How can they says, the writers, that the anointed a son of David is?
Mark 12:35 How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?
Interesting and Hidden Aspects:
The "how" beginning this question has the sense of "how is it possible?"
This is one of those verses where a "the" is added to make Jesus seem more important than he made himself. There is no "the" in front of "son" so the sense is "a son."
A "son" is not only a child of someone, but by the definition of the time, an inferior, that is, a subordinate. This was both a legal and cultural matter, especially in Jewish culture where the superiority of parents was part of the ten commandments.
λέγουσιν ( verb 3rd pl pres ind act ) "Say " is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."
οἱ (article sg masc nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.
γραμματεῖς ( noun pl masc nom) "Scribes" is grammateus, which is generally a "secretary", "recorder," and "scholar," but specifically means someone who uses gramma which is Greek for "drawings", "a letter," (as in an alphabet)"diagrams," and "letters" (as in correspondence).
χριστὸς ( noun sg masc nom) "Christ" is christos, which means "to be rubber with salve", "used as an ointment," and, of persons, "anointed." ---
ἐστιν;( verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi (eimi), which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")
How -- "How" is the adverb that means "how", "by any means", and "I suppose".
say -- The word translated as "say " is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.
the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.
scribes -- "Scribes" is translated from a Greek word describing anyone who used written records in their job, "secretary", "registrar,' and "scholar." However, Christ used it to name those scholars who specifically studied the Bible and wrote about its meanings. A modern equivalent would be "academics."
that -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.
untranslated -- The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.
Christ -- The word translated as "Christ" means "anointed." In the NT, it is understood to mean the Messiah, following the anointing of the kings of Israel. The Jews of Jesus's era thought they understood who the Messiah was and the source of his authority. He was a descendant of David, and his authority came from David as "the anointed" king of the Jews.
is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. However, it is not an active verb in but an infinitive. It is part of what it said.
the -- There is no Greek word that is translated as "the" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation. The sense here is "a son" not "the son,"
Son? -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "children". It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.
of -- There is no Greek word or word form that needs to be translated as "of" in the source we use today nor was there one in the source that the KJV translators used. It was added for clarity. The following word is a Hebrew name so it lack the Greek form that could create a possessive so it acts more like an adjective, "son David."
David? --"David" is from is a Greek form of the Hebrew name.