LOY Excursus: The Genitive Absolute in the Synoptic Gospels

& LOY Materials

What can the distribution of genitive absolute constructions in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us about the origins of the Synoptic Gospels?


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The genitive absolute[1] (perhaps better called a genitive circumstantial participial clause)[2] is a Greek grammatical construction in which a clause—often (but not always) at the beginning of a sentence—uses an anarthrous participle in the genitive case to describe an activity that was taking place in relation to the main action of the sentence. The genitive participle is often (but not always) accompanied by a genitive noun or pronoun that serves as the subject of the clause. According to the canons of Classical Greek, the subject of the genitive absolute ought not to appear in the main sentence, but this rule was not strictly observed even among classical authors, and was observed even less in Koine Greek.[3] Since the genitive absolute construction has no formal counterpart in Hebrew, it is relatively rare in LXX.[4] In the Synoptic Gospels the genitive absolute occurs with greater frequency than in LXX, and its relatively high rate of usage has sometimes been cited as an argument against the hypothesis that the synoptic traditions were translated from Hebrew (or Aramaic) at an early stage of their transmission.[5]

How frequent the genitive absolute is in the Synoptic Gospels is difficult to assess from the secondary literature on the subject, for various authors give conflicting estimates and regularly fail to inform readers precisely which instances they included in their count.[6] Moreover, scholars who presume that the mere presence of genitives absolute disproves the hypothesis that the Synoptic Gospels descended from a translation of Hebrew (or Aramaic) rarely inquire whether individual instances of the genitive absolute are native to the synoptic tradition or whether they were added to the tradition by the synoptic evangelists themselves.

In order to assess what the frequency of the genitive absolute can (and cannot) tell us about the origins of the Synoptic Gospels, we will first provide a complete survey of the instances of the genitive absolute in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. We will then present a synoptic comparison to see whether or not the Synoptic Gospels agree on the distribution of the genitive absolute. Finally, we will present an analysis of our findings.

Survey of the Genitive Absolute in the Synoptic Gospels

Matthew

  Reference Clause Translation Noted[7]
1 Matt. 1:18 μνηστευθείσης τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ while his mother was betrothed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
2 Matt. 1:20 αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος while he considered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
3 Matt. 2:1 τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέντος but when Jesus was born Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
4 Matt. 2:13 ἀναχωρησάντων δὲ αὐτῶν but when they departed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
5 Matt. 2:19 τελευτήσαντος δὲ τοῦ Ἡρῴδου but when Herod died Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
6 Matt. 5:1 καὶ καθίσαντος αὐτοῦ and when he sat down Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
7 Matt. 6:3 σοῦ δὲ ποιοῦντος but when you give Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
8 Matt. 8:1 καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ but when he came down Healey-Healey; Jones
9 Matt. 8:5 εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ but when he entered Healey-Healey; Jones
10 Matt. 8:16 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
11 Matt. 8:28 καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ and when he came Healey-Healey; Jones
12 Matt. 9:10 αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου while he reclined Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
13 Matt. 9:18 αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
14 Matt. 9:32 αὐτῶν δὲ ἐξερχομένων but while they were going out Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
15 Matt. 9:33 καὶ ἐκβληθέντος τοῦ δαιμονίου and when the demon was thrown out Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
16 Matt. 11:7 τούτων δὲ πορευομένων but as these went Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
17 Matt. 12:46 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
18 Matt. 13:6 ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος but when the sun rose Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
19 Matt. 13:19 παντὸς ἀκούοντος…καὶ μὴ συνιέντος when anyone hears…but does not understand Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
20 Matt. 13:21 γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ but when trouble and persecution happen Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
21 Matt. 14:15 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones
22 Matt. 14:23 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
23 Matt. 14:32 καὶ ἀναβάντων αὐτῶν and while they went up Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
24 Matt. 16:2 ὀψίας γενομένης when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
25 Matt. 17:5 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
26 Matt. 17:9 καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν and when they came down Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
27 Matt. 17:14 καὶ ἐλθόντων and when they came Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
28 Matt. 17:22 συστρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν but when they gathered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
29 Matt. 17:24 ἐλθόντων δὲ αὐτῶν but when they came Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
30 Matt. 17:26 εἰπόντος δέ but when he said Healey-Healey; Jones
31 Matt. 18:24 ἀρξαμένου δὲ αὐτοῦ but when he began Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
32 Matt. 18:25 μὴ ἔχοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ since he did not have Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
33 Matt. 20:8 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
34 Matt. 20:29 καὶ ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν and while they went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
35 Matt. 21:10 καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ and while he entered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
36 Matt. 21:23 καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ and when he entered Healey-Healey; Jones
37 Matt. 22:41 συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων but while the Pharisees gathered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
38 Matt. 24:3 καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ but while he sat Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
39 Matt. 25:5 χρονίζοντος δὲ τοῦ νυμφίου since the groom delayed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
40 Matt. 25:10 ἀπερχομένων δὲ αὐτῶν but while they were going away Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
41 Matt. 26:6 τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γενομένου but while Jesus was being Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
42 Matt. 26:7 ἀνακειμένου while he reclined [8]
43 Matt. 26:20 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
44 Matt. 26:21 καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν and while they ate Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
45 Matt. 26:26 ἐσθιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν but while they ate Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
46 Matt. 26:47 καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος and while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
47 Matt. 26:60 πολλῶν προσελθόντων ψευδομαρτύρων although many false witnesses came forward Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
48 Matt. 27:1 πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης but when it was morning Healey-Healey; Jones
49 Matt. 27:17 συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν therefore when they gathered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
50 Matt. 27:19 καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ but while he sat Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
51 Matt. 27:57 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
52 Matt. 28:11 πορευομένων δὲ αὐτῶν but while they went Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
53 Matt. 28:13 ἡμῶν κοιμωμένων while we were sleeping Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp

Mark

  Reference Clause Translation Noted[9]
1 Mark 1:32 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης but when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
2 Mark 4:17 γενομένης θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ when trouble or persecution happen Healey-Healey; Jones
3 Mark 4:35 ὀψίας γενομένης when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
4 Mark 5:2 καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ and while they went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke
5 Mark 5:18 καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ and while he embarked Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke
6 Mark 5:21 καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ and after Jesus crossed Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
7 Mark 5:35 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke
8 Mark 6:2 καὶ γενομένου σαββάτου and when it was the Sabbath Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
9 Mark 6:21 καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου and when a day of good fortune came Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
10 Mark 6:22 καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ηρῳδιάδος καὶ ὀρχησαμένης and when his daughter Herodias entered and danced Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
11 Mark 6:35 καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης and when the hour was late Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
12 Mark 6:47 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης and when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
13 Mark 6:54 καὶ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶ and while they went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
14 Mark 8:1 πολλοῦ ὄχλου ὄντος καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων when a large crowd was being and not having Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
15 Mark 9:9 καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν and while they came down Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
16 Mark 9:28 καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ and when they entered Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke
17 Mark 10:17 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ and while he went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
18 Mark 10:46 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ and while he went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
19 Mark 11:11 καὶ περιβλεψάμενος and when he looked around  
20 Mark 11:11 ὀψίας ἤδη οὔσης τῆς ὥρας when it was already evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
21 Mark 11:12 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν when they went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
22 Mark 11:27 περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ while he was walking about Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke;  Scomp
23 Mark 13:1 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ and while he came out Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
24 Mark 13:3 καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ and while he sat Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
25 Mark 14:3 καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ and while he was Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
26 Mark 14:3 κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ while he reclined Healey-Healey; Jones
27 Mark 14:17 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης and when it was evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
28 Mark 14:18 καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων and while they reclined and ate Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
29 Mark 14:22 καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν and while they ate Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
30 Mark 14:43 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
31 Mark 14:66 καὶ ὄντος τοῦ Πέτρου κάτω and while Peter was below Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
32 Mark 15:33 καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης and when it was the sixth hour Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
33 Mark 15:42 καὶ ἤδη ὀψίας γενομένης and when it was already evening Healey-Healey; Jones; Pryke; Scomp
34 Mark 16:1 καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου and when the Sabbath was over Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
35 Mark 16:2 ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου when the sun came up Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
[36] Mark 16:20 τοῦ κυρίου συνεργοῦντος καὶ τὸν λόγον βεβαιοῦντος while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word Healey-Healey; Scomp

