Re: genitives

Dale M. Wheeler (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 12:22:08 -0800

Randy Leedy wrote:

>I take the anarthrous
>state of the first genitive as reinforcing its use as an abstract
>modifer, emphasizing a quality. Though anarthrous nouns don't ALWAYS
>emphasize a quality, the absence of the article in a construction
>like the one under consideration does seem to me to carry some
>significance. Others will probably disagree.

In verses 6, 12 both EPAINON and DOXHS are anarthrous because of
Apollonius' Canon, ie., in both cases the preceding EIS causes EPAINON to
be anarthrous and thus for symmetry the article before DOXHS is omitted
(but not in v. 14 ?!). Consequently one cannot definitely say that either
noun is "definite" or "indefinite" or "qualitative" based on the absence of
the article--let me just add as an aside, that it drives me crazy to see so
many grammar books that discuss the use and non-use of the article
constantly citing verses in which the article is either present (eg.,
because of a poss pron) or absent (eg., Apollonius' Canon, preceded by a
prep) as examples for some "rule" of grammar for the absence or presence of
the article...for example, most books will tell you that abstract nouns in
Greek BOTH have the article and are missing the article as an indicator of
them being abstract ??? Its either one or the other or it doesn't make any
difference !! But it CAN'T be both !! Readers should, IMHO, check the
examples citing in grammar and syntax books very carefully when reading
discussions about the article.

Back on topic; In the BARUK praise hymm which composes Eph 1:3-14 (v 3 Call
to Praise; vv 4-5 Reasons to Praise Work of Father; v 6 Renewed Call to
Praise; vv 7-11 Reasons to Praise Work of Son; v 12 Renewed Call to Praise;
vv 13-14a Reasons to Praise Work of HS; v 14b Renewed Call to Praise) these
"praise" sections form the conclusion of the subsections of the psalm. I
take it then, that they should all be understood the same, ie., the first
one is a long form and the 2nd and 3rd sort of short forms based on the
first, but meaning the same thing. In general, these types of psalms
involve "declarative" praise (ie., God is praised for his [past] deeds of
salvation) and not "descriptive" praise (ie., God is praised for His
person). Thus I would suggest that the renewed calls to praise are for what
He has done, not who he is...and what he has done has just been recounted
in the preceding verses of each section, thus the renewed calls are
summaries of those salvific acts. As I think someone else pointed out, DOXH
was most likely NOT a vague abstraction to the readers of the NT, but was
the attribute (still an abstract noun, but not vague) of a king, based on
the riches and splendor of the court surrounding him. If the renewed call
praises him for what He has done, then I'd suggest that the praise is not
for HIM being glorious, but rather for HIS GRACIOUS BESTOWMENT OF GLORY
UPON BELIEVERS, ie., granting them a share (= inheritance, v14) in the
future rule of the Messiah. Thus I'd take the phrase as:


which could be roughly translated (with a little backtransformation of the
genitives): " let us give praise to Him for the Glory He has
graciously bestowed upon us."

At least that's the way I see it (as Randy pointed out, others will no
doubt disagree... (-: )

Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail: