Re: PRWTH in Luke 2:2

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Sep 29 1998 - 09:45:42 EDT

<x-flowed>At 7:59 AM -0500 9/29/98, James P. Ware wrote:
>This is in regard to Carl's most recent post on this subject (sorry about
>not including the relevant part of Carl's message, but I have not been
>able to figure out how to do this without including all the messages--if
>someone can tell me how to do this I would appreciate it!). I also
>somehow missed Carl's Friday post on this, and thus beg your pardon if I
>am bringing up something already discussed.
>I may be going out on a limb here, since I have not gone back to check.
>But if memory serves, I believe demonstratives such as HAUTH in Lk 2:2,
>when used as adjectives, are always in explicit attributive position.
>I don't know of any exceptions in the NT to this practice. If so, "This
>census" would require HAUTH H APOGRAPHH. To my knowledge, demonstratives
>without the article, such as HAUTH in Luke 2:2, function as pronouns, not

Now you've got me confused and wondering, Jim. My understanding is that
demonstratives, whether they function adjectivally or as pronouns, are
ALWAYS predicative. hAUTH hH APOGRAFH or hAUTH APOGRAFH are, so far as I
know, equivalent formulations; the impossible formulation is hH hAUTH
APOGRAFH. Whenever I've pondered the logic of this, it has seemed to me
that the demonstrative as predicative is always making a predication about
the noun, e.g. "the census is HERE, not THERE." I don't know whether that's
valid or not, but of course, the article itself was originally a

                Would the sense of Luke 2:2 then not have to be something
>like, "This was the first census"--with HAUTH being the deictic pronominal
>subject, APOGRAPHH the predicate, and PRWTH the attributive complement of

Again, I may be wrong, but I rather think that to get that sense you'd have
to have hAUTH (HN/EGENETO) hH PRWTH APOGRAFH. That's not what we have;
rather we have: hAUTH APOGRAFH PRWTH EGENETO followed immediately by the
genitive absolute construction hHGEMONEUONTS THS SURIAS KURHNIOU.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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