[b-greek] Re: hAUTH in Rom 7.10

From: Iver Larsen (iver_larsen@sil.org)
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 06:28:46 EST

> on 2/26/02 7:05 AM, Carl W. Conrad at cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu wrote:
> Yes, I think your comments below must be correct. I searched for
> the pattern
> in question and came up with a couple of other examples where the
> demonstrative falls AFTER an appended attributive qualifier (Acts
> 2.40, THS
> [TOUTOU]). I must
> admit, though, that I am still a bit puzzled by the comma in UBS4/NA27.
> Steven Lo Vullo
> Madison, WI
> slovullo@mac.com

May I defend the punctuation of NA/UBS?
In the two instances you cite, hAUTH is part of the noun phrase and would
correspond to English:
"this crooked generation" and "this holy place". Since the word "this"
occurs last within the noun phrase it has the position of least emphasis. It
is not "THIS crooked group of people", but "this CROOKED GENERATION". (I
know that this understanding is disputed by some. And we have discussed the
IMO linguistically misleading term "predicate position" before. I do not
intend to open that discussion again.)
Rom 7:10 is different partly because the modifier is a prepositional phrase
so the meaning is "the commandment which (was intended to bring) life",
partly because if hAUTH was to be considered part of the noun phrase, then
the position at the end requires a deictic rather than contrastive function
for hAUTH, and this does not fit the context.
So, there are good reasons to understand the hAUTH not as a modifier within
a complex noun phrase, but as its own separate noun phrase with an implicit
head (that is, used substantively as the demonstrative often is.)
In this case we would have: "I realized that the commandment which was
intended to bring life, this (commandment) brought death."
If the word was AUTH instead, it would be "it brought death" with no
significant change in meaning as Carlton noted.

I am not saying that the other option: "this unto life commandment was unto
death" is impossible, but it seems less likely, and it loses the punch that
I find in "the unto life commandment, this one was/became unto death."

Iver Larsen

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