1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by jdhadwin » August 27th, 2015, 10:49 pm

Hi everyone,

What do you think about μου being Genitive in 1st Corinthians 14:14 and verse 19
ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν
~1st Corinthians 14:14
Should it be translated "understanding of me" or "my understanding".

An example of the difference might be illustrated by talking about "the understanding of mathematics." But no one would say, "the Mathematic's understanding" because Mathematics does not understand anything. The point I'm getting at is this: does this verse speak of self-understanding or does it speak of the understanding of others (edification).

And again, with verse 19
ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους διὰ τοῦ νοός μου λαλῆσαι ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ
~1st Corinthians 14:19
Exegetically, I'm voting that it means "the understanding of me", because if one did not have the understanding of the words emanating from one's own mouth, then one could not say that those words were edifying in verse 4...
ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ ὁ δὲ προφητεύων ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδομεῖ
~1st Corinthians 14:4
Thanks for the consideration,

~John
0 x



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

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 28th, 2015, 5:51 am

I suggest you do two things:
  • Look in a dictionary and see whether νοῦς means "understanding", as in the mental facility for understanding", "intellect", OR it means "understanding", as in "comprehension of input". [The English word "understand" has many meanings. Assume for a start that the Greek word means only one of them. Which one is it?]
  • Next, you may wish to look at Galatians 3:1 ὦ ἀγνόητοι Γαλάται as perhaps either "misunderstood Galatians" or as "lacking or not using the powers of understanding they have Galatians". Again, look in the dictionary to see if ἀγνόητος can have the meaning "misunderstood".[νοῦς and ἀγνόητος are cognates and this type of broad-stroke finding of general meaning is a profitable way to use cognates.]
The nominal unit you are considering actually has three words in it: ὁ ... νοῦς μου. Perhaps you should underline the ὁ too.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3728
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 28th, 2015, 11:17 am

jdhadwin wrote:What do you think about μου being Genitive in 1st Corinthians 14:14 and verse 19
ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν
~1st Corinthians 14:14
Should it be translated "understanding of me" or "my understanding".
We don't discuss translation here, but there's no real controversy on how to translate this.
jdhadwin wrote:An example of the difference might be illustrated by talking about "the understanding of mathematics." But no one would say, "the Mathematic's understanding" because Mathematics does not understand anything. The point I'm getting at is this: does this verse speak of self-understanding or does it speak of the understanding of others (edification).
ὁ νοῦς μου - whose understanding is it?

For what it's worth, the kinds of questions you are looking at are often well covered in the technical Greek commentaries from the late 1800s, or from Robertson's Word Pictures, a little later. Here's Robertson:
But my understanding is unfruitful (ο δε νους μου ακαρπος — ho de nous mou akarpos). My intellect (νους — nous) gets no benefit (ακαρπος — akarpos without fruit) from rhapsodical praying that may even move my spirit (πνευμα — pneuma).

Here's Meyer:
1 Corinthians 14:14. Justification of the precept προσευχ. ἵνα διερμ.

For if I pray with my tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. It is a thoroughly arbitrary and mistaken procedure to take the genitive relation in τὸ πνεῦμά μου otherwise than in ὁ νοῦς μου, and to explain the former, with Bleek, Billroth, Olshausen, Maier, and Chr. F. Fritzsche, following Chrysostom (τὸ χάρισμα τὸ δοθέν μοι καὶ κινοῦν τὴν γλῶσσαν), of the Spirit of God, in so far as He has laid hold of the man and speaks out of him. The Holy Spirit, although in the man, is never called the spirit of the man, and cannot be so called, just because He is different from the spirit of the man. See 1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:16; Romans 9:1. No; τὸ πνεῦμά μου is my spirit, i.e. my individual principle of higher life (comp. on 1 Corinthians 14:2). If I pray with the tongue, this higher life-power in me, which plunges immediately (i.e. without the intervention of the discursive reflective faculty) into the feelings and intuitions of the divine, is called into activity, because it is filled and moved by the Holy Spirit as His receptive organ; but my understanding, my thinking faculty, furnishes nothing, ἄκαρπός ἐστι.[8]

