Re: Sharp's Rule Extension/ Exceptions

From: Alan Repurk (
Date: Mon Jun 17 1996 - 20:16:04 EDT

Mark OBrien wrote:
> 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

Are these rules for beginning students of Koine Greek who have not yet
learned to use the context of the surrounding text to aid in their
translations ?

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