Luke

  Reference Clause Translation Noted[10]
1 Luke 2:2 ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου when Quirinius was governor of Syria Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
2 Luke 2:42 ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν while they went up Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
3 Luke 2:43 καὶ τελειωσάντων τὰς ἡμέρας and when the days were over Healey-Healey; Jones
4 Luke 3:1 ἡγεμονεύοντος Ποντίου Πιλάτου when Pontius Pilate was governor Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
5 Luke 3:1 τετρααρχοῦντος τῆς Γαλιλαίας Ἡρῴδου when Herod was tetrarch of the Galilee Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
6 Luke 3:1 Φιλίππου δὲ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ τετρααρχοῦντος but when his brother Philip was tetrarch Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
7 Luke 3:1 Λυσανίου τῆς Ἀβιληνῆς τετρααρχοῦντος when Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
8 Luke 3:15 προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ but while the people expected Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
9 Luke 3:15 καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων and while everyone discussed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
10 Luke 3:21 καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου and while Jesus immersed and prayed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
11 Luke 4:2 καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν and when they were finished Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
12 Luke 4:40 δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου but when the sun was setting Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
13 Luke 4:42 γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας but when it was day Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
14 Luke 6:48 πλημμύρης δὲ γενομένης but when there was a flood Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
15 Luke 7:6 ἤδη δὲ αὐτοῦ οὐ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος but when he was not far Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
16 Luke 7:24 ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάννου but while the messengers of John were leaving Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
17 Luke 7:42 μὴ ἐχόντων αὐτῶν when they did not have Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
18 Luke 8:4 συνιόντος δὲ ὄχλου πολλοῦ but when a large crowd gathered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
19 Luke 8:4 καὶ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν ἐπιπορευομένων and when those from the city came Healey-Healey; Scomp
20 Luke 8:23 πλεόντων δὲ αὐτῶν but while they sailed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
21 Luke 8:45 ἀρνουμένων δὲ πάντων but when everyone denied Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
22 Luke 8:49 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
23 Luke 9:34 ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος but while he said these things Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
24 Luke 9:37 κατελθόντων αὐτῶν when they came down Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
25 Luke 9:42 ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ but while he was still coming Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
26 Luke 9:43 πάντων δὲ θαυμαζόντων but while everyone marveled Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
27 Luke 9:57 καὶ πορευομένων αὐτῶν and while they went Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
28 Luke 11:14 τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος when the demon went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
29 Luke 11:29 τῶν δὲ ὄχλων ἐπαθροιζομένων but while the crowd increased Healey-Healey; Scomp
30 Luke 11:53 ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ while he went out Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
31 Luke 12:1 ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου while the myriads of the crowd gathered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
32 Luke 12:36 ἐλθόντος καὶ κρούσαντος when he comes and knocks Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
33 Luke 13:17 καὶ ταῦτα λέγοντος αὐτοῦ and when he said these things Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
34 Luke 14:29 θέντος αὐτοῦ…καὶ μὴ ἰσχύοντος when he has set…and is not able Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
35 Luke 14:32 ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος when he is still far off Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
36 Luke 15:14 δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ but when he had spent Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
37 Luke 15:20 ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος but when he was still a long way off Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
38 Luke 17:12 καὶ εἰσερχομένου αὐτοῦ and when he entered Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
39 Luke 18:40 ἐγγίσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ but when he approached Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
40 Luke 19:11 ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν but after they heard Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
41 Luke 19:33 λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν but while they untied Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
42 Luke 19:36 πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ but as he went Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
43 Luke 19:37 ἐγγίζοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ but as he approached Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
44 Luke 20:1 διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ…καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου while he taught…and proclaimed good news Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
45 Luke 20:45 ἀκούοντος δὲ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ but while all the people heard Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
46 Luke 21:5 καί τινων λεγόντων and while some spoke Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
47 Luke 21:26 ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων when people faint Healey-Healey; Jones
48 Luke 21:28 ἀρχομένων δὲ τούτων but when these things begin Healey-Healey; Scomp
49 Luke 22:10 εἰσελθόντων ὑμῶν when you enter Healey-Healey; Jones
50 Luke 22:47 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
51 Luke 22:53 ὄντος μου when I was Healey-Healey; Scomp
52 Luke 22:55 περιαψάντων δὲ…καὶ συγκαθισάντων but when they had kindled…and sat together Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
53 Luke 22:59 καὶ διαστάσης ὡσεὶ ὥρας and after about an hour Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
54 Luke 22:60 ἔτι λαλοῦντος αὐτοῦ while he was still speaking Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
55 Luke 23:45 τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλιπόντος while the sun failed Healey-Healey; Jones
56 Luke 24:5 ἐμφόβων δὲ γενομένων αὐτῶν καὶ κλινουσῶν but while they were afraid and bowed Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
57 Luke 24:36 ταῦτα δὲ αὐτῶν λαλούντων but while they were speaking about these things Healey-Healey; Jones; Scomp
58 Luke 24:41 ἔτι δὲ ἀπιστούντων αὐτῶν but while they were still in disbelief Healey-Healey; Jones

Synoptic Comparison of the Genitive Absolute

The Genitive Absolute in Matthew

Matt. 1:18 μνηστευθείσης τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ U

Matt. 1:20 αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος U

Matt. 2:1 τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέντος U

Matt. 2:13 ἀναχωρησάντων δὲ αὐτῶν U

Matt. 2:19 τελευτήσαντος δὲ τοῦ Ἡρῴδου U

Matt. 5:1 καὶ καθίσαντος αὐτοῦ U

Matt. 6:3 σοῦ δὲ ποιοῦντος U

Matt. 8:1 καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ U

Matt. 8:5 εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ DT (cf. Luke 7:1)

Matt. 8:16 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης TT = Mark 1:32; Luke 4:40 [δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου]

Matt. 8:28 καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ TT = Mark 5:2 [καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ] (cf. Luke 8:27)

Matt. 9:10 αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου TT (cf. Mark 2:15; Luke 5:29)

Matt. 9:18 ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Mark 5:21 [καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ] (cf. Luke 8:40)

Matt. 9:32 αὐτῶν δὲ ἐξερχομένων TT (cf. Matt. 12:22; Mark 3:[–]; Luke 11:14)

Matt. 9:33 καὶ ἐκβληθέντος τοῦ δαιμονίου TT = Luke 11:14 [ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος] (cf. Matt. 12:22; Mark 3:[–])

Matt. 11:7 τούτων δὲ πορευομένων DT = Luke 7:24 [ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάννου]

Matt. 12:46 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT (cf. Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19)

Matt. 13:6 ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος TT (cf. Mark 4:6; Luke 8:6)

Matt. 13:19 παντὸς ἀκούοντος…καὶ μὴ συνιέντος TT (cf. Mark 4:14; Luke 8:11)

Matt. 13:21 γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ TT = Mark 4:17 (cf. Luke 8:13)

Matt. 14:15 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης TT = Mark 6:35 [καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης] (cf. Luke 9:12)

Matt. 14:23 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης Mk-Mt = Mark 6:47 [καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης]

Matt. 14:32 καὶ ἀναβάντων αὐτῶν Mk-Mt (cf. Mark 6:51)

Matt. 16:2 ὀψίας γενομένης DT (cf. Luke 12:[–])

Matt. 17:5 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Luke 9:34 [ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος] (cf. Mark 9:7)

Matt. 17:9 καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν TT = Mark 9:9; Luke 9:37 [ἐγένετο δὲ…κατελθόντων αὐτῶν]

Matt. 17:14 καὶ ἐλθόντων TT = Luke 9:37 [ἐγένετο δὲ…κατελθόντων αὐτῶν] (cf. Mark 9:14)[11]

Matt. 17:22 συστρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν TT = Luke 9:43 [πάντων δὲ θαυμαζόντων] (cf. Mark 9:30)

Matt. 17:24 ἐλθόντων δὲ αὐτῶν U

Matt. 17:26 εἰπόντος δέ U

Matt. 18:24 ἀρξαμένου δὲ αὐτοῦ U

Matt. 18:25 μὴ ἔχοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ U

Matt. 20:8 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης U

Matt. 20:29 καὶ ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν TT = Mark 10:46 [καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ] (cf. Luke 18:35)

Matt. 21:10 καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Mark 11:11; Luke 19:45)

Matt. 21:23 καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ TT = Mark 11:27 [περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ]; Luke 20:1 [καὶ ἐγένετο…διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ…καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου]

Matt. 22:41 συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων TT (cf. Mark 12:35; Luke 20:41)

Matt. 24:3 καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ TT = Mark 13:3 [καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ] (cf. Luke 21:[–])

Matt. 25:5 χρονίζοντος δὲ τοῦ νυμφίου U

Matt. 25:10 ἀπερχομένων δὲ αὐτῶν U

Matt. 26:6 τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γενομένου Mk-Mt = Mark 14:3 [καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ]

