Sunday, September 01, 2019

The Gospel of Mark: Preserved Phrases or Loan Words from Other Languages

This continues the research into phrases or loan words from Semitic languages in texts that are called gospels, both inside and outside the New Testament. Again, when we're considering an individual word, the Strong's number is included as a tool in case it is helpful to anyone wanting to check the results.

Individual words

Abba: G5
Mar 14:36  And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible for you; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what you will.

Amen: G281 (may be translated at times: "truly", or in older translations "verily")
Mar 3:28  Truly I say to you, All sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and any blasphemies they shall blaspheme
Mar 6:11
Mar 8:12
Mar 9:1
Mar 9:41
Mar 10:15
Mar 10:29
Mar 11:23
Mar 12:43
Mar 13:30
Mar 14:9
Mar 14:18
Mar 14:25
Mar 14:30
Mar 16:20* In a portion of the text that is not part of the oldest manuscripts
Boanerges:  G993
Mar 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he called them Boanerges, that is, The sons of thunder
Golgotha: G1115
Mar 15:22  And they brought him to the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

Corban:  G2878
Mar 7:11  But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift devoted to God
Ephphatha: G2188
Mar 7:34  And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.
Bartimaeus: G924
Mar 10:46  And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
Passover: G3957
Mar 14:1  After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by stealth, and put him to death.
Mar 14:12
Mar 14:14
Mar 14:16
Rabbi: G4461
Mar 9:5  And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Rabbi, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three shelters; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 
Mar 11:21
Mar 14:45
Sabbath: G4521
Mar 1:21  And they went into Capernaum; and then on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
Mar 2:23
Mar 2:24
Mar 2:27
Mar 2:28
Mar 3:2
Mar 3:4
Mar 6:2
Mar 16:1
Mar 16:2
Mar 16:9 
Satan: G4567
Mar 1:13  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Mar 3:23
Mar 3:26
Mar 4:15
Mar 8:33 
Hosanna: G5614
Mar 11:9  And those who went before, and that followed, shouted, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
Mar 11:10

Mar 5:41  And he took the little girl by the hand, and said to her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Little girl, I say to you, get up.
Mar 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 

Summary and Possible Emerging Patterns

In Mark, we see some individual words preserved in the text that we did not see in Matthew such as abba and ephphatha. For whole phrases, the one phrase preserved in Matthew is also preserved in Mark: Jesus' cry from the cross. We also find a separate phrase preserved in Mark: Talitha cumi.

As has happened several times when beginning a new phase of this research, the early review of the data suggests new avenues of research. I am curious whether something represents a pattern: If I make a distinction between narrative and dialogue in the text, it seems there are different patterns in those two types of writing within the text. Times when a name is explained have generally fallen to the narrator. Other uses of foreign words and phrases seem to be concentrated in the dialogue. On reflection that's not surprising. When reviewing the dialogue, I'd also be interested to see the breakdown between times when a foreign word is preserved specifically in quotes spoken by Jesus in the text, or times when such a word is preserved when spoken by someone else.

And in a sad but unrelated note on modern English (or modern culture), the word "dialogue" is not in the dictionary used by the spell-checker here, showing up as just as foreign to the spell-checker as ephphatha. It recognizes Abba, but probably for reasons having more to do with pop-culture than Hebrew culture or Biblical studies.


David Madison said...

Great stuff. I have been reading a lot of your old posts. I find the material on Jewish context particularly interesting. As you have pointed out, the Gospels were written in Greek (and probably outside the area in which their story is set) but they are packed with details that reflect a very particular cultural/historical setting. Furthermore, there is no sense that the authors are trying to impress their readers with exotic detail. The details just get dropped into the story as the authors remember them.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi David

Thank you for the interest in that. It's always encouraging to know I'm not the only one who gains some insight from the details!

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF