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

From: Steven Lo Vullo (doulos@merr.com)
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 00:31:39 EST

On Wednesday, November 28, 2001, at 10:31 PM, Harry W. Jones wrote:

> I don't know why I said the Monadic case. I should have said the
> Par Excellence case. When I see a definite noun I usually think
> of a unique object in that class. But since a definite noun can belong
> to
> different classifications, I believe additional information is needed to
> clarify
> things for the general reader. I don't really see anything wrong with
> "a sinner of the worst kind" but of course that's me. In any case it
> looks like almost all translations have gone with the simple
> identification
> that Wallace also mentioned. I have an eight translation NT and they all
> translate the literal "the sinner" as "a sinner".


One of the things I was trying to point out in my previous posts
(apparently unsuccessfully) is that you have Wallace exactly backwards.
He argues AGAINST the majority of translations, i.e., those that omit
the English article in their translation of TWi hAMARTWLWi. He treats
this verse under the category of par excellence and translates "O God,
be merciful to me, THE sinner" (emphasis mine). The other alternatives
he offers are "simple identification," which also in this case requires
the article to be translated (since this takes the tax collector to be
comparing himself with the Pharisee), or possibly well-known, which
would require the translation of the article as well. In fact, he quotes
Robertson approvingly where he criticizes the Canterbury revisers of the
KJV for omitting the article here (see p. 208). Here Robertson maintains
that omission of the article in translation of TWi hAMARTWLWi is
inaccurate. Again, note carefully what Wallace says about TWi hAMARTWLWi
in 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"
(p. 223, emphasis his).

So what Wallace says "fits well" with the spirit of the man's prayer is
par excellence. That, after all, is why he puts this verse in that
category to begin with! And if this is the case, the article must be
translated, as Wallace indeed does.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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