Matt. 26:7 ἀνακειμένου Mk-Mt = Mark 14:3 [κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ]

Matt. 26:20 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης TT = Mark 14:17 [καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης] (cf. Luke 22:14)

Matt. 26:21 καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν TT = Mark 14:18 [καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων] (cf. Luke 22:[–])

Matt. 26:26 ἐσθιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν TT = Mark 14:22 [καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν] (cf. Luke 22:19)

Matt. 26:47 καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Mark 14:43 [καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος]; Luke 22:47 [ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος]

Matt. 26:60 πολλῶν προσελθόντων ψευδομαρτύρων TT (cf. Mark 14:56; Luke 22:[–])

Matt. 27:1 πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης TT (cf. Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66)

Matt. 27:17 συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν TT (cf. Mark 15:8; Luke 23:[–])

Matt. 27:19 καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Mark 15:[–]; Luke 23:[–])

Matt. 27:57 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης TT = Mark 15:42 [καὶ ἤδη ὀψίας γενομένης] (cf. Luke 23:50)

Matt. 28:11 πορευομένων δὲ αὐτῶν U

Matt. 28:13 ἡμῶν κοιμωμένων U


Key: TT = pericope has parallels in all three Synoptic Gospels; DT = Lukan-Matthean pericope; Mk-Mt = Markan-Matthean pericope; U = verse unique to a particular Gospel; [–] = no corresponding word and/or verse

Unique Matthean Pericopae

Out of fifty-three instances of the genitive absolute in Matthew, seventeen occur in unique Matthean pericopae (Matt. 1:18, 20; 2:1, 13, 19; 5:1; 6:3; 8:1; 17:24, 26; 18:24, 25; 20:8; 25:5, 10; 28:11, 13). That is, roughly one-third of the Matthean genitives absolute are found in unique Matthean pericopae.

Triple Tradition Pericopae

Twenty-nine of Matthew’s instances of the genitive absolute (slightly more than half) occur in TT. Of these twenty-nine TT occurrences, Matthew has support from both Mark and Luke 4xx (Matt. 8:16; 17:9; 21:23; 26:47). Matthew agrees with Mark, but not Luke, to use genitive absolute 10xx (Matt. 8:28; 9:18; 13:21; 14:15; 20:29; 24:3; 26:20, 21, 26; 27:57). Matthew agrees with Luke against Mark to use genitive absolute 4xx (Matt. 9:33; 17:5, [14], 22). That leaves eleven instances of the genitive absolute in TT where Matthew has no support from Mark or Luke to use genitive absolute (Matt. 9:10, 32; 12:46; 13:6, 19; 21:10; 22:41; 26:60; 27:1, 17, 19).

Markan-Matthean Pericopae

In Markan-Matthean pericopae the author of Matthew used the genitive absolute 4xx (Matt. 14:23, 32; 26:6, 7). Three of these Markan-Matthean instances have support from Mark (Matt. 14:23; 26:6, 7). In Matt. 14:32 the author of Matthew used the genitive absolute without Mark’s support.

Double Tradition Pericopae

There are only three instances of the genitive absolute in DT (Matt. 8:5; 11:7; 16:2). Only one of these DT instances of the genitive absolute has support from Luke’s parallel (Matt. 11:7 // Luke 7:24).

Analysis of Matthew’s Use of the Genitive Absolute

Lindsey’s Stemma. (Graphic created by Pieter Lechner.)

Following Lindsey’s hypothesis, according to which the two sources behind Matthew’s Gospel are Mark and the Anthology (Anth.), the above data tell us that the author of Matthew probably accepted the genitive absolute from a source 22xx (Matt. 8:16, 28; 9:18, 33; 11:7; 13:21; 14:15, 23; 17:5, 9, [14], 22; 20:29; 21:23; 24:3; 26:6, 7, 20, 21, 26, 47; 27:57). This accounts for less than half (42%) of the instances of the genitive absolute in Matthew.

There are eleven instances of the genitive absolute in Matthew in TT that have no support from Mark or Luke (Matt. 9:10, 32; 12:46; 13:6, 19; 21:10; 22:41; 26:60; 27:1, 17, 19), two instances in DT that have no support from Luke (Matt. 8:5; 16:2), and one instance of the genitive absolute in a Markan-Matthean pericope that has no support from Mark (Matt. 14:32). There is a strong likelihood that most (if not all) of these fourteen instances were introduced by the author of Matthew himself.[12] That is over one-quarter of the instances of the genitive absolute in Matthew that are probably redactional, in addition to the seventeen instances of the genitive absolute (roughly one-third) that occur in unique Matthean pericopae, which are likewise suspect of Matthean redaction.

The author of Matthew did not accept all of Mark’s genitives absolute. There are four instances where Matthew and Luke agree against Mark’s genitives absolute (Matt. 9:33; 17:5, [14], 22). In these cases the author of Matthew was probably influenced by Anth. There are an additional three instances where Matthew rejected the genitive absolute in TT where Luke and Mark agreed to use the genitive absolute (Matt. 9:[–] [cf. Mark 5:35 // Luke 8:49]; 24:1 [cf. Mark 13:1 // Luke 21:5]; 27:45 [cf. Mark 15:33 // Luke 23:45]). Some of these rejections may have been guided by Anth., too.[13] Likewise, the author of Matthew declined to accept Mark’s genitives absolute 5xx in Markan-Matthean pericope (Matt. 14:6 [2xx] [cf. Mark 6:21, 22], 35 [cf. Mark 6:54]; 15:32 [cf. Mark 8:1]; 21:18 [cf. Mark 11:12]). In Yohanan the Immerser’s Execution, where the author of Matthew twice declined Mark’s use of the genitive absolute (Matt. 14:6 [2xx] [cf. Mark 6:21, 22]), we suspect the influence of Anth. The other three pericopae in which the author of Matthew declined to accept Mark’s genitives absolute (Healings at Ginosar [Matt. 14:35]; Feeding 4,000 [Matt. 15:32]; Cursing a Fig Tree [Matt. 21:18]) are unlikely to have occurred in Anth., so in these cases the author of Matthew probably rejected Mark’s genitives absolute on his own initiative.

Roughly half of the instances of the genitive absolute in Matthew occurred in the author of Matthew’s source(s) (Mark and Anth.), which means that about half of the instances of the genitive absolute in Matthew are probably the result of Matthean redaction.

The Genitive Absolute in Mark

Mark 1:32 ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης TT = Matt. 8:16; Luke 4:40 [δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου]

Mark 4:17 γενομένης θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ TT = Matt. 13:21 (cf. Luke 8:13)

Mark 4:35 ὀψίας γενομένης TT (cf. Matt. 8:[–]; Luke 8:[–])

Mark 5:2 καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ TT = Matt. 8:28 [καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ] (cf. Luke 8:27)

Mark 5:18 καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 8:[–]; Luke 8:37)

Mark 5:21 καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ TT = Matt. 9:18 [ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος] (cf. Luke 8:40)

Mark 5:35 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Luke 8:49 (cf. Matt. 9:[–])

Mark 6:2 καὶ γενομένου σαββάτου TT (cf. Matt. 13:53; Luke 4:16)

Mark 6:21 καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου Mk-Mt (cf. Matt. 14:6)

Mark 6:22 καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ηρῳδιάδος καὶ ὀρχησαμένης Mk-Mt (cf. Matt. 14:6)

Mark 6:35 καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης TT = Matt. 14:15 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης] (cf. Luke 9:12)

Mark 6:47 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης Mk-Mt = Matt. 14:23 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης]

Mark 6:54 καὶ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶ Mk-Mt (cf. Matt. 14:35)

Mark 8:1 πολλοῦ ὄχλου ὄντος καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων Mk-Mt (cf. Matt. 15:32)

Mark 9:9 καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν TT = Matt. 17:9; Luke 9:37 [ἐγένετο δὲ…κατελθόντων αὐτῶν]

Mark 9:28 καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 17:19; Luke 9:[–])

Mark 10:17 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 19:16; Luke 18:18)

Mark 10:46 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ TT = Matt. 20:29 [καὶ ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν] (cf. Luke 18:35)

Mark 11:11 καὶ περιβλεψάμενος TT (cf. Matt. 21:17; Luke 19:[–])

Mark 11:11 ὀψίας ἤδη οὔσης τῆς ὥρας TT (cf. Matt. 21:17; Luke 19:[–])

