2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Stephen Hughes
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2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 1st, 2015, 11:22 am

This is a question about a grammatical feature that occurs in both these two passages.

It arose after looking into the point that came up while preparing Xen. Oec. 4. when Socrates talking about the effects of working in an indoor job is portrayed as saying;
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται.
Even the souls (of those artisans who work indoors) are becoming much weaker than the(ir) bodies which are becoming womanly (soft).
For an explanation by way of syntax, I prefer to take the genitive in the first part of the phrase as following the comparative -ότερος. That seems more cohesive than taking it as a genitive absolute which is fairly un-attached to what follows it. In another way, this passage is a little similar to 1 Corinthians 1:25 Ὅτι τὸ μωρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ σοφώτερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν, καὶ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν.

Here are the New Testament verses with a roughly parallel construction:
2 Corinthians 8:22 wrote:Συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ αὐτοῖς τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν, ὃν ἐδοκιμάσαμεν ἐν πολλοῖς πολλάκις σπουδαῖον ὄντα, νυνὶ δὲ πολὺ σπουδαιότερον, πεποιθήσει πολλῇ τῇ εἰς ὑμᾶς.
"Very earnestly now, more than before." "Earnestly now, a lot more than before". It is difficult to express the difference nuance in English for the Xenophon quote.
1 Peter 1:7 Byz 2005 wrote:ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως πολὺ τιμιώτερον χρυσίου τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου,
1 Peter 1:7 Byz NAUBS wrote:ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως πολυτιμότερον χρυσίου τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου,
Here, the different spellings suggest different interpretations of this issue. πολὺ τιμιώτερον putting the πολὺ with the -ότερον - like πολὺ μᾶλλον (LSJ πολύς III.2), while πολυτιμότερον puts πολυ with τιμ- first, and adds the comparative element later.

In classical usage, there are some examples of where πολύ is added to an adjective to give it more force. σφόδρα and ἰσχυρῶς are also used with adjectives, but I can't find Smyth's discussion of that.

My question is whether in either or both of these cases (and in Greek in general), the πολὺ strengthens the semantic (meaning) element of the adjective or the grammatical element (-ότερον) of the comparative?
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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by cwconrad » January 2nd, 2015, 10:35 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:This is a question about a grammatical feature that occurs in both these two passages.

It arose after looking into the point that came up while preparing Xen. Oec. 4. when Socrates talking about the effects of working in an indoor job is portrayed as saying;
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται.
Even the souls (of those artisans who work indoors) are becoming much weaker than the(ir) bodies which are becoming womanly (soft).For an explanation by way of syntax, I prefer to take the genitive in the first part of the phrase as following the comparative -ότερος. That seems more cohesive than taking it as a genitive absolute which is fairly un-attached to what follows it.
For my part, I'm more inclined to seeing τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων as a genitive absolute and understanding the whole as "As bodies weaken, souls too get much flimsier."
Stephen Hughes wrote:In another way, this passage is a little similar to 1 Corinthians 1:25 Ὅτι τὸ μωρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ σοφώτερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν, καὶ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν.

Here are the New Testament verses with a roughly parallel construction:
2 Corinthians 8:22 wrote:Συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ αὐτοῖς τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν, ὃν ἐδοκιμάσαμεν ἐν πολλοῖς πολλάκις σπουδαῖον ὄντα, νυνὶ δὲ πολὺ σπουδαιότερον, πεποιθήσει πολλῇ τῇ εἰς ὑμᾶς.
"Very earnestly now, more than before." "Earnestly now, a lot more than before". It is difficult to express the difference nuance in English for the Xenophon quote.
1 Peter 1:7 Byz 2005 wrote:ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως πολὺ τιμιώτερον χρυσίου τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου,
1 Peter 1:7 Byz NAUBS wrote:ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως πολυτιμότερον χρυσίου τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου,
Here, the different spellings suggest different interpretations of this issue. πολὺ τιμιώτερον putting the πολὺ with the -ότερον - like πολὺ μᾶλλον (LSJ πολύς III.2), while πολυτιμότερον puts πολυ with τιμ- first, and adds the comparative element later.

In classical usage, there are some examples of where πολύ is added to an adjective to give it more force. σφόδρα and ἰσχυρῶς are also used with adjectives, but I can't find Smyth's discussion of that.

