[b-greek] Re: Lk 18:13; TWi hAMARTWLWi

From: Steven Lo Vullo (doulos@merr.com)
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 22:23:22 EST


On Tuesday, November 27, 2001, at 07:51 PM, Harry W. Jones wrote:

> Paul,
> Your question is pretty much answered in GGBB by Wallace
> on page 223 where Wallace classifies the use of the article
> in this passage as a "Par Excellence" use. That is, as
> a member of a class. He does this because it fits well
> with the spirit of the man's pray.


I think you have misunderstood the sense of what Wallace calls "par
excellence." It does not describe a mere member of a class, but someone
or something in a class by itself, even though there may be many other
persons or objects of the same name. Note what he says under Luke 18.13:

"Here the article is either par excellence or simple identification [or,
possibly well-known]. If it is simple identification, this tax-collector
is recognizing the presence of the Pharisee and is distinguishing
himself from him by implying that, as far as he knew, the Pharisee was
the righteous one (between the two of them) and he was the sinner. But
if the article is par excellence, then the man is declaring that he is
the worst of all sinners (from his perspective). This seems to fit well
with the spirit of his prayer, for only the Pharisee explicitly makes a
comparison with the other person present."

So if the par excellence sense is intended here, the tax collector is
not just lumping himself in with other people of the same class, but is
identifying himself as standing out as the worst of the class. And, if
the par excellence sense is here the correct understanding, the article
must be rendered by the English definite article, as in NASB/NAS95.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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