Mark 7.19c, Mark Goodacre and common rooms for the 21st century
More from the senior common room of the future! ;-)
Mark Goodacre has made a notable point on the problematic translation of Mk 7.19 (usually translated something like 'declaring all foods clean') and how the participle 'declaring' matches up with 'he said' in verse 18. I didn't write on this in The Date of Mark's Gospel because I felt my reading of Mark 7 worked withthe strongest posible translation of Mk 7.19c. Actually alternative translations would arguably have seemed, on the surface at least, to be more useful for my case. Maybe, maybe not, but back to the problems of translation.
I also have reservations about how we translate Mark 7.19 but no solution. One possibility might be the Aramaic/Syriac background. I'm remembering off the top of my head at the moment but I think, for what it is worth, one Syriac translation might have an interesting translation which ties in the food being cleansed with its transmission through the body (that's a polite way of wording it I suppose!). Matthew Black made a few comments on this (off the top of my head, again, so, again, this will need confirming) and argued something like this kind of reading was possible and that there could also be some confusion with the active and passive of the Aramaic form of cleanse (dky). Now as I can't check this at the moment I have no idea if it is a useful argument or if the relevant Aramaic texts Black cites are sufficently early or indeed if I've remembered things particularly well. But with unusual grammar some underlying Aramaic form is at least worth considering in these kinds of problems. What that does to the Greek form when read orally as Mark (Goodacre) wonders I have no idea.