[b-greek] RE: TO TELION 1Corinthians 13:10 Revisit of prior discussion plus new.

From: Iver Larsen (alice-iver_larsen@wycliffe.org)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 03:08:34 EST

David Hakes wrote:
> The earliar postings state that "to telion" is neuter substantive. Someone
> is trying to tell me that "to telion" is substantival adjective. They
> therefore stress - as a substantial adjective there must be a referrent
> nearby and therefore someone such as Spiros Zodiates cannot believe that
> the "perfect thing" is scripture. The earlier postings seem to convey that
> the "perfect thing" could in a way be translated "perfect anything". They
> also state: "Grammatically, "ton telion" is a neuter noun. But the word
> for scripture for scripture 'graphe' is feminine.Scripture is nowhere
> identified, and is a feminine noun. Therefore a neuter adjective will not
> refer to a feminine noun--especially when the idea is nowhere in the
> context." I do not believe that Spiros Zodhiates would purposely go
> against the language. It seems to me that both noun and adjective is
> dropped from "neuter substantive" whereas the other person uses
> Bauer-Arndt-Gingtich-Danker "refers to telion(a,os depending on the
> gender)as an adjective." Also,"a substantival adjective is an adjective is
> an adjective functioning as a noun - the adjective takes the place as a
> noun.In English"perfect" is not a noun, it is a comparative term, it
> modifies other words.But once that other thing has been identified, the
> adjective can stand in its place."

Although I am not sure what David is suggesting, it may be worthwhile to make a
linguistic comment.
A noun phrase in Greek (and English) normally consists of a head noun which may
be qualified by a number of modifiers such as adjective, demonstrative,
numerals, participles, definite article, prepositional phrases, etc. Sometimes
the head noun is not explicitly mentioned, but is understood, either from the
context or because it is a very general notion like "thing", "people", "time". A
noun phrase without a head is possible in English. (I remember an American movie
called something like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.) In Greek, it is much
more common than in English for a noun phrase to have an understood or implied
head. (Even the article can function as a noun phrase without a head as in hO

The phrase TO TELEION is such a noun phrase without a head noun. Both the word
"substantive" and "substantive/substantival/substantial adjective" refer to fact
that it functions as a noun phrase with a missing head noun. It is obviously
neuter because of the TO and the -ON ending and it functions as subject in its
clause. That it functions as a subject noun phrase does not mean that the
adjective TELEION changes to become a noun (like TELOS). One could ask which
noun is understood as the implied head? It could not be GRAFH, because this word
is feminine. There does not seem to be an overt noun (or sentence) in the
immediately preceding context that could be the missing head. Therefore, the
missing head must be a general idea such as "thing", "time" or "situation".
There is a contrast, though, with TO EK MEROUS "the partial" in the same verse,
so the context indicates that Paul is talking about a present situation which is
characterised by being in various ways "partial, incomplete" contrasted to a
future situation which is characterised as being "perfect, complete" in ways
that need to be supplied from the context of the surrounding verses.

If some people want to suggest that this complete or perfect situation refers to
the time when the Scriptural canon was agreed upon, I think that is theological
conclusion (or assumption), rather than a grammatical or contextual one.

Iver Larsen

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:52 EDT