Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
Maria Cezar
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Re: Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Post by Maria Cezar » January 27th, 2017, 8:05 pm

Wes Wood, thank you for the clarification and no malicious intent was noted. My main query is rooted on the language problem which was answered by Jonathan . It has however some practical applications thus my questioning mind went a little further, sorry about that . My question has been addressed above.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 29th, 2017, 3:04 am

Sorry to turn up for dinner after the dishes have been washed, dried and put away, but let me add a dab of context to Jonathan's statement.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
Maria Cezar wrote: If I understood your comment right ( give me some slack coz English is not my first language ) , the verse is not about numbers (?)
Both forms are singular. Neither one refers to a man's "wives".
Poly-"gamy", if we could use that tongue-in-cheek with reference to a billy-goat and his harem, is mentioned in Longus, Daphnis and Cloe, using the adjectival ἴδιος construction:
Longus, Daphnis and Cloe, 3.13.2. wrote:καὶ ἕκαστος εἶχεν ἰδίας καὶ ἐφύλαττε μή τις αὐτὰς μοιχεύσῃ λαθών.
And each one (billy-goat) has (his) own (nanny-goats) and (he) keeps watch (over them), lest some (other billy-goat) mates with them (while they are) in the the bounds of his relationship without being noticed.
The adjectival forms - ἕκαστος "each one" & ἴδιαι "one's own"- find their referents in the previous sentence, ie. τράγος "billy-goat" & αἴξ "nanny-goat".

This arrangement in Longus suggests (but is in no way of itself enough or in itself enough to say conclusively) that the situation in Corinth was that the men were on the wander and some other women were on the prowl, looking for tbe lost and staying. On the assumption that distinction between ἴδιος & ἑαυτοῦ is significant in the way that Longus' text suggests, perhaps the Apostles words could be paraphrased as, "Gentlemen you need to aim Cupid's arrow at the home target, and ladies you need to act like your man is not there for the easy taking." Given the number of brothels (singular πορνεῖον) that have been found in Pompey, a city which was not even famous for its prostitution, Corinth, which was famous for it, must have been quite an environment.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 3rd, 2017, 7:02 pm

Maria Cezar (in PM) wrote:If the Apostle did not discuss quantity, is it correct to assume he was only focused on quality in this verse?
In a way he may disussing quantity when he mentions διὰ δὲ τὰς πορνείας. If πορνεία is read as "going to prostitutes for sex", then conceptually (rather than grammatically) he is mentioning plurality. Contrasted with that, the ἕκαστος and ἕκαστη refer quite definitely to individuals.

As for the quality, that is what my post quoting Longus moved on to discuss. Language always comes down to guessing, and we do that on either side of translating. Something simple like, "Pass me my glasses." leaves people guessing whether I want the house glasses, the going out ones or sunglasses. By introducing the discussion based on Longus, I was suggesting some guidelines to enhance the success of the guessing. I'm quite open about saying that we guess, because I believe our minds can't help comstructing a meaning anyway, so as to understand at least something.

One helpful way of exploring meaning is a skewd translation. You may have heard people say that all of one language can't be expressed through translation into another language. To deal with that, we can emphasise one feature in the source language - something like the Amplified Bible, but just amplifying just one point. They are just going to aid discussion. Here are some other examples of these words to aid our guessing - you are probably going to have to take a while to go through this, because it is heavy on the Greek:
Luke 6:41 wrote:τὴν δὲ δοκὸν τὴν ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀφθαλμῷ οὐ κατανοεῖς;
, don't you even notice the beam in the eye which you yourself could do something about?
We are ecpecting another action to happen ... he should clean out his eye.
Acts 1:7 wrote:Οὐχ ὑμῶν ἐστιν γνῶναι χρόνους ἢ καιροὺς οὓς ὁ πατὴρ ἔθετο ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ.
by the authority which he (alone) has the power to wield.
God had that "own" power of his, and he used it to set times and seasons.
Galatians 6:5 wrote:Ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον φορτίον βαστάσει.
don't expect anybody else to do it for you.

