From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Feb 04 1997 - 13:29:11 EST
At 11:10 AM -0600 2/4/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I do have a couple of open questions about this passage in light of the
>1. Carlton says:
>>It seems to me good to translate PASA GRAFH QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS PROS
>>DIDASKALIAN PROS ELEGMON, PROS EPANORQWSIN. . . . as "Every God inspired
>>and beneficial scripture is for reproof, for improvement. . . ."
>Please help me understand the syntax here.
>I am guessing that the traditional "Every scripture is inspired and
>beneficial for..." thinks of this as: PASA GRAFH QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS
>[ESTIN] PROS DIDASKALIAN PROS ELEGMON, PROS EPANORQWSIN. This is
>grammatically possible, right?
>Is this interpetation also grammatically possible?
>PASA GRAFH QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS [ESTIN] PROS DIDASKALIAN PROS ELEGMON,
>PROS EPANORQWSIN - "Every inspired scripture is beneficial for..."
If we read it this way we have to understand the KAI as adverbial: " ... is
also beneficial ..."
>It seems that Carlton's reading is equivalent to: PASA QEOPNEUSTOS KAI
>WFELIMOS GRAFH PROS DIDASKALIAN [ESTIN], PROS ELEGMON, PROS EPANORQWSIN...
>- is my understanding correct?
>How many of these interpretations are grammatically possible? How many make
>sense? How should I choose among them? One thing I like about Carlton's
>explanation is that it restricts GRAFH to the inspired writings, which makes
>sense, because clearly, not every writing is God-breathed or useful. As a
>matter of fact, I'm quite certain I've posted some things to this forum
>which were neither, but they were all, in fact, GRAFH!
The passage is tricky enough, isn't it? In view of the fact that ESTI is
NOT present explicitly in a way that would help to identify which element
here is the real predicate, I think we'd have to say that all of these
interpretations ARE grammatically possible. However, I'm reluctant to
consider Carlton's view of it as probable, primarily in view of the
word-order, but secondarily in view of the "naturalness" of those PROS +
accusative nouns being construed with the adjective WFELIMOS. Doesn't one
ask, when something is said to be useful, what is it useful FOR? And I
think that Carlton's interpretation would be a bit more probable if the
phrasing were thus: PROS DIDASKALIAN ESTIN PASA GRAFH QEOPNEUSTOS KAI
WFELIMOS, PROS ELEGMON, PROS EPANORQWSIN ... This would much more clearly
indicate that the PROS + acc. phrases all belong to the predicate; it would
also strengthen the likelihood that QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS should be
taken together as attributive to GRAFH, and that WFELIMOS should not be
deemed a predicate adjective pointing to the PROS + acc. phrases. How we
punctuate also makes a difference in how we understand the whole complex.
I am inclined to think that QEOPNEUSTOS is intended to be attribute to
GRAFH, but I'm very much inclined to agree with Edgar on this one--that KAI
WFELIMOS (ESTIN) KTL. really constitute the predicate.
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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