My question is whether in either or both of these cases (and in Greek in general), the πολὺ strengthens the semantic (meaning) element of the adjective or the grammatical element (-ότερον) of the comparative?
This is not a scientific judgment, but my inclination is to think that πολὺ or πολλῷ does intensify the comparative force of the comparative adjective: "far more precious" or "more precious by far"; on the other hand, I think that πολυ- in πολυτιμότερον doesn't really add much: if πολυτίμος means "very costly" or"expensive", πολυτιμότερος means "more expensive". I think this is an instance of adjectives or prefixes of value losing their intensive force from overuse; that's something that happens in English, and I have seen instances elsewhere in Greek where the same process seems in play. If "much better" doesn't seem strong enough, we'll try "much more better"; Shakespeare himself speaks of "the most unkindest cut" and Dickens of the "far far better thing I do than I have ever done before."
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ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 3rd, 2015, 10:26 am

cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:This is a question about a grammatical feature that occurs in both these two passages.

It arose after looking into the point that came up while preparing Xen. Oec. 4. when Socrates talking about the effects of working in an indoor job is portrayed as saying;
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται.
Even the souls (of those artisans who work indoors) are becoming much weaker than the(ir) bodies which are becoming womanly (soft).For an explanation by way of syntax, I prefer to take the genitive in the first part of the phrase as following the comparative -ότερος. That seems more cohesive than taking it as a genitive absolute which is fairly un-attached to what follows it.
For my part, I'm more inclined to seeing τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων as a genitive absolute and understanding the whole as "As bodies weaken, souls too get much flimsier."
I'll reconsider that then. My thinking is that in English we are accustomed to the periphrasis ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται, become weaker, but Greek has the ability to say ἀρρωστεῖν, become more sickly, in just a word. So, by using the periphrasis with the comparative, the genitive phrase was meant as the thing compared to, rather than time itself - the shadow of their former selves, being the implied comparison, or perhaps compared to the bodies of free citizens who did not engage in such domestic / womanly pursuits.
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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by cwconrad » January 3rd, 2015, 11:13 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:This is a question about a grammatical feature that occurs in both these two passages.

It arose after looking into the point that came up while preparing Xen. Oec. 4. when Socrates talking about the effects of working in an indoor job is portrayed as saying;
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται.
Even the souls (of those artisans who work indoors) are becoming much weaker than the(ir) bodies which are becoming womanly (soft).For an explanation by way of syntax, I prefer to take the genitive in the first part of the phrase as following the comparative -ότερος. That seems more cohesive than taking it as a genitive absolute which is fairly un-attached to what follows it.
cwconrad wrote:For my part, I'm more inclined to seeing τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων as a genitive absolute and understanding the whole as "As bodies weaken, souls too get much flimsier."
Stephen Hughes wrote:I'll reconsider that then. My thinking is that in English we are accustomed to the periphrasis ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται, become weaker, but Greek has the ability to say ἀρρωστεῖν, become more sickly, in just a word. So, by using the periphrasis with the comparative, the genitive phrase was meant as the thing compared to, rather than time itself - the shadow of their former selves, being the implied comparison, or perhaps compared to the bodies of free citizens who did not engage in such domestic / womanly pursuits.
A matter of judgment perhaps; I'm not sure how weighty this is, but the placement of τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων seems to me to make it awkward as a genitive of comparison.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 3rd, 2015, 8:59 pm

