From: Iver Larsen (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 02:59:09 EDT
> I would like to make the argument that one can make a unique distinction in
> the Greek depending on whether one places hOUTOS before or after a noun.
> Thus, in referring to a man in one's immediate physical presence, one would
> say, hOUTOS hO ANQRWPOS. To refer to a man possessing certain
> characteristics previously described, but who would not necessarily be in
> one's immediate presence, one would say, hO ANQRWPOS hOUTOS.
> I found 21 verses having the phrase OUTOS hO (noun), that include the
> Luke 14:30 LEGONTES hOTI hOUTOS hO ANWRWPOS HRXATO OIKODOMEIN KAI OUK
> ISCUSEN EKTELESAI
> Luke 15:24 hOTI hOUTOS hO hUIOS MOU NEKROS HN...
> John 7:46 APEKRIQHSAN hOI hUPHRETAI OUDEPOTE OUTWS ELALHSEN ANQRWPOS WS
> OUTOS hO ANQRWPOS (one variant)
> In each case, hOUTOS hO (noun) seems to refer to a person in one's immediate
> presence. I am not sure that I could support my argument as strongly using
> all the other verses having the phrase hOUTOS hO (noun) although I think that
> the verses tend to agree with my argument.
> I would then like to draw the conclusion that hH GENEA hAUTH in Matthew 24:34
> and elsewhere should be taken to refer only to a generation having
> characteristics described in the preceding context and should not be
> understood to mean those to whom Christ was speaking, i.e., those in his
> immediate presence, unless they also exhibited the specified characteristics.
> Would it be legitimate for me to argue that the difference between "hOUTOS hO
> (noun)" and "hO (noun) OUTOS" is as I have hypothesized above?
> Roger Hutchinson
The answer to your last question would be no. The nearness-remoteness difference is shown
by the lexical choice of hOUTOS vs. EKEINOS.
You may look at the following examples from Luke where the demonstrative follows the noun
but the thing that the noun refers to is in the immediate presence of the speaker:
Luk 3:8 DUNATAI hO QEOS EK TWN LIQWN TOUTWN EGEIRAI TEKNA TWi ABRAAM
Luk 10:5 EIRHNH TWi OIKWi TOUTWi
Luk 13:7 TRIA ETH AF' hOU ERCOMAI ZHTWN KARPON EN THi SUKHi TAUTHi
Luk 19:9 SHMERON SWTHRIA TWi OIKWi TOUTWI EGENETO
Luk 23:47 hO ANQRWPWS hOUTOS DIKAIOS HN
Demonstrative pronouns (or adjectives) like these have two basic functions. One is called
deixis in linguistic terminology, the other is reference to the co-text, i.e. the words
immediately preceding of following. Deixis means pointing to an entity in the actual world
around the speaker, e.g. the person or thing being near to me or far from me. Reference
means "pointing" to a word or concept that has just been mentioned or will soon be
mentioned. Whether a demonstrative is used in a deictic sense or referential sense has
nothing to do with the relative order of noun and demonstrative.
The most common order of a noun plus the demonstrative is that the noun comes first. This
may be called the default order. If the demonstrative precedes the noun, there is an
emphatic contrast on the meaning carried by the demonstrative. In a construction like
hOUTOS X, there would normally be a contrast between this X and some other X. However, a
construction like X hOUTOS compares an X that is already known or mentioned to some other
concept, say a Y. Or it may simply refer back to an idea known to both hearer and speaker
from context, since it is the default order.
Having said that, I am sympathetic to what you are saying about hH GENEA hAUTH. Since the
demonstrative follows the noun it is probably not a contrast between a group of people
living at any particular time and people living at other times. It refers to the kind of
people that are understood from the preceding context. Usually that includes those to whom
he is speaking, provided they share the characteristics associated with GENEA in the
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