b-greek-digest V1 #87

b-greek-digest            Tuesday, 23 January 1996      Volume 01 : Number 087

In this issue:

        re:  Grammatical meaning 
        Re: Homeric Greek Question
        Re: Identifying grammatical meaning of cases
        Grammatical Meaning


From: Carlton Winbery <winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 19:07:49 +0400
Subject: re:  Grammatical meaning 

I would like to add further to my response to Alan Brehm's fine post.  The
statement about Porter, "Porter on the one hand, and A. T. Robertson or
Brooks and Winbery on the other hand, is that BDF and Porter separate the
functions of nouns with the preposition from those functions that relate
primarily to the case of the noun, while ATR and B-W incorporate the two
into one system (although ATR also treats the prepositions separately)."
James Brooks and I did deal with the case of nouns and the prepositions
together.  We then included a complete of proper prepositions and improper
prepositions with references to the categories with which they were used
and the pages of the examples.  Only in limited areas did we have to have
categories that involved only the use of prepositions with nouns (the
ablative [genitive], pp. 27-30 and the accusative, pp. 59-63).  In all
other categories we found the same function both with and without the
preposition.  For the ablative (genitive) of agency.  The substantive in
the second inflected form indicates the agent of action indicated by an
adjective or participle or verb that implies passive action.  eg. w/out a
prep.  Rom. 1:7 AGAPHTOIS QEOU "beloved by God" and James 1:13 APO QEOU
PEIRAZOMAI "I am tempted by God."  The function is the same in both,

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College, Pineville, La


From: Rick Strelan <R.Strelan@mailbox.uq.oz.au>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 11:02:41 +1000
Subject: tenses 

Would anyone care to answer a basic question: why do verb tenses change so
easily in a narrative? For example (among many) in the parable of Matt
13:24-30, the servants and the master have a conversation which is
introduced by verbs in the aorist (eipon and ephe, vv27-28) but then the
conversation continues introduced by verbns of speaking in the present
tense (legousin and phesi), Is the present tense here meant to imply an
on-going or repeated conversation,a stance being taken?

I'd appreciate any comments.

Rick Strelan
University of Queensland


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 20:30:55 -0600
Subject: Re: Homeric Greek Question

At 3:23 PM 1/22/96, Timothy Tow wrote:
>        I'm posting this question to this list on the advice of a friend.
>I'm not on this mail list so please reply to me directly.
>        I was re-reading the Odyseey and the Iliad, and I recall reading
>from some literary source that the expression of '10 years' in Homeric
>Greek was a colloquialism for "a long period of time."
>        I asking this because if Homer's use of the expression '10 years'
>for the duration of siege of Troy is taken figuratively then his stories
>makes more sense chronologically then if it were taken literally.
>        Then the Trojan War and all of its assorted aftermath events may
>not have taken over 20 years after all. Should I take the '10 years'
>expression literally or figuratively.
>        Was '10 years' a common colloquialism for a "a long time" even in
>other Greek dialects?

I have never seen or heard anything like this. It is ironic for one not
overly inclined to be especially literal in interpreting the gospel to have
to insist the strong likelihood that ten years in Homer means nothing else
but ten years: ten years for the war and ten more years for the wanderings
of Odysseus. What a lady must fair Penelope have been! To be sure, more
Greeks and Trojans died for Helen's sake than did suitors for the sake of
Penelope, but when all is said and done, Penelope would have been worth
thousands of Helens--20 years of weaving and unweaving--a whole world wide
web's worth!

Sorry, I didn't mean to rant and rave, but the 20 years is underscored
repeatedly in the Odyssey.

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: "Edgar M. Krentz" <emkrentz@mcs.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 20:27:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Identifying grammatical meaning of cases

>    I've been prepping for my doctoral Greek exam, which includes
>questions like "What kind of genitive appears in the construction?",
>or so I'm told.  In reading through grammars I have, I'm confronted with
>multiple, disparrate systems of identification, and I'm unsure as to which
>one to use, i.e., which one is more likely to be recognized as
>"standard" or at least known to most NT scholars.  On the one hand,,
>there's a pretty minimalist set of choices discussed in Porter's Idiom
>book.  In the middle I think is Dana and Mantey, which I first leraned
>this stuff from, and then on the other end it seems, though I've only
>owned it about a day, is Brooks and Winbery which seems to mzke many fine
>distinctions about what a given case grammaticalizes.
>I'm certainly not ty
>rying to critique the latter.  I did after all buy it on purpose.
>Still, I don't know which of these systems or perhaps that of BDF or whoemever
>to use.  I'd hate to miss a question by referring to a dative of advantage
>if the
>examiner has never heard of that.
>Thanks in advance.

Don't worry, Ken. If your examiners are competent, they can deal with
variant terminology, whether you call a conditinal sentence a teykpe 1, a
determined- fulfilled, or a present simple condition. They will know more
than one set of grammatical terms, even though they will have their own

Come to think of it, why don't you simply ask your advisor or examining
committee whose terminology they prefer? And list the grammar you are
following in the exam itself.


By the way, there is no substitute for the large LSJ for the LXX, though
you can do a lot with the intermediate LS.


Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615
Tel.: 312-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105


From: "H A. Brehm" <102733.3234@compuserve.com>
Date: 22 Jan 96 22:06:09 EST
Subject: Grammatical Meaning

Regarding Carlton's replies to my post, I would like to make a couple of

1. I agree that you cannot really separate the functions of prepositions from
the functions of the cases, since there is so much overlap.  Nevertheless, I
find it helpful to my students to make it quite clear when I'm dealing with the
cases by themselves and when I'm dealing with a case form with a preposition [as
Brooks and Winbery certainly do in their text].

2. Of course BDF and others speak of a Dative of Advantage, referring to the use
of the case alone.  I was simply using the example that Ken mentioned in his

3. The preposition chart in Brooks and Winbery ALONE is worth the price of the
book!  I have augmented it and created a "cheat sheet" for my classes.

4. I find it helpful, even in my eight-case world, to preserve five-case
terminology.  When my students use BAGD, they need to know that "genitive" often
means "ablatival genitive."  Don't tell my colleagues at SWBTS--they might try
me for heresy for departing from ATR ;-).

BTW, Carlton, thanks for the insights on the writing process.  I got quite a
kick out of your line, "Jim must have picked that one"!

H. Alan Brehm
Assistant Prof. of NT
Southwestern Bapt. Theol. Sem.
P. O. Box 22458
Fort Worth, TX 76122
817-923-1921 ext. 6800
FAX 817-922-9005


End of b-greek-digest V1 #87


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