cwconrad wrote:This is not a scientific judgment, but my inclination is to think that πολὺ or πολλῷ does intensify the comparative force of the comparative adjective: "far more precious" or "more precious by far";
That is the view of LSJ too.
LSJ πολύς III.2.a wrote:2. πολύ is freq. joined with Adjs. and Advbs.,
a. with a Comp. to increase its comp. force, πολὺ μεῖζον, πολλὸν παυρότεροι, Il.1.167, Od.14.17; πολὺ μᾶλλον much more, Il.9.700; πολύ τι μᾶλλον f.l. in D.H. Comp.4 (p.22 U.-R.): with words, esp. Preps., between πολύ and its Adj., π. ἐν πλέονι, π. ἐπὶ δεινοτέρῳ, Th.1.35, Pl.R.589e; “πολὺ ἔτι ἐκ λαμπροτέρων” Id.Phd.110c; “π. σὺν φρονήματι μείζονι” X.An.3.1.22, cf.3.2.30, Smp.1.4 (but the Prep. freq. comes first, “ἐκ π. ἐλάττονος” And.1.109, etc.); so πολλῷ is freq. used with the Comp., by far, A.Pr.337, Hdt. 1.134, etc.; “π. μᾶλλον” S.OT1159, Pl.Phd.80e; οὐ πολλῷ τεῳ ἀσθενέστερον not a great deal weaker, Hdt.1.181, cf. 2.48,67, etc.: πολύ with all words implying comparison, πολὺ πρίν much sooner, Il.9.250; “π. πρό” 4.373: with the comp. Verb “φθάνω, ἦ κε πολὺ φθαίη” 13.815; so πολὺ προβέβηκας ἁπάντων, πολὺ προμάχεσθαι ἁπάντων, 6.125, 11.217; “προὔλαβε πολλῷ” Th.7.80: with βούλομαι, = prefer, “ἡμῖν πολὺ βούλεται ἢ Δαναοῖσι νίκην” Il.17.331, cf. Od.17.404; πολύ γε in answers, after a Comp. or Sup., ἀργὸς . . γενήσεται μᾶλλον; Answ. “πολύ γε” Pl.R.421d, cf. 387e, etc.
Seemingly much more rarely with the positive, as I discussed a bit in listing alternatives in the head post.
LSJ πολύς III.2.c wrote:c. with a Positive, to add force to the Adj., “ὦ πολλὰ μὲν τάλαινα, πολλὰ δ᾽ αὖ σοφή” A.Ag.1295; also “ἐς πόλλ᾽ ἀθλία πέφυκ᾽ ἐγώ” E.Ph.619 (troch.); “πολὺ ἀφόρητος” Luc.DMeretr. 9.3; cf. πλεῖστος.
I don't know how much can be made about the extent of the usage of πολὺ from a lexical entry written to describe it succinctly, but it seems that πολὺ is more likely used with the grammatical part of the comparative, rather than the meaning part.

[In fact the question behind the question behind the question is my wondering how syntacttically similar the Greek word πολὺ is to English word "very", but that is a much broader discussion than just this aspect of it.]
cwconrad wrote:on the other hand, I think that πολυ- in πολυτιμότερον doesn't really add much: if πολυτίμος means "very costly" or"expensive", πολυτιμότερος means "more expensive". I think this is an instance of adjectives or prefixes of value losing their intensive force from overuse; that's something that happens in English, and I have seen instances elsewhere in Greek where the same process seems in play. If "much better" doesn't seem strong enough, we'll try "much more better"; Shakespeare himself speaks of "the most unkindest cut" and Dickens of the "far far better thing I do than I have ever done before."
On that, and without adding a comment of my own, we could compare the textual variants here:
1 Timothy 1:17 (Byz) wrote:ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ, σπουδαιότερον ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν —
1 Timothy 1:17 (NAUBS) wrote:ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ, σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν —
cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:This is a question about a grammatical feature that occurs in both these two passages.

It arose after looking into the point that came up while preparing Xen. Oec. 4. when Socrates talking about the effects of working in an indoor job is portrayed as saying;
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται.
Even the souls (of those artisans who work indoors) are becoming much weaker than the(ir) bodies which are becoming womanly (soft).For an explanation by way of syntax, I prefer to take the genitive in the first part of the phrase as following the comparative -ότερος. That seems more cohesive than taking it as a genitive absolute which is fairly un-attached to what follows it.
cwconrad wrote:For my part, I'm more inclined to seeing τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων as a genitive absolute and understanding the whole as "As bodies weaken, souls too get much flimsier."
Stephen Hughes wrote:I'll reconsider that then. My thinking is that in English we are accustomed to the periphrasis ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται, become weaker, but Greek has the ability to say ἀρρωστεῖν, become more sickly, in just a word. So, by using the periphrasis with the comparative, the genitive phrase was meant as the thing compared to, rather than time itself - the shadow of their former selves, being the implied comparison, or perhaps compared to the bodies of free citizens who did not engage in such domestic / womanly pursuits.
A matter of judgment perhaps; I'm not sure how weighty this is, but the placement of τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων seems to me to make it awkward as a genitive of comparison.
I agree that the placement of the genitive in front seems like a genitive absolute, but then there is the issue of connectedness. It is about as connected as Acts 5:15 ἵνα ἐρχομένου Πέτρου κἂν ἡ σκιὰ ἐπισκιάσῃ τινὶ αὐτῶν., which 6-of-one,-and-half-a-dozen-of-the-other grammatically the ἂν ἡ σκιὰ (Πέτρου ἐρχομένου) ἐπισκιάσῃ τινὶ αὐτῶν, and the difference is the addition of the καί in the same place in the syntax there. τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται.

