Idiomatic Use of εστιν?

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
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rail
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Idiomatic Use of εστιν?

Post by rail » July 11th, 2017, 3:34 pm

Duff's Greek textbook has the following phrase:

γαρ εστιν υμων ο διδασκαλος

Τhe above phrase is translated by Duff as follows:

"for you have one teacher"

Since this phrase is about "having" a teacher, shouldn't a derivative of εχω be used, instead of εστιν? Ιs εστιν sometimes used idiomatically to indicate possession instead of being?

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Idiomatic Use of εστιν?

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 11th, 2017, 8:20 pm

The phrase appears to be taken from Matthew 23:8 and it is missing the first word.
Matt 23:8 wrote:Ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε ῥαββί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.
As for the translation, it is not appear that Duff is being word-for-word literal, but what's the deep difference between, e.g., "the book is yours" and "you have a book"? Many languages without a verb for "have" use an expression with "be" like the former example.

PS. Yes, in Greek ἐστιν can be used to indicate possession, sometimes with the dative, sometimes with the genitive.

PPS: The "have" in "you have one teacher" doesn't express possession either.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Idiomatic Use of εστιν?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 14th, 2017, 3:48 pm

It's also possible to take ὑμῶν here as an objective genitive with διδάσκολος.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Robert Emil Berge
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Re: Idiomatic Use of εστιν?

Post by Robert Emil Berge » July 14th, 2017, 6:27 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
July 14th, 2017, 3:48 pm
It's also possible to take ὑμῶν here as an objective genitive with διδάσκολος.
That's what I thought too, if that gives "your teacher". The most litetal translation would then be: "for your teacher is one". No "have" involved. That would need a dative I think, and then the definite article would be problematic.

Another possibility is to take ὑμῶν as a partitive genitive with εἷς, "the teacher is one of you", but I think the first interpretation fits the context better.

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