Greek Notes in Passing: Mark 9:1-29

I’m going to try a thing, where I just post some observations on a Greek passage ‘in passing’, i.e. not an in depth study or anything, but things I noticed this week. This week is Mark 9:1-29, and I’m using the Tyndale House GNT.

v2 παραλαμβάνει ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάννην

It’s interesting that Ἰωάννην lacks an article here, I wouldn’t venture a hypothesis why though.

v8 ἐξάπινα  ‘immediately’ or ‘unexpectedly’. A very uncommon adverb, found as ἐξαπίνης classical but also rare. The α form might echo Doric and Aeolic, making this even more striking.

v9 Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ* τοῦ ὄρους διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς

A great example of how non-absolute Genitive Absolutes are.

v11 ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες· ὅτι λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς

ὅτι here used as an interrogative, equivalent to τί or τί ὅτι, not very common in broader Greek. Appears several times in Mark though.

v15 καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐξεθαμβήθησαν καὶ προστρέχοντες ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν

Nice example here of the shift from the grammatically singular collective noun ὄχλος to grammatical plural participles.

v21 ἐκ παιδιόθεν

This is interesting, because ἐκ παιδός or ἐκ παίδων can mean from/since childhood. The όθεν suffix works to create “from X”, or “-ence” type forms, but it is not vastly productive. πόθεν – whence? οἴκοθεν – from home. Here you have a relatively unattested coinage with παιδιόθεν strengthened with the arguably redundant ἐκ.

v23 Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· τὸ εἰ δύνῃ

The father in the story has just say, ἔ τι δύνῃ, and Jesus’ response contains a great instance of the substantising force of the article. In fact, here I would suggest that it’s like saying “if you are able?” with the person literally making air-quote signs with their fingers and a look of incredulity on their face.

v28 Καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς οἶκον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ κατʼ ἰδίαν ἐπηρώτων αὐτόν

Not only is this a great example of GA not being absolute, like above, but it demonstrates how the Genitive-Adverbial-Clause sets up and provides background information, regardless of whether the subject of the GAC appears in the rest of the sentence, it remains ‘offline’ contextual and circumstantial information before the main clause gets going with οἱ μαθηταί