Mark 2:15

Mark 2:15-16 Punctuation – Nestle vs Tischendorf

I would say Lenski’s first objection is not well formulated, but is on the right track. The verb ἀκολουθεῖν is certainly used mostly in the gospels in the sense of following a leader and especially of discipleship. Even generally in Greek it seems to me the verb usually implies you are going with someone superior and the relationship is positive. If, however, the subject here is the scribes and the verb is taken in a simple neutral sense of following someone to see what he was going to do, it seems inappropriate since Jesus is not said to be going anywhere, he is in someone’s house having a meal.

Regarding how to take καί according to the NA27 punctuation, here are a couple of other quotes which may help:

Kermit Titrud discusses the clause-conjoining function of καί in a 1992 article. He notes that very rarely καί links clauses that are not logically coordinate but one is subordinate to the other, such as Matt 26.45 and others. He continues:

Titrud wrote:
When this skewing between discourse and logical structure occurs, it is the result of the author’s strategy—it is deliberate and significant … By syntactically elevating what is logically subordinate, the author is placing more prominence (emphasis) on the clause than it would have had if introduced by a subordinating conjunction …

K. Titrud ‘The Function of καί in the Greek New Testament and an application to 2 Peter’ in Linguistics and New Testament Interpretation ed. David Alan Black, Broadman Press 1992.

Titrud doesn’t mention Mark 2.15 in this connection, and the skewing here is not the kind he is thinking of, but if the approach can be applied to it, it would suggest Mark is deliberately emphasising the action of following because it was unexpected that tax collectors and sinners would do that.

Also Gundry states on the verse in question:

Gundry wrote:
To take the “and” before “they were following him” as Semitic parataxis for “who” (producing “for there were many who were following him”) tends to miss the distribution of emphasis between the large number and the following (and see M. Reiser, Syntax und Stil 128-30, against treating the construction necessarily as a Semitism).

Robert H. Gundry MARK: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross Eerdmans 1993.

Regarding the punctuation of Tischendorf it should be taken into account that he followed manuscripts that read an extra καί before ἰδόντες in verse 16. Without that extra καί Tischendorf’s punctuation doesn’t seem to work so well.

Statistics: Posted by Tony Pope — February 7th, 2017, 3:44 pm