Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday Figure

This week's Friday Figure is found in all three synoptic gospels. 

ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε
he pistis sou sesoken se
Your faith has saved you
 This refrain of Jesus, used after several healing stories (Mt. 9:22; Mk. 5:34, 10:52; Lk. 7:50, 8:48, 17:19, 18:42), uses the rhetorical figure of alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of the same consonant in rapid succession.  Unfortunately this figure is impossible to carry over in translation.  But, in the original Greek, reading the phrase aloud is quite striking.  Matthew uses the figure once in the story of the woman with the flow of blood (9:22). Mark uses the figure in the same story (5:34) and in the story of blind Bartimaeus (10:52). Only Luke latches on to the full power of this phrase and uses the figure four times throughout his gospel. 

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