[b-greek] Re: Luke 2:21

From: Polycarp66@aol.com
Date: Sun Mar 03 2002 - 00:48:34 EST

In a message dated 3/2/2002 9:25:28 PM Eastern Standard Time, ndk@jorsm.com

>I have some translation questions regarding Luke 2:21, which reads:


>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. . ."?

>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?

>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?

1. This is the genitive of the articular infinitive which Wallace notes (p.
610) has several uses:

3. Genitive Articular Infinitive
a. Purpose
b. Result
c. Contemporaneous Time (rare)
d. Cause (rare)
e. Direct Object (disputed)
f. Apposition
g. Epexegetical

Wallace, D. B. (1999, c1996). Greek grammar beyond the basics : An exegetical
syntax of the Greek New Testament (electronic ed.). Garland, TX: Galaxie

It reflects the OT injunction found in Lev. 12.1-3

12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelite people thus:
When a woman at childbirth bears a male, she shall be unclean seven days; she
shall be unclean as at the time of her menstrual infirmity.— 3 On the eighth
day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Jewish Publication Society. (1997, c1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures : A
new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew
text. Title facing t.p.: Torah, Nevi'im, Kethuvim = Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim.
(Le 12:1-3). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.

The genitive articular inf. most commonly expresses purpose or result as can
be seen from Wallace's comments.

2. Again we have a genitive articular inf. This time it is governed by the
preposition PRO and expresses time (no pun intended) - "before he was
conceived in the womb." You can find an extensive listing of references to
this verse in A. T. Robertson, _A Grammar of the Greek New Testament_.

3. I don't know if I would express it quite that way. I would compare it to
the historic baptism of infants. It was also known as "Christening." At
this time the child was both baptised and received his name. In keeping with
much of the gospel narrative this is to emphasize the concept that the OT
scriptures were fulfilled.


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