Mark 11:12 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν Mk-Mt (cf. Matt. 21:18)

Mark 11:27 περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ TT = Matt. 21:23 [ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ]; Luke 20:1 [καὶ ἐγένετο…ἡμερῶν διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ]

Mark 13:1 καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ TT = Luke 21:5 [καί τινων λεγόντων] (cf. Matt. 24:1)

Mark 13:3 καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ TT = Matt. 24:3 [καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ] (cf. Luke 21:[–])

Mark 14:3 καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ Mk-Mt = Matt. 26:6 [τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γενομένου]

Mark 14:3 κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ Mk-Mt = Matt. 26:7 [αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου]

Mark 14:17 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης TT = Matt. 26:20 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης] (cf. Luke 22:14)

Mark 14:18 καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων TT = Matt. 26:21 [καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν] (cf. Luke 22:[–])

Mark 14:22 καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν TT = Matt. 26:26 [ἐσθιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν] (cf. Luke 22:19)

Mark 14:43 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Matt. 26:47 [καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος]; Luke 22:47 [ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος]

Mark 14:66 καὶ ὄντος τοῦ Πέτρου TT (cf. Matt. 26:69; Luke 22:56)

Mark 15:33 καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης TT = Luke 23:45 [τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλιπόντος] (cf. Matt. 27:45)

Mark 15:42 καὶ ἤδη ὀψίας γενομένης TT = Matt. 27:57 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης] (cf. Luke 23:50)

Mark 16:1 καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου TT (cf. Matt. 28:1; Luke 24:1)

Mark 16:2 ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου TT (cf. Matt. 28:1; Luke 24:1)

Mark 16:20 τοῦ κυρίου συνεργοῦντος καὶ τὸν λόγον βεβαιοῦντος U [Spurious Ending]


Key: TT = pericope has parallels in all three Synoptic Gospels; Mk-Mt = Markan-Matthean pericope; U = verse unique to a particular Gospel; [–] = no corresponding word and/or verse

Out of thirty-six instances of the genitive absolute in Mark, all occur in either TT or Markan-Matthean pericopae except for Mark 16:20, which occurs in the spurious longer conclusion to Mark’s Gospel.

Unique Markan Pericopae

The genitive absolute in Mark 16:20 does not properly belong to the Gospel of Mark.

Triple Tradition Pericopae

Twenty-seven instances of the genitive absolute (three-quarters of Mark’s total) occur in Markan TT pericopae. Four of these instances have support in Luke and Matthew (Mark 1:32; 9:9; 11:27; 14:43), three of these instances have support only from Luke (Mark 5:35; 13:1; 15:33), and ten of these instances have support only from Matthew (Mark 4:17; 5:2, 21; 6:35; 10:46; 13:3; 14:17, 18, 22; 15:42). There are ten instances of Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark’s use of the genitive absolute (Mark 4:35; 5:18; 6:2; 9:28; 10:17; 11:11 [2xx]; 14:66; 16:1, 2).

Markan-Matthean Pericopae

There are eight instances of the genitive absolute in Markan-Matthean pericopae (Mark 6:21, 22, 47, 54; 8:1; 11:12; 14:3 [2xx]). This accounts for nearly one-quarter of the instances of the genitive absolute in the Gospel of Mark. Only three of these instances have Matthew’s agreement to use the genitive absolute (Mark 6:47; 14:3 [2xx]).

Analysis of Mark’s Use of the Genitive Absolute

From the perspective of Lindsey’s hypothesis, the above data indicate that the author of Mark accepted the genitive absolute from his source(s) (Luke and Anth.) 7xx (Mark 1:32; 5:35; 9:9; 11:27; 13:1; 14:43; 15:33).[14] The genitive absolute in Mark 16:20 was not written by the author of Mark. The remaining twenty-eight instances of the genitive absolute in Mark (approximately three-quarters of the total) are likely the product of Markan redaction. The ten instances of Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark’s use of the genitive absolute (Mark 4:35; 5:18; 6:2; 9:28; 10:17; 11:11 [2xx]; 14:66; 16:1, 2) are especially strong evidence that the genitive absolute did not occur at these points in Anth.

What is startling to discover is that despite the likelihood that three-quarters of the genitives absolute were added by the author of Mark, the author of Mark rejected Luke’s use of the genitive absolute on no less than thirty-two occasions (Luke 3:1 [4xx] [cf. Mark 1:4], 15 [2xx] [cf. Mark 1:7], 21 [cf. Mark 1:9]; 4:2 [cf. Mark 1:13], 42 [cf. Mark 1:35]; 8:4 [2xx] [cf. Mark 4:1], 23 [cf. Mark 4:37], 45 [cf. Mark 5:31]; 9:34 [cf. Mark 9:7], 42 [cf. Mark 9:20], 43 [cf. Mark 9:30]; 11:14 [cf. Mark 3:(–)], 29 [cf. Mark 8:11]; 12:1 [cf. Mark 8:14]; 18:40 [cf. Mark 10:50]; 19:33 [cf. Mark 11:4], 36 [cf. Mark 11:8], 37 [cf. Mark 11:9]; 20:45 [cf. Mark 12:37]; 21:26 [cf. Mark 13:(–)], 28 [cf. Mark 13:(–)]; 22:10 [cf. Matt. 14:13], 53 [cf. Mark 14:49], 55 [cf. Mark 14:54], 59 [cf. Mark 14:70], 60 [cf. Mark 14:72]; 24:5 [Mark 16:5]). Whether the author of Mark did so on the basis of Anth., or simply because he typically preferred to paraphrase than to repeat Luke’s wording, remains to be seen.[15] In any case, the rejecting-only-to-insert-elsewhere pattern we observe with respect to the genitive absolute in Mark is consistent with the phenomenon Lindsey described as “Markan stereotyping.”[16] Whereas Lindsey observed Markan stereotyping of vocabulary, here we have Markan stereotyping of a grammatical structure.

The Genitive Absolute in Luke

Luke 2:2 ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου U

Luke 2:42 ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν U

Luke 2:43 τελειωσάντων τὰς ἡμέρας U

Luke 3:1 ἡγεμονεύοντος Ποντίου Πιλάτου TT (cf. Matt. 3:1; Mark 1:4)

Luke 3:1 τετρααρχοῦντος τῆς Γαλιλαίας Ἡρῴδου TT (cf. Matt. 3:1; Mark 1:4)

Luke 3:1 Φιλίππου δὲ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ τετρααρχοῦντος TT (cf. Matt. 3:1; Mark 1:4)

Luke 3:1 Λυσανίου τῆς Ἀβιληνῆς τετρααρχοῦντος TT (cf. Matt. 3:1; Mark 1:4)

Luke 3:15 προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:7)

Luke 3:15 καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων TT (cf. Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:7)

Luke 3:21 καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου TT (cf. Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:9)

Luke 4:2 καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν TT (cf. Matt. 4:2; Mark 1:13)

Luke 4:40 δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου TT = Matt. 8:16 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης]; Mark 1:32 [ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης]

Luke 4:42 γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας Lk-Mk (cf. Mark 1:35)

Luke 6:48 πλημμύρης δὲ γενομένης DT (cf. Matt. 7:25)

Luke 7:6 ἤδη δὲ αὐτοῦ οὐ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος DT (cf. Matt. 8:[–])

Luke 7:24 ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάννου DT = Matt. 11:7 [τούτων δὲ πορευομένων]

Luke 7:42 μὴ ἐχόντων αὐτῶν U

Luke 8:4 συνιόντος δὲ ὄχλου πολλοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 13:2; Mark 4:1)

Luke 8:4 καὶ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν ἐπιπορευομένων TT (cf. Matt. 13:2; Mark 4:1)

Luke 8:23 πλεόντων δὲ αὐτῶν TT (cf. Matt. 8:24; Mark 4:37)

Luke 8:45 ἀρνουμένων δὲ πάντων TT (cf. Matt. 9:[–]; Mark 5:31)

Luke 8:49 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Mark 5:35 (cf. Matt. 9:[–])

Luke 9:34 ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος TT = Matt. 17:5 [ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος] (cf. Mark 9:7)

Luke 9:37 ἐγένετο δὲ…κατελθόντων αὐτῶν TT = Matt. 17:9 [καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν]; Mark 9:9 [καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν]

Luke 9:42 ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 17:[–]; Mark 9:20)

Luke 9:43 πάντων δὲ θαυμαζόντων TT = Matt. 17:22 [συστρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν] (cf. Mark 9:30)

Luke 9:57 καὶ πορευομένων αὐτῶν DT (cf. Matt. 8:19)

