Rev 19:7

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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Catherine Brown
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Catherine Brown » February 25th, 2014, 11:14 am

Lol I just realized something, when you gave your replies and spoke about the last word in that greek line, I wasn't actually refferring to that word but the 'αυτου' and how it cannot say 'his' because the closest antecedent is the neuter lamb :)
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 26th, 2014, 7:11 am

Catherine Brown wrote:Lol I just realized something, when you gave your replies and spoke about the last word in that greek line, I wasn't actually refferring to that word but the 'αυτου' and how it cannot say 'his' because the closest antecedent is the neuter lamb :)
Whether something is grammatically neuter in Greek or not does not determine necessarily what pronoun we end up using in English. English doesn't really have grammatical gender per se, but personal vs. impersonal nouns, personal pronouns referred to with actual gender, impersonal nouns not. Greek has personal nouns that are grammatically neuter, but in English are better referred to with gender pronouns in English.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 27th, 2014, 10:12 am

English speakers are surprised by the arbitrary gender of nouns in so many languages. I always liked Mark Twain's description of this in The Awful German Language, it could easily be adapted to make the same point for Greek.
Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print -- I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books:

"Gretchen.
Wilhelm, where is the turnip?
Wilhelm.
She has gone to the kitchen.
Gretchen.
Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?
Wilhelm.
It has gone to the opera."

To continue with the German genders: a tree is male, its buds are female, its leaves are neuter; horses are sexless, dogs are male, cats are female -- tomcats included, of course; a person's mouth, neck, bosom, elbows, fingers, nails, feet, and body are of the male sex, and his head is male or neuter according to the word selected to signify it, and not according to the sex of the individual who wears it -- for in Germany all the women either male heads or sexless ones; a person's nose, lips, shoulders, breast, hands, and toes are of the female sex; and his hair, ears, eyes, chin, legs, knees, heart, and conscience haven't any sex at all. The inventor of the language probably got what he knew about a conscience from hearsay.

Now, by the above dissection, the reader will see that in Germany a man may think he is a man, but when he comes to look into the matter closely, he is bound to have his doubts; he finds that in sober truth he is a most ridiculous mixture; and if he ends by trying to comfort himself with the thought that he can at least depend on a third of this mess as being manly and masculine, the humiliating second thought will quickly remind him that in this respect he is no better off than any woman or cow in the land.

In the German it is true that by some oversight of the inventor of the language, a Woman is a female; but a Wife (Weib) is not -- which is unfortunate. A Wife, here, has no sex; she is neuter; so, according to the grammar, a fish is he, his scales are she, but a fishwife is neither.
The upshot: don't read meaning into the gender of a noun.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Shirley Rollinson » February 28th, 2014, 2:23 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:English speakers are surprised by the arbitrary gender of nouns in so many languages.
- - -snip snip - - -
To continue with the German genders: a tree is male, its buds are female, its leaves are neuter; horses are sexless, dogs are male, cats are female -- tomcats included, of course; a person's mouth, neck, bosom, elbows, fingers, nails, feet, and body are of the male sex, and his head is male or neuter according to the word selected to signify it, and not according to the sex of the individual who wears it -- for in Germany all the women either male heads or sexless ones; a person's nose, lips, shoulders, breast, hands, and toes are of the female sex; and his hair, ears, eyes, chin, legs, knees, heart, and conscience haven't any sex at all. The inventor of the language probably got what he knew about a conscience from hearsay.
.
The upshot: don't read meaning into the gender of a noun.[/quote]

But it's not completely arbitrary - as in Greek, the diminutives are Neuter - hence das Fraulein.
BTW - a tomcat is masculine - der Kater

mit freundlichen Gruessen
Shirley R.
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Catherine Brown
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Catherine Brown » March 1st, 2014, 2:29 pm

Ok, so if I'm not to look at the genders of the word, then how do I know if this lamb is Jesus or not. Where is the piece of scripture that states the revelation lamb is him and not one of his followers whom he calls his lambs? Was jesus a man or a woman?You cant answer that without using the genders. If he was a woman, then how can he be god, since god is always spoken of as a 'he' or 'him' or 'his'? And if he is a she then he must have a husband of a city rather than a wife of a city, otherwise you've got major problems. How do you know who is he and who is she?

This is what I am not getting. I can't use genders of words and so i am left having to accept the majority understanding, which is clearly wrong if i am to take the bible seriously. Greek or no greek.

