From: Carl W. Conrad (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Feb 02 2001 - 08:46:48 EST
At 7:08 AM -0500 2/2/01, Ken Litwak wrote:
> I have a couple of grammar questions in LUke 3.
>1. Luke 3:19 ends with a participial clause concerning Herod, and then
>gives Herod's name in the nominative. While I realize that Greek words
>can be in pretty much any order, since they sefl-identify their function,
>I am wondering if the word order would justify taking (Hrwdos with the
>verb at the start of 3:30, "Herod added to..." rather than with the
>participila phrase in 3:19 "all the immoral things Herod was doing"?
>Would the word order lead a Greek reader to put Herod with the following
>verb or the preceding participle, sinc eof course, there was no
>versification to interfere with proper understanding?
Sentence would be (as it already is the two verses, 19-20: hO DE hHRWiDHS
hO TETRAARCHS, ELEGCOMENOS hUP' AUTOU PERI hHRWiDIADOS THS GUNAIKOS TOU
ADELFOU AUTOU KAI PERI PANTWN hWN EPOIHSEN PONHRWN hO hHRWiDHS, PROSEQHKEN
KAI TOUTO EPI PASIN [KAI] KATEKLEISEN TON IWANNHN EN FULAKHi.
I think you meant "with the verb at the start of 3:20." But the answer is
NO, because PERI PANTWN hWN EPOIHSEN PONHRWN hO hHRWiDHS is added by KAI to
PERI hHRWiDIADOS THS GUNAIKOS TOU ADELFOU AUTOU--both these PERI groups
qualify ELEGCOMENOS hUP' AUTOU, indicate the matters about which Herod had
been rebuked by John; the whole rather lengthy ELEGCOMENOS participial
clause is circumstantial to the PROSEQHKEN ... KAI KATEKLEISEN action in
the end of the expression. As I said, the two verses constitute a single
sentence; you already have a subject for PROSEQHKEN ... KAI KATEKLEISEN in
the hO DE hHRWiDHS hO TETRAARCHS at the beginning of the sentence; the hO
hHRWiDHS following hWN EPOIHSEN PONHRWN must function as the subject of
EPOIHSEN. There is actually nothing extraordinary about this word order: it
states the subject at the outset, offers by participial clauses two rebukes
of Herod by John functioning as motivations for Herod's response, then
tells us what Herod's response was: a decision to lock John up.
>2. in Luke 323, we read AUTOS HN IHSOUS APCOMENOS (WSEI
>I am wondering how to render or understand AUTOS. "Jesus himself" "THis
>same Jesus"? Then I have a question about the periphrastic here. It
>should be translated something like "Jesus was beginng" I think. Do we
>supply an implied EIMI before (WSEI or do we omit ARCOMENOS altogether?
>What is this saying?
This has to be "Jesus himself." "The same Jesus" be hO AUTOS IHSOUS; "This
same Jesus" would be hOUTOS hO AUTOS IHSOUS. This is one of those instances
where the old-fashioned distinction between attributive and predicate
positions of AUTOS comes into play: AUTOS in attributive position (marked
by article) means "same," while AUTOS in predicate position (outside group
marked by article) means "himself."
I don't think this is a periphrastic imperfect (HN ARCOMENOS) at all;
rather I think that ARCOMENOS is circumstantial (adverbial temporal: "as he
was beginning") and that the HN connects the subject to the
characterization indicated by "approximately 30 yrs old." It's rather: When
Jesus himself was beginning, he was approximately 30, ..."
>3. In the following geneaology, all the names are separated merely with
>TOU. I know that at least one grammar treats this specific construction
>as some sort of genitive of relation or the like. Is this the LXX/NT way
>of showing descent, or would any Greek speaker have used this to show
>descent? Are we justified in understanding it as "Joseph son of Eli" or
>should we assume that TOU followed by aname had no special meaning fora
>Greek speaker and just leave it ambigious "Joseph of Eli" or perhaps treat
>it as a genitive of source "Joseph from ELi"?
Well, this genitive is not different from any other genitive of one noun
modifying another noun. To be sure it is an idiom and hUIOS is to be
understood before each TOU; the construction of a "patronymic" is so old in
Greek (and in many languages, for that matter) that it takes a formulaic
form: X, (son) of Y, Z's (son), etc., etc., wherein each successive
genitive article + name + implicit (son) is in apposition to the preceding
proper name. The word "son" could have been supplied (as it is in Latin
inscriptions where F intervenes meaning FILIUS).I think any Greek speaker
(and not just one of Jewish descent) would have understood immediately that
a genealogy was being offered.
> 4. Im finding some of LUke's Greek a bit difficult, and I'm wondering
>what I owuld have to do for it to seem common place. Take three yeas of
>Attic? What would be the minimum work to maek Luke's Greek be more
>"normal-looking", rather than it being somewhat exceptional comapred to
>other NT writers?
Others might feel differently, but I'd be inclined to say that Luke's Greek
IS "normal" from the standpoint of contemporary literate Greek. I don't
mean to say that the other NT writers are so much "abnormal" is that they
are more deviant from the sort of standard of literate school-learned
narrative style that Luke quite clearly exemplifies. What it would require
in the way of exercise to make Luke's style appear "commonplace" might
depend upon the person; what I'd advise is reading oodles of literate
narrative Greek from Hellenistic writers -- Josephus, for instance, or
Polybius or Arrian (I'm thinking in terms of Hellenistic historical
writers). Or try reading some Philo for a year or two and you might even
come back and decide that Luke is pretty easy and "commonplace" indeed.
> As an aside, I was quite amused to read LUke 3:26, because if we
>consider the Hebrew letters which are probably behind the names here, Yoda
>is in LUke's geneaology!
Well, one must take one's pleasures from reading Luke where one can find
them. It has been quite some time since we've had one of your questions
about "tortured Greek syntax," Ken. Good luck!
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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