Luke 11:14 ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος TT = Matt. 9:33 [καὶ ἐκβληθέντος τοῦ δαιμονίου] (cf. Matt. 12:22; Mark 3:[–])

Luke 11:29 τῶν δὲ ὄχλων ἐπαθροιζομένων TT (cf. Matt. 12:38; Mark 8:11)

Luke 11:53 ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ DT (cf. Matt. 23:[–])

Luke 12:1 ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου TT (cf. Matt. 16:5; Mark 8:14)

Luke 12:36 ἐλθόντος καὶ κρούσαντος U

Luke 13:17 καὶ ταῦτα λέγοντος αὐτοῦ U

Luke 14:29 θέντος αὐτοῦ…καὶ μὴ ἰσχύοντος U

Luke 14:32 ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος U

Luke 15:14 δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ U

Luke 15:20 ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος U

Luke 17:12 καὶ εἰσερχομένου αὐτοῦ U

Luke 18:40 ἐγγίσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 9:28; 20:32; Mark 10:50)

Luke 19:11 ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν DT (cf. Matt. 25:[–])

Luke 19:33 λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν TT (cf. Matt. 21:6; Mark 11:4)

Luke 19:36 πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 21:8; Mark 11:8)

Luke 19:37 ἐγγίζοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 21:9; Mark 11:9)

Luke 20:1 διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ…καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου TT = Matt. 21:23 [καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ]; Mark 11:27 [περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ]

Luke 20:45 ἀκούοντος δὲ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 23:1; Mark 12:37)

Luke 21:5 καί τινων λεγόντων TT = Mark 13:1 [καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ] (cf. Matt. 24:1)

Luke 21:26 ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων TT (cf. Matt. 24:[–]; Mark 13:[–])

Luke 21:28 ἀρχομένων δὲ τούτων TT (cf. Matt. 24:[–]; Mark 13:[–])

Luke 22:10 εἰσελθόντων ὑμῶν TT (cf. Matt. 26:18; Mark 14:13)

Luke 22:47 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος TT = Matt. 26:47 [καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος]; Mark 14:43 [καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος]

Luke 22:53 ὄντος μου TT (cf. Matt. 26:55; Mark 14:49)

Luke 22:55 περιαψάντων δὲ…καὶ συγκαθισάντων TT (cf. Matt. 26:58; Mark 14:54)

Luke 22:59 καὶ διαστάσης ὡσεὶ ὥρας TT (cf. Matt. 26:73; Mark 14:70)

Luke 22:60 ἔτι λαλοῦντος αὐτοῦ TT (cf. Matt. 26:74; Mark 14:72)

Luke 23:45 τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλιπόντος TT = Mark 15:33 [καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης] (cf. Matt. 27:45)

Luke 24:5 ἐμφόβων δὲ γενομένων αὐτῶν καὶ κλινουσῶν TT (cf. Matt. 28:4; Mark 16:5)

Luke 24:36 ταῦτα δὲ αὐτῶν λαλούντων U

Luke 24:41 ἔτι δὲ ἀπιστούντων αὐτῶν U


Key: TT = pericope has parallels in all three Synoptic Gospels; DT = Lukan-Matthean pericope; Lk-Mk = Lukan-Markan pericope; U = verse unique to a particular Gospel; [–] = no corresponding word and/or verse

Unique Lukan Pericopae

Of the fifty-eight instances of the genitive absolute in Luke, thirteen (nearly one-quarter) occur in unique Lukan pericopae (Luke 2:2, 42, 43; 7:42; 12:36; 13:17; 14:29, 32; 15:14, 20; 17:12; 24:36, 41).

Triple Tradition Pericopae

There are thirty-eight instances of the genitive absolute in Lukan TT pericopae (Luke 3:1 [4xx], 15 [2xx], 21; 4:2, 40; 8:4 [2xx], 23, 45, 49; 9:34, 37, 42, 43; 11:14, 29; 12:1; 18:40; 19:33, 36, 37; 20:1, 45; 21:5, 26, 28; 22:10, 47, 53, 55, 59, 60; 23:45; 24:5). These thirty-eight instances approach two-thirds of the total occurrences of the genitive absolute in Luke. Of these thirty-eight instances in Lukan TT, twenty-eight occur without the support of Mark or Matthew (Luke 3:1 [4xx], 15 [2xx], 21; 4:2; 8:4 [2xx], 23, 45; 9:42; 11:29; 12:1; 18:40; 19:33, 36, 37; 20:45; 21:26, 28; 22:10, 53, 55, 59, 60; 24:5). By contrast, Luke has the genitive absolute in agreement with Matthew and Mark on only four occasions (Luke 4:40; 9:37; 20:1; 22:47). Luke has three additional instances of the genitive absolute in TT in agreement with Mark but not Matthew (Luke 8:49; 21:5; 23:45), and there are three instances of Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to use the genitive absolute (Luke 9:34, 43; 11:14).

Double Tradition Pericopae

Luke has six instances of the genitive absolute in DT (Luke 6:48; 7:6, 24; 9:57; 11:53; 19:11). Only the instance in Luke 7:24 has support from Matthew (Matt. 11:7).

Lukan-Markan Pericopae

There is one instance of the genitive absolute in a Lukan-Markan pericope (Luke 4:42). Mark’s parallel does not have the genitive absolute (Mark 1:35).

Analysis of Luke’s Use of the Genitive Absolute

Analyzing the author of Luke’s use of the genitive absolute from the perspective of Lindsey’s hypothesis is difficult, since we do not have direct access to either of the hypothetical sources (Anth. and the First Reconstruction [FR]) behind Luke’s Gospel. According to Lindsey’s hypothesis, however, Lukan-Matthean minor agreements in TT and Lukan-Matthean agreements in DT ought to be an accurate reflection of Anth. Since there are only four such instances of the genitive absolute in Luke (Luke 7:24; 9:34, 43; 11:14), the odds are strong that a great many (perhaps most) instances of the genitive absolute in Luke are the product of Lukan redaction.[17]

Conclusions

It appears that most of the instances of the genitive absolute in the Synoptic Gospels are redactional additions inserted by the three synoptic evangelists—the authors of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Undoubtedly, some instances of the genitive absolute in the Gospels occurred in pre-synoptic sources. According to Lindsey’s hypothesis, the instances of the genitive absolute that are especially likely to have occurred in pre-synoptic sources are those in TT where the authors of Luke and Matthew agree against Mark to employ a genitive absolute construction (Matt. 9:33 // Luke 11:14 [cf. Mark 3:(–)]; Matt. 17:5 // Luke 9:34 [cf. Mark 9:7]; Matt. 17:22 // Luke 9:43 [cf. Mark 9:30]) and those in DT where the authors of Luke and Matthew agreed to use a genitive absolute (Matt. 11:7 // Luke 7:24). When these four instances are examined, however, the results are somewhat disappointing: the Lukan-Matthean agreement is less than perfect. In the tables below the genitive absolute clauses are marked in red:

Yeshua’s Words about Yohanan the Immerser
Matthew 11:7 Luke 7:24
τούτων δὲ πορευομένων ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγειν τοῖς ὄχλοις περὶ Ἰωάνου ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ Ἰωάνου
But while these left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John…. But while the messengers of John went away, he began to speak to the crowds concerning John….

In this example from DT it is clear that the authors of Matthew and Luke drew from a source that described Jesus’ beginning to speak to the crowds about John. It is also clear that their source correlated this discourse with the departure of John the Baptist’s disciples. That Anth. had a genitive absolute construction is probable. See Yeshua’s Words about Yohanan the Immerser, Comment to L2.

The Finger of God
Matthew 9:33 Matthew 12:22-23 Luke 11:14-15
καὶ ἐκβληθέντος τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφός καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ ὄχλοι λέγοντες τότε προσηνέχθη αὐτῷ δαιμονιζόμενος τυφλὸς καὶ κωφός, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτόν, ὥστε τὸν κωφὸν λαλεῖν καὶ βλέπειν καὶ ἐξίσταντο πάντες οἱ ὄχλοι καὶ ἔλεγον καὶ ἦν ἐκβάλλων δαιμόνιον [καὶ αὐτὸ ἦν] κωφόν· ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφὸς καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ ὄχλοι. τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπον
And when the demon was cast out, the mute person spoke and the crowd marveled, saying…. Then a demoniac who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the mute person spoke and saw. And all the crowds were ecstatic, and were saying…. And he was casting out a demon [and he was] mute. And it happened when the demon came out, the mute person spoke and the crowds marveled. And some of them were saying….