νοῦς in contrast to πνεῦμα, which is the deeper basis of life, the “penetrale” (Bengel) of the νοῦς, is the reflective discursive power through which the making oneself intelligible to those without is effected, and without the co-operative action of which the human πνεῦμα cannot with such onesided development of its energy express the contents of its converse with the Divine Spirit in such a way as to be intelligible for others who are not specially gifted for this end. Comp. Krumm, de notionib. psychol. Paul. p. 64 ff.; Delitzsch, Psychol. p. 184; Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, II. p. 87 f. Note how definitely Paul here distinguishes the specific activities of the mind, and excludes the νοῦς from the glossolalia. And he speaks thus from experience. But were we to think of foreign languages, that distinction and exclusion would not be appropriate, or would resolve themselves into a mere self-deception.

[8] Namely, to edify the church by the praying; see ver. 12. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Calvin, Estius, and others erroneously hold it to apply to one’s own profit. Theodoret rightly remarks: καρπὸς τοῦ λέγοντος ἡ ὠφέλεια τῶν ἀκουόντων.
I thought ICC and Expositor's Greek Commentary were less useful on this particular passage, but you can find them on the same site as Meyer.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by jdhadwin » August 28th, 2015, 8:12 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:I suggest you do two things:
  • Look in a dictionary and see whether νοῦς means "understanding", as in the mental facility for understanding", "intellect", OR it means "understanding", as in "comprehension of input". [The English word "understand" has many meanings. Assume for a start that the Greek word means only one of them. Which one is it?]
Strongs G3563 says:
the intellect, i.e. mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication, meaning:—mind, understanding.
New Testament use is mostly, "the mental facility for understanding", or "intellect" as you put it. But there are other uses that use it to imply "understanding, as in 'comprehension of input'," such as Revelation 13:18, which says,
Ὧδε ἡ σοφία ἐστίν ὁ ἔχων τὸν νοῦν ψηφισάτω τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου ἐστίν καὶ ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτοῦ χξς
~Revelation 13:18
Then there are verses where νοῦς is used in conjunction with συνίημι, so that your point seems all but proven, that we cannot use νοῦς in the contexts I've suggested.
τότε διήνοιξεν αὐτῶν τὸν νοῦν τοῦ συνιέναι τὰς γραφάς
~Luke 24:45
Until we consider verses like Philippians 4:7, which seems to prove the point that νοῦς can be used in both contexts that I've suggested.
καὶ ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν φρουρήσει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν καὶ τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
~Philippians 4:7
Here we have the mind, "the mental facility for understanding", or "intellect" as you put it, being represented by νόημα and the implied "understanding, as in 'comprehension of input'," being represented by νοῦς.

These uses seem to suggest that in Koine it does not necessarily need to mean only one or the other. Which one is it? To me, looking at these things, it seems to depend on context.
Stephen Hughes wrote:[*]Next, you may wish to look at Galatians 3:1 ὦ ἀγνόητοι Γαλάται as perhaps either "misunderstood Galatians" or as "lacking or not using the powers of understanding they have Galatians". Again, look in the dictionary to see if ἀγνόητος can have the meaning "misunderstood".[νοῦς and ἀγνόητος are cognates and this type of broad-stroke finding of general meaning is a profitable way to use cognates.] [/list]
I think I'm following your point here... it seemed like I was more or less thinking of νοῦς as though it were ἀνόητος, which is a different meaning. But when I posed my question, my point was that ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν may not mean that Paul's mind is unfruitful, but that it may be others that do not have the understanding of Paul's mind (via tongues) ––my implication does not suggest that the third party hearer does is ἀνόητος (foolish, unwise, or misunderstanding). ἀνόητος should not necessarily be used to describe the hearer, because what I've suggested simply implies that, in the same way people are thinking that Paul's mind is not fruitful from tongues, rather Paul's mind would be unfruitful to the third person hearer. This certainly seems to be what the chapter is all about up to this point in the first place, which is why I looked into it.

Thoughts?

