Re: genitives

Randy Leedy (
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 09:41:19 -0500

In the thread on strings of genitives (e.g. EIS TO EPAINON DOXHS THS
CARITOS AUTOU) I didn't see any mention of a point that does deserve
consideration here: the Semitic use of the genitive as a substitute
for an adjective. In the example cited above, I would tend to take
DOXHS as adjectival, and construe the second genitive, not with the
preceding genitive, but with the original pre-genitive. In other
words, I would take DOXHS as meaning "glorious" (the adjective for
which it substitutes), and take CARITOS as modifying, not DOXHS, but
EPAINON. I would translate: "unto the glorious praise of His grace,"
labeling uses as follows:

DOXHS: genitive of description (or adjectival) with EPAINOS
CARITOS: objective genitive with EPAINOS
AUTOU: probably subjective genitive with CARITOS

A clearer example of the same phenomenon is in Hebrews 1:3: TWi
hRHMATI THS DUNAMEWS AUTOU ("the word of His power"; "the word of the
power of Him"), which seems to mean "His powerful word."

I'm sorry I don't have bibliography to cite for this kind of
analysis; I'm not at the location where I keep my books. But my
recollection is that this phenomenon is fairly well recognized among

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC