Use of vocative (pater) in the Nicene Creed

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Murray Hogg
Posts: 12
Joined: September 21st, 2011, 3:15 pm

Use of vocative (pater) in the Nicene Creed

Post by Murray Hogg » October 30th, 2011, 5:03 pm

From the first line of the Nicene Creed:

pisteuomen en hena theon, pater pantokratora
Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα θεὸν, πατέρ παντοκράτορα

I would have expected accusative patera (πατέρα) here, but find a vocative instead.

I scoured my available grammars for some clue as to what might be happening here, but to no avail, so I was hoping somebody might please explain why this does not translate as a vocative, viz: "Oh, Father!"?

Thanks and regards,
Murray Hogg
Melbourne, Australia
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Murray Hogg
Melbourne, Australia

Murray Hogg
Posts: 12
Joined: September 21st, 2011, 3:15 pm

Re: Use of vocative (pater) in the Nicene Creed

Post by Murray Hogg » October 31st, 2011, 12:31 am

My apologies, folks.

I was so puzzled by this that I eventually went to one of the critical works on the creeds in the hope of finding an answer.

Turns out it was a typographical error in my copy of the creed and the term in question actually is an accusative!

Thanks anyway,
Murray Hogg
Melbourne, Australia.
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Murray Hogg
Melbourne, Australia

James Ernest
Posts: 41
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:26 pm

Re: Use of vocative (pater) in the Nicene Creed

Post by James Ernest » October 31st, 2011, 3:01 pm

Aha--or should I say just "Ah"--a new twist on the old alpha privative! ;-)
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James D. Ernest, PhD
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