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The Greek text of Mark 15:33 reads:

Καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης, σκότος ἐγένετο ἐφ’ ὅλην τὴν γῆν ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης.

The English translation (KJV) of Mark 15:33 reads:

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

In the Greek text, "γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης" is a genitive absolute (with γενομένης being a participle in the aorist tense), and "ἐγένετο" is the main verb.

When a genitive absolute uses an aorist participle, this typically means that the action of the genitive absolute occurs prior to the action of the main verb.

In the case of the Greek text for Mark 15:33, is it fair to say that the action of "γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης" occurs prior to the action of "ἐγένετο" (i.e., the sixth hour first started, and then the start of darkness happened sometime thereafter)? Thanks for the help!

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  • The Englishman's Greek New Testament renders Mark 15:33 as and being come hour sixth darkness came over all the land until hour ninth. Biblehub states that both verbs (the participle and the indicative) are aorist middle. The evidence is that the actions are concurrent. As soon as the hour arrived, darkness fell.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 10 at 23:47

2 Answers 2

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The Englishman's Greek New Testament renders Mark 15:33 as :

and being come hour sixth darkness came over all the land until hour ninth.

Biblehub states that both verbs (the participle and the indicative) are aorist middle.

The evidence is that the actions are concurrent.

As soon as the hour arrived, darkness fell.

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I would challenge the assertion that in Mark 15:33, γενομένης acts adverbially to ἐγένετο - I do not believe that ἐγένετο is modified at all. Indeed, both are the same verb!

The simplest way to see this verse is as two almost-separate clauses which I would translate (overly literally) as follows:

And having become of [the] sixth hour, darkness came over all the land until [the] ninth hour.

Typical of Mark, this is a rather uncomplicated construction - short and to the point.

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