I am resisting exegetically referencing verse 4, 9, and especially 11 as Paul making this case himself ––that he has edifying understanding of the tongues he speaks while others cannot understand without interpretation... but I shall resist exegesis.

On a personal note, when I have been given this gift, I not only spoke in tongues with amazing clarity and understanding, I also thought in tongues as verse 28 implies; ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ διερμηνευτής σιγάτω ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ἑαυτῷ δὲ λαλείτω καὶ τῷ θεῷ. This thinking is in tongues is just like thinking in English; it was with the νοῦς, thus ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ . My mind had understanding, but it was by use of the tongue, not in English. Excited as the dickens, I went to speak what I understood in English ––and there were no words! Truly! So I decided to go back to speaking in the tongue and say it again so that I would be able to realize the English translation... but I could not. It was over. While I spoke, I had the understanding ––perfectly ––even more so than I have ever had in English. But afterward I had no ability to express the understanding I had because I only had understanding and thoughts that had been granted in tongues. That's how it really happened with me.
Stephen Hughes wrote:The nominal unit you are considering actually has three words in it: ὁ ... νοῦς μου. Perhaps you should underline the ὁ too.
Duly noted :D

Thanks,

~John
0 x

jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by jdhadwin » August 28th, 2015, 9:29 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:What do you think about μου being Genitive in 1st Corinthians 14:14 and verse 19
ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν
~1st Corinthians 14:14
Should it be translated "understanding of me" or "my understanding".
We don't discuss translation here, but there's no real controversy on how to translate this.
I'm sorry guys. Could you guys refer me to a place where they do discuss translation? I have several more of these things that I'm hoping to ascertain from experienced Koine folks whether the things I'm noticing are valid or not. I know there's no controversy among translations, and I certainly don't intend to start one. I think my point (which I've clarified in my response above) is not very controversial to begin with.

The gift of tongues is just not something that many English translators have had experience in throughout the English speaking centuries. In most cases, they are translating things that they know about and have experience in. But in this case, I'm willing to bet that not one of the translators from the reformation till now have confessed to being blessed with the gift of tongues described in scripture. They do not know from experience whether there is understanding or not, whether that understanding passes away after the speaking of the tongues, or whether the speaker also thinks in tongues. It is certainly important to me because everyone that preaches tongues today preaches a tongue that cannot even be understood by the speaker (thus unedifying even to the speaker, contradicting v4 & v28). But I know you guys don't discuss that stuff here (though I'm not sure what the benefit of this limitation is).

Should I be writing all my thoughts in Koine instead? Would these topics be welcome if I did that? I can always learn Koine and then come back and do that if that would be more welcomed.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:An example of the difference might be illustrated by talking about "the understanding of mathematics." But no one would say, "the Mathematic's understanding" because Mathematics does not understand anything. The point I'm getting at is this: does this verse speak of self-understanding or does it speak of the understanding of others (edification).
ὁ νοῦς μου - whose understanding is it?
Answering this with confidence depends on whether μου is possessive or not. I think my question would have better been posed –1) is μου possessive or not in this sentence and 2) how could the meaning change if μου is not possessive. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but 1) μου is not necessarily possessive, right? 2) Isn't this the difference between "my understanding" and "the understanding of me"? This is why it seems beneficial (even for the sake of this Koine forum) to discus potential translations.
Jonathan Robie wrote:Here's Meyer:
1 Corinthians 14:14. Justification of the precept προσευχ. ἵνα διερμ.

For if I pray with my tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. It is a thoroughly arbitrary and mistaken procedure to take the genitive relation in τὸ πνεῦμά μου otherwise than in ὁ νοῦς μου, and to explain the former, with Bleek, Billroth, Olshausen, Maier, and Chr. F. Fritzsche, following Chrysostom (τὸ χάρισμα τὸ δοθέν μοι καὶ κινοῦν τὴν γλῶσσαν), of the Spirit of God, in so far as He has laid hold of the man and speaks out of him. The Holy Spirit, although in the man, is never called the spirit of the man, and cannot be so called, just because He is different from the spirit of the man. See 1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:16; Romans 9:1. No; τὸ πνεῦμά μου is my spirit, i.e. my individual principle of higher life (comp. on 1 Corinthians 14:2). If I pray with the tongue, this higher life-power in me, which plunges immediately (i.e. without the intervention of the discursive reflective faculty) into the feelings and intuitions of the divine, is called into activity, because it is filled and moved by the Holy Spirit as His receptive organ; but my understanding, my thinking faculty, furnishes nothing, ἄκαρπός ἐστι.[8]

