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Anger Issues: Mark 1.41 in Ephrem the Syrian, the Old Latin Gospels and Codex Bezae*

  • Nathan C. Johnson (a1)

While the vast majority of manuscripts portray Jesus in Mark 1.41 as ‘moved to compassion’ (σπλαγχνισθείς) before healing a leper, five putative witnesses in three languages depict him ‘becoming angry’ (ὀργισθείς/iratus). Following Hort's dictum that ‘knowledge of documents should precede final judgments on readings’, this article offers the first thorough examination of the witnesses to ‘anger’, with the result that the sole putative Syriac witness is dismissed, the Old Latin witnesses are geographically isolated, and the sole Greek witness linked to the Old Latin as a Greek–Latin diglot. Since the final grounds for Jesus’ ‘anger’, that it is the lectio difficilior, also prove insubstantial, σπλαγχνισθείς is concluded to be original, with ‘anger’ originating in the Old Latin manuscript tradition.

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An earlier draft of this article was presented at Princeton Theological Seminary's New Testament Research Colloquium (2016); I am indebted to the participants for their probing questions and comments, especially to respondents C. Clifton Black and James Neumann. Any remaining deficiencies are my own. I am also indebted to Princeton's Ph.D. Studies Office for providing for expenses associated with the manuscript images.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. C. Parker , The Living Text of the Gospels (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Using an Author's Consistency of Usage and Conjectures as Criteria to Resolve Textual Variation in the Greek New Testament’, NTS 62 (2016) 122–35

K. Lake , ‘ἘΜΒΡΙΜΗΣΑΜΕΝΟΣ and ὈΡΓΙΣΘΕΙΣ, Mark 1,40–43’, HTR 16 (1923) 197–8

D. C. Parker , Codex Bezae (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 261

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New Testament Studies
  • ISSN: 0028-6885
  • EISSN: 1469-8145
  • URL: /core/journals/new-testament-studies
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