Re: Anarthrous Subject with Articular Predicate

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Sep 03 1997 - 15:43:12 EDT

At 1:56 PM -0500 9/3/97, Williams, Wes wrote:
>>In a sentence or clause containing an
>>articular noun and an anarthrous noun (such as in Jn 1:1c, but not
>>the rule is that the subject is denoted by the articular noun. Can
>>anybody give me an exception to this rule in the Greek NT? LXX? Other
>>Greek writings? Is there any Greek writing where in the same sentence
>>clause an anarthrous noun is the subject and an articular noun is the
>>predicate nominative?
>I am really interested in the answer to this! So far, I haven't noticed
>exceptions in my reading, but my antenae may not have been on the right
>frequency to notice.
> This will be hotly contested, but how about Phil 2:13?
>For God is the One acting within YOU for the sake of his good

Quite frankly, I don't think this will do as an exception. The English
version you've cited makes it sound like "God" is the subject, but I
believe that the Greek would be more accurately rendered into English as,
"The one acting with you for the sake of his good pleasure is God" -- I
think that hO ENERGWN is really the subject and QEOS the predicate noun.

For my part, I've been trying to think of a predicate word that's both
indefinite and qualitative; what comes to my mind is older proverbial
expressions, and one in particular, Callimachus' dictum regarding the
futile endeavor to emulate or compete against Homer: MEGA BIBLION MEGA
KAKON. Here of course we have no articles at all, just two substantives
with an implicit copula (ESTIN). Here MEGA KAKON is pretty clearly the
predicate word: "A big scroll is a big nuisance." I think that MEGA KAKON
is both indefinite and qualititative, even though it is clearly

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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