Re: Luke 2:14: en uyistois qew, en anqrwpois eudokias

From: Randy Leedy (
Date: Thu Nov 21 1996 - 11:46:03 EST

Jonathan Robie wrote:

>>>OK, I thought I could parse this, and then someone pointed out
that UYISTOIS is plural. Why plural?

Luke 2:14 (GNT) doxa en uyistois qew kai epi ghs eirhnh en anqrwpois

Nothing seems to agree with it. DOXA is singular. QEW is singular.
GHS is singular. ANQRWPOIS is plural, but masculine. And this is
Luke, who is supposed to write good Greek.

Any hints?

Good answers have been given; I'll just add one point. A Greek word
doesn't necessarily have to agree with anything. Luke isn't to be
faulted because he wrote a word that doesn't agree with any other
words. To the question of why a word is in a certain gender, number,
and case, agreement with another word is only one of many possible
answers. It is the CORRECT answer only when the word is in an
attributive relationship to the other word. In the absence of such a
relationship between two words, any agreement between them is

hUYISTOIS, I take it, is neuter plural dative. It is neuter because
its elliptical head (i.e., the implied word it modifies) is neither
male nor female. (One alternative, I suppose, is to supply OURANOIS
as the head; in that case the adjective would be grammatically
masculine.) It is plural for reasons that have been under discussion.
It is dative because it is the object of EN, which requires the
dative. (The diachronists--if there is such a word--among us might
explain along another line at this point; my explanation seems
simplest, if not most accurate historically.)

QEWi, on the other hand, is dative, not because of the EN, but
because of its own function in relation to the kernal "Glory (be)."
(It's not "Glory be IN God," but "Glory be TO God.") I would be
interested to hear some comments on how this dative should be
construed: is it possessive, ethical, advantage, or something else
that I can't think of? Unfortunately, I'm away from my grammars at
the moment.

In Love to God and Neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

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