Re: Revelation 22:3

From: Thomas J. Kraus (
Date: Mon Mar 29 1999 - 01:42:05 EST

> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 09:12:59 -0500
> From: John Reece <>
> To: Biblical Greek <>
> Subject: Revelation 22:3
> Reply-to: John Reece <>

> What is the antecedent of AUTH in Revelation 22:3?
> John Reece


strictly speaking the AUTH in Rev 21:23 has no antecedent. But I started
with strictly speaking, i.e. just looking for an antecedent in the clause
in which the pronoun can be found.
When you are going back verse by verse in Rev 21 you will find more forms
of the third person pronoun as a singular feminin. This pronoun in Greek
has an anaphoric force, i.e. it refers back to somethin already mentioned
and known. At some places in the NT (even more in the Greco-Roman papyri)
it is hard to find an antecedent which agrees properly with the pronoun in
number and gender; at some places there are incosistencies (singular
referring to plural and vice versa; masculin referring to feminin, and so
on), one form of the socalled *constructio ad sensum, which make things
even tougher. But in Rev 21 you will find H POLIS in verse 16 (with a
possessive AUTHS following later in the same clause), and which is the
decisive point to return to, and THN AGIAN IERUSALEM in verse 10 to which
the following AUTHS (Rev 21:11) refers.
If you want to find out more about the anaphoric force of the
third person pronouns (AUTOS, AUTH, AUTON), the following give a valuable
overview including historical developments:
J. Wackernagel, Vorlesungen ueber Syntax. Vol. II, Basel 1928, 75ff.
E. Schwyzer and A. Debrunner, Griechische Grammatik. Vol. II: Syntax and
syntaktische Stilistik (Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft 2,1,2; Munich,
4th ed. 1975), 190ff.

Possibly, the German in these grammatical works provide some problem (I do
not mean your capacity of reading and understanding German, but their
quite complex and *ancient style).
Thus, Wallace, Grammar, 316-325, will be sufficient anyway.
Probably, there are many experts who could have dealt with this issue in
a more adequate manner, but I hope this helps.
Best wishes,

Thomas J. Kraus

Universitaet Regensburg
Kath.-theol. Fakultaet
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D-93053 Regensburg

Tel. + 49 941 943 36 90
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