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

From: Steven Lo Vullo (doulos@merr.com)
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 21:36:28 EST


On Thursday, November 29, 2001, at 04:24 AM, Harry W. Jones wrote:

> After I had sent my last post post off and after looking over Wallace's
> classifications again I realized that it was "Simple Identification"
> that I think about when I see a definite noun. That is, according to
> Wallace's classifications. But of course I know that Wallace is going
> farther with the "Par Excellence" classification. With the "Par
> Excellence" classification he is indicating the extreme of a class.
> That is, the best or worst case. And I agree that simple identification
> normally warrants the article. But Wallace is going farther than simple
> identification. What Wallace is proposing requires more than simply the
> article. It requires additional information be added.

Greetings, Harry:

No, what Wallace is proposing does NOT require more than simply the
article as a modifier. The whole point of the par excellence sense of
the article is that the ARTICLE, under the right conditions, conveys the
idea of par excellence when construed with the nominal it is modifying.
If more were required, such as an adjective to also modify the nominal,
there would be no sense in even speaking of a par excellence usage of
THE ARTICLE, since it would always be another modifier or other
modifiers that conveyed the idea, not the article.

Also, you say it is "simple identification" according to Wallace's
classifications you think about when you see a definite noun. I don't
know how you could regularly default to simple identification according
to Wallace's definition of simple identification, since Wallace himself
advises that this classification "should be used only as A LAST RESORT"
(emphasis mine) because "not many examples of the article fit under this
category ONLY" (p. 216; emphasis his).

> If "the sinner" is simple identification then it could simply be
> distinguishing the "sinner" from the "righteous" and could be
> translated as "a sinner" in this passage. That's what my eight
> translation NT does.

Again, you claim to be following Wallace's classification without paying
attention to Wallace. According to him, simple identification is "used
to distinguish ONE INDIVIDUAL FROM ANOTHER" (p. 216). That this requires
the English article in translation is abundantly clear from the examples
he gives. In the case of Luke 18.13, simple identification according to
Wallace's definition requires the definite article in translation, since
it would indicate the tax collector distinguishing himself from the
Pharisee, as Wallace himself relates in his comment on Luke 18.13:

"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" (p. 223; emphasis his).

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that Wallace is always right
(he's not), or is even right in this case. But I think if you are going
to appeal to his classifications to explain syntactical phenomena, it is
important to properly understand and convey what he is saying. It is
also important to understand that, just as Wallace is not infallible,
neither are the translations in your eight translation NT. One of the
advantages of knowing Greek is the ability to check translations against
the original to determine whether the translation has accurately
conveyed what the Greek indicates.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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