[b-greek] Re: Acts 26:22 MELLONTWN

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 19:09:51 EDT


At 5:32 PM -0400 9/29/01, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>Rather than delay Diana Shaw's message from reaching the list, I have
>reformatted it in plain-text ASCII and I am herewith sending it on. cwc
>
>>From: "Diana N. Shaw" <DINOSAUR2LIST@prodigy.net>
>>To: Biblical Greek <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
>>Subject: [b-greek] Re: Acts 26:22 MELLONTWN
>>Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 02:36:27 -0600
>>
>>ODE TO C.F.D.M.
>>(The Idiot Sings to the Idiom Book)
>>
>>Moule
>>Is a joule!
>>Tell me, what would I do without Moule?
>>I'd feel
>>Like a foule!
>>But, his pages have power to coule
>> The fevered cheeks
>> Of "little Greeks"!
>> -dns
>>
>>However, once in a while, there's still a minor problem left.
>>In Acts 26:22, Professor Moule's treatments (in FOUR different
>>chapters!) confirmed most of my puzzled guesses, but left one
>>unmentioned; and BDF doesn't cover it either. Is MELLONTWN a
>>genitive plural just to agree with the relative pronoun (that ought
>>not to have been genitive plural, anyway)? That is, if Paul had
>>used hA, would he have used MELLONTA?
>>
>>Suppose that should be safe to assume, but such a passage -- following
>>more exceptions than rules -- leaves one weak-kneed.

In a word, yes.

Text: EPIKOURIAS OUN TUCWN THS APO TOU QEOU ACRI THS hHMERAS TAUTHS hESTHKA
MARTUROMENOS MIKRWi TE KAI MEGALWi OUDEN EKTOS LEGWN hWN TE hOI PROFHTAI
ELALHSAN MELLONTWN GINESQAI KAI MWUSHS.

This is a case of a by-no-means uncommon idiomatic construction: the fusion
of the relative pronoun into the case of its antecedent and the subsequent
conformation to the case of the relative pronoun of any elements in
agreement with that relative pronoun.

i.e. EKTOS hWN TE hOI PROFHTAI ELALHSAN MELLONTWN GINESQAI KAI MWUSHS =
EKTOS [EKEINWN PRAGMATWN] hA hOI TE PROFHTAI KAI MWUSHS ELALHSAN MELLONTA
GINESQAI.

One could read it as EKTOS [EKEINWN PRAGMATWN] MELLONTWN GINESQAI hA hOI TE
PROFHTAI KAI MWUSHS ELALHSAN, but I think that MELLONTWN really is part of
the relative clause: " ... those events which both the prophets and Moses
said were destined."

Smyth:
(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007&query=head%3D%23588)
2522. Attraction.--A relative pronoun is often attracted from its proper
case into the case of its antecedent, especially from the accusative into
the genitive or dative. A demonstrative pronoun to whose case the relative
is attracted, is usually omitted if unemphatic. Cp. "Vengeance is his, or
whose he sole appoints:" Milton. [examples follow]
--

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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