[b-greek] Re: Smart's less contrived than Sharp's

From: Dan Parker (stoixein@sdf.lonestar.org)
Date: Sun Feb 04 2001 - 17:29:13 EST

< In a message dated 2/2/01 6:35:59 PM, stoixein@sdf.lonestar.org writes:
< << I understand your point, but Sharp himself said "there is no exception
< or instance of the like mode of expression, that I know of, which
< necessarily requires a construction different from what is here laid
< down, EXCEPT the nouns be proper names, or in the plural number; in
< which case there are many exceptions."
< The very fact that Sharp said that plurals were EXCEPTIONS to the rule
< shows he did not exclude them from the rule otherwise they could not
< be considered exceptions.
< Today folks are careful to state "Sharp's" rule like the following,
< which makes it appear that there are no exceptions to the rule when in
< fact Sharp said there were.
< 1. both are personal
< 2. both are singular
< 3. both are non-proper (i.e., common terms, not proper names)
< 4. neither are quasi-proper names.
< Smart's is a superior rule in that it does not have arbitrary or
< contrived exceptions, and that was my point. However I will grant that
< Sharp did understand that plurals were an exception to his rule and
< that this was not discovered by someone other than Sharp. Of course,
< the same cannot be said for quasi-proper names. >>

Charles said:

< First, what are quasi-proper names (examples?) and who has argued for these
< as exceptions? Second, you have misunderstood Sharp's methodology. He was
< articulating the rule in a general sense in order to determine in what cases
< it was valid and what cases it was not. Thus, he was methodologically
< refining the rule to its final form. Third, nouns separated by KAI normally
< have different referents. Sharp was identifying a linguistic phenomenon that
< went against the norm. Fourth, the exceptions are neither contrived nor
< arbitrary; they are common sense. Different proper names do not refer to the
< same person. Groups usually do not have the same referent. The same goes with
< impersonal nouns. Remember, this is a linguistic phenomenon that goes against
< the norm, and consistently goes against it. All Sharp's rule does is
< articulate what is the norm and to be expected. There may or may not be
< exceptions to the norm.
< Charles E. Powell, Ph.D.


You ask first "What are quasi-proper names?"

        I define a quasi-proper name as a title or description which
        while shared by more than one person is considered to identify
        only one person in a particular context even though it is not
        a proper name.

        In most cases where a particular title (such as "Lord," "Christ,"
        "Savior," etc.) take on the character of a proper name per its
        unique application to a particular referent, it is in many
        cases followed by an actual proper name, which adds further
        specificity to one individual in the particular context. This
        is why Sharp's excludes proper names, because of their fixed
        reference. So, to be consistent, one must do the same where
        certain titles exhibit the force of a proper name by having
        either a contextually or grammatically fixed reference, either
        as part of a compound expression (e.g., "Lord Jesus Christ")
        or by being appositionally linked to a proper name, "Lord,
        Jesus Christ."

You then ask for examples.

        It is my understanding that Sharp included certain texts to be
        covered by his rule such as Ephesians 5:5 and 2Thess 1:12 and
        that many Sharp's revisionists deny that these, as well as a
        few others are covered by Sharp's rule because they consider
        them to be quasi-proper names.

Finally you ask who has argued for these as exceptions?

        Daniel Wallace argues for these as exceptions but seems to
        selectively choose what counts as a quasi-proper name and
        what does not (i.e., "Lord" and "Christ" seem to count, but
        not "Savior," though they all have relation to a proper name
        ["Jesus Christ"] in certain controversial instances).

Second, you assert that I do not understand Sharp's methodology as he
was "articulating the rule in a general sense."

        The fact that Sharp listed specific examples such as Ephesians
        5:5 and 2Thess 1:12 among others as conforming to his rule
        causes me to question that his rule was only articulated in a
        "general sense" as you state.

Third you say that "nouns separated by KAI normally have different
referents" and that "Sharp was identifying a linguistic phenomenon"

        If nouns separated by KAI normally have different referents,
        which appears to be a view proposed by BDAG under the entry
        SWTHR with respects to the NRSV mg. reading, and Ephesians 5:5
        and 2Thess 1:12 are _now_ considered to be exceptions to Sharp's
        (genuine) rule, then why should we not question the usefulness
        of this rule to be the yardstick with which to interpret other
        ambiguous verses? Of what good is a rule that is not uniformly
        applied and understood or agreed upon even by scholars? Might
        it perhaps be to only purpose of this rule to force others to
        accept a particular interpretation of certain Christologicaly
        significant texts?

Fourth you state that the exceptions are neither contrived nor arbitrary;
they are common sense.

        The rule that Sharp articulated is mildly contrived in
        my opinion. However the new interpretation given to his
        original rule appears to me to be biased in a very major way.
        For example, on this forum some have argued that certain
        substantives are not covered by Sharp's rule (like hON APESTEILAS
        at John 17:3 which is most certainly a substantive) even though
        he did not exclude them.

        Also even though Sharp did not specifically exclude plurals or
        proper names in his rule modern Sharp's revisionists argue that
        they should be understood as excluded from his other comments
        to have been exempt from the rule, even though _he_ considered
        these to be exceptions. If he considered these to be exceptions
        then they were not excluded by his rule; it's that simple.

        However, Sharp's revisionists quote the rule as if it is
        inviolable and has no exceptions because the plurals and proper
        names and now even quasi-proper names (like "Christ" and "Lord")
        are excluded in their revised statement of the rule, even though
        it is quite clear that Sharp did not interpret his rule this way.

        In addition I view it as _very_ contrived to eliminate "Christ"
        and "Lord" from Sharp's rule but not "Savior Jesus Christ."

On the other hand, Smart's rule has NO exceptions and it does not
contain any subjective or contrived elements.

It would seem to me that anyone who accepts Sharp's with all it's
difficulties and exceptions should LOVE Smart's rule which does not
suffer from any of the Sharp revisionist's questionable methodologies,
and has NO exceptions.

Dan Parker

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