b-greek-digest V1 #17

b-greek-digest            Monday, 27 November 1995      Volume 01 : Number 017

In this issue:

        Re: 1 Tim. 2:15--"get safely through"
        Re: review Palmer 1995, III
        Dative Direct Objects, Heb 1:6
        Mark 7:24:  form of dunamai 
        Re: review Palmer 1995 
        Romans 5:10 


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 07:00:09 -0600
Subject: Re: 1 Tim. 2:15--"get safely through"

At 10:46 PM 11/25/95, Patrick J. Brennan wrote:
>I assume you sent this to me instead of to the list?  Do you want me to
>forward it to the list? Let me know. Thanks for all your input on this
>digest, I am learning a lot from you and others. One question for you on
>your comment to my posting ---- you mentioned that it would be ackward for
>salvation to depend on the moral stature of her children. It would be
>ackward for salvation to depend on anything apart from believing and
>walking with Jesus. Could SWQHSETAI be reffering to preservation and not

(1) In fact, I DID cc the message to the list and got a confirming copy
back, so there's no need to forward it (if there would have been anyway!);
(2) Yes, indeed, SWQHSETAI can be referring to
preservation/safekeeping--and not to salvation. That's precisely the point
of the original post by Bruce Terry to which I responded (almost two full
weeks ago!) that I was very impressed with Moffat's way of reading the
verse, the more so because the verb SWZEIN in classical Attic and still in
Koine does have the common regular meaning of "preserve, keep safe, bring
safely through." It would appear that you got focused on the other problems
in this very tricky verse and missed the original points raised in the
thread. But your question certainly was worth asking, because the sentence
is itself awkward and the whole passage in which it is set is awkward. I
think that when we read the NT with theological glasses on we are likely to
assume that SWZEIN must have the sense of eschatological salvation from
condemnation at the last judgment, despite the fact that this is not its
NORMAL or COMMON sense in Greek of any period. In fact, if I understand the
earliest OT usages of YEHOSHUAH, "salvation," they refer to the concrete
historical deliverance of Israel from a very concrete bondage in Egypt and
to the historical deliverance of Israel from threatening marauders in the
period of the tribal confederation. And indeed, if I may make one brief
theological comment here, one of the things I'm very thankful for at this
season is God's very concrete safekeeping of my own loved ones and of all
at peril, remembering that even this safekeeping is a matter of grace
rather than something earned.

>>At 12:07 AM 11/25/95, Patrick J. Brennan wrote:
>>>On 11/13/95, Bruce Terry wrote:
>>>>A belated comment on 1 Tim. 2:15:
>>>>I have for a number of years been intrigued by James Moffatt's
>>translation of
>>>>this verse:
>>>>"However, women will get safely through childbirth, if they continue to be
>>>>faithful and loving and holy as well as unassuming."
>>>On 11/13/95 Carl W.Conrad replied:
>>>Wow! This is fascinating. For clarity's sake in comment, let me cite (noch
>>>wieder einmal!) the Greek:
>>>Outside of its context (which, quite frankly, is itself not exceptionally
>>>helpful toward the interpretation of the verse), this translation cannot be
>>>faulted, I think, as a reading of the possible meaning of the Greek text.
>>>In fact, although we do find DIA + genitive to express instrumentality, an
>>>instrumental dative would (from my admittedly Attic perspective) be
>>>preferable by far; and, in view of the fact that ancient childbirth is by
>>>no means without risk of life (Euripides' Medea, remember, says she'd
>>>rather face the foe with a spear on the battlefield three times to giving
>>>birth once!), and given the fact that, outside of the theological sphere,
>>>SWZEIN most normally DOES mean "bring safely," "preserve through peril,"
>>>"keep intact" (as in the parable of the wine and wineskins; I tend to think
>>>of getting safely through a semester!), the first clause of Moffat's
>>>translation seems very natural.
>>>Much as I like the whole version, however, I must admit that I have not
>>>seen SWFROSUNH applied to women anywhere in Greek texts I've studied in a
>>>sense other than sexual purity. When referring to a male, of course, it's
>>>always the rational control of one's appetites generally rather than
>>>May I suggest that SWFROSUNH in this case is not applying to women. The
>>>first part of this sentence
>>>SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS would be more correctly translated with
>>>"woman" or "she" since SWQHSETAI is in the third person SINGULAR.  However
>>>SWFROSUNHS follows the verb MEINWSIN which is third person PLURAL.Could the
>>>second part of this sentence refer to CHILDREN (plural) and not WOMAN
>>>In light of this might this be a better translation:
>>>However the woman (she) will be preserved through the bearing of children,
>>>if they (the children) continue in faith and love and holiness with
>>>Help me out on this one please.
>>This is certainly a POSSIBLE way of understanding the passage,
>>particularly a passage involving a rather weird sequence of shifts in
>>theme and construction, but there's no necessary reason to derive TEKNA
>>from TEKNOGONIAS to be the subject of MEINWSIN. Furthermore, if TEKNA
>>were the subject of MEINWSIN, it theoretically ought to have a verb in
>>the singular, since it is a neuter plural (but this is an old rule which
>>is sometimes observed and sometimes not). Finally, it gives an extremely
>>awkward explanation of the salvation of a woman--that it depends on the
>>moral stature of her children. I would rather assume that the plural
>>MEINWSIN is accounted for (however awkward) by a shift from a GENERIC
>>singular to a CONCRETE plural: GUNH --> plural subject of MEINWSIN.
>>It's a most puzzling passage, anyway you look at it.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


