[b-greek] New To List & Use of "Generalized Plural" in Titus 1:6

From: Stanford Jeffrey Young (youngman@triad.rr.com)
Date: Fri Feb 01 2002 - 14:34:27 EST


My name is Jeff Young. I'm new to the list. I've had two years of formal
Greek study and several years of applied study, but I am not a scholar by
any means. I greatly enjoy studying Greek, both classical and koine, and
use it regularly in my teaching.

I have a question regarding the possible use of the "generalized plural"
in Titus 1:6, which reads as:

KATHGORIA ASWTIAS H ANUPOTAKTA. ("If any one be above reproach, the
husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot or

Specifically, I am interested in the use of TEKNA (children). Often in
language one uses a "generalized plural" which would refer not of
necessity to "more than one" but "one or more." For example, one might ask
an audience, "Do any of you have children?" In which case the term
"children" is understood as "one or more."

My preliminary thoughts are: unless the context clearly dictates "two or
more" one is left to recognizing that "TEKNA" is ambiguous (as in Titus
1:6) as far as "one or more" or "two or more." In fact, contextually, it
the point is not a "plurality of children" but the character of the
children, whether there be one or more. Another example that would lend
itself to this is the use of TEKNA in I Timothy 5:4, 10:

v.4 - DE TIS XHRA TEKNA H EKGONA EXEI ("But if any widow have children or
v.10 - EI ETEKNOTROFHSEN ("If she has brought up children")

In each case here, there is nothing contextually that demands that the
plural use of "children" mean "more than one." In fact, it's pretty clear
it is a "generalized plural." (The criteria is not that a widow have a
plurality of children in either instance but just "children" in general,
either one or more).

I appreciate any input on this.

Jeff Young

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:17 EDT