Re: Rev 3:17 - *hO* TALAIPWROS

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Sep 05 1997 - 06:47:36 EDT

At 1:45 AM -0500 9/5/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>Why is there an article before the first adjective, but not the others? Is
>the first adjective to be taken as a substantive or not? What about the

Not a definitive answer, by any means, but a couple points to consider:
(1) The article actually governs the whole series, making all the
adjectives apply in addition to the one singled out as TALAIPWROS;
understood this way, the sentence could be translated: "You are the one who
is miserable and pitiful and poor and blind and naked."
(2) If that doesn't make sense, it's worth remembering that, whether or not
we are willing to call the Greek of Revelation "bad Greek," it deviates
more from the standard "schoolbook" grammatical usage than any other book
in the NT. That's not an adequate answer to any grammatical question raised
about Revelation, but it's something to bear in mind. (It reminds me of a
bad joke which has stuck in my memory since childhood: There were three
worms working their way through a mound of dirt; when they got to the other
side, Papa Worm said, "Here we are, all three of us!" Then Mama Worm said,
"Yes, here we are, all three of us!" And finally, Baby Worm said, "Here we
are, all two of us." Now the question is: why did Baby Worm say that?
Answer: he couldn't count. I warned you it was a bad joke.)

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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