From: Vincent DeCaen <decaen@epas.utoronto.ca>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 09:40:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: review Palmer 1995, III

> > simple example. what is an aorist? again, theory of TMA. the choice is
> > to do things the same old way, or to try to further our understanding
> > of Greek grammar. I simply assume the importance of Greek grammar: period.
> Thanks for taking the time to respond. I was afraid your reply would be
> something like this. Your above point 4. is exactly what I've been
> arguing, but my faculty seem skeptical. They keep pressing me to
> demonstrate exegetical payoff so my dissertation will be "a New Testament
> dissertation and not a linguistic one." I find this a bit frustrating. I
> think quite a bit of work (catch-up work, really) needs to be done in
> Greek grammar to lay a foundation for the truly interesting applications
> to exegetical questions. In part, interesting exegetical questions would
> arise precisely from a comprehensive grammar using current linguistic
> models. But that can hardly be done in a dissertation.
well, as you may know, the "new" new Right is gutting our wonderful
public university system in Canada in the name of freedom, or some such
nonsense. there's been a lot of talk about what universities are for,
and what research *is*. pure research is apparently off the agenda: it
has to have immediate payoff. the irony is that all the things
UofToronto is famous for were pure research projects with no immediate
payoff; the applications came later and were unexpected (I'm talking
about the breakthroughs in the "hard" sciences). no doubt that's how
it'll work with Greek linguistics too. and it's short-sighted to
demand the payoff up front.  sigh.

Vincent DeCaen		 	 	       decaen@epas.utoronto.ca

Near Eastern Studies,				   Religion & Culture,
University of Toronto		 	    Wilfrid Laurier University

If there is someone needy among your brothers within the city-gates of
your land that the Lord your god is giving to you, you shall not
harden your heart nor shall you tighten your fist against your needy
brother. Rather, open your hand and lend him whatever he has need of.
						        --Deut. 15:7-8


From: Ray Mattera <73067.2630@compuserve.com>
Date: 26 Nov 95 12:05:32 EST
Subject: Dative Direct Objects, Heb 1:6

I am trying to confirm some study I have been doing on dative direct 
objects in the NT. As I understand it, when grammarians speak of a 
transitive verb "with the dative" or "with the accusative," etc., they are 
saying that the transitive verb takes an accusative or dative direct 
object. For example, note these quotations from Robertson:

"With verbs in particular which were transitive the accusative was the 
obvious case to use unless there was some special reason to use some 
other. The other oblique cases with verbs (gen., abl., loc., instr., dat.) 
came to be used with one verb or the other rather than the accusative, 
because the idea of that verb and case coalesced in a sense." (p. 
"But we have (pp.330f.) observed that transitive verbs in Greek do not 
always have the accusative. The transitiveness may be as clearly 
expressed by a dative as with [akoloutheO]..." (p. 472; see also 

I think that when grammarians speak of _intransitive_ verbs with a 
particular Greek case, they are speaking of other nuances of meaning; 
e.g., in the case of the dative, the dative of advantage or disadvantage, etc.

