Re: Acts 2:23

Date: Wed Aug 11 1999 - 10:57:12 EDT

In a message dated 8/10/99 10:18:14 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< To Greg:
 So is Sharps rule two personal pronouns separated by "and" with "the"before
the first personal pronoun but not the second? >>

Dear Chris:

Here is Sharp's rule as defined by Sharp himself:

"When the copulative KAI connects two nouns of the same case, [viz. nouns
(either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description,
respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes,
properties, or qualities, good or ill,] if the article hO, or any of its
cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not
repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to
the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or
participle: i.e. it denotes a farther description of the first-named
person."---Remarks on the Use of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of
the New Testament: Containing Many New Proofs of the Divinity of Christ, from
Passages which are wrongly Translated in the Common English Version
(Philadelphia: B. B. Hopkins, 1807), page 3.

Here is Daniel Wallace's revision of the rule:

"In native Greek constructions (i.e., not translation Greek), when a single
article modifies two substantives connected by KAI (thus,
article-substantive-KAI-substantive), when both substantives are (1) singular
(both grammatically and semantically), (2) personal, (3) and common nouns
(not proper names or ordinals), they have the same referent."---Daniel B.
Wallace, "The Article with Multiple Substantives Connected by KAI in the New
Testament: Semantics and Significance" (Ph.D. dissertation: Dallas
Theological Seminary, 1995), pp. 134-135, 279.

Though not given in his actual statement of the rule, Sharp also excluded
proper names and plural nouns. Thus, two key differences between Sharp's
rule and what Wallace considers the "Sharper" rule are: 1) this rule would
not apply when the Greek is that used to translate another language (for
example, from Hebrew to Greek, as in the case of the LXX), and 2) the nouns
must not only be grammatically singular, but semantically singular as well
(that is, not generic nouns, which are used in a general or universal sense).
But Wallace makes other refinements to Sharp's rule, particularly as they
relate to proper names and what constitutes them.

I do not believe the case for excluding translation Greek is sound, and it
seems predicated on eliminating a notable exception to Sharp's rule, namely,
Proverbs 24:21. The longer version of Ignatius contains this passage in his
epistle to the Smyrnaeans (ANF 1, chap. 9, 90). Wallace also notes that
other, later Fathers quote it as well. (Wallace, "Multiple Substantives,"
127, note 121) But, again, I fail to see how these references can rightly be
excluded on the basis of being considered "translation Greek." After all,
these writers, had they understood the idiom in the Greek of Proverbs 24:21
to denote one person, not two, could have cited it in a way that would have
been free from ambiguity. They obviously did not believe that their use of an
article-noun-KAI-noun construction in this case would create any confusion
concerning the identity of God and the king, otherwise they would have
translated the passage in such a way as to be free from ambiguity.

Wallace accepts "Lord Jesus" or Lord Jesus Christ" as the equivalent to a
proper name, and possibly even "Christ" when used alone. I agree, and would
add that any compound expression containing a proper name (!), such as
"Savior Jesus Christ" similarly functions with the restrictive force of a
proper name, there being no doubt regarding the one to whom "Savior" applies.
I also accept other compound expressions and titles as the equivalent of
proper names, for reasons given elsewhere.

Greg Stafford

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