Re: PAS - Every [other]?

From: James H. Vellenga (
Date: Thu Sep 26 1996 - 08:37:00 EDT

> At 05:31 9/25/96 MST, wrote:
> >I was hoping that someone on the list could direct me to one or more
> >grammatical references that show that PAS/PANTA can mean 'All - with the
> >exception of the item we just talked about in the context...'. Here are
> >some examples from NASB where the translation committee translated
> >PAS/PANTA/etc as "all other." I agree with the translations, I just cannot
> >find many grammars that talk about the insertion of 'other.' Or perhaps
> >someone could elucidate the principles where a translator would insert
> >"other" besides subjectivity.
Stephen Carlson replies:
> You've asked a very good question. Looking at your three examples, I
> would say that the first two present a different situation than the
> third.
> >UBS4 Matthew 13:32 ho mikroteron men estin PANTWN twn spermatwn
> >NASB Matthew 13:32 and this is smaller than all OTHER seeds,
> >
> >UBS4 Luke 13:2 Dokeite hoti hoi Galilaioi houtoi hamartwloi para PANTAS
> >tous Galilaious egenonto hoti tauta peponqasin;
> >NASB Luke 13:2 "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners
> >than all OTHER Galileans because they suffered this fate?
> In Mt13:32 we have a comparative, hO MIKROTERON, "the smaller," and
> in Lk13:2 hAMARTWLOI PARA is a positive + PARA which functions as a
> comparative, "more of a sinner." [See BDF #245(3)]. In the Koine,
> the superlative has almost disappeared in favor of the use of the
> comparative with a unit of plurality [#60], which is served by the
> use of PAS here. So, these constructions really function as a
> superlative: "the smallest of all the seeds"; "these Galileans were
> the worst sinners of all Galileans." It's not really that different
> from the way Romance languages work.
> I suppose that if the translator wants to maintain the comparative
> form, English grammar requires the use of "other" with groups, as
> it still carefully maintains the distinction between the comparative
> and the superlative. It is ungrammatical to say *"smaller than all
> seeds"; it must be either "smallest of all seeds" or "smaller than
> all other seeds." This then explains the translation.
> >UBS4 1 Corinthians 6:18 feugete thn porneian. PAN hamarthma ho ean
> >poihsh anqrwpos ektos tou swmatos estin ho de porneuwn eis to idion swma
> >hamartanei.
> >NASB 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee immorality. Every OTHER sin that a man
> >commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own
> >body.
> I suspect that "other" is employed here to clarify the force of the
> adversative DE, translated by "but." I'm not so sure, however, that
> this carries the sense of the Greek. To me this states that all sins
> are outside the body and on top of that this particular is also inside
> the body. In other words, I would treat the DE as if there was a MEN
> in the first clause. Comments?
> Also, the hO EAN + aor. subjunctive almost suggests some kind of a
> conditional, does it not? "If a person has committed any sin, it is
> outside the body, but a fornicator also sins against his own body."
I think Stephen makes a good point that the former two cases differ
from the last. It's easy to believe that the use with a comparative
makes an idiomatic difference in the koine Greek.

On the third, let me add one other observation. I have been told
(somewhere before I was studying Greek on my own) that PAS can
also mean "every kind of" or (plural) "all kinds of". This is
used in translating, for example, 1 Tim. 4.10: "For the love
of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (NIV).

I have played around with this in translation, and have found a
good rule of thumb (in the absence of other indications such as
comparatives) to be that if the PAS form is followed by a
definite article, use "all", but if not, use "every kind of"
or "all kinds of". Hence with 1 Cor. 6.18, we get

  Every kind of sin that a person may commit is outside the body,
  yet the fornicator sins toward/against his own body.

The "every kind of" reading tends to reduce the universality,
but even so, I think Stephen's suggestion is a good one: The
fornication is a sin both outside and inside. That is, OTHER
is not needed (maugre the NASB) because the first clause is
not true only of _other_ sins.

Actually, now that I'm looking at it, I'm wondering about why
the ESTIN is there -- is this some kind of existence statement?
I.e., should we be reading this as something like

  [There] is, outside the body, every kind of sin that a person may
  commit, yet the fornicator sins toward/against his own body.

Jim V.

James H. Vellenga |
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