Re: Back to Pronouns

From: S. M. Baugh (
Date: Fri Mar 14 1997 - 10:42:06 EST

To all:

It seems like so long ago that I started the thread which has now
transmorphed to EGW EIMI (and to HaYaH in Exodus of all places!). I
don't mind, of course, it is all very stimulating, cyber-Joycian free
association. However I am still interested in feedback on my original
question if anyone cares to comment upon it or correct.

Let me remind you that I originally asked (on March 10) if anyone has
noticed any other kinds of uses of the "emphatic" nominative personal
pronoun. My original ideas were:

(1) Contrast. Probably the most common use of the nominative personal
pronoun . . .
(2) Personal Involvement. Stresses the personal involvement of the
subject, especially when unexpected.:
(3) Conviction. Demonstrates an authorÔs deep conviction about the
(4) Emotion. Expresses an author's emotion in the statement. This could
be a very broad category.
(5) Specification (from Porter, *Idioms* p. 129) or Clarification. The
pronoun clarifies through specification.
(6) No Emphasis. It is hard to see any emphasis in all nominative
personal pronouns in copulative statements (particularly with EIMI) in
some authors. The pronoun was probably felt to be semi-required to avoid

(Category #6 got the ball rolling with EGW EIMI, which most NT scholars
regard as a formula in John's Gospel. How a "formula" fits in with
"emphasis" is an interesting question. I looked up the biblio. on a
recent study if anyone wants a survey of current opinion: David Mark
Ball, "'I AM' in John's Gospel" [JSNTSS 124; Sheffield, 1996] ISBN

Subsequently I looked at Apollonius Dyscolus on pronouns who gives nom.
personal pronoun, AUTOS, in the Iliad as "anaphoric" (i.e., repeating,
or pointing to a previous reference) (Book II, sec. 8). Without getting
further into Apollonius here (who is notoriously obtuse and his
translator adds a dissenting comment at this point), perhaps he is on to
something. So I'll add two points (and altering A.'s idea in the

(7) Anaphora. The nominative pronoun may function as logical or formal
section markers in a discourse. This would be especially appropriate
when we recall that ancient Greek was normally written without breaks
between words, sentences, and paragraphs. Example: UMEIS in 1 John 2:20,
24, and 27 (note the anaphoric article: CRISMA . . . TO CRISMA forming
an inclusio between vv. 20 and 27).

(8) It sould be noticed that these categories are not watertight
compartments. The anaphoric use of the pronoun may also serve as
contrast, etc.

If this business gathers no comment, then I promise to drop it!


S. M. Baugh
Westminster Theological Seminary
in California

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