Re: Another Carson Question--Sort Of

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 23:48:59 EDT

At 12:25 PM 4/14/98 EDT, GregStffrd wrote:

>In a message dated 98-04-14 12:18:03 EDT, you write:
><< Many instances of this construction - QEOS associated with SWTHR,
> referring to one person - are available online in the Perseus website's
> papyrus database. I found this very interesting resource through Micheal
> Palmer's "Greek Manuscript Gateway" which may be found at the following URL:
>How many of them occur together with a proper name, like "Jesus Christ"?

        In the post of which Greg has quoted a small portion above, both of the
papyrus passages I quoted contain proper names. Let me to repeat them:

Start quoted material> Papyrus BGU 2374 from 88-81 BC begins as follows:
BASILEI PTOLOEMAIWNI QEWI SWTHRI XAIREIN.Of special interest to us, because of
its date and its reference to a Roman emperoror, is PRein 95 from 49 AD
which cites the month of August with these words, MHNOS SEBASTOU ANIKHTOU

The first has BASILEI PTOLOEMAIWNI which appears to me to be "To King
Ptolemy" and the other has the name SEBASTOS which normally is translated
Augustus (Cf. Acts 25:21, 25). I take it from the way SEBASTOS is used in
this passage from the papyri that there was still a very present
concsiousness in 49 AD of the month being named for the person of the late

        My post, however, was not meant to address Sharp's rule, as Greg's
question implies, but was offered as an illustration of Ed Komoszewski's
observations and citations to the effect that the use of QEOS with SWTHR in
reference to a person is a fairly well attested idiomatic expression of
Koine Greek. The meanings of established idioms are understood by
familiarity with their usages and not by application of more general rules
as such. The papyri show unequivically that QEOS and SWTHR may be used
together as we find them in 2P. 1:1 to refer to a person. The idiomatic
and formulaic nature of these numerous instances in the papyri strongly
suggest that such a construction would also be understood in a unified,
formulaic way by the first addressees of 1 Peter. Those who are inclined
to deny the unity of reference for the expression TOU QEOU KAI SWTHROS
IHSOU CRISTOU in 1P. 1:1 may construe the expression as referring to two
persons, but these instances of similar constructions with QEOS and SWTHR
from among the papyri certainly point in the oposite direction.

David Moore

David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
Home Page:


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