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

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 20:20:42 EST

At 2:36 PM -0600 2/5/01, Al Jacobson wrote:
>The emphatic AUTOS does not have to be translated "himself". Couldn't one
>just say that it may be translated as "himself", for lack of a better way to
>show the intensive use? Another option is not to try to translate it, if
>one cannot find an English translation that one thinks does the Greek
>construction justice. In any case, as I recall, AUTOS is never used as the
>third person pronoun in the nominative case. That distinction was reserved
>to the oblique cases. Were you thinking that you have found an example that
>proved otherwise?

That's true in classical Attic, but it is NOT uniformly true in Koine, and
there are several instances of AUTOS as a nominative simple 3rd person
pronoun in the GNT. It needs to be remembered that Smyth is primarily
describing Attic usage, even if he may occasionally cite something later.

>Smyth says that AUTOS in any case in the predicate position with a
>substantive is intensive. Here AUTOS is in the predicate position relative
>to its antecedent. KAI AUTOS HN IHSOUS ... WSEI ETWN TRIAKONTA. The more
>definite noun is the subject of that phrase, and the pronoun is clearly in
>predicate position. So, following Smyth, it is intensive in that position.
>On the other hand, in classical Greek there were special usages of AUTOS in
>the intensive that were translated differently than "himself," namely, e.g.,
>"Master" and this usage seems to have as much going for it, syntactically,
>as your suggestion, doesn't it? "And The Master, Jesus, was about thirty
>years old when he began ..."

I think what you're thinking of is the celebrated phrase supposed used by
his disciples to refer to Epicurus: AUTOS EFH, better known in its Latin
formulation as IPSE DIXIT. That's usually Englished as "He himself said
it." In this instance the referent of AUTOS was understood by everyone.
Then there's the point in Aristophanes' Clouds where Strepsiades is
exploring the FRONTISTHRION and sees a strange man in a basket hanging on
the arm of a rotor circulating slowly around. Strepsiades asks, TIS ESTIN
EKEINOS, and the response is: AUTOS (Socrates HIMSELF).


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
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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