Re: article with prepositional phrase (Rom. 9:5)

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sun Mar 15 1998 - 23:19:53 EST

>At 8:39 AM -0600 3/13/98, David Mills wrote:
>>The phrase TO KATA SARKA is a little puzzling to me, and I don't find much
>>help in any of my resource books. Why is an article needed? What
>>determines the case of the article? What does this construction mean?
And at 9:06 AM -0600 3/13/98, Carl W. Conrad responded:
>This is strange. I assume that it's dealt with somewhere in BDF, . . .

That's right. BDF section 266, note (2) reads TO KATA SARKA R 9:5 where the
addition of the art. strongly emphasizes the limitation ('insofar as the
physical is concerned'). The part 2 of the main discussion in section 266
discusses such constructions as 'adverbial accusatives.'

Carl continued:
>. . . but I'll
>simply note my observation: that starting in the classical era and
>increasingly throughout the Hellenistic era more and more prepositional
>phrases are made articular and become sort of "complex adverbs: some of
>them tend even to be written together, KAQOLOU --> TO KAQOLOU; KATA MEROS
>--> TO KATA MEROS. With a bit of reflection, I think I could come up with
>several others: TO DI'hOLOU ...

The historical question for me is what brought this change about? What did
speakers of Greek feel that adding the article to these phrases
accomplished? Given that there was always a tendency to add the article to
prepositional phrases in order to make them function like substantives, how
would using the same divice strengthen their already existent *adverbial*

I don't pretend to have an answer for this. A great deal of research
remains to be done on the use of the article with prepositional phrases
(both as governors of such phrases and within such phrases).

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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