From: Steven Lo Vullo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Mar 02 2002 - 23:51:35 EST
on 3/2/02 8:27 PM, Nelson D. Kloosterman at email@example.com wrote:
> I have some translation questions regarding Luke 2:21, which reads:
> KAI hOTE EPLHSQHSAN hHMERAI OKTW TOU PERITEMEIN AUTON KAI EKLHQH TO ONOMA
> AUTOU IHSOUS, TO KLHQEN hUPO TOU AGGELOU PRO TOU SULLHMFQHNAI AUTON EN THi
> 1. Regarding the first part of the verse, I assume the subject of the main
> verb is hHMERAI OKTW. What is the grammatical function of the infinitive
> phrase TOU PERITEMEIN AUTOU? Could the opening of the verse be translated:
> "And when the eight days were completed, he being circumcised, his name was
> also called. . ."?
Yes, hHMERAI is the subject of EPLHSQHSAN. Many commentators (such as Bock,
1:225) view TOU PERITEMEIN AUTON as expressing purpose. However, this would
seem to demand construing it with EPLHSQHSAN, which I do not think makes
good sense. With the impersonal hHMERAI OKTW as the subject of a passive
verb, it is hard to see (at least grammatically) who or what purposed the
circumcision. I think it is better to take TOU PERITEMEIN AUTON as an
epexegetical genitival phrase qualifying hHMERAI. The sense would be
something like, "And when the eight days which were required to pass before
circumcising him had been fulfilled..." Note the close lexical and
syntactical parallel in v. 22: KAI hOTE EPLHSQHSAN hAI hHMERAI TOU
KAQARISMOU AUTWN ("And when the days of their purification had been
fulfilled"; cf. also 1.23). In this case hHMERAI is qualified by a genitival
phrase. I think it is reasonable to conclude, on the basis of the parallel,
that the genitive articular infinitive of the preceding verse functions in
much the same way (cf. 10.19; 22.6; 24.25 for additional Lucan uses of the
epexegetical genitive articular infinitive).
> 2. If we may assume that, in the last part of the verse, the AUTON refers
> to IHSOUS, how should the infinitive phrase SULLHMFQHNAI AUTON EN THi
> KOILIAi be rendered?
"Before he had been conceived in the womb" would be a very rough English
translation. Older grammars would call AUTON an "accusative of respect."
Whatever one wishes to call it, it is the semantic "subject" of the passive
> 3. Am I correct in understanding the focus of the verse to be not on Jesus'
> circumcision (contra several editorial headings in Bible translations), but
> rather his naming -- which happened to occur (significantly) at the time of
> his circumcision?
I think so.
Steven Lo Vullo
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