Sharp rule - 2 Thess 2:1 ff

Date: Sun May 14 2000 - 02:00:55 EDT

I was quite interested in the three recent lines on this section and even
considered adding an opinion. The subject is sufficiently tangled I took a
long time to think about what a response should be. I have finally condensed
it to a technical clarification, and a philosophical/theological opinion
(which will not get much time here).

The question: The Sharp rule ( or Granville Sharp as I first learned it )
is essentially that two nouns, connected by KAI, with the article on only the
first refer to the same person. I looked in my, now ancient, copy of Dana &
Mantey and found the following:

"When the coppulative KAI connects two nouns of the same case, if the article
hO or any of its cases precedes the first of the said nor 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 further description of the first named person."

I also have a lot of hand written notes around this paragraph, including
"personal description", "probably singular", and "not absolute". I remenber
being taught that the rule only applied to personal substantives, not to idea
substantives (?) . If this is so, it does not apply to the construction in 2
Thess 2:1. However I also remember a theology prof. using GS to support
another theological point from another passage, and thinking at the time that
he was not correct in that usage. The question is: how far does this rule
apply to non personal substantives, if at all? Could you clarify any other
restrictions or applications?

I sometimes translate this construction as an emphatic use of KAI in order to
clearly show the idea that the two are indeed the same person. Is this

Finally, I promised a philosophical/theological opinion on this passage.
This discussion probably is not proper subject for this list so if any would
like to discuss this further, I will be glad to do so "off-list".

I think that most disagreements on what 2Th 2 says is a question not of what
the Greek says, but of what the English means. Having said this and allowing
for the fact that I am a pre-milleniallist and pre-tribulationist, I hold
some opinons on this passage which as far as I can discern are in the
minority among Pre-M/Pre-T's. I think it is impossible, and perhaps unwise,
to come to either of these two positions from this passage alone. In fact my
support for Pre-T comes more from the OT than from the NT. As to this
section, I simply am not sure whether the comming and the gathering are the
same or different events, I lean toward the same, but I don't think it
matters. I think they are only one (or two) phase of a broader Day of the
Lord/Day of Christ (1TH 5:2; 2Th 2:2). Well, as I previously said I am
willing to descuss this in greater detail "off list" so if you are
interested, let me know.

Dale Greenlee

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