Mark 14:6-7 kalon vs. eu

Forum rules
Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up. This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed.
Post Reply
Jean-Michel Colin
Posts: 17
Joined: August 15th, 2013, 4:54 pm

Mark 14:6-7 kalon vs. eu

Post by Jean-Michel Colin » September 3rd, 2015, 12:52 am

Hi,

I'd light some insight on the difference in meaning of kalon (Mk 14:6) vs. eu (Mk 14:7), between which the text makes a clear parallel, but (apparently) intentionnaly uses 2 different terms :
Mc 14:6: ο δε ιησους ειπεν αφετε αυτην τι αυτη κοπους παρεχετε καλον εργον ηργασατο εν εμοι

Mc 14:7: παντοτε γαρ τους πτωχους εχετε μεθ εαυτων και οταν θελητε δυνασθε αυτοις ευ ποιησαι εμε δε ου παντοτε εχετε
My questions :
1. How do you understand kalon : beautiful (in a sense of aesthetic... "full of beauty", aesthetically admirable) ? good (in a moral sense) ? worthy (under a maybe pragmatic point of view) ?
2. By the way, when the greek uses no article in καλον εργον ηργασατο, is it right to understand an indefinite article, ie a [beautifil/good/worthy] "thing/action"?
3. Same questions as in 1 for Mk14:7 : eu
0 x



cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Mark 14:6-7 kalon vs. eu

Post by cwconrad » September 3rd, 2015, 6:52 am

Jean-Michel Colin wrote:Hi,

I'd like some insight on the difference in meaning of καλὸν (Mk 14:6) vs. εὖ (Mk 14:7), between which the text makes a clear parallel, but (apparently) intentionnaly uses 2 different terms :
Mc 14:6: ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· ἄφετε αὐτήν· τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε; καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.

Mc 14:7: πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ᾿ ἑαυτῶν καὶ ὅταν θέλητε δύνασθε αὐτοῖς εὖ ποιῆσαι,ι ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε.
My questions :
1. How do you understand καλὸν : beautiful (in a sense of aesthetic... "full of beauty", aesthetically admirable) ? good (in a moral sense) ? worthy (under a maybe pragmatic point of view) ?
2. By the way, when the greek uses no article in καλον εργον ηργασατο, is it right to understand an indefinite article, ie a [beautifil/good/worthy] "thing/action"?
3. Same questions as in 1 for Mk14:7 : εὖ
1. Although καλός/ή/όν often enough in the Koine has the moral sense, "good," it seems here to have an aesthetic sense: "fine, especially nice, -- a lovely gesture" -- advance anointment for burial linked to the notion of anointment of a king. I assume that the narrator has deliberately highlighted this linkage of notions in the Greek, whatever we may suppose Jesus said in an original incident.
2. Yes; ancient Greek had no indefinite article, although εἷς/μία/ἕν and enclitic τις/τι were occasionally used in a sense approaching that of an indefinite article.
3. εὖ ποιεῖν here probably does have the moral sense, "perform a good deed." It's perhaps worth noting that association of moral and aesthetic sensitivity is deeply entrenched in ancient Greek culture since long before Plato. The narration of this anecdote by Mark pretty clearly seems to play upon that association. I've always felt that Mark is keenly intent on this sort of literary subtlety, suggesting it but leaving it to the reader to take note ("ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω").
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jean-Michel Colin
Posts: 17
Joined: August 15th, 2013, 4:54 pm

Re: Mark 14:6-7 kalon vs. eu

Post by Jean-Michel Colin » September 4th, 2015, 1:29 am

cwconrad wrote: 1. Although καλός/ή/όν often enough in the Koine has the moral sense, "good," it seems here to have an aesthetic sense: "fine, especially nice, -- a lovely gesture" -- advance anointment for burial linked to the notion of anointment of a king. I assume that the narrator has deliberately highlighted this linkage of notions in the Greek, whatever we may suppose Jesus said in an original incident.
2. Yes; ancient Greek had no indefinite article, although εἷς/μία/ἕν and enclitic τις/τι were occasionally used in a sense approaching that of an indefinite article.
3. εὖ ποιεῖν here probably does have the moral sense, "perform a good deed." It's perhaps worth noting that association of moral and aesthetic sensitivity is deeply entrenched in ancient Greek culture since long before Plato. The narration of this anecdote by Mark pretty clearly seems to play upon that association. I've always felt that Mark is keenly intent on this sort of literary subtlety, suggesting it but leaving it to the reader to take note ("ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω").

I wonder if this use of ergon and ergazomai can be seen as a contact point between Mark and John.
καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.
1 The lemma ergon reminds John.

