Re: [b-greek] Luke 1:15 ETI EK KOILIAS MHTROS AUTOU

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 14:05:17 EDT

At 11:30 AM -0400 8/4/01, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>Does this mean "from birth", or "while still in the womb"?
>Danker, in the entry on ETI, suggests the latter reading, "while still in
>his mother's womb", and some translations interpret it this way. In the
>entry on EK, though, he suggests that EK KOILIAS MHTROS in Ps 21:11 means
>"from birth", using sense 5, "of the time when something begins".
>If this can mean "while still in his mother's womb", what sense of EK is
>being used here?

This is awkward, but the ETI does seem to mean that EK KOILIAS MHTROS AUTOU
is to be understood as a point of temporal reference. Louw & Nida offer:

67.33 KATA; EPI; EN; EK; KAQWS:: markers of a point of time which is
simultaneous to or overlaps with another point of time - 'when, at the time

So I think the sense of ETI EK KOILIAS MHTROS AUTOU must be "already from
the time before his birth." EK with a genitive is used even in older Greek
with an indicator of age to indicate "ever since ..."--e.g. EK PAIDOS, EK
MEIRAKIOU; I think this is comparable to Latin usage with A/AB: A PUERO
HAEC FACIO = "I've been doing this since I was a boy."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243 OR

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