Re: KJV on "which"

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Jun 30 1998 - 08:00:18 EDT

At 12:25 AM 6/30/98 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:

>Donald W Price wrote:
>> Why does the KJV (in Matt. 6:9) render the phrase "ho en tois ouranois"
>> as "our Father WHICH art in heaven" instead of "WHO art in heaven" as the
>> ASV put it?
>Probably because the "which" and the "who" is strictly optional
>in translational Greek.

Bingo! Here is the complete phrase:


This is an example of second attributive position, which attributes
something to the noun. Consider this simpler example of second attributive

        hO ANQRWPWS hO AGAQOS - "the good man"

But what is attributed to God is not a simple adjective like AGAQOS
("good"), but the phrase EN TOIS OURANOIS ("in the heavens"). In this
prayer, we pray to "Our in-the-heavens Father", which might be also be
translated "our heavenly Father". The traditional rendering, "our Father,
who art in heaven", is also a good translation. All of these are English
translations that try to convey the Greek form.

>The Aramaic ABba d'WUSHmaya (The Lukan form being closer
>to the ipsa verba) is simply "Father in Heaven."

Is there actually an extent copy of the Aramaic? As I understand it, it is
just a reconstruction based on later Syriac manuscripts, and there is not
general agreement whether this prayer was originally in Aramaic in the
first place.


Jonathan Robie

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