It's used in the Gospels in :
Matthew 6 occurences : 5:16, 11:2, 11:19, 23:3, 23:5, 26:10
Mark 2 occurences : 13:34, 14:6
Luke 2 occurences : 11:48, 24:19
John 27 occurences : 3:19, 3:20, 3:21, 4:34, 5:20, 5:36, 5:36, 6:28, 6:29, 7:3, 7:7, 7:21, 8:39, 8:41, 9:3, 9:4, 10:25, 10:32, 10:32, 10:33, 10:37, 10:38, 14:10, 14:11, 14:12, 15:24, 17:4
Acts 11 occurences : 5:38, 7:22, 7:41, 9:36, 13:2, 13:41, 13:41, 14:26, 15:18, 15:38, 26:20

With no surprise John has by far the usage of the word. And the sense is somewhat different.

2 What about Ergazomai ?

Matthew 4 occurences : 7:23, 21:28, 25:16, 26:10
Mark 1 occurences : 14:6
Luke 1 occurences : 13:14
John 8 occurences : 3:21, 5:17, 5:17, 6:27, 6:28, 6:30, 9:4, 9:4
Acts 3 occurences : 10:35, 13:41, 18:3
Same as for ergon, but the difference between John and the synoptics is less here.


In John, /ergon/ or /erga/ are those of the /pater/, but everybody is invited to perform them :
John 6:27 (verb), 6:28 (verb and noun), 6:30 (verb) : is centered on 6:28 : /ta erga tou theou/, but proposed to the crowd who should/want /ergazometa/, although they expect Jesus to perform then (6:30)

=> Any insights of considering this kind of incursion of a very johanic vocabulary in Mark's text ?
0 x

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Mark 14:6-7 kalon vs. eu

Post by cwconrad » September 4th, 2015, 7:51 am

Jean-Michel Colin wrote:
cwconrad wrote: 1. Although καλός/ή/όν often enough in the Koine has the moral sense, "good," it seems here to have an aesthetic sense: "fine, especially nice, -- a lovely gesture" -- advance anointment for burial linked to the notion of anointment of a king. I assume that the narrator has deliberately highlighted this linkage of notions in the Greek, whatever we may suppose Jesus said in an original incident.
2. Yes; ancient Greek had no indefinite article, although εἷς/μία/ἕν and enclitic τις/τι were occasionally used in a sense approaching that of an indefinite article.
3. εὖ ποιεῖν here probably does have the moral sense, "perform a good deed." It's perhaps worth noting that association of moral and aesthetic sensitivity is deeply entrenched in ancient Greek culture since long before Plato. The narration of this anecdote by Mark pretty clearly seems to play upon that association. I've always felt that Mark is keenly intent on this sort of literary subtlety, suggesting it but leaving it to the reader to take note ("ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω").

I wonder if this use of ergon and ergazomai can be seen as a contact point between Mark and John.
1. ἔργον is one of the most common nouns in ancient Greek (169x in the GNT), ἐργάζομαι one of the most common verbs (41x in the GNT).
καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.
1 The lemma ergon reminds John.

It's used in the Gospels in :
Matthew 6 occurences : 5:16, 11:2, 11:19, 23:3, 23:5, 26:10
Mark 2 occurences : 13:34, 14:6
Luke 2 occurences : 11:48, 24:19
John 27 occurences : 3:19, 3:20, 3:21, 4:34, 5:20, 5:36, 5:36, 6:28, 6:29, 7:3, 7:7, 7:21, 8:39, 8:41, 9:3, 9:4, 10:25, 10:32, 10:32, 10:33, 10:37, 10:38, 14:10, 14:11, 14:12, 15:24, 17:4
Acts 11 occurences : 5:38, 7:22, 7:41, 9:36, 13:2, 13:41, 13:41, 14:26, 15:18, 15:38, 26:20

With no surprise John has by far the usage of the word. And the sense is somewhat different.

2 What about Ergazomai ?

Matthew 4 occurences : 7:23, 21:28, 25:16, 26:10
Mark 1 occurences : 14:6
Luke 1 occurences : 13:14
John 8 occurences : 3:21, 5:17, 5:17, 6:27, 6:28, 6:30, 9:4, 9:4
Acts 3 occurences : 10:35, 13:41, 18:3
Same as for ergon, but the difference between John and the synoptics is less here.


In John, /ergon/ or /erga/ are those of the /pater/, but everybody is invited to perform them :
John 6:27 (verb), 6:28 (verb and noun), 6:30 (verb) : is centered on 6:28 : /ta erga tou theou/, but proposed to the crowd who should/want /ergazometa/, although they expect Jesus to perform then (6:30)

=> Any insights of considering this kind of incursion of a very johanic vocabulary in Mark's text ?
1. ἑργον is one of the most common nouns in ancient Greek; it appears 169x in the GNT, well-scattered throughout the whole corpus; ἐργάζεσθαι is a rather frequent verb in the GNT (41x).
2. Ordinarily we don't talk about textual criticism here, but it's generally held (and I would hold) that Mark is the earliest of the four gospels, John the latest. It's unlikely that Mark has been influenced by John's usage. There's an interesting theory, of course, that John 21 is the lost ending of Mark's gospel, but that's not something to talk about here.
3. You'd do well to learn to type Greek.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Post Reply

Return to “New Testament”