Re: Sharp's Rule Extension/ Exceptions

From: John Albu (
Date: Tue Jun 18 1996 - 01:20:11 EDT

On June 17 wrote:

> 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.

Unfortunately, this is impossible. The purpose of Sharp's work is to
identify Almighty God with Jesus Christ and also to show that the holy
spirit must be worshiped.

On June 17 Mark OBrien <> wrote:

>> 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.

This kind of reasoning does not save you. The passage from LXX (Prov.
24:21), as Wes Williams wrote, is indefensible. This is thus quoted, in the
interpolated epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans:
        tyma, phesin, hyie, ton theon kai basilea

> 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

Many after Sharp and before Wallace set forth exceptions for Sharp's
rule. One such person was Daniel Veysie who wrote "On the Greek
Prepositive Article, its Nature and Uses," Oxford, 1810. In "The Monthly
Review," Vol. 67, 1812, pp. 284-85, the reviewer wrote: "Yet Mr. Veysie
has added further limitations to those which were invented by Mr.
Sharp. . . . Verily, this adding of limitation to limitation appeareth to
us to be 'all vanity and vexation of spirit!' We would advise the advocates
for the rule to be contended with one limitation, which we are rather
surprised that they have not long ago adopted; since it requires no great
comprehension of mind to see that it will furnish them with all that they
seek, will cut off every example that can possibly lift up its head
against the rule, and will render it really inviolable. We would
recommend it to them to say that, if one of the nouns be theos and the
other any personal description of Jesus, in that case they _must_ denote one
and the same individual."

Now this is the rule by Sharp and the places in the King James Version
(AV) that he advised that are wrongly translated, from his "Remarks on
the uses of the definite article in the Greek text of the New Testsment;
containing many new proofs of the divinity of Christ, from passages which are
wrongly translated in the common English version," Philadelphia, 1807:

"When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, [viz. nouns
(either substantive or adjective, or participles), of personal
description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and
attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill,] if the article ho, or
any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles,
and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter
always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the
first noun or participle: i. e. it denotes a farther description of the
first-named person. . . . And there is no exception or instance of the
like mode of expression, that I know of, which necessarily requires a
construction different from what is here laid down, except the nouns be
proper _names,_ or _in the plural number;_ in which cases there are many
exceptions; though there are not wanting examples, even of plural nouns,
which are expressed exactly agreeably to this rule." ("Remarks . . .,"
Philadelphia, 1907, pp. 3, 5, 6.)

According to this rule, Sharp would change the rendering in King James
Version (AV) in the following places:

Acts 20:28
ten ekklesian tou kyriou kai theou (the Greek text according to Sharp)
ten ekklesian tou theou (UBS)
the church of God (AV)
the church of the Lord, even of God (Version by Sharp)

Ephesians 5:5
en te basileia tou khristou kai theou
in the kingdom of Christ, and of God (AV)
in the kingdom of the Christ and God (Sharp) "But this literal
        rendering does not sufficiently express the necessary
        doctrine of the Greek, that the Christ is also God: and
        therefore to help the English idiom, and to accomodate
        the rendering more strictly to the true meaning of the
        Greek, the name Jesus, which is necessary to be understood,
        might be very fairly be inserted in italic, or between hooks,
        as a parenthesis, to supply the necessary sense of the Greek;
        as, 'in the kingdom of (Jesus) the Christ and God:' or else be
        rendered, 'in the kingdom of Christ, (even) of God.'"
        ("Remarks . . .," Philadelphia, 1807, p. 29.)

Philippians 3:3
hoi pneumati theou latreuontes
which worship God in the spirit (AV)
who worship the spirit of God (Version by Sharp)
        This text does not come under Sharp's rule; it was included by
        Sharp in order to show that the holy spirit must be worshiped.

2 Thessalonians 1:12
tou theou hemon kai kyriou Iesou khristou
of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (AV)
of the God and Lord of us, Jesus Christ; or, of Jesus Christ, our God
        and Lord (Sharp)

1 Timothy 5:21
enopion tou theou kai kyriou Iesou khristou (Textus Receptus)
enopion tou theou kai khristou Iesou (UBS)
before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ
before the God and Christ, Jesus; or, before Jesus, the God and Christ;
        or, following Textus Receptus, "before Jesus Christ, the God and
        Lord" (Sharp)

2 Tim. 4:1
enopion tou theou kai tou kyriou Iesou khristou (Textus Receptus)
enopion tou theou kai kyriou Iesou khristou (Greek text according to Sharp)
enopion tou theou kai khristou Iesou (UBS)
before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ (AV)
before the God and Lord, Jesus Christ; or, before Jesus Christ, the God
        and Lord (Sharp)

Tit. 2:13
tou megalou theou kai soteros hemon Iesou khristou
of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ (AV)
of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Sharp)

2 Pet. 1:1
tou teou hemon kai soteros Iesou khristou
of God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ (AV)
of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Sharp)

Jude 4
ton monon despoten theon kai kyrion hemon Iesoun khriston (Textus Receptus)
ton monon despoten kai kyrion hemon Iesoun khriston (UBS)
the only Lord God, and our Lord, Jesus Christ (AV)
our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ (Sharp)

John Albu

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