Re: 1 Cor 14:27--number agreement

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 13:15:04 EDT

At 7:13 AM -0400 6/24/98, Trevor M Peterson wrote:
>On Tue, 23 Jun 1998 17:37:02 -0400 "Carl W. Conrad"
><> writes:
>>LOGOUS really ought to be spelled out if it were
>>to be understood with DUO H TREIS.
>That was my basic point. But the person I was discussing this with
>seemed to think that the number agreement reverses the burden, since only
>an implication of the object would allow them to disagree.

Well, let me carry this one step further: I would question whether
glossolalia could be described as LOGOI in any case; so far as I am aware,
LOGOS always refers to articulate, intelligible speech in Greek; it hardly
seems applicable to ecstatic speech that requires an interpreter to make it

>>I think that's treating the logic too strictly; I rather suppose that
>>TIS LALEI GLWSSHI means, "If anyone (at all) speaks in a tongue ...,"
>>then we must suppose Paul is willing to accept this possibility that
>>SOMEONE may do it, but that he wants to LIMIT the extent of this
>>in public worship, and so he says, "If anyone does it at all, then no
>>than two or three should do it at a time, and they should do it in
>>and there should always be a single interpreter."
>Not only did I suggest this to the other person, but I also mentioned
>that the placement of the numerals in a prepositional phrase might loosen
>the number agreement rules. The response was that I would have to
>"adduce occurrence of such distributively functioning prepositions where
>the setting demonstrates the kind of break here claimed for it, namely an
>alteration in number from singular to plural (& it cannot be based on
>octic=hostis or some similar word, which would per se be opener to
>numeric vagueness as being more like our 'whoever'." Now, while I don't
>think this is a fair assignment of the burden of proof, I would certainly
>feel a lot better if some parallel construction could be found anywhere
>in Greek literature, whether Attic or Koine.
>>Actually I think the TIS could have been used the same way in
>The scholar this man was quoting seemed to oppose that idea. Would you
>happen to know of any corroborating evidence, either from some standard
>grammar or more preferably from actual usage?

Is this "classical Greek scholar" whom your friend cites endowed with a
name and proper identity? I've probably published far too little to make a
claim to be a "classical Greek scholar," but I have taught classical Greek
for 40 odd years. If your friend deems Smyth's grammar sufficiently
authoritative, he may check out #1267. "In the singular, TIS is used in a
collective sense ..."
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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