[b-greek] Re: B-GREEK POLL: Smarts and Sharps both depend on context? Y/N

From: Dan Parker (stoixein@sdf.lonestar.org)
Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 15:33:19 EST

> In a message dated 11/5/00 8:31:00 PM, stoixein@sdf.lonestar.org writes:
> << Charles, where in Sharp's rule does it state that one of the substantives
> must be independent and not in apposition to something? Is this yet
> _another_ exception to Sharp's rule ;-)>>
> It doesn't, and I'm not saying it would be, but the appositional phrases are
> tied to the substantives they modify.

I misunderstood your argument to have been a grammatical one and not a
contextual one because you said that "KAI links SE to IHSOUN CRISTON."
Even if TON MONON ALHQINON QEON is in apposition to SE, it is not SE
that is linked to hON APESTEILAS. Thus this fact alone cannot be used
to disqualify it as being considered a Sharp's construction.

> It also appears that your logic is circular. If you assume that just TON
> MONON ALHQINON QEON is in apposition to SE and that hON APESTEILAS is
> in apposition to IHSOUN CRISTON you have already decided ahead of time
> what the passage says. Both substantives are also in the same case and
> this view is also re-enforced because of Jesus apparently speaking about
> himself in the third person. That is why there are some who consider
> in apposition to SE, and that it is a proper example of Sharp's.>>
> One way or another, IHSOUN CRISTON is appositionally connected to hON APESTEIL
> be in apposition to SE because Jesus is addressing the Father as SE and he
> clearly distinguishes himself from the Father. Both TON MONON ALHQINON QEON
> and cannot refer to SE, which is what would be the case is tthe entire clause
> is tied to SE. There fore the Kai links SE to IHSOUN CRISTON

It appears that you are using your theology to determine that Sharp's
rule does not apply here. I see that you articulate your assertion that
it is SE that KAI links to IHSOUN CRISTON. However the substantives
that are DIRECTLY linked by KAI are TON MONON ALHQINON QEON and hON

As I said before, some would use their theology to determine that Jesus
IHSOUN CRISTON. If theology is the determining factor, then different
theologies will achieve different results by analyzing this passage.

In addition, I would like to point out that the immediate context does
not distinguish Jesus from the Father but from TON MONON ALHQINON QEON.
Will you use this context as a translation principal in all other texts
where QEOS is joined contextually to IHSOUN CRISTON, and if not, why
not? (e.g. Titus 2:13; 2Pe 1:1)

> and both
> pronouns and proper names are outside the parameters of Sharp's rule
> (pronouns are never modified by an article).

I will concede that proper names are specifically excluded from Sharp's,
but not pronouns. Is this yet _another_ exception to Sharp's rule?
Was this stated by Sharp or amended to Sharp's by a Sharp's revisionist?
hON APESTEILAS is a substantive and therefore is a valid component for
a Sharp's construction.

> Also, I do not understand what we learn about Greek by continuing to
> add exceptions to Sharp's rule, like the next one which you propose
> the exclusion of certain types of substantives. Both Smyth [2574] and
> Porter [Idioms, 245] give the substantive as one of the functions of
> the relative clause. Porter actually says that the "substantival relative
> clause" is "the most common form of relative clause in the NT." (ibid)
> It also does not appear that the relative pronoun functions as a definite
> article [invalidating it from Sharps], thus identifying the one who was
> sent from God as a unique individual who could be recognized by this
> appellation alone, because Jesus was not the only one ever sent from
> God. (Cf. John 1:6) The use of the relative clause with an unspecified
> referent is used elsewhere in the book of John (e.g. hON EXEIS at Jn
> 4:18) [Porter's Idioms, 251]>>
> Again pronouns (personal, relative, demonstrative, etc.) are never modified
> by an article; therefore, they fall outside the parameters of the Sharp's
> construction and rule.

