From: Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Feb 08 2000 - 19:48:16 EST
At 2:24 PM -0800 2/8/00, Michael Watson wrote:
>Can anyone tell me what the grammatical function of TA is in
>Is it a general reference (neuter) to the absence of standing
>room for anymore people (pl)? I seem to have exhausted my
>resources but the best I can come up with is "Many people were
>gathered so that there is no longer room, not even standing room
>by the door".
>Thanks for your thoughts.
This passage has been discussed on more than one occasion--it is a rather
strange piece of syntax. I cite below a response I gave when this last came
up--at the end of last May, referring back to previous threads on the
subject and approaches to solution of the problems, my own solution as well
as other suggestions, which you may follow up in the list archives if you
At 7:01 AM -0400 5/28/99, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 1:54 PM +1000 5/28/99, Richard A. Creighton wrote:
>>Mark 2:1 contains the phrase TA PROS THN QURAN - Zerwick/Grosvenor
>>translate this as "space near the door".
>>How is the TA functioning here?
>>Are there other examples of the definite article being used in this kind
>>of way in the NT?
>There was a rather full discussion of this verse--which you identified in
>the subsequent post as Mark 2:2 rather than 2:1--earlier this year. You may
>wish to consult the archives for March 7 and 8 (subject-header:
>"Interpretation of Mark 2:2??") and April 12-14 (subject-header: "Syntax of
>Mark 2:2"). There certainly was much attention paid there to the sense of
>TA PROS THN QURAN. I think there was full agreement about the nature of
>this phrase as meaning "the area near the door" but there were differing
>views as to whether the phrase referred to areas inside the door (my view)
>or to the courtyard of the house (another view). There were also
>alternative views of the syntax of the phrase, some arguing that it
>functioned as the subject of CWREIN, while I argued that CWREIN functioned
>as an impersonal verb and TA PROS THN QURAN was a substantive accusative of
>respect: "so that there was no room, not even with respect to the area near
>The phrase itself is pretty standard Greek in all periods from at least the
>sixth-century B.C. onwards into Byzantine Greek: the article, whether
>singular or plural, constitutes all elements within it as a substantive
>phrase that can serve any of the functions of a noun or substantive; thus
>we have phrases like hOI TOTE = "men at that time" or TO AGAQA PRATTEIN =
>"performing good actions," or one thinks especially of such Platonic
>abstractions as AUTO TO AGAQON and AUTO TO KALON ("the good itself" and
>"the beautiful itself").
>Here are just a few of many examples of this sort of phrasing in the GNT:
>Acts 23:11 ... hWS GAR DIEMARTURW TA PERI EMOU EIS IEROUSALHM ...
>Acts 24.22 EIDWS TA PERI THS hODOU ...
>Rom 15:17 ECW OUN KAUCHSIN EN CRISTWi IHSOU TA PROS TON QEON ...
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
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