In this example of Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to use a genitive absolute, the situation is complicated by the fact that we have a Matthean doublet. The version in Matthew 12 appears to be more highly redacted—with its narrative τότε (“then”),[18] its use of δαιμονιζόμενος (“demonized person”),[19] and its ὥστε + infinitive construction[20] —than the version in Matthew 9. This conclusion is also supported by the high level of verbal agreement between Matt. 9:33 and Luke 11:14-15. In the genitive absolute construction itself, the authors of Matthew and Luke use different verbs (Matt.: ἐκβάλλειν [“to throw out”]; Luke: ἐξέρχεσθαι [“to go out”]), but the subject is the same (“the demon”) and the ideas are parallel. Clearly the parallel descriptions in Matt. 9:33 and Luke 11:14-15 ultimately derived from Anth., and it is probable that Anth.’s description contained a genitive absolute.

Transfiguration
Matthew 17:4-5 Luke 9:33-35
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ· κύριε, καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι· εἰ θέλεις, ποιήσω ὧδε τρεῖς σκηνάς, σοὶ μίαν καὶ Μωϋσεῖ μίαν καὶ Ἠλίᾳ μίαν ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος ἰδοὺ νεφέλη φωτεινὴ ἐπεσκίασεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἶπεν ὁ Πέτρος πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν· ἐπιστάτα, καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι, καὶ ποιήσωμεν σκηνὰς τρεῖς, μίαν σοὶ καὶ μίαν Μωϋσεῖ καὶ μίαν Ἠλίᾳ, μὴ εἰδὼς ὃ λέγει ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος ἐγένετο νεφέλη καὶ ἐπεσκίαζεν αὐτούς· ἐφοβήθησαν δὲ ἐν τῷ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν νεφέλην. καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα
But Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here! If you wish, I will make three tents here: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice from the cloud was saying…. And it happened when they were departing from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here! So let us make three tents: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (not knowing what he says). While he said these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them. They were afraid as they entered the cloud. And there was a voice from the cloud saying….

Mark’s version of the Transfiguration narrative omits a parallel to Matthew’s “while he was still speaking” or Luke’s “while he said these things.” The Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to include this detail makes it likely that they are reflecting something in Anth. In this case, Lukan redaction seems more probable in view of the title ἐπιστάτα (“master”), the parenthetical explanation μὴ εἰδὼς ὃ λέγει (“not knowing what he says”), and the un-Hebraic historical present contained within it. Moreover, as we have already had occasion to observe, Matthew’s genitive absolute ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος (“while he was still speaking”) occurs in LXX as the translation of עוֹדֶנּוּ מְדַבֵּר (“while he was still speaking”). It is likely that Matthew’s genitive absolute preserves the wording of Anth.

Yeshua Predicts his Martyrdom
Matthew 17:22 Luke 9:43
συστρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς πάντων δὲ θαυμαζόντων ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἐποίει εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ
But while they were gathering in the Galilee, Jesus said to them…. While everyone marveled at everything that he did, he said to his disciples….

In this example of Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to use a genitive absolute construction, there is so little verbal agreement that it is in doubt whether either version reflects Anth. It is possible that both authors independently employed a genitive absolute as they reworked the wording of their source(s). In other words, this Lukan-Matthean agreement against Mark to use a genitive absolute could be a coincidence.

Other instances where the genitive absolute may have occurred in Anth. include the three other pericopae that contain the phrase ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος (“while he was still speaking”): Yair’s Daughter and a Woman’s Faith (Mark 5:35 // Luke 8:49; cf. Matt. 9:[–]), Yeshua, His Mother and Brothers (Matt. 12:46; cf. Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19), and Yeshua’s Arrest (Matt. 26:47 // Mark 14:43 // Luke 22:47). The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both contain parables unique to their Gospels that contain similar genitive absolute constructions. In the Unforgiving Slave parable we find μὴ ἔχοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀποδοῦναι (“since he did not have [enough money] to pay back”; Matt. 18:25); in the Two Debtors parable we find μὴ ἐχόντων αὐτῶν ἀποδοῦναι (“since they did not have [enough money] to pay back”; Luke 7:42). Since we believe that both of these parables were contained in Anth., the parallel genitive absolute constructions in Matt. 18:25 and Luke 7:42 could have originated from Anth. For reasons we have discussed elsewhere, we suspect that A Voice Crying (L17-22), the Call of Levi story (L26),[21] and the Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb pericope (L22)[22] may each have contained a genitive absolute construction.

If all of these instances of the genitive absolute are attributed to Anth.—a maximalist view—we have fifteen or so instances that belonged to the conjectured Greek translation of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua. Compared to the Synoptic Gospels, therefore, the frequency of the genitive absolute in Anth. is quite low, perhaps even approaching the frequency of the genitive absolute in the LXX Pentateuch.


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  • [1] For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.’
  • [2] See Phyllis Healey and Alan Healey, “Greek Circumstantial Participles: Tracking Participants with Participles in the Greek New Testament,” Occasional Papers in Translation and Textlinguistics 4.3 (1990): 177-259.
  • [3] See Jan Joosten, “Varieties of Greek in the Septuagint and the New Testament,” in The New Cambridge History of the Bible (4 vols.; ed. James Carleton Paget, Joachim Schaper et al.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013-2015), 1:22-45, esp. 27; Takamitsu Muraoka, A Syntax of Septuagint Greek (Leuven: Peeters, 2016), 414.
  • [4] Soisalon-Soininen estimated that there are a little over 200 instances of the genitive absolute (gen. abs.) in the LXX books that are also included in the Hebrew canon. See Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen, “Der Gebrauch des Genetivus Absolutus in der Septuaginta,” Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies 6.4 (1973): 131-136, esp. 132.

    The exact frequency of gen. abs. in LXX is difficult to determine from reading the secondary literature on the subject because the estimates vary so widely. Compounding the problem is the fact that some scholars failed to indicate which examples they counted as instances of gen. abs., so it is difficult to know what they included or omitted in their survey. The following table shows the number of instances of gen. abs. in LXX as counted by Argyle and Turner (who relied on Argyle) as compared to the census of gen. abs. in LXX as taken by Jones:

    Book Instances of Gen. Abs.   Book Instances of Gen. Abs.
    A&T Jones A&T Jones
    Gen. 9 8 Song 0 0
    Exod. 9 8 Job 13 19
    Lev. 7 7 Wis. 13 10
    Num. 5 5 Sir. 1 0
    Deut. 7 13 Pss. Sol. ?? 2
    Josh. 1 2 Hos. 4 4
    Judg. 1 0 Joel 0 0
    Ruth 0 0 Amos 0 0
    1 Kgdms. 7 12 Obad. 0 0
    2 Kgdms. 6 4 Jonah 1 1
    3 Kgdms. 6 11 Mic. ?? 1
    4 Kgdms. 6 8 Nah. 0 0
    1 Chr. 2 3 Hab. 0 0
    2 Chr. 3 5 Zeph. 0 0
    1 Esd. 11 15 Hag. 0 0
    Ezra 0 1 Zech. 0 0
    Neh. ?? ?? Mal. 0 0
    Esth. ?? 2 Isa. 4 3
    Jdt. 0 1 Jer. 8 7
    Tob. 3 4 Bar. ?? 0
    1 Macc. 4 3 Lam. ?? 1
    2 Macc. 80 116 Ep. Jer. 1 3
    3 Macc. 27 40 Ezek. 2 1
    4 Macc. 21 25 Dan. 6 9
    Ps. 4 4 Sus. ?? 2
    Prov. 8 14 Bel ?? 1
    Eccl. 1 4 Total: 281 379

    See A. W. Argyle, “The Genitive Absolute in Biblical Greek,” Expository Times 69.9 (1957/1958): 285; Nigel Turner, Grammatical Insights into the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1965), 179; Ivor H. Jones, The Matthean Parables: A Literary and Historical Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 1995), 498-511. Unlike Argyle and Turner, Jones did document each instance of gen. abs. he identified in LXX (see below). However, Jones’ count omits several of the examples we have identified.

