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mistake in Murdock? (Mk 11:14)
Dear friends,

Greetings to you all!

I've been busy with lots of stuff recently, but now I'm researching some more Aramaic passages in the gospels.

In particular, I'm studying Mk 11:14, the so-called curse upon the fig tree. Here's the Murdock translation, that sounds very similar to what the Greek says,

(Peshitta Mk 11:14 Murdock) "And he said to it: 'Henceforth and for ever, let no man eat fruit from thee.'"

But, unfortunately, this translation seems to be wrong! Because, according to both the Peshitta and the SyS, it doesn't really look like Jesus curses this fig tree...

So it looks like this is not a 'curse', but in fact merely a prediction of what will happen to the tree.

This passage is important because most commentators realise that, in the Markan context, this tree in fact symbolises the Jewish Temple. So if Jesus doesn't really curse the tree, then this should have impact on how one perceives Christianity vis-a-vis Judaism (i.e. Jesus saw his teachings as mostly within the Jewish tradition; so he didn't really try to start a new religion).

So here are the texts of both of the Peshitta and the SyS.

Mk 11:14 Peshitta

w)mr lh,
And he said to it,

mkyl wl(lm
Now and forever,

)n$ mnky p)r) l) n)kwl
man from you fruit will not eat.

Mk 11:14 SyS [Burkitt's translation]

(n) w)mr lh,
He answered and said to it,

mkyl wl(lm
Henceforth and forever,

)n$ mn p)r:yky l) n)kwl
no one of thy fruits shall eat.

So it sure looks to me like in both Peshitta and the SyS this is not a curse but merely a prediction of what will happen in the future to the Jewish Temple.

What do you think? Did Murdock really make a mistake here?

Also I'm researching some other parallels to this phrase in other ancient manuscripts, and I find that this phrase was probably changed in the mainstream Greek manuscripts. The Aramaic preserves a more original reading.


Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Messages In This Thread
mistake in Murdock? (Mk 11:14) - by yuku - 09-27-2004, 08:54 PM
Murdock's mistake ? - by gbausc - 09-28-2004, 10:04 PM
Re: Murdock's mistake ? - by yuku - 09-29-2004, 03:59 PM
Redactions vs. The Truth - by gbausc - 09-30-2004, 07:37 PM
Re: Redactions vs. The Truth - by yuku - 10-01-2004, 10:18 PM
NT inspired ? - by gbausc - 10-02-2004, 10:17 AM
Re: NT inspired ? - by yuku - 10-02-2004, 02:54 PM
[No subject] - by gbausc - 10-02-2004, 06:32 PM
[No subject] - by yuku - 10-03-2004, 01:28 PM
[No subject] - by gbausc - 10-03-2004, 05:18 PM
[No subject] - by yuku - 10-08-2004, 01:12 PM
Evolution of texts - by gbausc - 10-09-2004, 09:12 PM
[No subject] - by judge - 10-11-2004, 12:06 AM
Disagree ? - by gbausc - 10-11-2004, 08:05 PM

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