On the other hand, there is the phrase καὶ ὑψηλότερος τῶν οὐρανῶν γενόμενος in Hebrews 7:26 Τοιοῦτος γὰρ ἡμῖν ἔπρεπεν ἀρχιερεύς, ὅσιος, ἄκακος, ἀμίαντος, κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν, καὶ ὑψηλότερος τῶν οὐρανῶν γενόμενος·, which adjective doesn't have a corresponding verb in either LSJ or Triantafyllides.

On the other other hand, the English idiom does seem to prefer the construction comparative + become, while the Greek prefers to use the verb that expresses the idea, cf.
John 3:30 wrote:Ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν, ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι.
He must become greater, and I must become less.
Either way, I don't think it's something worth dwelling on as one reads, and there will be no use raising so much fuss and bother about it as there is here in this discussion when I post the section in the Xenophon extensive reading thread.
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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 10th, 2015, 4:07 am

Some further discussion has been given at
Xenophon, Oeconomicus, Chapter 4 wrote:Hints:
...
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται. - as their bodies grow soft, and even more so, their souls grow weak. Greek does not use the periphrastic construction "become (weak)-er", it uses a single verb, or the positive "become weak" (with the γίγνονται itself supplying the time-based comparison that we take from the comparative "weaker" in English) . The genitive here could be absolute, but in that case τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ ἄρρωσται γίγνονται. would suffice. Adding the comparative -ότεραι (which syntactically takes a genitive of what it is compared to) wouldn't affect the fact that the softening of the bodies does occur. The addition of the adverbial πολύ makes the comparison even greater. [An extended discussion on this point is available in the thread 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον]
θηλυνομένων - become womanly, become soft
πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι - the adverb intensifies the comparative force. cf.LSJ πολύς III.2.c.
ἄρρωστος - weak, without strength, sick(ly)
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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by cwconrad » January 10th, 2015, 8:57 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Some further discussion has been given at
Xenophon, Oeconomicus, Chapter 4 wrote:Hints:
...
τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι γίγνονται. - as their bodies grow soft, and even more so, their souls grow weak. Greek does not use the periphrastic construction "become (weak)-er", it uses a single verb, or the positive "become weak" (with the γίγνονται itself supplying the time-based comparison that we take from the comparative "weaker" in English) . The genitive here could be absolute, but in that case τῶν δὲ σωμάτων θηλυνομένων καὶ αἱ ψυχαὶ ἄρρωσται γίγνονται. would suffice. Adding the comparative -ότεραι (which syntactically takes a genitive of what it is compared to) wouldn't affect the fact that the softening of the bodies does occur. The addition of the adverbial πολύ makes the comparison even greater. [An extended discussion on this point is available in the thread 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον]
θηλυνομένων - become womanly, become soft
πολὺ ἀρρωστότεραι - the adverb intensifies the comparative force. cf.LSJ πολύς III.2.c.
ἄρρωστος - weak, without strength, sick(ly)
I'm afraid that I don't understand this, and I'm not sure that I could explain it even to a twelve-year-old grandson. First of all, I don't see where "and even more so" comes from. Seems to me that you later explain πολῦ as construing with ἀρρωστότεραι, whereas here you seem to be construing it with the preceding participial clause. Moreover, you're Englishing that participial clause as if understanding it as a genitive absolute construction, but later in the paragraph you suggest that's not so. Another item yet: I'm not convinced that Greek usage prefers the single verb to the periphrastic construction, and I sometimes wonder whether we're tempted to feel, "if this construction seems closer to English, it must be wrong." I'm missing something here. I still prefer to understand the whole as "As the bodies soften, so too the souls get much weaker."
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ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 10th, 2015, 4:01 pm

Try is explaining it to him in these ways:

Part 1
Basic activity:
Preparation: Write the words "ἀγαθός" and "κακός" on two cards. Stand in a space wide enough to extend your arms out.
(1) Hold the "good" card in the right hand and the "bad" card in the left.
(2) Start with both hands at the sternum.
(3) Move the left hand out saying γένεται κακός 5 or 6 times from the time the hand leaves the sternum till it reaches its fullest extent.
(4) Repeat with the right hand.
(6) Ask these questions:
(a) (With the hand at a number of different extensions) "Is it good here?" Give examples of things that would define a good person that are appropriate to the extent of the extension.
(b) "Ask a nonsense question like, "Is it good here?", when it is not on the scale.