νοῦς in contrast to πνεῦμα, which is the deeper basis of life, the “penetrale” (Bengel) of the νοῦς, is the reflective discursive power through which the making oneself intelligible to those without is effected, and without the co-operative action of which the human πνεῦμα cannot with such onesided development of its energy express the contents of its converse with the Divine Spirit in such a way as to be intelligible for others who are not specially gifted for this end. Comp. Krumm, de notionib. psychol. Paul. p. 64 ff.; Delitzsch, Psychol. p. 184; Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, II. p. 87 f. Note how definitely Paul here distinguishes the specific activities of the mind, and excludes the νοῦς from the glossolalia. And he speaks thus from experience. But were we to think of foreign languages, that distinction and exclusion would not be appropriate, or would resolve themselves into a mere self-deception.

[8] Namely, to edify the church by the praying; see ver. 12. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Calvin, Estius, and others erroneously hold it to apply to one’s own profit. Theodoret rightly remarks: καρπὸς τοῦ λέγοντος ἡ ὠφέλεια τῶν ἀκουόντων.
I thought ICC and Expositor's Greek Commentary were less useful on this particular passage, but you can find them on the same site as Meyer.
Meyer seems to portray a Holy Spirit that operates an involuntary compulsory campaign of possession upon the recipient. It seems to me that his would be a more fitting description for the spirits that Jesus often cast out. The Holy Spirit does not possess a man's tongue without his will only to call it a gift. The man may remain silent if he wills ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ διερμηνευτής σιγάτω ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ἑαυτῷ δὲ λαλείτω καὶ τῷ θεῷ. See my personal experience noted in the response above to hear one such instance.

I appreciate Meyer's effort to cover this segment of scripture, but he would readily admit that he does not speak from experience. But he acknowledges that Paul does speak from experience ––therefore, knowing that these words of his contain that ancient experience, these split-hairs-of-translation are worth deeper scrutiny. It is also not without a sense of cheekiness that I note that this verse was written in a foreign tongue and that people here are able to interpret ;)

My hope is to show whether the Koine in 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19 allows for the personal understanding spoken of in verse 14:4 ––and also the thoughts in tongues spoken of in 14:28. From what I'm seeing and hearing, it seems that μου does allow for this if it is not necessarily possessive. According to my current understanding of Koine, μου does not have to be possessive...

does it?

Thank you,

~John
0 x

cwconrad
Posts: 2112
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by cwconrad » August 29th, 2015, 6:08 am

jdhadwin wrote:[What do you think about μου being Genitive in 1st Corinthians 14:14 and verse 19
ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν
~1st Corinthians 14:14
Should it be translated "understanding of me" or "my understanding".
Jonathan Robie wrote:We don't discuss translation here, but there's no real controversy on how to translate this.
jdhadwin wrote:I'm sorry guys. Could you guys refer me to a place where they do discuss translation? I have several more of these things that I'm hoping to ascertain from experienced Koine folks whether the things I'm noticing are valid or not. I know there's no controversy among translations, and I certainly don't intend to start one. I think my point (which I've clarified in my response above) is not very controversial to begin with.