Let's look at the other option:
Luke 11:21 wrote:Ὅταν ὁ ἰσχυρὸς καθωπλισμένος φυλάσσῃ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ αὐλήν, ἐν εἰρήνῃ ἐστὶν τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ·
The courtyard, which he has the right and privilage to use (for the storage of goods). The relationship between the guy and his yard doesn't suggest that he needs to do something because of it. By using ἑαυτοῦ we just know that he has the enjoyment and use of it.
Romans 5:8 wrote:Συνίστησιν δὲ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἀγάπην εἰς ἡμᾶς ὁ θεός,
God has the love in himself, the love which he himself expresses, or has (for us)
1 Corinthians 13:5 wrote:οὐ ζητεῖ τὰ ἑαυτῆς,
The things which are only for its enjoyment and benefit.


There are those that seem to suggest that ἴδιος means ownership, but I think that meaning derives from the inherent relationship between the parties, not from this word. In this verse:
Luke 19:13 wrote:Καλέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, Πραγματεύσασθε ἕως ἔρχομαι.
they are the slaves that he has the right to enjoy a reward and benefit from, while
1 Corinthians 11:21 wrote:Ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν, καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ, ὃς δὲ μεθύει.
The dinner which that person has, but another doesn't - within the right social context, that could be termed "ownership".
Matthew 25:14 wrote:Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους, καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ·
He was going out 9f town, but they would still do his things.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Maria Cezar
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Re: Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Post by Maria Cezar » February 4th, 2017, 5:34 am

Thank you so much for these examples so I may see the different uses of ίδιος and εαυτού. Gaining more insight on how to approach my GNT studies.

These and some readings from Deissmann and J.H. Moulton helped me understand further what Jonathan has answered in the first place. Thanks to Stirling Bartholomew for bringing my attention to some good sources:

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:1Cor. 7:1 Περὶ δὲ ὧν ἐγράψατε, καλὸν ἀνθρώπῳ γυναικὸς μὴ ἅπτεσθαι· 2 διὰ δὲ τὰς πορνείας ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἐχέτω καὶ ἑκάστη τὸν ἴδιον ἄνδρα ἐχέτω.
τὴν ὲαυτοῦ γυναῖκα … τὸν ἴδιον ἄνδρα. The Apostle seems always to use ἑαντοῦ, ἑαντῶν, or αὐτοῦ (Ephesians 5:28, Ephesians 5:31, Ephesians 5:33) of a man’s relation to his wife, but ἴδιος (14:35; Ephesians 5:22; Titus 2:5) of a woman’s to her husband (1 Thessalonians 4:4 is doubtful). Does this show that he regarded the husband as the owner and the wife as being owned? Romans 14:4 somewhat encourages this. But the difference between ἑαντοῦ and ἴδιος was becoming blurred: see J. H. Moulton, Gr. 1. pp. 87 f.; Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 122 f. A few texts omit καὶ ἑκάστη κ.τ.λ.

1Cor. Robertson-Plummer ICC, 1911, p133.
Possssive pronoun ίδιος were used for genitives εαυτού and εαυτών . It influences the NT writers ( except Revelation ) and especially Paul. Exegetes have , in many places laid stress upon the ίδιος which , in text does not belong to it at all.
In consideration of the widely extended use of the exhausted ίδιος in the post classical age , the most proper course of exegesis is ... to take ίδιος in an old sense only when the context absolutely requires it . 1 Cor 7:2 is an example where ίδιος is exactly equivalent to εαυτού . Deissmann , Bible Studies p. 124. Moulton has a longer discussion on the use of the two words but this summarizes it all anyway .

Now I just have to understand what "exhausted ίδιος " really means .

Thank you for all your help fo understand the uses of these 2 Greek words .
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Post by Jonathan Robie » February 4th, 2017, 10:34 am

Maria Cezar wrote:Now I just have to understand what "exhausted ίδιος " really means.
I feel like an exhausted idiot quite frequently.

