[B-Greek] him which is, and which was, and which is to come
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at ioa.com
Mon Nov 21 14:20:35 EST 2005
On Nov 21, 2005, at 2:06 PM, Webb wrote:
> Dear Carl,
> You said,
> APO hO WN...comparable to writing in English: "You have in your
> hands a
> letter from I.
> I reply,
> Might it be more comparable to saying, "Greetings from He Who Is"?
No, I honestly do not believe it would be more comparable. You can
TRANSLATE the phrase APO hO WN as "from He who Is" but the Greek text
means more "from the Be-er" and even that OUGHT to be formulated in
appropriate Greek as APO TOU ONTOS.
> I think it's a fair bit more jarring in Greek, but it's still the
> same idea.
> I'm guessing that John had been around so many other people for
> whom Greek
> was a second language, that his sense of what was possible to say
> sounding flat out erroneous was relatively broad. And I'm hoping
> that the
> formulation "from the is, the was", etc. conveys both the level of
> grammatical impropriety and the sense of poetic license that
> justifies it.
Well, as I indicated previously, I think that the author wrote this
deliberately and did intend to compose a striking phrase; and once
again, I still believe, as I stated earlier, that this expression is
not just a poetic license but an instance of ungrammatical but
intelligible Greek. And again, as I've said before, it's not as if
this was the sole candidate in this NT book to which the term
"solecism" may be appropriately attributed. See BDF §136 "More
serious incongruencies (solecisms)", pp. 75-76.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Carl W. Conrad
> Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 10:23 AM
> To: B-Greek B-Greek
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] him which is, and which was, and which is to
> On Nov 21, 2005, at 12:40 PM, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:
>>> Well, I, for one, am going to translate it as "from the is, the
>>> was, and the
>>> coming one", and I won't be doing it because I don't know English.
>> HH: As far as I know there is no reason to translate the first term
>> as "the is," since it can be translated "the One who is." This seems
>> like needless solecism. It is the second term that is a solecism, but
>> the Greek is evidently to be understood as "the One who was," in
>> parallel to the first term.
> I would agree that the real solecism here is hO HN. As for:
> On Nov 21, 2005, at 12:34 PM, Webb wrote:
>> Well, I, for one, am going to translate it as "from the is, the
>> was, and the
>> coming one", and I won't be doing it because I don't know English.
>> In other
>> words, I resist the idea that it's a solecism, if that implies (as
>> it does
>> to me) that John didn't know the rules of grammar well enough to
>> know it was
>> incorrect. I agree that it is John's way of casting the
>> tetragrammaton into
>> Greek--and the tetragrammaton isn't exactly grammatical in Hebrew
>> either! :)
> I would still call APO hO WN a solecism; even if hO WN is perfectly
> normal Greek, APO hO WN is, as I said earlier, intelligible but not
> grammatical Greek. I suggested that it was rather comparable to
> writing in English: "You have in your hands a letter from I." While
> "It's me" has become standard spoken idiom in American English and
> the now archaic "It is I" will earn the speaker jeers, catcalls or
> skewed glances, we still can't say "a letter from I" even if it is
> perfectly intelligible.
> Now the question is whether the author of Revelation consciously and
> deliberately violated rules of Greek grammar that he well understood
> when he wrote APO hO WN KAI hO HN KAI hO ERCOMENOS. I do think that
> he wrote this phrase deliberately in this manner; I think he probably
> was aware that it wasn't grammatically "approved." But it is
> intellgible and forceful in its rhetorical expression. Actually the
> usage of ERCOMENOS as a FUTURE participle is questionable too as
> Greek idiom, but I would guess this is governed by the expression in
> OT eschatological texts using Hebrew HaBBa or the like.
> The nearest thing I'm aware of in extra-Biblical Greek literature
> that is like this is from Hesiod's Theogony 36-38 where the Muses are
> ... MOUSAWN ARCWMEQA, TAI DII PATRI
> hUMNEUSAI TERPOUSI MEGAN NOON ENTOS OLUMPOU,
> EIROUSAI TA T' EONTA TA T' ESSOMENA PRO T' EONTA.
> "Let us take our start from the Muses, who singing to Zeus the
> give pleasure to his mighty insight within Olympus,
> singing the things that are and the things that will be
> and those that were before."
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> 1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> cwconrad2 at mac.com
> WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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