1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

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Bill Ross
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1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Bill Ross » June 7th, 2019, 7:26 pm

Translations I'm familiar with seem to render 1 Thessalonians as having "voice" referring to "of the archangel" but it appears to me that "voice" is feminine while "archangel" is masculine so the one does not refer to the other:

1 Thessalonians 4:16 ὅτι αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ἐν κελεύσματι ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ καταβήσεται ἀπ᾽ οὐρανοῦ καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀναστήσονται πρῶτον

“trumpet” is also feminine. Despite the odd word order, isn't this the “voice of the trumpet” as in standard Hebrew idiom?:

[Exo 19:16, 19 ASV] (16) And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled. ... (19) And when the voice of the trumpet waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

[Exo 20:18 ASV] (18) And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.

[Job 39:24 ASV] (24) He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage; Neither believeth he that it is the voice of the trumpet.

[Isa 58:1 ASV] (1) Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and declare unto my people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins.

[1Co 14:8 ASV] (8) For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?

[Heb 12:19 ASV] (19) and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that no word more should be spoken unto them;

[Rev 1:10 ASV] (10) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet

[Rev 4:1 ASV] (1) After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.

[Rev 8:13 ASV] (13) And I saw, and I heard an eagle, flying in mid heaven, saying with a great voice, Woe, woe, woe, for them that dwell on the earth, by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, who are yet to sound.
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Bruce McKinnon
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Re: 1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Bruce McKinnon » June 7th, 2019, 9:16 pm

Bill, I'm not sure I understand your question but you appear to be suggesting that ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλοu cannot be read as in the voice of an archangel, because φωνῇ is feminine and ἀρχαγγέλοu is masculine.

If that is the issue, the difference of grammatical gender is in fact not an issue. The possessive genitive noun is regularly a different gender from the object (or person) it possesses.

In addition, the word order is such that, in my view, it's impossible to read φωνῇ with trumpet.
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Bill Ross
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Re: 1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Bill Ross » June 7th, 2019, 9:28 pm

Okay, thanks Bruce.
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Jason Hare
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Re: 1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Jason Hare » June 8th, 2019, 7:09 am

"Voice" (φωνή) is a noun. It's gender doesn't change by context. It's always feminine. It would not switch to masculine to agree with "archangel" (ἀρχάγγελος) nor to feminine to agree with "trumpet" (σάλπινξ).

"Voice of (an/the) archangel" is φωνὴ ἀρχαγγέλου.
"Voice/sound of a trumpet" is φωνὴ σάλπιγγος.

We have the former, not the latter. It is definitely "voice of (an/the) archangel."

You've got to distinguish between nouns, whose gender is (generally) constant, and adjectives, whose forms change to agree with nouns.
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Jason A. Hare
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: 1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 11th, 2019, 9:19 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
June 7th, 2019, 7:26 pm
Translations I'm familiar with seem to render 1 Thessalonians as having "voice" referring to "of the archangel" but it appears to me that "voice" is feminine while "archangel" is masculine so the one does not refer to the other:
Hi Bill. The way gender and agreement work in Greek is the kind of topic that is taught towards the beginning of one's first year Greek class. Given your evident interest in the Greek text of the New Testament, I would strongly encourage you to sign up for a class on Biblical Greek, if you can find one, or do something online. Right now, you're trying to remember a bunch of rules that seem arbitrary because you don't have the framework for it (yet). And that's hard for anyone. A class on Biblical Greek would really help.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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Jason Hare
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Re: 1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Jason Hare » June 12th, 2019, 11:39 pm

I'm sure that you could find study buddies if you put feelers out on Textkit, for example, or even here on B-Greek! There are always people ready and willing to work through Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. The release of the new edition of the grammar and workbook might get you even more takers at this point!
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Jason A. Hare
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Bill Ross
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Joined: August 12th, 2012, 6:26 pm

Re: 1 Thessalonians 4:16: Voice of the archangel or voice of the trumpet?

Post by Bill Ross » June 13th, 2019, 12:59 pm

I've read Mounce, basic and beyond, but have some kind of learning disability, possibly related to past trauma.

My main input right now is steadily doing the Daily Dose.

The first answer I received for this question was really sufficient but thanks for the exhortations also.
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What I lack in youth I make up for in immaturity.

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