The gift of tongues is just not something that many English translators have had experience in throughout the English speaking centuries. In most cases, they are translating things that they know about and have experience in. But in this case, I'm willing to bet that not one of the translators from the reformation till now have confessed to being blessed with the gift of tongues described in scripture. They do not know from experience whether there is understanding or not, whether that understanding passes away after the speaking of the tongues, or whether the speaker also thinks in tongues. It is certainly important to me because everyone that preaches tongues today preaches a tongue that cannot even be understood by the speaker (thus unedifying even to the speaker, contradicting v4 & v28). But I know you guys don't discuss that stuff here (though I'm not sure what the benefit of this limitation is).
John, you’ve told us in your introduction “I'm learning Koine and I know no one who knows Greek! So I need to get plugged in to a forum like this.” It would be helpful, in view of the questions you’re raising about translation, for us to have a better sense of where you are in the process of learning Koine. In this forum we tend to think of translation as a secondary process of converting an understood text into a second language; that conversion process is a distinct art requiring special skills in both languages. Our concern here is more strictly with understanding what the original (Greek) text means and how/why it conveys that meaning. There's no way of judging the adequacy of a translation without assessing both what the original text means and how that meaning is best conveyed in the target language. You are in a Beginners' Forum here; the ordinary focus in the Beginners' Forum is with learning the language and discussing the kinds of questions about the Biblical Greek text that beginners are grammatically equipped to discuss.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3728
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 29th, 2015, 7:21 am

jdhadwin wrote:My hope is to show whether the Koine in 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19 allows for the personal understanding spoken of in verse 14:4 ––and also the thoughts in tongues spoken of in 14:28. From what I'm seeing and hearing, it seems that μου does allow for this if it is not necessarily possessive. According to my current understanding of Koine, μου does not have to be possessive...
If you use Greek mainly in the service of theological beliefs you want to support, you won't get good at Greek or at interpreting texts honestly. Lots of people do that, and that's one of the big reasons we don't delve into the theology here. I also think context is important. And so far, we've been discussing individual verses taken out of context. Proof texting leads naturally to taking things out of context and eisegesis.

To me, at least, you haven't demonstrated that ὁ νοῦς μου can have the meaning you want it to. Showing me other places where that same phrase is used with the desired meaning would be more convincing.

In context, I think μου means the same thing in τὸ πνεῦμά μου and ὁ νοῦς μου.
13 Διὸ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ προσευχέσθω ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ. 14 ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ, τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται, ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν. 15 τί οὖν ἐστιν; προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι, προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ· ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι, ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ· 16 ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογῇς πνεύματι, ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ Ἀμήν ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ; ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν· 17 σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς, ἀλλ’ ὁ ἕτερος οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται. 18 εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ, πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσαις λαλῶ· 19 ἀλλὰ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους τῷ νοΐ μου λαλῆσαι, ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω, ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ.
In the next sentence, Paul draws this conclusion: προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι, προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ. It's hard to argue that the traditional understanding of ὁ νοῦς μου forbids προσεύχεσθαι τῷ πνεύματι.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3728
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 29th, 2015, 7:56 am

cwconrad wrote:Our concern here is more strictly with understanding what the original (Greek) text means and how/why it conveys that meaning. There's no way of judging the adequacy of a translation without assessing both what the original text means and how that meaning is best conveyed in the target language. You are in a Beginners' Forum here; the ordinary focus in the Beginners' Forum is with learning the language and discussing the kinds of questions about the Biblical Greek text that beginners are grammatically equipped to discuss.
Well said.
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

jdhadwin
Posts: 29
Joined: August 25th, 2015, 12:48 pm

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by jdhadwin » August 29th, 2015, 2:43 pm

cwconrad wrote:John, you’ve told us in your introduction “I'm learning Koine and I know no one who knows Greek! So I need to get plugged in to a forum like this.” It would be helpful, in view of the questions you’re raising about translation, for us to have a better sense of where you are in the process of learning Koine. In this forum we tend to think of translation as a secondary process of converting an understood text into a second language; that conversion process is a distinct art requiring special skills in both languages. Our concern here is more strictly with understanding what the original (Greek) text means and how/why it conveys that meaning. There's no way of judging the adequacy of a translation without assessing both what the original text means and how that meaning is best conveyed in the target language. You are in a Beginners' Forum here; the ordinary focus in the Beginners' Forum is with learning the language and discussing the kinds of questions about the Biblical Greek text that beginners are grammatically equipped to discuss.
I'm a complete newbie, but I'm giving it my best go with what I currently know. I currently understand person/number/voice/mood/tense of verbs http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/verbs1.htm, though, I have been relying on blue letter bible to identify these. And with non-finite verb forms I understand that case and gender are added to that. I understand the number/gender/case of nouns http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/nouns1.htm, though I also have to rely on blue letter bible for that too. I'm starting to see the endings myself, but only starting. I cannot pronounce anything yet.

