Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

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Scott Lawson
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Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by Scott Lawson » September 19th, 2015, 2:58 pm

Mark 15:2 ¶ Καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ Πιλᾶτος· σὺ εἶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει· σὺ λέγεις.

What do we make of Jesus' response to Pilate of "σὺ λέγεις"?

1.) Zerwick points out it is an indirect affirmation. We would be surprised if Jesus denied being king wouldn't we?
2.) The NET footnotes say it's cryptic.
3.) It lacks a direct object.
4.) what would be a likely direct object? Would it be the neuter definite article το? (σὺ τό λέγεις)

Is it an idiom?

I see that Bambas translates it in Katharevousa as σὺ λέγεις so it evidently has survived into modern Greek.
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Scott Lawson

Michael W Abernathy
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by Michael W Abernathy » October 3rd, 2015, 1:48 pm

Compare this with Matthew 26:25 where Judas asks if he is the one who will betray Jesus and he answers, "Σὺ εἶπας." Considering the similarity of the two passages I would have to say this does mean "yes." But the rest of the disciples did not react to this the same way I would expect. I mean if I were there and I heard Jesus say Judas was about to betray Jesus I would have tried to stop him. That didn't happen. So do we conclude no one heard Jesus response to Judas? Maybe they weren't as depraved as I am. Or maybe the answer would be understood as somewhat ambiguous "yes, but not in the way you think." So when Pilate asks, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus' answer implies, "yes, but that doesn't mean what you think it does."

Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
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cwconrad
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by cwconrad » October 4th, 2015, 8:21 am

Michael W Abernathy wrote:Compare this with Matthew 26:25 where Judas asks if he is the one who will betray Jesus and he answers, "Σὺ εἶπας." Considering the similarity of the two passages I would have to say this does mean "yes." But the rest of the disciples did not react to this the same way I would expect. I mean if I were there and I heard Jesus say Judas was about to betray Jesus I would have tried to stop him. That didn't happen. So do we conclude no one heard Jesus response to Judas? Maybe they weren't as depraved as I am. Or maybe the answer would be understood as somewhat ambiguous "yes, but not in the way you think." So when Pilate asks, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus' answer implies, "yes, but that doesn't mean what you think it does."
Perhaps σὺ λέγεις was intended to be enigmatic; if so, it has succeeded admirably in its intention; even if that were not its intention, it might as well have been.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by Shirley Rollinson » October 4th, 2015, 8:20 pm

Michael W Abernathy wrote:Compare this with Matthew 26:25 where Judas asks if he is the one who will betray Jesus and he answers, "Σὺ εἶπας." Considering the similarity of the two passages I would have to say this does mean "yes." But the rest of the disciples did not react to this the same way I would expect. I mean if I were there and I heard Jesus say Judas was about to betray Jesus I would have tried to stop him. That didn't happen. So do we conclude no one heard Jesus response to Judas? Maybe they weren't as depraved as I am. Or maybe the answer would be understood as somewhat ambiguous "yes, but not in the way you think." So when Pilate asks, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus' answer implies, "yes, but that doesn't mean what you think it does."

Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
According to John, the disciples (if they thought about it at all) thought that Judas was going out on an errand for Jesus (John 13:21-29)
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Louis L Sorenson
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by Louis L Sorenson » October 4th, 2015, 10:12 pm

Would we translate this as "So you say" with an emphasis on "you." Or would it be better to take it as "You said it, not me (I)"? Here is a couple of commentary comments. Word Biblical Commentary says nothing relevant. Cranfield in his commentary on Mark says to look at ἐγώ εἰμι in Mark 14.62. That passage does not answer the question either. Witherington is more helpful.
Thus at 15:2 we must envision that the trial has gone through several stages perhaps, and Mark is only summarizing its conclusion. Here Pilate asks Jesus directly: “Are you the King of the Jews?” If this is an historical motif, then it is surely likely that Pilate was consulted in advance about what charge to ask Jesus about. The claim to kingship is the important thing, for such a claim would indeed constitute high treason and it is the title Jesus is labeled by for the rest of this chapter (cf. 15:9, 12, 18, 26, 32). Jesus’ response here, unlike the final Son of Man response before the Jewish tribunal, may be seen as ambiguous. It can either be translated “that’s what you say” or “you’ve said it.” Note that Jesus’ response (in what language—Greek?) is not so clear that it prompts Pilate’s immediate order of execution. Rather it prompts further questioning of the witnesses.

Witherington, B., III. (2001). The Gospel of Mark: a socio-rhetorical commentary (p. 390). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 6th, 2015, 5:36 am

cwconrad wrote:Perhaps σὺ λέγεις was intended to be enigmatic; if so, it has succeeded admirably in its intention; even if that were not its intention, it might as well have been.
σὺ λέγεις.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

cwconrad
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by cwconrad » October 6th, 2015, 7:15 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
cwconrad wrote:Perhaps σὺ λέγεις was intended to be enigmatic; if so, it has succeeded admirably in its intention; even if that were not its intention, it might as well have been.
σὺ λέγεις.
ἐπλήγην ὡς ἀληθῶς, ἢ ὡς λέγοι ἂν ῾Ρωμαῖός τις, tetigisti acu.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mark 15:2 συ λέγεις

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 6th, 2015, 7:37 pm

Mark 14:61, 62 wrote:Ὁ δὲ ἐσιώπα, καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπεκρίνατο. Πάλιν ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ εὐλογητοῦ; Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Ἐγώ εἰμι. Καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως, καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.
Matthew 26:63,64 wrote:Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐσιώπα. Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ἐξορκίζω σε κατὰ τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος, ἵνα ἡμῖν εἴπῃς εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Σὺ εἶπας. Πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπ’ ἄρτι ὄψεσθε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.
Luke 22:69,70 wrote:Ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν ἔσται υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενος ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως τοῦ θεοῦ. Εἶπον δὲ πάντες, Σὺ οὖν εἶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ; Ὁ δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἔφη, Ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι.
Harmonising all three might give "What you're saying is true." Looking for the subtle difference between Matthew and Mark, we could say Mark is direct, while Matthew is indirect.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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