Re: Why an instantaneous imperfect in Mark 8:24?

From: Jeffrey B. Gibson (
Date: Mon Jun 28 1999 - 12:30:35 EDT

George Blaisdell wrote:

> I have been out of this one, but would like to add a small observation that
> occurred to me along the lines of this compprehensional rendition of hOTI as
> "the fact being that..."
> As a hO TI ~ 'the what' ~ hOTI can be approached as an answer to an implied
> question 'TI' [so what? etc] Thus hOTI becomes in English "The what
> [being]..."
> So that in this example, "I am seeing the men", which is no big deal, hOTI ~
> the what (of me seeing them] being... ~ as trees hORW walking!
> This is much along the lines of "the fact being that...", but with the added
> idea of "The 'so what? [fact]' being that..."


I'm going to jump in on this one before Carl does to note two things: First, hOTI
is *not* regarded in Koine as something comprised of the article and the neuter
pronoun TI It is a word unto itself, like the English "butterfly", and it is not a
relative pronoun but a conjunction "That".. So what you are doing in your
speculations above (once more I fear), is engaging in eisegesis and reading the text
from the point of view of what you would have it say rather than what it does say.

Second, Greek does recognize a construction hO TI, but instead of it meaning what
you, based upon working from English back to Greek, would seemingly think it HAS to
mean on a (rather wooden) literal reading of its constituent elements, namely, "the
so what", it is an *adverb* used frequently in indirect questions to mean "for what"
or "wherefore".

This sort of pseudo-etymological lexicography continually ignores the principle tool
in identifying the sense with which a word or words was/were used in an ancient text,
namely the principle of *use*. And as Carl noted once before, you would be well
served before you advance your speculative assertions (note how you did not raise the
question of whether or not you imaginings are a possibility) to actually have a look
at a Lexicon to see how Greeks used the Greek words you try on your own to define for


Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626

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