(no subject)

From: Jim West (jwest@highland.net)
Date: Sat May 23 1998 - 14:11:32 EDT

At 10:57 AM 5/23/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi Everyone,
>I have a question with which I need a bit of help.
>Since the genitive and ablative cases share endings, how is one to
>distinguish which is being used by a N.T.
>writer? Is referring to the context the only

Essentially yes. Though, honestly, the ablative is falling out of strict
usage by the koine period- it still appears.
>example, in Summer's Grammar, under the heading of the ablative, he
>gives a sentence to illustrate what the ablative is, and that sentence is
>as follows:
>hO ANQRWPOS PEMPEI TOUS DOULOS TOU OIKOU = "the man sends the servants
>from the house" (Summers
>Why is this not genitive, i.e. "he sends the servants of the house"?

Indeed, it very well could be. But the context seems to demand a genitive
translation. This is a good reminder that the cases do not always solve
translational ambiguities.

>If the prepositions requiring a ablative interpretation (APO, EK, and
>PARA) are not used, as in the above example, why does Summers render
>this as ablative?

Again, because the context seems to require it.

>An individual communicating with me maintains that "gift of the Holy
>Spirit" in Acts 2:38 is an epexegetical genitive, and makes no allowances
>for any other interpretation. Why are the following alternatives not

That is a theological rather than a grammatical statement.

>(1) Subjective genitive
>(2) Possessive genitive
>(3) Ablative case ?

In form, it could be any, as you are right to point out. Context can help -
but a judgment must be rendered and such judgments are usually driven by
theological concerns.

>Thanks for your counsel.
>Wayne Price


Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology


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