Carl W. Conrad (
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 22:19:50 -0500

At 4:32 PM -0500 9/18/96, Dale M. Wheeler wrote:
>I'm wondering about the following statement in BAGD (sv, hEWS
>II1b) "w. the gen. of the relative pron. in the neut...".
>The troublesome part is the statement that hOU in the
>phrase hEWS hOU is neuter. What makes me wonder is the
>(I think) parallels with AXRIS/MEXRIS hOU; for example
>BAGD says (sv, AXRI 2a) "w. rel. AXRI hOU (=AXRI XRONOU
>hWi)..." Robertson (Gr., p. 720) seems to agree when he
>says, "But in AXRI hOU (Rev. 2:25) we really have AXRI
>KAIROU hWi (or EN hWi)." Now if these phrases are parallel,
>and what we are dealing with is a pregnant phrase in which
>the XRONOU/KAIROU hWi has been compressed to hOU, then
>shouldn't the implied gender of hOU in every case be
>Masculine and not Neuter ??????

Technically I suppose this is probably true--but can it be demonstrated
that the noun understood is either XRONOU or KAIROU? Do we have examples
attested wherein the noun is explicit, such as MEXRIS hOU XRONOU ... ?

If not, then I suspect it would be more honest to say that the hOU is gen.
sg. but that the gender could be either masculine OR neuter.

I'm reminded of Joshua Whatmough vigorous assertion that there is no
"accusative absolute" in Greek (that rare use of the neuter ptc. of an
impersonal verb)--rather that it is really a "nominative absolute."
Unfortunately, since the participle is neuter singular, there's no way to
distinguish the nominative from the accusative form. I suspect the same is
true in this matter of hEWS hOU and parallels: unless you have a noun
attested in the expression, there's no way to be sure whether hOU is
masculine or neuter.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR