Re: Gal 4:28 EPAGGELIAS what type

From: Mark Markham (
Date: Thu May 27 1999 - 20:09:39 EDT

As I recall the genitive of possession (how many types of genitives are
there?) shows this type of relationship ex. Children actually possess the
promise, children who possess light etc. It is much more than the OF concept
that many translators afford. You are children who possess the promise....

It is a personal description of something owned-- sometimes character
sometimes wrath or in this case a promise.

What think ye?

Mark Markham
Heidelberg, Germany

----- Original Message -----
From: Jonathan Robie <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Cc: Biblical Greek <>;
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 1999 10:51 PM
Subject: Re: Gal 4:28 EPAGGELIAS what type

> At 03:44 PM 5/27/99 -0400, Jim West wrote:
> >At 03:29 PM 5/27/99 +0000, Joseph Tucker wrote:
> >>Greetings
> >>
> >>I am working through Gal 4:28 and I am wrestling with the phrase
> >>TEKNA. What is the best way to take this genitive (description, source,
> >>etc.) What is the syntaxical significance of its placement in the
> >>interpretation of Paul. Does the fact that Paul was engaging in rabbinic
> >>interpretation of Gen 21 impact the grammatical role the genitive plays
> >>this sentence?
> >
> >What a truly EXCELLENT question! I take it as a simple genitive of
> >something like "y'all, brothers, are children of the promise of (made to)
> Isaac".
> This *is* an excellent question, and I think Jim's interpretation is a
> reasonable one. However, I would like to point out one aspect of the
> original question that makes me just a little nervous. To me, the way
> Joseph asked what "grammatical role" the genitive plays implies that he
> wants to know the grammatical role *first* so that he can decide how to
> interpret it. In reality, it is the other way around. The grammar does not
> force any particular interpretation of the genitive in this verse. Context
> and other clues to meaning may suggest one or another interpretation. Once
> you make up your mind what the meaning of the genitive seems to be, you
> know what label to give it to suit your interpretation.
> AT Robertson suggests, in his Massive Yellow Tome, that the basic meaning
> of the genitive is appurtenative; it says that one thing belongs, in some
> sense, to the other. When you see that genitive, your job is to figure out
> in what sense it belongs to the other. Jim's answer is reasonable. So is
> the genitive of description: you are not children characterized by the
> you are children characterized by the light, c.f. 1 Thess 5:5. In fact, in
> the Galatians 4:28 passage, I think it has both forces, since an analogy
> drawn between physical origin (genitive of source) and being characterized
> by the promise versus enslavement to the law (genitive of description),
> you need to grasp both parts to see the analogy.
> Jonathan
> ---
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