Re: pronoun/antecedent agreement

From: Randy Leedy (
Date: Thu Jun 06 1996 - 13:06:25 EDT

Carl Conrad writes:

>... but one common usage that could be bewildering--it's so common
> in classical Greek that I don't know whether I would have noticed
> it as an unusual feature in the NT--is the assimilation of the
> relative pronoun hOS, hH, hO to the case of its antecedent, EVEN
> when the relative pronoun must refer to the subject of its own
> clause. In that case it is LOGICALLY nominative, but is by no means
> infrequently found in an oblique case identical with that of the
> antecedent substantive.

I have not adduced the phenomenon of the attraction of the relative
pronoun to the case of its antecedent because the passage in dispute
does not involve the relative. Attraction is not uncommon in the New
Testament, but I am not aware of any instances of a nominative case
pronoun being attracted to an oblique case. Can anyone cite a
specific instance (I don't have any grammars on the shelf in front of
me at the moment). The vast majority of instances of attraction
(direct attraction, that is, where the pronoun conforms to the case
of its antecedent) involve a direct object pronoun that would have
been accusative being attracted to the genitive or the dative. I know
of no instances of attraction (either direct or indirect) involving
the nominative. I would be happy to endure correction on this point,

It should be understood, though, that this grammatical phenomenon has
at best a highly tangential relationship to the exegetical problem
that Marion Fox is wrestling with.

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

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