...and another thing, if I am to ignore the genders of words when translating into english, why is it, that when a city is spoken of, it is most always spoken of as a she? Cities have no gender in english, whats the deal guys. Is it just ignore the gender when it suits?
Last edited by Catherine Brown on March 1st, 2014, 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 1st, 2014, 2:44 pm

Catherine Brown wrote:This is what I am not getting. I can't use genders of words and so i am left having to accept the majority understanding, which is clearly wrong if i am to take the bible seriously. Greek or no greek.
You can't have deep insights into the original language without first learning the language. Until your Greek is as good as that of the translators, you probably are safer trusting their judgement. In general, translations are good. They know, for instance, how gender works in Greek.

I'd start by working through a first year Greek grammar, or finding another way to get equivalent understanding.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Catherine Brown
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Catherine Brown » March 1st, 2014, 3:16 pm

Thanks Jonathon,

My understanding of greek is that the article has to match the case of the noun it is referring to and my understanding of translations is, if something says 'it', it should remain so, if it says 'he' it should remain so and if it says 'she' it should remain so.
I dont believe anything in any language should be translated to fit someones understanding of what is being said because where is their measuring stick which they use. Otherwise we are deciding the story as we go when we don't even know if we have the full story or not.

My understanding of the entire bible, apocrypha and the deceit added to it, tells me that this lambkin in revelation is female and is the woman travailing and is Elijah. Just the same way that when jews are spoken of in the gospels, it means someone from the tribe of Judah as thats what the greek word means....but everyone else thinks that this means all Israelites and hence the persecutions.

If it is translated as an 'it' without the assumption that 'it' is jesus and a male, then it can fit all understandings and not just the understanding of a translator :)
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 1st, 2014, 3:49 pm

Catherine Brown wrote:Thanks Jonathon,

My understanding of greek is that the article has to match the case of the noun it is referring to and my understanding of translations is, if something says 'it', it should remain so, if it says 'he' it should remain so and if it says 'she' it should remain so.
I dont believe anything in any language should be translated to fit someones understanding of what is being said because where is their measuring stick which they use. Otherwise we are deciding the story as we go when we don't even know if we have the full story or not.

My understanding of the entire bible, apocrypha and the deceit added to it, tells me that this lambkin in revelation is female and is the woman travailing and is Elijah. Just the same way that when jews are spoken of in the gospels, it means someone from the tribe of Judah as thats what the greek word means....but everyone else thinks that this means all Israelites and hence the persecutions.

If it is translated as an 'it' without the assumption that 'it' is jesus and a male, then it can fit all understandings and not just the understanding of a translator :)
What you are doing, Catherine, is imposing your theological understanding on the text regardless of what the text says, and you are parading your ignorance of Greek grammar as though it were knowledge. There is already one moderator on this list who favors removing you until you've actually studied the language, and this response tempts me to join him. If I had similar questions based on Sahidic Coptic (and I've completed exactly 4 chapters of a beginning grammar) and found that people who have studied the language for many years disagreed with me, my inclination would be to go back and study more, not continue arguing. I think you need carefully to consider why you are here. We are glad to help you with your studies and answer questions appropriate to that. We are not nearly so sanguine about giving you a forum to present your theological idiosyncrasies.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Rev 19:7

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 1st, 2014, 3:50 pm

Catherine Brown wrote:My understanding of greek is that the article has to match the case of the noun it is referring to and my understanding of translations is, if something says 'it', it should remain so, if it says 'he' it should remain so and if it says 'she' it should remain so.
If you think the gender of nouns in Greek corresponds to personal gender, you simply don't understand the language.
Catherine Brown wrote:I don't believe anything in any language should be translated to fit someones understanding of what is being said because where is their measuring stick which they use. Otherwise we are deciding the story as we go when we don't even know if we have the full story or not.

My understanding of the entire bible, apocrypha and the deceit added to it, tells me that this lambkin in revelation ...
B-Greek is not about translations or theologies, it is about Greek. So if your interest is in the Greek language, and you want help learning it, you've found the right place, and the Beginner's Forum is the place for you.

But B-Greek is definitely not the place to discuss your "understanding of the entire bible, apocrypha and the deceit added to it". We just don't go there.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Stephen Hughes
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Understanding Ἰουδαῖος.

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 1st, 2014, 10:55 pm

Catherine Brown wrote:Just the same way that when jews are spoken of in the gospels, it means someone from the tribe of Judah as thats what the greek word means
Please have a look at the thread about understanding Ἰουδαῖος.
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(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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