    For purposes of comparison with the Synoptic Gospels, not all LXX books are created equal. By their nature genitives absolute are more likely to be found in narrative than poetry, so it is not particularly meaningful when Turner (Grammatical Insights into the New Testament, 177) compared the frequency of gen. abs. in Q materials to that in Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), writing, “in subject-matter Q is most comparable with Ecclesiasticus and yet even in St. Matthew’s version of Q, where it [i.e., gen. abs.—DNB and JNT] occurs less often than in St. Luke’s, the genitive absolute occurs twenty-eight times as often as in Ecclesiasticus” (emphasis original). We should expect that Ben Sira, which consists mostly of poetry, would have a very low number of genitives absolute. The Pentateuch, on the other hand, is mainly narrative, making it much more useful for comparison with the Synoptic Gospels. Therefore, in the survey below we have limited ourselves to documenting the instances of gen. abs. in the Pentateuch:

    Genesis

      Reference Clause Translation Noted
    1 Gen. 18:1 καθημένου αὐτοῦ while he was sitting Aejmelaeus; Jones; Joosten; Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    2 Gen. 23:10 ἀκουόντων τῶν υἱῶν Χετ as the sons of Chet listened Jones; Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    3 Gen. 24:30 ἑστηκότος αὐτοῦ as he stood Aejmelaeus; Joosten; Muraoka
    4 Gen. 25:6 ἔτι ζῶντος αὐτοῦ while he was still living Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    5 Gen. 27:38 κατανυχθέντος δὲ Ισαακ but Isaac being cut to the quick  
    6 Gen. 29:6 (MS A) ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Jones
    7 Gen. 29:9 ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος while he was still speaking Aejmelaeus; Jones
    8 Gen. 30:38 ἐλθόντων αὐτῶν when they came Joosten
    9 Gen. 37:17 αὐτῶν λεγόντων when they said  
    10 Gen. 44:4 ἐξελθόντων δὲ αὐτῶν but when they went out Jones; Joosten; Thiersch
    11 Gen. 44:14 ἔτι αὐτοῦ ὄντος ἐκεῖ while he was still being there Aejmelaeus; Joosten; Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    12 Gen. 44:26 τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τοῦ νεωτέρου μὴ ὄντος while the youngest brother is not being Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    13 Gen. 44:34 τοῦ παιδίου μὴ ὄντος while the child is not being Aejmelaeus; Jones; Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    14 Gen. 48:7 ἐγγίζοντός μου while I was approaching Jones; Muraoka
    15 Gen. 50:17 λαλούντων αὐτῶν while they were speaking  

    Exodus

      Reference Clause Translation Noted
    1 Exod. 2:10 ἁδρυνθέντος δὲ τοῦ παιδίου but when the child was grown Aejmelaeus; Conybeare-Stock; Jones; Joosten; Muraoka; Perkins
    2 Exod. 4:21 πορευομένου σου καὶ ἀποστρέφοντος as you go and return Jones; Joosten; Muraoka; Perkins; Thiersch
    3 Exod. 5:20 ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν while they were going out Conybeare-Stock; Jones; Joosten; Muraoka; Perkins; Thiersch
    4 Exod. 12:18 ἐναρχομένου…τοῦ μηνὸς τοῦ πρώτου when the first month begins Jones; Muraoka; Perkins
    5 Exod. 12:29 μεσούσης τῆς νυκτὸ while it was the middle of the night Jones; Perkins; Soisalon-Soininen
    6 Exod. 14:18 ἐνδοξαζομένου μου while I am glorified Joosten; Perkins; Thiersch
    7 Exod. 16:1 ἐξεληλυθότων αὐτῶν after they went out Joosten; Perkins
    8 Exod. 16:13 καταπαυομένης τῆς δρόσου while the dew came Joosten; Perkins
    9 Exod. 19:9 λαλοῦντος μου while I speak Muraoka
    10 Exod. 19:16 γενηθέντος πρὸς ὄρθρον while it was nearly dawn Jones; Muraoka; Perkins
    11 Exod. 33:8 ἀπιόντος Μωυσῆ while Moses was away Jones
    12 Exod. 33:16 συμπορευομένου σου by your going Perkins
    13 Exod. 34:22 μεσοῦντος τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ during the middle of the year Perkins
    14 Exod. 34:29 καταβαίνοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ but while he descended Jones; Joosten; Perkins
    15 Exod. 38:27 εἰσπορευομένων αὐτῶν when they entered Muraoka; Perkins
    16 Exod. 40:17 ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν when they went out Perkins

    Leviticus

      Reference Clause Translation Noted
    1 Lev. 10:9 προσπορευομένων ὑμῶν when you approach Jones; Muraoka
    2 Lev. 11:31 τεθνηκότων while they are dead  
    3 Lev. 11:32 τεθνηκότων αὐτῶν while they are dead  
    4 Lev. 15:23 αὐτῆς οὔσης while she is being  
    5 Lev. 16:17 εἰσπορευομένου αὐτοῦ while he enters Jones
    6 Lev. 16:23 εἰσπορευομένου αὐτοῦ while he entered Muraoka; Thiersch
    7 Lev. 18:18 ἔτι ζώσης αὐτῆς while she still lives Muraoka
    8 Lev. 19:9 καὶ ἐκθεριζόντων ὑμῶν and when you reap Jones; Muraoka
    9 Lev. 21:10 τοῦ ἐπικεχυμένον…τοῦ ἐλαίου when the oil is poured upon Muraoka
    10 Lev. 21:10 τετελειωμένου ἐνδύσασθαι when he has been ordained to wear Muraoka
    11 Lev. 26:13 ὄντων ὑμῶν δούλων while you were slaves Muraoka
    12 Lev. 26:17 οὐθενὸς διώκοντος ὑμᾶς while no one pursues you Aejmelaeus; Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    13 Lev. 26:36 οὐθενὸς διώκοντος while no one pursues Aejmelaeus; Jones; Soisalon-Soininen
    14 Lev. 26:37 οὐθενὸς κατατρέχοντος while no one is pursuing Aejmelaeus; Jones; Soisalon-Soininen
    15 Lev. 26:44 ὄντων αὐτῶν while they were being Jones; Muraoka
    16 Lev. 27:21 ἐξεληλυθυίας τῆς ἀφέσεως when the release has expired Jones

    Numbers

      Reference Clause Translation Noted
    1 Num. 1:1 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν when they went out  
    2 Num. 3:4 προσφερόντων αὐτῶν when they brought near Jones; Joosten; Muraoka
    3 Num. 4:19 προσπορευομένων αὐτῶν when they approach Jones; Joosten; Muraoka
    4 Num. 6:7 ἀποθανόντων αὐτῶν when they die Jones; Joosten; Muraoka
    5 Num. 9:1 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν after they went out  
    6 Num. 9:5 ἐναρχομένου…τοῦ μηνὸς when the month began Muraoka
    7 Num. 9:22 πλεοναζούσης τῆς νεφέλης σκιαζούσης while the cloud overshadows Jones
    8 Num. 11:10 κλαιόντων αὐτῶν while they wept  
    9 Num. 13:21 εἰσπορευομένων as they enter Muraoka; Thiersch
    10 Num. 34:8 εἰσπορευομένων as they enter Jones

    Deuteronomy

      Reference Clause Translation Noted
    1 Deut. 4:34 βλέποντος while you watched  
    2 Deut. 4:45 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν when they came out Jones; Joosten
    3 Deut. 4:46 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν when they came out Jones
    4 Deut. 6:4 ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν when they came out Jones
    5 Deut. 8:13 καὶ τῶν βοῶν σου καὶ τῶν προβάτων σου πληθυνθέντων σοι when your cattle and sheep are multiplied to you Aejmelaeus; Jones
    6 Deut. 8:13 ἀργυρίου καὶ χρυσίου πληθυνθέντος σοι when silver and gold is multiplied to you Aejmelaeus; Jones
    7 Deut. 8:13 καὶ πάντων…πληθυνθέντων σοι and when all things…are multiplied to you Aejmelaeus; Jones
    8 Deut. 9:9 ἀναβαίνοντός μου when I went up Jones
    9 Deut. 11:4 καταδιωκόντων αὐτῶν while they pursued  
    10 Deut. 11:19 (MS B) καθημένου σου…καὶ πορευομένου σου…καὶ καθεύδουντός σου καὶ διανισταμένου σου while you sit…and while you walk…and while you lie down and while you get up Jones; Thiersch
    11 Deut. 15:10 διδόντος σου while you give Conybeare-Stock; Jones; Muraoka; Thiersch
    12 Deut. 15:18 ἐξαποστελλομένων αὐτῶν ἐλευθέρων while they are sent out free  
    13 Deut. 16:9 ἀρξαμένου σου when you have begun Muraoka; Thiersch
    14 Deut. 23:5 ἐκπορευομένων ὑμῶν while you came out  
    15 Deut. 23:12 καὶ δεδυκότος ἡλίου and when the sun has set Jones
    16 Deut. 24:9 ἐκπορευομένων ὑμῶν when you came out Jones; Soisalon-Soininen
    17 Deut. 25:17 ἐκπορευομένου σου when you came out Jones
    18 Deut. 31:27 ἔτι γὰρ ἐμοῦ ζῶντος for while I am still living Jones; Muraoka; Soisalon-Soininen
    19 Deut. 33:5 συναχθέντων ἀρχόντων λαῶν when rulers of the people are gathered Jones
    20 Deut. 33:21 συνηγμένων when gathering Aejmelaeus

