hand was in contact with the leper for the duration of the speaking, rather than a quick pat / tap. I'm not sure how far you go with your definition of ritual - using material or everyday actions with an extra or special significance - but you might consider including this word too.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Louis L Sorenson
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by Louis L Sorenson » July 25th, 2015, 2:08 pm

In addition to commentaries, perhaps look at

A comparative handbook to the Gospel of Mark : comparisons with Pseudepigrapha, the Qumran Schrolls [sic], and Rabbinic literature, Bruce Chilton; Darrell L Bock; Daniel M Gurtner. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2010.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 25th, 2015, 5:18 pm

According to Rikki Watts article[1] Mark 1:44-45 alludes to Lev. 13:49, 14:2-4. He devotes three columns to it. Probably worth reading.

[1]Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament
G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson eds.
Baker Academic Apollos, c2007, pp 129-131.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » July 25th, 2015, 6:10 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:The use of ἥψατο (Mark 1:41) probably means that his hand was in contact with the leper for the duration of the speaking, rather than a quick pat / tap.
Stephen, could you elaborate? Is it the use of the aorist or the meaning of the verb that leads you to this observation?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 26th, 2015, 8:07 am

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:The use of ἥψατο (Mark 1:41) probably means that his hand was in contact with the leper for the duration of the speaking, rather than a quick pat / tap.
Stephen, could you elaborate? Is it the use of the aorist or the meaning of the verb that leads you to this observation?
Meaning of the verb, "touch" as in "bring (the hand) into (semi-) permanent and effectual contact with", not as in "bump into", or "brush past".

I think it is more than θιγγάνειν (to simply come in contact with), but not as purposeful as ψηλαφᾶν (to feel and know the substance or texture of something).

Could I know, in turn, why you are asking me about whether my reasoning was based on whether it was aorist? I would have expected a question as to whether my reasoning was based on why it was indicative, to participial.

I think the aorist means that the hand was placed onto him and the action of bringing the hand into contact was completed.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » July 27th, 2015, 10:17 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:Could I know, in turn, why you are asking me about whether my reasoning was based on whether it was aorist? I would have expected a question as to whether my reasoning was based on why it was indicative, to participial.
Just wondered if you were deriving the duration of the action from the aspect of the verb tense.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mark 1:40-45 - rite vocabulary - connections to the Tora

Post by Stephen Hughes » July 27th, 2015, 11:20 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Could I know, in turn, why you are asking me about whether my reasoning was based on whether it was aorist? I would have expected a question as to whether my reasoning was based on why it was indicative, to participial.
Just wondered if you were deriving the duration of the action from the aspect of the verb tense.
No. I take it from the time it takes to say καθαρίσθητι.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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