Re: Another Carson Question--Sort Of

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Wed Apr 15 1998 - 17:54:31 EDT

At 11:59 PM 4/14/98 EDT, Greg Stafford wrote:

>In a message dated 98-04-14 23:49:07 EDT, you write:

>>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. >>
>No, not necessarily. That is why I asked for examples of KAI-joined nouns
>a proper name asssociated with the second noun, where only the first has the
>article. THAT would "show unequivically that QEOS and SWTHR may be used
>together as we find them in 2P. 1:1 to refer to a person." Of course, 2 Peter
>may still be a reference to one person, but there are several factors that
>must be considered prior to any interpretation....

        If we put enough conditions, there is a good chance we will never find a
match. Greg's argument here is essentially one from silence: we find no
constructions "of KAI-joined nouns with a proper name asssociated with the
second noun, where only the first has the article." Let's turn that around
and look for a match to the Granville Sharp construction in Phil. 2:25,
where we have a proper noun "associated with" (to employ Greg's language)
an arthrous noun which is joined to an anarthrous noun by a KAI (There is
even an additional anarthrous noun in the construction, but we won't demand
that.). It is obvious that all these nouns in Phil. 2:25 refer to
Epaphroditus, but if we look for a similar construction in the NT, we find
none. (At least that was the result of a Gramcord search I performed to
look for it.)

>> 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.
>They don't have any relation at all to the point we are considering, namely,
>does SWTHROS IC function as a compound proper name? Or, does IC, in
>to SWTHROS, so restrict the application of SWTHROS that the repetition of the
>article was not necessary?

        Isn't this a methodology that depends heavily on subjective criteria.
There are a lot of questions here, but not much in the way of answers. The
theory is that the association of the second noun of what might be
considered a Granville Sharp construction with a following proper noun
breaks the expected unity of reference. This leads into questions about
the realtive value within this theory of proper nouns and quasi-proper
nouns (as well as questions of what constitutes a quasi-proper noun) and
whether expressions like SWTHROS IHSOU CRISTOU are compound proper names or
if SWTHROS, rather, funcitons as a title. These questions aren't easily
resolved in a definitive way even if the theory about proper-name
association were valid.

        In another vein on this matter, we might want to take a look at the
textual apparatus on this verse. I find that Aleph has KURIOU in place of
QEOU in the construction we are looking at in 2P. 1:1. Doesn't this
indicate that at least as early as the 4th Century this construction was
understood as referring to one person. Would anyone have trouble
identifying this whole expression as a reference to Christ if it read EN
possible that KURIOU was introduced to resolve some perceived theological
problem in the original text of the passage.

David Moore

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