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

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Fri Nov 22 1996 - 13:28:31 EST

At 11:01 AM 11/22/96 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>Actually this is an age-old Hebraic locution, is it not? "Glory be to God"
>-- BARUCH ATAH ADONAI ELOHENU MELEKH OLAM, etc., etc.: "Blessed art thou,
>Lord our God, King of the Universe, etc., etc." But can human beings
>"bless" God?
>Therefore Randy's question really IS in order. What kind of a dative is it?
>I've just thumbed through Wallace's chapter on the dative and I honestly
>don't find anything that fits. My impression is that what we have here is a
>Greek dative of the noun QEOS representing the Hebrew L'YHWH or L'ADONAI,
>behind which locution ultimately is an anthropomorphic conception of God's
>nature as one who can receive greater glory than He already has. The old
>hymn that says "changed from glory into glory" is a little bit more
>sensible, but it doesn't bear much rational exploration either; rational
>exploration is futile. It would appear thaat what we have here is an
>ancient Hebrew liturgical phrase that was carried over into Greek and that
>we still maintain in our liturgies today. I'm not saying we should dispense
>with it, only that it won't bear much serious reflection.

        Carl's observation that the expression of the angels could
correspond to L'YHWH or L'ADONAI may be a helpful way to understand the
dative QEWi here (Did the angels sing in Hebrew?). The Hebrew preposition
Le is an indicator of the dative, but it may also have genitive meaning. In
the Psalms, for instance, the ancient headings often carry some such phrase
as MiTZMoR LeDaUiD (so Psalm 23). This phrase is normally translated "A
Psalm of David." So the Le preposition (if that was the expression used by
the angels) could mean "Glory [pertaining] to God," in which case the
thought would be one of the glory justly due His name.

        How this kind of meaning should be classified in terms of the Greek
dative is another question. How about dative of posession (Bl-DeB, #189)
and the verb ESTIN (with DOCA as subject) understood?

David Moore
David L. Moore Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education Southeastern Spanish District of the Assemblies of God

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:57 EDT