From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Sep 13 1996 - 06:43:09 EDT
At 10:26 PM -0500 9/12/96, Juan Stam B wrote:
>What is the best explanation of the construction of the final clause of
>Rev 6.2? Is it a hebraism modelled on the accusative absolute (so
>Massyngberde Ford). Is it pretty straight Greek, where hina plus aorist
>subjunctive emphasizes the rider's stubborn purporse of a final victory?
>Why aor subj here but future indic with sphazo in 6.4? How did the kai
>get in before the hina? Does anything in the Greek of 6.2d help clarify
>the meaning of the first rider (white horse)?
Some interesting questions here (but perhaps the subject header should
refer to Rev. 6:2 rather than 6:1?)
Upon taking a look at this phrasing at the end of 6:2, I was struck by the
similarity of the phrasing in John 1:8:
Jn 1:8 OUK HN EKEINOS TO FWS, ALL' hINA MARTURHSHi PERI TOU FWTOS
Ap 6:2 KAI EKSHLQEN NIKWN KAI hINA NIKHSHi
And then there is the hINA clause in Ap 6:4, in the indicative future:
KAI TWi KAQHMENWi EP' AUTON EDOQH AUTWi LABEIN THN EIRHNHN EK THS GHS
KAI hINA ALLHLOUS SFAKSOUSIN ...
My grammatical reference works are at the office rather than ready to hand
as I write, but my suspicion here is that the hINA-plus-subjunctive clause
in colloquial(?) Koine of the NT period is already showing the tendencies
that transform it into the Modern Greek infinitive (which, since it is
subjunctive in origin, is CONJUGATED for person & number); moreover there
appears to be quite a variety of ways of expressing purpose, including the
genitive articular infinitive and the EIS-plus-articular-infinitive.
Classical attic could use a future participle, especially with a hWS, to
indicate purpose (e.g. HLQEN hWS NIKHSWN). So I'm wondering whether, in Ap
6:2, NIKWN KAI hINA NIKHSHi doesn't express (rather clumsily, to be sure)
what classical Attic would have expressed as EKSHLQEN NIKWN KAI hWS
NIKHSWN. At any rate, the hINA clauses in both Ap 6:2 and Jn 1:8 appear to
have a sort of participial function as well as a sort of adverbial
function, referring back to the subject, although also referring back to
the verbs--EKSHLQEN in Ap 6:2 and an implicit HLQEN in Jn 1:8. That brings
up another point: this looks very much like the Latin "Supine in
accusative" used commonly with a verb of motion to indicate purpose, as
VENERUNT SALUTATUM CONSULEM, "they came to greet the consul."
So it looks to me like this hINA-plus-subjunctive clause is functioning
syntactically in an ill-definited manner--semi-participially,
semi-infinitivally, somewhat like a Latin supine--to indicate purpose or
future intent, perhaps especially with a verb of motion like "come."
Now what about hINA ALLHLOUS SFAKSOUSIN in Ap 6:4? (a) SFAKSOUSIN is
indicative rather than subjunctive--but perhaps, since we find,
occasionally even in Attic, but increasingly in Koine (whether or not it is
a Semitism), the future indicative used for an imperative (e.g. MH
FONEUSHiS, "thou shalt not murder"). It looks to me like the hINA clause
in Ap 6:4 works also just like an infinitive, and indeed, that it is
_meant_ to be parallel to the infinitive phrase, LABEIN THN EIRHNHN EK THS
I don't know what to make of all this, but it's fascinating linguistic
source material. We talk about the author of Revelation writing
"solecisms"--but I wonder whether he may not have been on the "cutting
edge" of grammatical creativity in Greek linguistic development. Perhaps
the real linguists in our midst can help sort this out?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
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