But seriously, here are Moulton and Milligan to the rescue:
For an "exhausted" ἴδιος in Hellenistic Greek, equivalent to little more than the possessive pronoun, Kuhring (p. 13) cites such passages as BGU IV. 1061 .21 (B.C. 14) ἐν τῶι ἰδίωι αὐτοῦ κλήρωι, P Oxy III. 483.25 (A.D. 108) ὀ ]μνύω. . εἶναι τὰς προκ [ειμ ]ένας ἀρούρας εἰδίας μου, ib. 494.33 (A.D. 156) ἐγνώρισα τὴν ἰδίαν μου σφραγῖδα, ib. 495.15 (A.D. 181–9) γράψω τῇ ἰδιᾳ μου χειρί, BGU III.865.2 (ii/A.D.) ἀκολούθω [ς τῇ ἰδ ]ίᾳ σοι (l. σου) ἐπιστολῇ, ib. I. 13.15 (A.D. 289) ἐκδικήσωμεν. . τοῖς ἰδίοις ἑαυτῶν δαπανήμασιν, P Grenf II. 8o.14 (A.D. 402) ὑπὲρ ἰδιας σου κεφαλῆς. It will hardly be denied, however, that in all these passages ἴδιος adds a certain emphasis, and this undoubtedly holds good of the general NT usage, as e.g. John 1:41, 1 Corinthians 3:8, Galatians 6:5 : Hebrews 7:27, etc. : see more particularly Proleg. p. 87 ff. (as against Deissmann BS p. 123 f.), and cf. Souter (Lex. s.v.) where the word is rendered "one’s own," "belonging to one," "private," "personal," without any mention of a weaker meaning. WinerSchrniedel Gr, § 22, 17, on the other hand, claims for the word both senses in the NT, and illustrates these in detail. It is probably impossible to draw the line strictly, so much depends on the special nuance of the context. Thus in the interesting papyrus in which proceedings are instituted for the recovery of a foundling child that had been put out to nurse, the defendant asserts that the foundling had died, and that the child now claimed was her own child—τὸ ] ἴ [δι ]όν μου τέκνον (P Oxy I. 37ii. 1—A.D.49) (= Selections, p. 51). But when in P Goodsp Cairo 4.8 (ii/B.C.) (= Selections, p. 25) Polycrartes writes to a friend introducing one Glaucias—α ̣̣πεσ ̣τάλ ̣καμεν πρὸς σὲ Γλαυκίαν, ὄντα ἡμῶν ἴδιον, κοινολογησόμενόν σοι, the meaning can be little more than "who is one of ourselves" : cf. P Par 41.11 (B.C. 158) οὗ <ἐν > κατοχῇ ἰμὶ μετὰ τοῦ πρεσβυτέρου ἀδελφοῦ ἰδίου (= ἐμοῦ) Πτολεμαίου, P Tor I, 8.27 (B.C.119) εἰς τὰς ἰδίας αὐτῶν (= εἰς τὰς ἑαυτῶν) μετοικισθῆναι (both cited by Mayser Gr. p. 308). This last ex. illustrates the absolute use of ὁ ἴδιος as in John 1:11; John 13:1, etc. : cf. also P Oxy XIV. 1680.5 (iii/iv A.D.), where a son prays for his father—ὑγιαίνοντί (l. —τά) σε ἀπολαβεῖν ἐν τοῖς ἰδίοις "that we may receive you home in good health" (Edd.). On the principle of the ἰδία, involving a man’s personal attachment to the house and soil of his birth, see Zulueta in Vinogradoff s Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History i. (1909), p. 42 ff., and cf. Exp VIII. iv. p. 487 ff., where Ramsay applies this principle in connexion with Luke 2:3. In Proleg. p. 90 f. special attention is drawn to the use of ὁ ἴδιος in addressing near relations at the beginning of a letter. Thus in P Fay 110.2 (A.D. 94) Gemellus sends greeting Ἐπαγαθῶι τῶι ἰδίωι, Epagathus being probably a nephew, and similarly in other letters of the same correspondence : when the son Sabinus is addressed, the words τῷ οιεἱῶι (= τῷ υἱῷ) are always used, as ib. 113.2 (A.D.100). If this were at all a normal use of ὁ ἴδιος it might add something to the case for translating Acts 20:28 τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου, "the blood of one who was His own" (Weiss, etc.).
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Maria Cezar
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Re: Reflexive pronoun and Possessive adjective

Post by Maria Cezar » February 8th, 2017, 6:42 am

Thank you for all the input :D . I wish I found this site earlier. Like a child having been given lots and lots of treats , I am enjoying one after the other day by day.
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