KAI (was: Re: Rev 2:20 etc.

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Mon Sep 29 1997 - 13:24:54 EDT

At 11:55 AM -0500 9/29/97, lakr wrote:
>If I might piggyback a verse I'm considering onto your topic, I am
>currently looking a John 17:19. When I first started trying to visualize
>this verse in my mind it gave me plenty of trouble because of the use
>of KAI. I am starting to wish that I never learned the meaning of
>KAI as "and".
>At this point I've come up with the feeling that KAI is almost being
>used to make "them" emphatic and to contrast their condition of
>sanctification as being contrasted with that of Jesus' own sanctification.
>Therefore WSIN HGIASMENOI would be a complete thought as in
>'they may be sanctified', WSIN AUTOI HGIASMENOI would be '*they* may
>be sanctified', and WSIN KAI AUTOI HGIASMENOI, '*they also* may be
>sanctified'. [ I hope this is correct or it's back to the drawing
>board. ]
>I'm still trying to come up with an overall mental concept for the meaning
>of KAI as 'and|also|even' in my reading which does not split it into
>two different meanings 1) the traditional linking of two or more things
>together and 2) this 'even | also' nuance.
>I'm afraid I've described what I'm trying to do very poorly. Does anyone
>have any suggestions how I might tackle this, or is it something that
>comes naturally after reading lots of Greek ?

You've already hit the nail on the head and found your solution. I don't
think you can come up with a completely unified understanding of KAI; what
makes it potentially confusing is that it may be a CONJUNCTION that joins
two or more elements or an ADVERB normally preceding immediately the
element that it emphasizes, and sometimes its position may make it appear
that it is a conjunction when it really is an adverb. I believe that the
Greek-thinker (including the "Little Greek" who has read enough Greek to be
at least that much of a Greek-thinker) doesn't even think about which KAI
is involved in a particular instance but recognizes it instinctively, just
as an English-thinker doesn't consciously distinguish between THAT as a
demonstrative and THAT as a conjunction but recognizes each in its normal

Your paragraph above beginning "Therefore WSIN hHGIASMENOI ..." is about as
well stated as I think it ever could be stated: KAI AUTOI doesn't really
add any substance to the basic meaning of WSIN hHGIASMENOI, but it doubly
underscores the subject of that verb.

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
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cconrad@yancey.main.nc.us
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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