Re: ho thronos sou ho theos

Douglas de Lacey writes:

> And indeed, Glenn Wooden's objection misses the point.  Certainly
> koine is very different from classical Greek.  But because there
> is so little of it (and much of it not easily accessible to the
> layman) there is a real danger, if we over-stress the differences,
> that like 19th century divines we shall view NT Greek as a sort
> of "holy tongue", and be in danger of perpetrating all sorts of
> linguistic howlers.  Like Bob Kraft I am *not* a classicist; but I
> think he would be in full agreement with me here.

I was in no way arguing such a point, and if my remarks could lead to such
I would argue strongly against it.  However, by not stressing the differences
we will become like those same divines who also thought that NT Greek had
to be of the highest quality because it was in the Holy Scriptures.  They
searched long and hard to find just one classical author who used a construction
similar to one that a NT writer might have used so that they could justify
poor grammar as not being poor, just uncommon.  

Unlike him and Bod Kraft, I have studies Classical Greek and would use it
to clarify NT Greek only very carefully.  We do need to study the available
Kione literature, whether in literary or non literary texts, letters, 
inscriptions, etc.  That, not Classical Greek, is what will give us the
best insight into the different ways Greek was being used at the time the 
NT was written.  

As an example I would refer to the discussion about Heb. 1:8.

De Lacey writes:

> To David Moreau:  I fear that a very short time studying Greek
> would have set you straight.  The use of the nominative in a
> vocative sense (ie simply to address someone) is common enough
> for the translations to be quite unremarkable, though certainly
> your alternative appositional form is possible.

Your first point is correct.  The nominative is used as a vocative,
which seems to have been on the way out after the Classical period.
Your suggestion that Moreau's point might be possible, is correct
in OTHER cases, but not in this one, at least, not in the Septuagint (LXX)
from which the quote comes.

The LXX at Ps 44:7 says:

	ho thronos sou ho theos eis ton aiwna tou aiwnos.

Underlying this at Ps 45:7 is the Hebrew phrase:

	"ks'k 'lhym `vlm"  ('your-throne God forever').

That settles nothing.  But if you look a few verses before (H 45:4), you
will find:

	brkk 'lhym l`vlm (he-blessed-you God forever')

which the LXX (44:3) translates:

	eulogesen se ho theos eis ton aiwna (he-blessed you the God forever).

The word that is in apposition here is 'God' and it is in apposition to
the personal pronoun 'k' in the Hebrew which is translated as 'sou' and
'se' in the Greek.  The LXX solves the problem of the quote.  What it does
not solve, however, is whether the writer knew this.  I expect s/he did,
given the use of it in verse 3 of the Psalm and the use of it in Greek in

Glenn Wooden

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