Re: John 6:70 - DIABOLOS and Colwell/ Harner/ Dixon

From: Wes Williams (
Date: Thu Jan 02 1997 - 01:38:11 EST

>It was my Th.M. thesis, "The Significance of the Anarthrous Predicate
>Nominative in John" (referenced several times in Wallace's grammar) to
>which you refer.
Paul, I would like to get a copy of your work. I've had a number of people tell
me it is quite good. What number do I call? Or in modern vernacular, which URL
do I enter?

>This I did and found the following: the anarthrous predicate nominative in
>John is qualitative in 65 of 74 occurrences, or 88% probability. When the
>anarthrous predicate nominative precedes the verb it is qualitative in 50
>of 53 occurrences, or 94% probability. When it follows the verb the
>anarthrous predicate nominative is qualitative 13 of 19 occurrences, or
>68%. In his grammar Wallace agrees with my conclusions, though he thinks
>the probabilities may not be as high.

I appreciate very much what you did. I've read both Harner and Colwell and
Harner's arguments are persuasive for qualitativeness but I have not seen it
applied much in Grammars. I see that Wallace agrees with you as a generality
but still goes with one or more of his own applications. I have a procedural
question regarding your categorization of Definite/ Indefinite/ Qualitativeness.
It seems that studies of this type state that the pre-copulative anarthrous PN
must be Definite OR Qualitative OR Indefinite. The way I see it, and perhaps
closer to real life (IMO), a PN can cross the bounds of two categories. For
example, in the English sentence "Charles is a prince," I can mean several
possibilities, two of which combine categories....

1) Charles is the son of a monarch (indefinite)
2) Charles is the son of a monarch and is also of princely character but I am
emphasizing the group (indefinite and qualitative with indefinite emphasis)
3) Charles is of princely character and also happens to be a son of a monarch
(qualitative and indefinite with qualitative emphasis)
4) Charles is a prince of a man and is not the son of a monarch (qualitative)

In John's 74 instances, there seems to be ever so many instances where a
predicate nom. crosses category bounds (e.g. John 9:24 "This man is a sinner.")
In your case, this added feature would likely not affect your conclusion but it
would affect the statistics.

What are your thoughts on gathering statistics for PN's that have application in
two categories?

Thanks again,
Wes Williams

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