Personal Pronoun Confusion

From: Ian Brown (
Date: Tue Oct 14 1997 - 15:37:50 EDT

Ok, here's the situation. I have looked in a few beginning NT Greek
grammars on personal pronouns and they make the following clear distinction:
For personal pronouns in the nominative you get emphasis or contrast, which
you convey in translation with italics or underlining the pronoun.
For A)UTOS in any case you get intensification (if in the predicative
position), which you convey in translation with himself, herself, itself
or themselves. The only grey area seems to be when you have A)UTOS by
itself in the nominative with verb in the 3rd person.

So I was investigating the subject in BDF and BAGD and found some less
clear distinctions:
In BDF they mention that for personal pronouns in the nominative you
can have emphasis or contrast, but they convey some of their examples
using himself, herself, etc., which they also used in translation for the
intensive use of A)UTOS.

In BAGD they do the same thing (in looking at the entries for SU and A)UTOS),
but in the entry for A)UTOS they seems to use intensification and emphasis
as synonyms at the beginning of the entry.

So does anyone have any advice on making sense of all this? It would be nice
to have even some "fuzzy" rules on how to translate personal pronouns in
these situations.

Ian R. Brown
MA in Religion Student
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Andrews University

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