From: Jonathan Robie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 25 1998 - 14:17:06 EDT
At 11:15 PM 9/25/98 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
>Denny Diehl here with a question concerning
>PRWTH as used in Lk 2:2:
A rather good question, I think.
>"AUTH APOGRAFH PRWTH EGENETO..."
>usually translated: "This was the first census taken..."
If you read PRWTH as an adjective that modifies APOGRAFH, then APOGRAFH
PRWTH means "the first census", and the whole phrase can be translated as
you have indicated.
>In Jn 15:18, PRWTON is translated "before". Is it possible
>to translate PRWTH in Lk 2:2 with "before" making it:
>"This was before the census taken..."?
Zerwick's "Biblical Greek" has a good section on comparative forms starting
with section 107. He points out in section 151 that Hellenistic Greek
sometimes uses PRWTOS (first) where Classical Attic would have used
PROTEROS (former); I think the sense of "former" is probably more relevant
here. In the beginning of Acts, Luke refers to the first of his two
accounts as TON MEN PRWTON LOGON EPOIHSAMHN, not TON MEN PROTERON LOGON
EPOIHSAMHN. Some have interpreted this as meaning that Luke must have
written at least three accounts. Zerwick says this is due to a change in
usage during the Hellenistic period. So if I understand Zerwick correctly,
a second way to read this would be "this was the former of two censuses
taken by Quirinius".
Jonathan Robie firstname.lastname@example.org
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