I'm not equipped to discuss the grammatical ins and outs in Koine, but I'm begginning to understand them in English because of you guys. You're giving me a foundation and prompting me to dig in deeper and actually learn Koine.

Jonathan Robie wrote:
jdhadwin wrote:My hope is to show whether the Koine in 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19 allows for the personal understanding spoken of in verse 14:4 ––and also the thoughts in tongues spoken of in 14:28. From what I'm seeing and hearing, it seems that μου does allow for this if it is not necessarily possessive. According to my current understanding of Koine, μου does not have to be possessive...
If you use Greek mainly in the service of theological beliefs you want to support, you won't get good at Greek or at interpreting texts honestly. Lots of people do that, and that's one of the big reasons we don't delve into the theology here. I also think context is important. And so far, we've been discussing individual verses taken out of context. Proof texting leads naturally to taking things out of context and eisegesis.
Well, you've already proven to me that 1st Corinthians 14:34 cannot be a squinting construction, and I'm very appreciative. That's why I'm trying to learn Koine, because I read the scripture and I think, I'll bet he is really getting at the same thing he was getting at over in such-and-such-a-chapter-and-verse, and I want to find out whether My theory is right or wrong. I think that if I wanted to learn Greek to prove my theory, then I would land at eisegesis, but I am learning in order to know whether to correct myself or not. I agree that lots of people do eisegetical work, and therefore, it is more than likely that we shall find that we all hold such eisegetical persuasions... When I think I have found such persuasions in "traditional interpretation," I get interested for obvious reasons. My end goal is to know what is possible and what is not possible, not to assume that the traditional interpretation is the best. It may be that the traditional interpretation came to us through eisegesis. I am asking/learning in order to examine such things.

I would not like to not only cite the one verse, but I'm uncertain where the line that divides context and exegesis is perceived to be and I wanted to try to honor protocol... looks like I need more contiguous scripture and less scripture from other chapters/books. I will keep that in mind. The reason I started looking at Koine is actually to defend against English proof texters. Often, the verses I'm examining are ones which seem to present a meaning that is out of context with the contiguous English translation, as well as many other prominent scriptures throughout the new testament. My hope is to correct my understanding from all the eisegetical nonsense that I've been taught throughout the decades.
Jonathan Robie wrote:To me, at least, you haven't demonstrated that ὁ νοῦς μου can have the meaning you want it to. Showing me other places where that same phrase is used with the desired meaning would be more convincing.
I'm not particularly trying to demonstrate anything: just trying to point out that μου does not have to be possessive. It's not that I want it to have that meaning, it's that that is the only meaning that makes sense to me, both from experience and from the surrounding points Paul makes which I mentioned above. If it simply cannot be, then I will drop my position because it is not possible, and, although I would be very confused (personally), I would always set out to reconcile myself to the scripture —and I would not set out to reconcile the scripture to myself. I've had to do this with 1st Cor 14:34 already —if I insisted that it was a squinting negative modifier after you proved it, then I would be an eisegete. —but I'm the newbie, and newbies can't learn without changing. I simply start with a hypothesis, and though sometimes I am more confident than others, when I am disproven, I will change :)

My point did not hinge on whether ὁ νοῦς μου can be used as I implied it was being used in Philippians. My theory hinges on whether μου is requred to be a possessive pronoun or whether it can be a normal personal pronoun. Everything hinges on that.
Jonathan Robie wrote:In context, I think μου means the same thing in τὸ πνεῦμά μου and ὁ νοῦς μου.
I definitely agree with you that τὸ πνεῦμά μου and ὁ νοῦς μου accomplish the same things and that the Genitive μου applies to both in the same way. But my theory still stands, because when we think of the genitive personal pronoun as "of me", everything still works and still makes sense... "ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου (the spirit of me) προσεύχεται ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου (but the understanding of me) ἄκαρπός ἐστιν".