In particular, I understand that proskyneO, when transitive, often takes 
a dative direct object. For instance, in Heb 1:6 I take the dative 
pronoun autO to be the direct object of the aorist imperative 

Texts at times even shift between dative and accusative direct objects 
with proskyneO. For example in John 4:23, I take the dative tO patri 
to be the direct object of proskynEsousin and the accusative auton to 
be the object of the participle tous proskynountas. Also in Rev 13:4, 8: 
kai prosekynEsan tO drakonti...kai prosekynEsan tO thriO. In v 4 
proskyneO occurs twice, in each instance taking a dative direct object. 
However, in v 8 proskyneO takes the accusative auton (autO in some 
ancient authorities).

There are many other instances where, as I understand it, proskyneO 
takes a dative direct object. To list a few that are similar to Heb 1:6 
(i.e., proskyneO with the dative autO as its direct object): Matt 2:2, 8, 
Matt 28:9, and John 9:38.

Could someone please comment on these points to clarify if I have 
misunderstood this matter.

Ray Mattera


From: Carlton Winbery <winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 18:49:00 +0400
Subject: AGAPAW

 Paul Watkins wrote:

> What are the implications of the first aorist active indicative of
> AGAPAW as used in John 3:16? How does this function toward TON KOSMON?
Carl Conrad wrote
>As for 1 John 2:15, I don't think the sense of KOSMOS has quite the same
>sense there. In Jn 3:16 it is TON KOSMON, and the reference appears to be
>to "humanity" or "created humanity," as is often the case in John.
>However one also finds in John's gospel and elsewhere "this world,"
>hOUTOS hO KOSMOS, in the distinctive apocalyptic sense of hAUTH hH GENEA
>PONHRA KAI MOIXALIS, this world-age (OLAM HA-ZEH) as opposed to the
>world-age-to-come (OLAM HA-BA), humanity alienated from God and perverse.
>Finally, it is evident that 1 John 2:15 says nothing about whether God
>continues to love the world alienated from Him (Her?) as we suppose
>He/She does; it rather urges believers not to be enamored with the
>vanities of an evil age. To be sure the dualistic strain that runs
>through the gospel of John is present much more sharply in 1 John, and
>the dualism is much closer to the traditional apocalyptic dualism than
>what we most often find in the gospel. Nevertheless KOSMOS has in chapter
>17 of the gospel some of the same overtones as in 1 John 2:15.

With respect to what is signified by KOSMOS in the Gospel of John, 1:10 is
very interesting.  He was in the TWi KOSMWi, and the hO KOSMOS was made
through him, and hO KOSMOS knew (aor.) him not.  Obviously the word
signifies three different things in this one verse; humanity, creation, and
humanity apart from God.

Carlton Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College,
Pineville, La
fax 318 442 4996


From: Rod Rogers <rrogers@indy.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 22:14:11 -0500
Subject: [none]

Hi Jack,

How'd the holidays go? I had a nice time with the family. Hope you had a
safe trip.

I still have those Chi Writer manuals if you need them. Just let me know.

My mail program corrupted on me the other day. That is the reason I sent you
that test message. I down loaded a new version of Eudora from their www site
and installed it. It's a little different than the one I had. I'll probably
buy the Eudora Pro version some day.

I ran across something the other day that I hadn't thought of (imagine
that!). We were studying doulos "servant" in sunday school. When I looked it
up in my ...gulp ...analytical it showed it as an adjective. I thought it
was a noun, so I looked it up in Machen and there it was  "o doulos". I know
that adjectives can be used substantivally, but it seems strange that doulos
is listed as an adjective but never used adjectivally. I wonder if it's just
because some words are used in all three genders that they are listed
catagorically as adjectives. What do you think? 



