[b-greek] Re: Wallace on Ga 4:14

From: CEP7@aol.com
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 22:50:27 EDT

In a message dated 9/18/00 3:47:42 PM, c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net

<< I looked at some passages* in the LXX to see how often AYYELOS QEOU renders
malak YHWH and how often it renders malak elohim. Numbers 22:22ff had a
string of occurrences where AYYELOS QEOU renders malak YHWH. All of the
others were renderings of malak elohim. 2Sam. 24:16 looked like a passage
worth close inspection but I don't want to take the time to do it.

The Numbers 22:22ff samples indicate that it is not impossible for AYYELOS
QEOU to be used in a definite sense in the LXX but I don't think we can
assume that AYYELOS QEOU is definite or that it is an equivalent of AYYELOS
KURIOU without close consideration of each particular occurrence.

Without quoting everyone else's question and response, I think you ha\ve
missed Wallace's point in discussing this passage. Let me supply the material
previous to the quote in the other posts:

8) A Genitive Construction (Apollonius’ Corollary)

    The general rule (discussed earlier in this chapter) is that both the
head noun and the genitive noun either have the article or lack the article
(known as Apollonius’ Canon). It makes little semantic difference whether the
construction is articular or anarthrous. Thus ho logos tou theou=logos theou.

    The corollary to this rule (Apollonius’ Corollary), developed by David
Hedges,87 is that when both nouns are anarthrous, both will usually have the
same semantic force. That is, both will be, for example, definite (D-D), the
most commonly shared semantic force. Somewhat less common is
qualitative-qualitative (Q-Q). The least likely semantic force is
indefinite-indefinite (I-I). Further, although not infrequently was there a
one-step difference between the two substantives (e.g., D-Q), only rarely did
the two nouns differ by two steps (either I-D or D-I). Hedges worked only in
the Pauline letters, but his conclusions are similar to other work done in
the rest of the NT.88

    The investigation consisted of an inductive examination of 289 Pauline
anarthrous constructions selected using GRAMCORD. These constructions were
classified as N (containing a proper noun or kyrios), T (containing theos), P
(object of a preposition), E (subject or predicate of an equative verb),
combinations of the above (e.g., NP), or Z (none of the above), and the
definiteness of each noun was determined. The results indicated that the
hypothesis, though not an absolute rule, had general validity. On the
average, absolute agreement was observed in 74% of the cases, while 20% of
the pairs differed by only one semantic step [e.g., Q-D] and only 6% differed
by two steps. It was further determined that in general if the construction
involved theos, the nouns were probably both definite (68%), if the
construction involved only a preposition, they were probably both qualitative
(52%), and if the construction involved neither proper nouns, theos,
prepositions, nor equative verbs, then the nouns, though agreeing, had about
an equal chance of being any of the three definiteness classes.89

    What is noteworthy here is that at most only 6% of the constructions
involve an indefinite noun and a definite noun.90 Yet in many exegetical
discussions, it is presupposed that I-D is a normal, even probable force for
the construction. In addition, it should be noted that (1) just as rare as
I-D is I-I; (2) only rarely is the genitive noun less definite than the head
noun;91 hence, (3) the genitive noun is the “driving force” behind the
construction: It tends to be definite and to make the head noun definite as

    a) Clear Examples (Definite-Definite)

    Matt 3:16 PNEUMA QEOU93

    the Spirit of God

    A nonsensical translation would be “a spirit of a god.” The point of
Apollonius’ Corollary is that when both nouns are anarthrous and it can be
determined that one is definite, then the other is also definite. Thus in the
above example, if theou is definite, so is pneuma. If one wants to claim that
the text should be translated, “a spirit of God,” the burden of proof is on
him or her and he/she would have to establish such a translation on a basis
other than normal grammatical usage. Recall that I-D is the least likely
possibility for this construction.

Wallace's point is that the corollary applies to AGGELOS KURIOU/QEOU. Thus,
grammatically speaking, it is more likely that AGGELOS QEOU in Gal 4:14
should be translated the angel of God (Definite-Definite).

Charles Powell, Ph.D.

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