In this, τὸ πνεῦμά μου still retains it's necessary possessive quality, while ὁ νοῦς μου could be thought of in either way (possessive or not). Given the context of Paul's surrounding points about edification, it seems obvious to me that we should expect the μου in ὁ νοῦς μου to not act as a possessive personal pronoun.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
13 Διὸ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ προσευχέσθω ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ. 14 ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ, τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται, ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν. 15 τί οὖν ἐστιν; προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι, προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ· ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι, ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ· 16 ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογῇς πνεύματι, ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ Ἀμήν ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ; ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν· 17 σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς, ἀλλ’ ὁ ἕτερος οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται. 18 εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ, πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσαις λαλῶ· 19 ἀλλὰ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους τῷ νοΐ μου λαλῆσαι, ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω, ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ.
In the next sentence, Paul draws this conclusion: προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι, προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ. It's hard to argue that the traditional understanding of ὁ νοῦς μου forbids προσεύχεσθαι τῷ πνεύματι.
Unless we are reading our belief that "Paul did not understand the words out of his own mouth", then verse 15 does not conclude the matter. If what I've pointed out about verse 14 can be true, then the "hearer" which is implied if ὁ νοῦς μου means (the understanding of me [via the hearer]) is only carried over into verse 15. This even makes more sense, meaning that he will pray in the spirit and that he will pray in such a way that reveals his understanding (his mind) to the hearer, so that both he AND the hearer may be edified because of understanding.

And this implied "hearer" should not be so unbelievable, in verse 14 or 15, because the hearer is explicitly mentioned in verse 16, which seems to offer more solid evidence for my case than previously realized. Below, I've underlined the parts of the verses that contextually correspond to the spirit and emboldened the parts that refer to the understanding. From the context confirmed in verse 16, it is clear to me that "the hearer" is the one whom Paul is talking about when he talks about νοῦς in these verses. we could even go further before and after these verses in context and find that the broader context is οἰκοδομή. Thus, we could go through from verse 2 to somewhere well beyond verse 19, underlining and emboldening, showing that the context of "understanding" in this text belongs to the hearer and that the speaker of the tongue possesses understanding himself in that in doing so ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ.
14 ἐὰν γὰρ προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ τὸ πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστιν
15 τί οὖν ἐστιν προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ
16 ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογήσῃς τῷ πνεύματι ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ Ἀμήν ἐπὶ τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν
17 σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς ἀλλ᾽ ὁ ἕτερος οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται
18 εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ μου, πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσαις λαλῶν
19 ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ θέλω πέντε λόγους διὰ τοῦ νοός μου λαλῆσαι ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω ἢ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ
Can you see my point?
Jonathan Robie wrote:
cwconrad wrote:Our concern here is more strictly with understanding what the original (Greek) text means and how/why it conveys that meaning. There's no way of judging the adequacy of a translation without assessing both what the original text means and how that meaning is best conveyed in the target language. You are in a Beginners' Forum here; the ordinary focus in the Beginners' Forum is with learning the language and discussing the kinds of questions about the Biblical Greek text that beginners are grammatically equipped to discuss.
Well said.
I see what you guys mean. I'm not gramatically equipped myself, and I've been asking questions that are perhaps out of my league. But boy, am I learning a lot.

Thank you all,

~John
0 x

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

Re: 1st Corinthians 14:14 & 19

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 30th, 2015, 4:38 am

jdhadwin wrote:My point did not hinge on whether ὁ νοῦς μου can be used as I implied it was being used in Philippians. My theory hinges on whether μου is requred to be a possessive pronoun or whether it can be a normal personal pronoun. Everything hinges on that.

In Modern Greek the genitive is (generally) restricted to the use as possessive. In the Koine period the genitive (μου is a genitive) is not restricted to possessive. It has other meanings that your grammar you are working from will spell out in "uses of the genitive" or the like.

Even if the genitive could be something other than a possessive, that doesn't show you what it is in this case.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Post Reply

Return to “Grammar Questions”