Re: Sharp's Rule Extension/ Exceptions

From: Mark OBrien (
Date: Mon Jun 17 1996 - 19:04:37 EDT

Original message sent on Mon, Jun 17 3:05 PM by :
>>As Dan Wallace points out in his forthcoming grammar, .... In order
     for the two substantives to be considered as referring to the same
     person in an article-substantive-kai-substantive construction, there
     are three specific criterion which must be met:
     1. Neither should be impersonal.
     2. Neither should be plural.
     3. Neither should be a proper name.<<
> I am not familiar with Dan Wallace's upcoming grammar,
> but a fourth criterion would be in order. It would read:
> 4. Neither should refer to a different, distinct person.

Is this not covered by the 3rd restriction?
> This would capture the exceptions to his existing rule.

According to Wallace (and I appreciate that you don't have access to his tome
yet), if one correctly applies the abovementioned restrictions, then there are
NO exceptions to Sharp's rule. All so-called exceptions are in fact
misapplications of the rule.
> Specifically, 2 Peter 1:1,2 tou theou hemon kai soteros
> hemon is often used as an example of Sharp's rule. But in the
> very next verse (v.2), a clear distinction is made between
> God and Jesus.

I agree that this is a tricky one, but I'm not sure the distinction in v. 2
should necessarily impact our interpretation of QEOS in v.1. (After all, we
have other examples of close occurences of QEOS meaning slightly different
things - eg. Jn 1). I will leave myself some space to meditate on this one...
> 1 Tim 6:13 is another type of article-noun-kai-noun
> construction where the second noun is clearly a distinct
> person from the first, although it fits 1, 2, and 3 above.

This one seems to violate the 3rd restriction... is not XRISTOU IHSOU a proper
name? Perhaps I missed something here? Please let me know if I am not
following your point...
> Prov 24:21 LXX "fear [the] God and king" leaves Sharp's rule
> indefensible. Once again, the second noun is clearly distinct from
> the first.

The Greek here, however, does have the vocative hUIE inserted in the midst of
the construction, and so I guess one could argue that this breaks the profile of
a Sharp construction. Interestingly, QEON here is being used by the LXX to
translate YHWH from the Hebrew, which is obviously a proper name, but of course
we cannot assume this says anything about the way the LXX folks decided to
translate it.
> An additional criterion would be in line with these examples
> and the comments by C.F.D. Moule in his book "An Idiom Book
> of New Testament Greek", 1971, p. 109 regarding Titus 2:13:
> "of the great God, and of our Savior Jesus Christ ... is
> possible in koine Greek even without the repetition [of
> the article]."

Since QEOS is technically not always a proper name (some would argue that is
most certainly not because it cannot be pluralized), I see no reason why Titus
2:13 should not be seen as a Sharp construction. In fact, Wallace (I guess
you'll have to wait and see!) cites Moule as being one of a number of scholars
who misunderstood Sharp's rule.
I should note that Wallace deals specifically with many of these *exceptional*
passages in his grammar, of which I am fortunate enough to have a preliminary
draft. Wallace's doctoral dissertation on Sharp's rule is to be published next
year, I believe.

Kind regards,

Mark O'Brien
Graduate student, Dallas Theological Seminary

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:45 EDT