From: Kenneth Litwak <kenneth@sybase.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 19:30:47 +0800
Subject: Mark 7:24:  form of dunamai 

    I'm having difficulty deciding upon the proper reading of Mark
7:24 in regard to the original form of dunamai.  These both appear to be
Aorist passvies, but realistically, one would expect a verb to only have
one form of its AOrist passive.  Q quick check of oen  one of my lexicons left me    
unillunminated about which it shold be.  Can anyone help me out here?  
Was spelling that free-form that either hdunasqa or hdunhqh are equally
probably in that respect?  Thanks.

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA


From: Rod Decker <rdecker@inf.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 22:33:52 -0600
Subject: Re: review Palmer 1995 

In light of the recent discussion of Micheal's book, I thought that a
review of it that I wrote last spring might be of interest. It was
originally written for a seminary audience, so it does address the question
of exegetical relevance that was raised here (by Phil, I think). It will be
obvious that I do not write from the same level of technical linguistic
specialty that Vincent manifests.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Review of:

Palmer, Micheal W. Levels of Constituent Structure in New Testament Greek.
Studies in Biblical Greek 4. New York: Lang, 1995. 145 pages.

Rodney J. Decker, Calvary Theological Seminary, Kansas City

Levels of Constituent Structure (hereafter LCS) is the published revision
of Palmer's dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
(Louisville) in 1990. Dr. Palmer is assistant professor of religion and
philosophy at Bluefield College. During the 1994-95 academic year he was on
leave at the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Mellon  Research
=46ellow in Greek Linguistics. This reflects one of his areas of specialty:
linguistics. Also to be noted is the fact that he is a member of the
revision committee of BDF's grammar.

Due to the specialized nature of the book (it is not a standard grammar),
it will be helpful first to survey the contents briefly. The purpose of the
book is clearly stated: to demonstrate that there must be a linguistic
level in the constituent structure of Hellenistic Greek that lies between
the level of the individual word and the phrase. Apart from the brief
introduction and conclusion, the book consists of four chapters (=3D chs.
2-5) that systematically develop this thesis. (The dissertation structure
is evident in this development.)

The first chapter contains the survey of literature: a summary of the
traditional methods of handling the structure of Greek as reflected in the
grammars. This shows clearly the predominance of word-level analysis in
most of the published works. With the advent of structural linguistics in
the mid-twentieth century this analysis was expanded to a two-level
structure by including the phrase.{1}

The third chapter presents the methodology that Palmer will use. This draws
heavily from generative grammar and phrase-structure grammar, particularly
the 1977 work of Jackendoff in X' syntax (pronounced "x-bar syntax" [it is
normally written as an X with an overbar, but ASCII format doesn't allow
that--sorry! I've used Vincent's convention here]). The test corpus to
which the proposal is applied is Luke-Acts and the "least-disputed Pauline
epistles" (Rom., 1 & 2 Cor., Gal., 1 Thess.). Validity tests used in this
material are the standard ones in structural linguistics, including
distribution, pronominalization, etc.

The fourth chapter is foundational for the fifth in that it employs the
methodology established to word and phrase level constituents. This is not
new material but has been known (word level) or assumed (phrase level) in
previous work. The contribution of the chapter is to place earlier
discussion into a linguistic context (in the case of word level analysis)
and to provide an empirical justification for the phrase structures that
have been assumed in previous work, but never demonstrated on a rigorous
linguistic level. The chapter also serves to introduce the technical
terminology needed for the subsequent chapter.

The final major chapter argues that the two levels discussed in chapter 4
are not adequate to account for all the linguistic phenomena observable in
the NT. This is the crux of LCS: demonstrating the need for a constituent
structure level between that of the word and the full phrase. The aspects
of syntax that Palmer uses to demonstrate this need are "The placement of
complements and adjuncts in Noun Phrases and word order restrictions on the
article and on the demonstratives OUTOS and EKEINOS (57). The name proposed
for this intermediate level is N' (pronounced "n-bar"), which is a "reduced
noun phrase."

