[b-greek] RE: John 5:18b

From: Richard Allan Stauch (RStauch@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Sat Jun 30 2001 - 10:18:48 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl W. Conrad [mailto:cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu]
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 4:31 AM
To: Richard Allan Stauch
Cc: Biblical Greek
Subject: Re: [b-greek] John 5:18b

>At 7:35 PM -0700 6/28/01, Richard Allan Stauch wrote:
>>... The construction of hOTI with the indicative
>>verb (ELUEN in this case) necessarily means that the author believes what
>>follows hOTI within its clause to be true. That is, not that it was
>>to be true by those mentioned in the primary clause, but that on John's
>>authority ELUEN TO SABBATON was in fact true.
>No, that isn't so. While classical Attic tends to use the optative after
>hOTI when the quoted statement follows an introductory verb in a past
>tense, the indicative is not at all uncommon--EVEN in classical Attic--in
>such a case; that is to say, the practice of Greek speakers and writers was
>by no means rigidly restricted in reported past discourse. You might want
>to look at Smyth's grammar (#2614) at Perseus:
I will go look right away. Thanks very much.

>>Additionally, I understand (correct me if I am wrong) that John's grammar
>>was, to some degree, unsophisticated by comparison with (for instance)
>>and Luke. That is to say, in the Gospel at any rate, the number of
>>grammatical forms are limited. Is it possible, considering the answer to
>>last is "yes," that 1st-Century Galilean provincials understood this type
>>construction differently than 6th-Century Greeks did?
>6th-century A.D. or B.C.? I really don't think so. There are stylistic
>differences, to be sure, between GJn, GLk, and the Pauline letters,
>Nevertheless, the most remarkable thing about John's narrative style is
>that it is quite readable, probably more readily readable than any other
>narrative style in the GNT. I would not think that Greek-speakers/writers
>five hundred years later would have had any difficulty understanding what
>he wrote.
I apologize for not being clear, mea culpa. I meant 6th-Century B.C., as in
the Smyth grammar. I also did not mean to imply by "unsophisticated" that it
was incorrect or unreadable. The person with whom I was corresponding
suggested John should have used the construction of hWS with a participle of
cause or purpose (specifically citing Smyth 2086 with 2064-2065). As I
studied that question, I discovered that not one occurrence of this
construction exists in all of John (the Gospel, letters and Revelation),
Matthew, Mark, James or Jude. It does occur, however, a number of times in
Luke/Acts and in Paul's letters. This is only one type of construction, but
others might be examined to see whether the number of classical grammatical
constructions are fewer in John (not to mention the other more provincial
GNT writers) than in Luke or Paul. I will leave that study for another day,
but it might help explain why John is so much more readable.

And, thanks for the follow-up clarification. That is quite clear indeed.

Thank you very much,
Richard Allan Stauch
Long Beach, CA

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