[B-Greek] What does this mean
Steven Lo Vullo
slovullo at mac.com
Sat Aug 21 14:31:45 EDT 2004
On Aug 21, 2004, at 7:53 AM, Remington186 at aol.com wrote:
> [RM] Nothing personal, but I think Professor Hofstetter feels somewhat
> responsible for my 'loose canon' effect.
> Why should I suppose, Barry, that Rbt. Young is 'using the KJV as a
> base'? He
> is quite obviously using the TR as a base. I had assumed that this was
> special 'base.'
> Dr. Young lists the words from the TR, such as PISTIS, and then shows
> us the
> frequency (in this instance) which the KJ translators translate it as
> assurance, 1, belief, 1, faith, 239, fidelity, 1, them that believe,
> 1, (he which)
> believeth, 1. And so on through the other Greek cognates of PEIQW in
> the TR. If
> Dr. Young had had Nestle's recension he may, perhaps, have used an
> version based on that.
> [Even though you have shown me nine English versions that 'are all in
> agreement,' and one wonders why this would come up: "One normally
> starts with the
> best available critical Greek text, and goes from" there, if you feel
> they are
> all in agreement, 'translation-philosophy-wise.'] The Greek
> recensions, even
> "the best available critical Greek text(s)" differ hardly at all
> compared to the
> differences in each new English version.
I'm not following all of this. Does some of this come from off-list
> [Professor Hiofstetter]
> Steven is not "brush[ing] off" PISTEWS. You see, Steven has actually
> Greek, and is aware that the EK is a preposition that governs the
> so that if EK is used with PISTIS, PISTIS has to go into the genitive.
> Furthermore, he understands that it is the same word, with the same
> range, as PISTIS, but PISTIS is in the nominative case. The case
> endings do
> change the semantic range of the word, only its
> grammatical/syntactical usage
> I am quite happy to be corrected, Barry. But to say, "Steven has
> Greek," is a little more than correction. And by 'studied Greek' I
> feel you
> mean that I haven't memorized A. T. Robertson's, A Grammar of the
> Greek New
> Testament. Well, I've got it here beside me - and I've studied the
> Greek language
> for a lot of years. I'd be even happier if you 'could cut me a little
> as the vernacular goes.
> It is good to have your comments, Barry - it is not good to have a
> remark. Seriously though, I don't really need any slack. I learn more
> from your
> interaction than I do from plowing through A. T. Robertson. Whatever
> tone you
> take with me.
But this is so fundamental, so basic, that it is difficult not to get
frustrated when such notions are set forth with such assurance. Far
from being a product of memorizing an advanced grammar such as
Robertson's, the knowledge in question is introduced early in every
*beginning* grammar of which I am aware. In Mounce it comes in ch. 8.
And EK governs ONLY words in the genitive case, just like EN with the
dative and EIS with the accusative. So not only is it nearly impossible
that EK should govern PISTIS, it is nearly impossible that it should
ever govern ANY word in ANY other case than the genitive. I say "nearly
impossible" because there is always the possibility that one may
someday come across an oddity such as we find in Rev 1.4, where APO
governs the nominative case. But this is anomalous, the only known
occurrence of its kind. It seems to have been done purposely by the
author to preserve the titular nature of the expressions in order to
call attention to the eternity and unchangeableness of God, or is a
literal translation of an Aramaic Targum on Deut 32.39. When you note
below that you do not see PISTIS governed by a preposition and ask if
this is because it is nominative, while at the same time professing you
have "studied the Greek language for a lot of years," one can only
scratch one's head. By the very nature of things ONLY the oblique cases
of words are the objects of prepositions. So you not only will not find
PISTIS (nominative) governed by EK, but you will not find it governed
by ANY preposition.
> When you read this: ESTIN, DE, PISTIS ELPIZOMENWN, UPOSTASIS PRAGMATWN,
> ELEGXOS OU BLEPOMENWN, all you see is what a myriad translators before
> you have
> seen (even before they learned Greek they knew what It said). You
> don't see
> ELPIZOMENWN as part of the first clause, you don't see PRAGMATWN as a
> 'real' word.
> A significant word. You see it as undefined 'things.'
(1) Your above use of punctuation is simply wrong. hUPOSTASIS functions
as the predicate nominative and is the head noun of the substantival
ELPIZOMENWN in the first clause, while ELEGCOS functions as the
predicate nominative and is the head noun of PRAGMATWN in the second
clause. Your punctuation does not make sense and destroys the symmetry
here (ELPIZOMENWN hUPOSTASIS ... PRAGMATWN ELEGCOS), where the genitive
in both cases precedes the head noun, which in both cases functions as
predicate nominative of PISTIS, explicit and elliptical. OU BLEPOMENWN
functions adjectivally with PRAGMATWN (roughly "not seen things").
NA27/UBS4 properly have
ESTIN DE PISTIS ELPIZOMENWN hUPOSTASIS, PRAGMATWN ELEGCOS OU BLEPOMENWN
(2) On the one hand, how could one read the Greek text and NOT see
ELPIZOMENWN as part of the first clause? On the other hand, if you are
talking about an English translation, how could one read the text and
be expected to know what is behind it? If you are saying that English
translations do not reflect the fact that ELPIZOMENWN is part of the
first clause, this is simply mistaken. Even the KJV has, "Now faith is
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,"
clearly understanding ELPIZOMENWN as part of the first clause.
(3) BDAG in one of its definitions of PRAGMA (3) has, "matter or
concern of any kind, *thing, matter, affair*. The term itself is very
often at least somewhat vague. Do you expect a translator to enumerate
every possible unseen thing mentioned in Hebrews of which the author
and his readers have conviction? REB and NJB have "realities," which I
think is contextually sensitive. But even this is vague. What
"realities"? The word PRAGMA itself simply does not tell us. This is
more a matter of interpretation involving a close inspection of the
nearer and wider contexts.
Steven Lo Vullo
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