Extension activity:
Do the action ans ask what happens if you stand too near a wall? (The desired response is that you tried your best in a given situation, to move out, but couldn't, but the the idea of wanting to go further was still there) Do the action for what happens when you try to extend further when you are already fully extended? (The desired response / realisation is that you yourself are physically limited even if you want to do better).

Part 2
Preparation:
Now move to the table and take a sheet of paper, cut it in half lengthways. Place the halves together to create a long strip, but don't adhere them one to the other. Draw two diagonal lines pointing outwards (upwards - like the volume bars on some stereos), one on each half. Write "good" on the right-hand one and "bad" on the left-hand one. Take two cards, fold them in half to make two tall triangles. Draw faces, people or write names (Nominative on the inside and genitive on the outside) on them to distinguish them. Write the word "-τερος" on a third card.

Basic activity:
(1) Place the "-τερος" card at some convenient place on the right-hand scale, not too close to the extremity. Remove your hands fully away and don't touch it, allow sufficient time for your grandson to realise he is looking at a static scene.
(2) Stand one of the cards (with the genitive showing) on the right-hand scale, straddling the "-τερος" card, and indicate it is fixed (if you have a toy dining-set it could be a chair).
(3) Stand the other card (with the nominative showing) further out from the centre than the one straddling the "-τερος", again let him have an impression of a static scene.
(4) Make sentences like Ἀνδρεας κρείττων Γαΐου ἐστίν or the like (according to how you prepared the cards).
(The point of the learning activity is to show that the "-τερος" is a point of static comparison, not a measure of movement.)

Extension activity 1 (positive for comparative):
(1) + (2) Repeat the above activities, except don't include the "-τερος" card. Perhaps point to the place that the car (showing the genitive) will stand or the doll will sit (on the floor).
(3) Basically the same just it further one is compared with the stationary one.
(4) Make sentences like Ἀνδρεας ἀγαθὸν Γαΐου ἐστίν (or the like)

Extension activity 2 (understanding Hebrews 7:26):
(1) Use only one of the cards (with the nominative showing) in your left hand
(2) Stand up and begin with it on your sternum
(2) March it out from the centre saying γένεται κακός (at least 5 or 6 distinct steps)
(3) Repeat the activity
(4) Move to the table and set the "-τερος" card at some reasonable place with the other card (showing the genitive) straddled over it
(5) Place the first card (that was just moving) at the centre of the paper
(6) Move it slowly and steadily (one step) with one γένεται κακός until it has passed the other card straddling the "-τερος" card and then stop, take your hands away and analyse the static situation
(7) Ask questions
(a) What moved?
(b) What was fixed? / What didn't move?
(The point of this activity is to show that "-τερος" can occasionally be used to show a measurement of movement (i.e. change).)

Idea to get across:
Adjectives are not absolute, but are a relative scale. The -τερος is the point that something else is measured by, not the direction of movement. The verb γένεται is regularly used with the positive grade of the adjective to show what something / somebody becomes. The verb ἐστίν is regularly used with the comparative, because something is measured by another (and things are usually fixed when analysed and measured).

That is my understanding of these things.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by cwconrad » January 11th, 2015, 7:45 am

Sorry to put you to so much trouble, Stephen. I did wonder about the recurrent form γένεται in your exposition, but my original questions had more to do with your English version and how that reflected the Greek original text. Enough already. ἐρρέτω.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: 2 Cor. 8:22 / 1Pt. 1:7 - πολὺ σπουδαιότερον / τιμιώτερον

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 11th, 2015, 7:26 pm

cwconrad wrote:I did wonder about the recurrent form γένεται in your exposition,
I'm sorry, γίνεται is of course what it should have been. My mind was overclocking on how to explain the grammar and I overlooked the most simple and obvious thing. My brain suffers from drafts when I'm absorbed in something for long enough that the sun goes down, so to speak, so my spelling is poor in any language.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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