Re: Luke 22:20

From: George Athas (
Date: Mon Mar 16 1998 - 17:52:40 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:

> But how can it be predicative when there's an article in front of it? I
> think one might well argue that it really is attributive without an
> article, in which case one could make out a case for its being EITHER
> attributive OR predicative, but I don't see how it can be predicative with
> the article there.

In the same way that H KAINH DIAQHKH is predicative earlier in the verse - it has
an article there, too.

> >> This whole section here, 22:17-20, is a messy one and one that is
> >> head-spinningly variant in the MSS. I've puzzled with it repeatedly over
> >> the years and often suspected it's the product of an effort to bring Luke
> >> more discernibly into line with the theology of the other synoptics, but I
> >> don't feel confident enough with my own text-critical abilities to argue
> >> for any definitive solution to the question how the text came to be in the
> >> form in which we get it printed in our editions. I would say that the form
> >> of TO hUPER hUMWN EKCUNNOMENON is deliberately parallel to the form of TO
> >> hUPER hUMWN DIDOMENON, another attributive participial phrase which we
> >> translate as a relative clause in English.
> >
> >Yes, the verse is rather messy isn't it? It does seem as though Luke is
> >trying to
> >bring out the meaning of the other synoptics but confusing the grammar and
> >word
> >construction in the process. We have to ask: Is Luke trying primarily to
> >preserve
> >the grammar or the meaning? My vote is for the meaning, hence my choice of
> >translation.
> Well, once again, my own impression (which I have no way of proving) is
> that the text we have in 17-20 is a conflation, the whole of which may not
> necessarily derive from the evangelist's own hand.

Granted. A reasonable suggestion.

> Let me go one very short step further WITH you, however. I'll agree that we
> have a mixed metaphor here in that drinking is a symbolic act used in
> different ways in the Biblical tradition: blood, gall, etc. I'd even say
> that one could readily understand TOUTO TO POTHRION as "this chalice full
> of blood" and still have TO EKCUNNOMENON as an attributive participle
> referring back to POTHRION but with the "outpouring" having natural
> reference to the shedding of blood. I guess what I want to insist on, from
> my own point of view, is that what we think the intent of the author to be
> should not alter the way we read the grammatical construction.

Oh, Carl, I'm not suggesting that your view of the verse is wrong. I can see the
merits of it and I believe it is reasonable and coherent. However, I'm saying that
there is another possiblity which shouldn't be discounted. It is reasonable and
coherent, too.

Best as always!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591

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