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"δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι" -- Mark 14:30

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"δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι" -- Mark 14:30

Postby jeidsath » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:28 pm

I read Dirk Jongkind's discussion of Mark 14, and THGNT's editorial decisions about the multiple cock crowings here.

In short, there seem to be many manuscript variants that remove mention of multiple crowings, in 14:30, and in the fulfillment sections of 14:68 and 14:72. THGNT's theory, which strikes me as fairly reasonable, is that what we have is attempted harmonization with Matthew and Luke (and John) through omission.

However, I think there is more to it. "Second cockcrow" seems to have had a technical meaning, for both Greek and Latin authors. Here is Erasmus.

Sed ut ad interpretationem adagii recurramus, veteres initium diei a prima mediae noctis inclinatione ordiebantur, proximum tempus gallicinium vocabant, quod id temporis lucem multo ante praesentientes incipiunt canere; tertium conticinium, cum et galli conticescunt et homines etiam tum quiescunt; quartum diluculum, cum incipit dignosci dies. Quintum mane, cum clarus iam dies exorto sole. Itaque secundus gallorum cantus multo solis exortum antevenit. Hinc Iuvenalis:

Quod tamen ad galli cantum facit ille secundi,

Proximus ante diem caupo sciet.

Consimiliter Aristophanes in Contionatricibus:

Πόθεν;

Οὐδ’ εἰ μὰ Δία τότ’ ἦλθες, ὅτε τὸ δεύτερον

Ἀλεκτρυὼν ἐφθέγγετο, id est

Minime gentium.

Ne si quidem illo te appulisses tempore,

Cum gallus iterum caneret.

Huius rei mentio fit et in evangelicis litteris.


If Mark 14:30 is a statement about a particular time of day, then the mentions of a second crow at 14:68, 72 become a blunder. This blunder would be on the same order as Matthew's misinterpretation of Zechariah 9:9 at Matthew 27:7. Mentions of a second crow at 68 or 72 over-literalize a technical/poetic statement about the time. (A single crow call, alerting Peter to his forgotten promise, is not a blunder, but makes perfect narrative sense.)

So who made the blunder? Given that Matthew/Luke/John have no mention of a second crow, and given the manuscript confusion, I would blame copyists reading Mark 14:30 and trying to (over-)harmonize Mark with itself. The harmonization attempt bounces around between the two verses because of original copies that contained no second cock crow at either 14:68 or 14:72.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: "δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι" -- Mark 14:30

Postby jeidsath » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:18 am

I got an IM from a regular saying that this is "another nail in the coffin for Markan priority." I think that this text is a problem for Markan priority (but I won't get out the coffin anytime soon).

If Mark is the source for this story in the other gospels then:

1. All of the other gospels simplified δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι to make it simpler
or
2. All of the other gospels simplified δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι because they didn't understand it

It's easier for me to imagine Matthew and Luke (and John!) simplifying Mark 14:30 than it is for me to imagine them changing 14:68 and 14:72 as well. I would think Mark as the source would imply that 14:30 originally mentioned δὶς ἀλέκτορα, but not 14:68 and 14:72. Otherwise the story would have been to firm to edit out.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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jeidsath
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Posts: 2437
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