[b-greek] Re: Pronoun gender agreement

From: John Barach (jbarach@telusplanet.net)
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 13:39:21 EDT

Nelson Kloosterman wrote:

> "A pronoun agrees with its antecedent in gender and number,"
> wrote Machen in his beginning grammar (p. 47). He then proceeded
> to illustrate with the sentence: BLEPW TON MAQHTHN KAI DIDASKW
> AUTON, which being translated is, "I see the disciple and teach him."
> Recall that the gender of MAQHTHS is masculine.
> Here is my question: In light of the grammatical observation that "a
> pronoun agrees with its antecedent in GENDER and number," what would
> the Greek have been for the sentence, "I see the disciple and teach
> her"?

Carl Conrad responded by pointing to a possible feminine word for a
female disciple. In the case of a disciple, then, there is a feminine
word for a female thing.

But is it the case that there is a feminine word for everything which is
female? Take the word DIAKONOS, for instance. Phoebe (a female) is
called a DIAKONOS (Rom. 16:1).

Suppose you wanted to say "I see the servant/deacon and send her" (one
of those typical Machenesque sentences). Wouldn't you have to write:
BLEPW TON DIAKONON KAI PEMPW *AUTHN*? And in that case, wouldn't
Machen's rule stated above break down, because the pronoun wouldn't
agree in gender with the antecedent? Does anything like that ever
happen in NT Greek?



John Barach (403) 317-1950
Pastor, Trinity Reformed Church (URCNA)
113 Stafford Blvd. N.
Lethbridge, AB
T1H 6E3

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