I have not seen anything written about Sharp's that exclude such from
the rule. This seems to be rather an application of the _reverse_ of
the rule which is to determine what the effect on the grammar would be
_if_ the second substantive was articular. Sharp's rule should not be
used in such an analysis because the converse of Sharp's rule is not
said to be covered by the rule. Therefore Sharp's does not say that
an article-substantive-kai-article-substantive refers to two persons,
even though some in the past have stated it this way. Therefore it
also does not matter as far as Sharp's is concerned whether this
hypothetical article may not be grammatical or otherwise found in Koine.
Sharp's cannot be extended to address this.

> <<Therefore, I again submit that Sharp's has decidedly more exceptions
> that only seem to be introduced to bolster the rule itself and serve
> no other useful purpose.>>
> Sharp's criteria is by observation and has some common sense restrictions.
> 1) Distinct Personal names almost always refer to different people so they
> naturally fall outside the parameters.
> 2) Impersonal nouns don't refer to people so referents to a person are
> irrelevant.
> 3) Plural nouns usually have natural distinctions in terms of referents;
> however, when substantival participles are connected in Sharp's construction,
> they seem to always refer to the same group (at least in the NT).
> I don't think three criteria are too many to nuance a rule.

All of these above exceptions to the rule appear to be quite arbitrary
and biased towards one particular world view. For a grammatical rule to
be valid it should work with all possible views whether we accept them or
not. Otherwise what one has is a "rule" that works well for one theology
but not for another theology. (e.g. Trinitarianism versus Modalism)
Smart's criteria are also by observation but have no restrictions.

1) Smart's does not exclude personal names or quasi-proper names.

2) Since both rules are used to determine if one person or two are in
view both rules deal only with personal substantives.

3) Plural nouns are not excluded because Smart's rule is also used to
determine if two groups have the same referent or not. Since it is
possible for two groups to refer to the same subset of humanity plural
substantives should not be excluded from either Smart's or Sharp's.

> <<On the other hand, Smart's rule just has the rule itself with no further
> exceptions needed, including plurals, proper names, quasi-proper names,
> relative clauses, and anything in apposition to the substantives,
> etc .....and there are _no_ exceptions to Smart's rule.
> >>
> Smart's rule is so broad as to be useless because you have too many things
> involved that would naturally distinguish things. Even given this, one has to
> wonder how large this database is. I could only come up with 20 or so NT
> examples that fit the criteria (i.e., subatantive + possessive pronoun + KAI
> + substantive + possessive pronoun). This is too small a database to define a
> rule.
> There are over 80 NT texts that fit Sharp's rule.
> Charles E. Powell, Ph.D.

The first criticisms on this forum with regards to Smart's rule dealt
with the supposed narrowness of the rule. This rule was said to have
too many arbitrary exclusions which served to invalidate it.

Now it appears that you find fault with it because it is "so broad as to
be useless." It seems to me that since this rule is being criticized on
both fronts that it just might be a valid rule, after all both criticisms
cannot be true, can they? Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

I don't think I have ever seen a statement in a grammar which defines
how many examples of a rule need to exist in a corpus to be relevant.
Some might think that only 80 examples of Sharp's in the NT is not very
many either, considering that there are so many verses that must be
exempted from the analysis because of exceptions that continue to be
added to it whenever an example is found that does not fit a particular
viewpoint. I think I have read, (Porter's Idioms I think), that all
examples were to have at least two and preferably three examples to be
considered valid. I would be interested in any references which deal
with this particular criticism.

It seems to me that no matter how many examples there happen to be for a
"rule," all it takes is one exception to the rule for it to be invalid
and there are no exceptions to Smart's rule, but there are exceptions
to Sharp's rule.

I think that this thread may have just reached it's natural end. I had
heard that some were going to publish their research on Smart's rule on
this forum. You have indicated that you have found some 20 examples of
Smart's and implied no exceptions. I am now satisfied that this rule
has been adequately field-tested amongst some of the best minds in Koine.

Of course, if anyone posts something substantially different to what
has already been said on this subject, I may wish to respond.

Dan Parker

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