Re: definitness of a genetive

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Fri Jun 28 1996 - 11:05:16 EDT

>Frankly I have my Hebrew and Greek confused. I can't remember how the
>definitness of a genetive phrase works if there is no definite article on
>the primary noun but there is on the genetive. My example is Mat. 10:36.
>Is it: "the enemy of the man"
>Or: "an enemy of the man"
>Kevin Buchs, Vicar [ ]
>St. Paul Lutheran, Blue Earth, Minnesota

The Greek sentence in Matt 10:36 is KAI EXQROI TOU ANQRWPOU hOI OIKIAKOI
AUTOU = "and members of his household are a person's enemies." hO is here
generic, denoting the class of humans.

The most extensive treatment in English of the article in Greek known to me
is that of Basil Gildersleeve, SYNTAX O CLASSICAL GREEK, v. 2: paragrapahs
514-674, pp. 215-332. Gildersleeve describes the generic article as

"The principle of the generic article is the selection of a representative
or normal individual." (p. 255). Thus you will find it used with ANHR AND

The incomplete two volumes by Gildersleeve are a magnificent torso of Greek
grammar. Would that he had completed it!

Edgar Krentz <>
Prof. of New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street, Chicago, IL 60615
Off: 312-256-0752 H: 312-947-8105

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