[b-greek] Re: Greek "eis" in other terms

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sun May 13 2001 - 18:36:38 EDT

At 3:27 PM -0400 5/13/01, Matthew R. Miller wrote:
>I had posted about "eis" plus the accusative in Acts 2:38. The responses I
>received seemed to be more doctrinal and negative than purely grammatical.
>So, I will phrase the question another way. Is the Greek "eis" plus
>accusative equivalent to the Latin "ad" plus accusative? If they are not
>exactly parallel, what are the differences? Thanks! Matt Miller

This is as much a matter of usage as it is of semantics. Both Greek EIS and
Latin AD are too complex to be describable in terms of simple comparison as
used in the NT era. While Latin AD may be used with verbs of motion with
the sense "to" or "towards," it is also used spatially of nearness or
general vicinity as in the Roman fuller language for the city of
Alexandria: ALEXANDRIA AD AEGYPTUM: the city wasn't considered quite "part"
of Egypt but "at" Egypt. Moreover, in later Latin AD is already being used
in many of the ways extending beyond classical Latin into those senses
assumed by the Romance Languages preposition "A." Greek EIS when used with
a verb of motion generally means "into" or "onto" but there are numerous
expressions wherein it has the sense of "for" or "aiming at."

In sum, although it may seem tedious, the best way to get a good grip on
the range of meanings of EIS or any other Greek preposition is to read
carefully through the definitions and examples in an unabridged lexicon, by
which I mean LSJ or BDAG; personally I think that Louw and Nida is very
useful for helping to distinguish nuances of difference.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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