Upon completing a careful reading of the main chapters I tried to determine
the exegetical value of Palmer's thesis. How does this intermediate
constituent level known as N' affect the understanding or exegesis of the
NT? I finally concluded that although LCS provided a nice dissertation
topic in abstract linguistic theory, there was no particular connection
between N' and real world exegesis. Having promised Micheal my observations
on the book after reading it, I decided that my first comment should be the
question of relevance. Before doing so, however, I read the conclusion and
found this statement: "The conclusion of this work that at least three
levels of syntactic categories are necessary for an adequate description of
New Testament Greek has little immediate application to problems of
exegesis" (82).

What then is the value of LCS? At the theoretical level the value lies in
the more explicit and objective description of structural relationships in
the language. Although the exegete will not likely be concerned to master
these principles, the matter is quite different for the technical
grammarian and linguist--particularly (as Palmer points out), for those
writing or revising a major reference grammar (a project with which he is

Is there value for the seminary classroom or the pastor's study? There is,
but not at the level of the book's primary thesis. There are two other
areas which are well served by LCS: an introduction to the interface
between linguistics and NT studies and as a helpful discussion of
phrase-level items. Since the book does not assume any familiarity with
linguistic theory, the deliberate progression of each cumulative linguistic
step is explained in such a way that the Greek student can understand and
follow the discussion. (The writing style of LCS is to be commended; it is
clearly written and for the most part manages to put technical discussion
into non-technical dress.) Although by itself it would not justify the cost
of the book, the discussion of the various NT grammars in chapter two is
very helpful in placing each in its appropriate theoretical framework and
showing how various theories of language have impacted subsequent
generations of grammars.

The second area of value is to be found in the discussion of word-level and
phrase-level constituents in chapter four. Although only foundational to
the main thesis of the book, this discussion nevertheless provides a very
helpful explanation as to how various constituents function together in a
structural relationship (i.e., in a sentence). This is especially true at
the phrase level. Palmer's introduction to tree diagrams allows a visual
representation of structural relationships that is clearer than traditional
grammatical diagrams (although unusual word order may reverse that judgment
in some instances).

Only two negatives will be noted. First, a glossary would have been very
helpful in light of the linguistic terminology involved. Second, I would
have expected more examples from the test corpus. There are only about a
half dozen references cited from each of the five NT books included, but
they are not all discussed. Given that the text is only 80 pages and that
this was originally a dissertation, one might expect more in that regard.
True, the primary thrust is theoretical and not exegetical. At that point
perhaps these few examples are considered adequate to substantiate the
proposed theory. It would, however, have considerably strengthened the
argument if additional data had been cited. (There is an enormous contrast
at this point with the first volume in the series: Porter's dissertation
[_Verbal Aspect..._] cites thousands of references [I estimate about 3,500]
and discusses hundreds in some detail.)

{1} Structural linguistics actually began with Saussure in the early 20th
century; his _Cours de linguistic g=E9n=E9ral--the fundamental text of
structuralism--was published in 1916.

Rodney J. Decker                      Calvary Theological Seminary
Asst. Prof./NT                                   15800 Calvary Rd.
rdecker@inf.net                        Kansas City, Missouri 64147


From: JClar100@aol.com
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 23:34:48 -0500
Subject: Romans 5:10 

The last part of Romans 5:10 reads:  "...SWQHSOMEQA

In context here it seems to be clear that Paul means
by "his life" Jesus' resurrected life.  This stands opposite
his death in verse 8 (APEQANEN).

My question, however, is:  Will we be saved <by> his life (instrumental)


will we be saved <in> his life (locative)?

The theological question this raises for me is:  Can one be saved
<by> his resurrection apart from one's sharing <in> his
resurrection?  These are two distinct possibilities in my 


do they simply merge into one concept
which cannot be separated?

Any thoughts you might have will perhaps help 
clear this up for me.

James Clardy


End of b-greek-digest V1 #17


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