Re: this week's exegesis passage

From: Paul Zellmer (
Date: Wed Feb 17 1999 - 19:21:43 EST wrote:

[quoting Jonathan Ryder]

> >> The rest is very very confusing to me. It starts OU LEGEI [I am not saying? not saying
> what? no
> >> object, transitive verb?]; then a confusing mosh of clauses
> >
> >try: He is not saying, "...
> DUH. ::sound of forehead repeatedly hitting desk::
> So the semicolon can introduce a direct quote?

Jane, I see the semicolon as being a clue to make a fairly significant break in the flow of the
words. In this case, it is to set apart the potential phrasing of the Old Testament reference
from the actual phrasing. In English, we *do* use a direct quote to mark this in written
language, but I'm not sure that the Greek-speaking mindset actually sees it as a quotation.

> >nb also the chiasmus
> >
> >b' ALL' WS EF' ENOS
> Aha! That helps with the translations of KAI as well, since there's a pair of 'em.

If this *is* a case of chiasmus, then I need to either review the modern interpretations of the
form or change what I see as being brought out in this part of the verse. I was taught that, if
a chiasmus has an even number of lines, the most significant of them would be the outer pair.
On the other hand, if it has an odd number, the middle line is the most significant. In this
case, however, the most significant seems to be the adverbial phrases, which are the center two
lines of a supposed chiasmus with an even number of lines. I think the use of ALLA also
supports that contention.

I see this as a possible influence of a very common pattern in Hebrew parallelism. And I'm not
sold on the interchanging of the order of elements in that particular pattern to be of the same
significance as the rhetorical Greek device called "chiasm." Methinks we are overusing a
technical term, which leads to failing to recognize the device when it actually appears.

Besides, Jane, the occurrences of KAI here are simply parts of the potential and actual OT

> Could one justify, then, translating OU LEGEI in a passive sense, as "it is not said"?

Probably not, but one could justify the use of the English neuter, as Scripture is considered to
be neuter in gender in the English language. A very natural translation IMO is: It does not



Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

--- B-Greek home page: You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [] To unsubscribe, forward this message to To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:17 EDT