[B-Greek] John 7:15 re GRAMMATA
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at juno.com
Tue Nov 1 13:29:33 EST 2005
On Tue, 01 Nov 2005 12:04:33 -0600 "Dan Gleason" <dan-bgreek at hotmail.com>
> John 7:15 re GRAMMATA
> Thomas J. Kraus wrote:
> Dear Colleagues, I am writing a brief study about the phrase PWS
> GRAMMATA OIDEN MH MEMAQHKWS (how does this one know letters without
> learned [them]) in reference to (il)literacy in late antiquity (as
> I once
> did for Acts 4:13 on the basis of formulae in documentary papyri).
> Dr Carl Conrad answered: what the Greek text itself says doesn't
> really seem
> to be in dispute.
> DG: I looked at the greek text for this verse today and I am having
> problem with the last part of it. Is the following a correct
> Jn 7:15 ... Therefore the Jews were marveling, saying ...
> PWS hOUTOS GRAMMATA OIDEN MH MEMAQHKWS.
> How does this man know LETTERS not having known them.
> Re the word GRAMMATA, a greek lexicon says
> "to write, with reference to the form of the letters, to delineate
> (or form)
> letters on a tablet, parchment, paper, or other material."
> Is the text referring to Hebrew Letters or Greek Letters (or both)
> which in
> turn points to some kind of special teaching (a formula or
> superstition like
> letters equaling numbers).
> My translation takes into consideration John 7:31 where some in the
> were saying about his teaching that "The Christ" (xristos) would do
> SIGNS (shmeia) than Jesus.
> Dan Gleason
If you check BDAG (which you should own -- if not, buy it NOW), you will
find that GRAMMA, particularly in the pl GRAMMATA refers to knowledge or
learning in general. This is similar to its usage in English. The
_New_York_Sun_ even has a feature called "Arts and Letters" --
http://www.nysun.com/section/8. Michigan State University has a College
of Arts and Letters -- http://www.cal.msu.edu/. Surely you don't suppose
that these deal simply with the alphabet?
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