[b-greek] FW: RE: AUTOS in Luke 3:23

From: Al Jacobson (abj@the-bridge.net)
Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 17:20:40 EST

-----Original Message-----
From: Al Jacobson [mailto:abj@the-bridge.net]
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 4:14 PM
To: Dennis Hukel
Subject: RE: [b-greek] RE: AUTOS in Luke 3:23

Dennis Hukel wrote:

>Dear Allen,

>Just to inform you this is wrong. AUTOS is used as "he" (nominative
personal pronoun) in the NT >and LXX. I have seen it
>a number of times, but no examples come to my mind at the moment.

>It is not as common as EGW, maybe a little less common as SU as an
(emphasized) pronoun subject >of a verb. But I
>assure you it does happen in the right context and construction.

You are probably right, Dennis. In my post to Iver I was quoting a rule
from my Classical Greek days. I checked MGM's concordance to the Greek New
Testament afterwards, and a quick perusal of the entries leads me to believe
that NT Greek has relaxed that rule a great deal. And, of course, I
recognize that one ought to be careful to suggest that a grammatical "rule"
won't have any exceptions at all. In fact, I don't know, but I certainly
would suspect that one could find at least one exception to any
grammatical/syntactical rule under any theory of grammar or syntax yet
devised. But as to this particular issue, I also saw in my perusal that for
many of the passages using AUTOS one could posit more than one explanation
of the use of AUTOS. One of the points I was trying to make, but probably
did not do very well, is that we are trying to use distinctions that seem to
be observable in the Greek and at the same time, we are trying to translate
in English in such a way as to show the distinction. Perhaps the
distinction does not translate all that well in many cases. I.e., perhaps
the distinction is too subtle for normal English usage, or perhaps a
distinction of which English simply does not generally take cognizance. For
example, middle voice and passive voice. Sometimes its easy for us for whom
English is our native tongue to grasp the distinction between a Greek middle
and a Greek passive, but sometimes it isn't (for that matter, sometimes its
difficult to grasp the distinction between a Greek middle and a Greek

I am suggesting that the intensive use of AUTOS might not always easily be
translated into English. And perhaps "intensive use" is not the best
description or characterization of the use. But I am also ready to concede
that, at least in the NT, there are a number of times when AUTOS, seems to
be used, from an English reader's point of view, as a third person personal

Thanks for the correction.

Allen Jacobson

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