Re: John 21:25, hATINA, CWRHSAI, OIMAI

Jonathan Robie (74144.2360@CompuServe.COM)
17 Sep 96 10:52:41 EDT

Carl Conrad wrote:

> (1) hATINA is simply a fuller form, far more common in classical Attic
> than in Koine, for the n. pl. relative pronoun hA; so we have two relative
> clauses dependent upon ALLA POLLA, the first being hA EPOIHSEN hO IHSOUS,
> the second hATINA EAN GRAFHTAI KAQ' hEN ... being the IF clause of what
> I guess is a future-less-vivid condition with the result clause
> constituted by the equivalent of OUK OIMAI AUTON TON KOSMON XWRHSAI ...

Ah, that helps the sentence parse...but what is a future-less-vivid? This isn't
a term that I can find in my grammars. Incidentally, they don't use the term
future-more-vivid either, though they talk about future-more-probable. Is this a
difference between the grammar taught in classical Greek and the grammar taught
in NT Greek?

> (2) OIMAI is not an infinitive but rather a very old 1 sg. verb, "I
> suppose," "I think," "I guess." Here it governs the acc. + inf.
> construction (Indirect discourse) with AUTON TON KOSMON being the
> subject of the infinitive [Sorry, I know there are some out there
> who don't like to hear talk of the accusative subject of an infinitive,
> but that's what I've always called it!] and XWRHSAI being the infinitive;
> TA GRAFOMENA BIBLIA is an object of XWRHSAI. It's important to realize
> also that we have OIMAI negated here by OUK: this is normal Greek usage
> for indirect discourse where the assertive verb is negated rather than
> the clause stating the proposition; we would prefer to say, "I think
> that the world itself cannot contain the books being written," but
> Greek says "I don't think that the world itself can contain the books
> being written."

Ah! I'm actually glad that I misread that. If I had parsed the grammatical form
correctly, I would have skipped over it, missing these nuances.

> The paragraph that you've cited from BDR expresses an important
> truth about Greek idiom...however, I don't see how it is applicable
> to the passage at hand.

This was the main paragraph, and John 21:25 was discussed in a footnote hanging
off of it, but I did not and do not understand the relevance. Sigh. Little
Greeks sometimes have problems with Big Books ;=>

> "I don't think that the world itself can contain the books being written."

Not if they are all the size of Liddel-Scott-Jones, BAGD, Louw and Nida,
Wallace, Robertson...