    In the tables above, the names mentioned in the “Noted” column refer to Anneli Aejmelaeus, Parataxis in the Septuagint: A Study of the Renderings of the Hebrew Coordinate Clauses in the Greek Pentateuch (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1982), 110-112; F. C. Conybeare and St. George Stock, Selections from the Septuagint According to the Text of Swete (Boston: Ginn & Co., 1905), 58; Jones, The Matthean Parables: A Literary and Historical Commentary, 498-511; Joosten, “Varieties of Greek in the Septuagint and the New Testament,” 27; Muraoka, A Syntax of Septuagint Greek, 413-421; Larry Perkins, “‘Drawn from the Water’: A Commentary on the Old Greek Text of Exodus 2.1-10,” in The SBL Commentary on the Septuagint: An Introduction (ed. Dirk Büchner; Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017), 69-94, esp. 90; Soisalon-Soininen, “Der Gebrauch des Genetivus Absolutus in der Septuaginta,” 132-135; Heinrich Wilhelm Josias Thiersch, De Pentateuchi Versione Alexandrina Libri Tres (Erlangae: Blaesing, 1841), 103, 140-141. N.B., only Jones attempted to create an exhaustive list of the instances of gen. abs. in LXX. The other scholars simply discussed certain typical examples.

  • [5] See, for instance, Argyle, “The Genitive Absolute in Biblical Greek,” 285; Turner, Grammatical Insights into the New Testament, 177; Kloppenborg, 60.
  • [6] Counts of gen. abs. in the Synoptic Gospels are given as follows:

    Gospel Total Instances of the Genitive Absolute
    Argyle Turner Sheret Jones Fuller Healey & Healey
    Matthew 40 52 52 52 52 52
    Mark 29 30 37 34 35 (+ 1 in Mark 16:20) 35
    Luke 35 43 62 51 56 58

    Argyle’s count is given in “The Genitive Absolute in Biblical Greek,” 285; Taylor’s count is given in Grammatical Insights into the New Testament, 178. For Sheret’s count of gen. abs., provided in B. S. Sheret, “An Examination of Some Problems of the Language of St. Matthew” (diss., Oxford, 1971), we have relied on Luz, 24 n. 147. For Jones’ count, see The Matthean Parables: A Literary and Historical Commentary, 483. For Fuller’s count, see Lois K. Fuller, “The ‘Genitive Absolute’ in New Testament/Hellenistic Greek: A Proposal for Clearer Understanding,” Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 3 (2006): 142-167, esp. 145.

    Healey and Healey (“Greek Circumstantial Participles: Tracking Participants with Participles in the Greek New Testament,” 251-252) do identify each of the instances of what they refer to as “genitive circumstantial participial clauses.”

  • [7] “Healey-Healey” refers to Healey and Healey, “Greek Circumstantial Participles: Tracking Participants with Participles in the Greek New Testament,” 251-252. “Jones” refers to Jones, The Matthean Parables: A Literary and Historical Commentary, 487-489. “Scomp” refers to Henry Anselm Scomp, “The Case Absolute in the New Testament (Parts 1 and 2),” Bibliotheca Sacra 59 (1902): 76-84, 325-340.
  • [8] Fuller (“The ‘Genitive Absolute’ in New Testament/Hellenistic Greek: A Proposal for Clearer Understanding,” 151 n. 38) notes the inconsistency of Healey and Healey for not counting ἀνακειμένου in Matt. 26:7 as an example of gen. abs.
  • [9] “Healey-Healey” refers to Healey and Healey, “Greek Circumstantial Participles: Tracking Participants with Participles in the Greek New Testament,” 251-252. “Jones” refers to Jones, The Matthean Parables: A Literary and Historical Commentary, 490-491. “Pryke” refers to Pryke, 62. “Scomp” refers to Scomp, “The Case Absolute in the New Testament (Parts 1 and 2),” 76-84, 325-340.
  • [10] “Healey-Healey” refers to Healey and Healey, “Greek Circumstantial Participles: Tracking Participants with Participles in the Greek New Testament,” 251-252. “Jones” refers to Jones, The Matthean Parables: A Literary and Historical Commentary, 492-495. “Scomp” refers to Scomp, “The Case Absolute in the New Testament (Parts 1 and 2),” 76-84, 325-340.
  • [11] Matthew 17:14 appears to be a redactional doublet of Matt. 17:9.
  • [12] Not every instance of gen. abs. in Matthew unsupported by the parallels in Mark and/or Luke can be automatically attributed to the author of Matthew. For instance, the phrase καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτοῦ ἀνακειμένου (“and it happened while he was reclining”; Matt. 9:10; cf. Mark 2:15; Luke 5:29) may have been copied from Anth. See Call of Levi, Comment to L25-26.
  • [13] The author of Matthew’s rejection of ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος in Yair’s Daughter and a Woman’s Faith is difficult to assess. In LXX the phrase ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος (eti avtou lalountos, “while he was still speaking”; Gen. 29:9; 3 Kgdms. 1:22, 42; 4 Kgdms. 6:33; Esth. 6:14) occurs as the translation of עוֹדֶנּוּ מְדַבֵּר (‘ōdenū medabēr, “while he was still speaking”). So, this particular gen. abs. construction reverts relatively easily to Hebrew, making it not unlikely that the wording in Mark 5:35 // Luke 8:49 came from Anth. Moreover, the author of Matthew not only rejected ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος in Yair’s Daughter and a Woman’s Faith, he omitted the entire scene in which Yair (Jairus) receives the report of his daughter’s death (Mark 5:35-37; Luke 8:49-51). Did the author of Matthew excise this scene, or was it absent in Anth.?
  • [14] Pryke (62-67) reached a similar conclusion from the perspective of the Two-source Hypothesis.
  • [15] The gen. abs. in Luke 22:10 (εἰσελθόντων ὑμῶν [“when you enter”]; cf. Matt. 26:18; Mark 14:13) was accepted for GR in Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, L22. Other instances of gen. abs. in Luke rejected by the author of Mark may also have occurred in Anth.
  • [16] On the phenomenon of “Markan stereotypes,” see Robert L. Lindsey, “Introduction to A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark,” under the subheading “The Markan Stereotypes.” See also LOY Excursus: Catalog of Markan Stereotypes and Possible Markan Pick-ups.
  • [17] The author of Luke’s reliance on FR may also have contributed to the presence of gen. abs. in Luke.
    So far we have found the following instances of gen. abs. in Luke to be redactional:

    • Luke 3:15 (προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ). See Yohanan the Immerser’s Eschatological Discourse, Comment to L1.
    • Luke 3:15 (καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων). See Yohanan the Immerser’s Eschatological Discourse, Comment to L2.
    • Luke 3:21 (καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου). See Yeshua’s Immersion, Comment to L23 and Comment to L24.
    • Luke 4:2 (καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν). See Yeshua’s Testing, Comment to L20.
    • Luke 8:4 (συνιόντος δὲ ὄχλου πολλοῦ). See Four Soils parable, Comment to L6.
    • Luke 8:4 (καὶ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν ἐπιπορευομένων). See Four Soils parable, Comment to L10.
    • Luke 14:29 (θέντος αὐτοῦ…καὶ μὴ ἰσχύοντος). See Tower Builder and King Going to War, Comment to L5-6.
    • Luke 14:32 (ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος). See Tower Builder and King Going to War, Comment to L19.

  • [18] On τότε as an indicator of Matthean redaction, see Jesus and a Canaanite Woman, Comment to L22.
  • [19] The author of Matthew used the substantive δαιμονιζόμενος more often than did the authors of Mark and Luke. Matthew: 6xx (Matt. 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22); Mark: 3xx (Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16); Luke: 0xx. For a synoptic comparison, see Lindsey, GCSG, 1:185.
  • [20] On ὥστε + infinitive as typical of Matthean redaction, see Sending the Twelve: Commissioning, Comment to L21.
  • [21] See Call of Levi, Comment to L25-26.
  • [22] See Preparations for Eating Passover Lamb, Comment to L22.
  • David N. Bivin

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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton grew up in St. George, a small town on the coast of Maine. For his undergraduate degree he studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). There he studied Biblical Hebrew and…
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