[B-Greek] JN 10:20 hO PATHR hO DEDWKEN MOI PANTWN MEIZWN ESTIN
j.d.ernest at bc.edu
Fri Jul 25 00:25:42 EDT 2008
> Is this a well formed sentence?
As you suggest, Elizabeth, it would seem that most of the scribes who wrote
hO DEDWKEN must have been content to read hO as functionally equivalent to
hOS; also that the scribe of D thought it awkward or solecistic and changed
DEDWKEN to DEDWKWS. The NA editors clearly believe (as Metzger's textual
commentary explicitly claims) that the hOS reading cannot be original
because no one would have ever changed it to the more difficult hO. If hO
was original, then the scribes who changed it to hOS seem to agree with the
NA editors, Turner, and Metzger that hO . . . MEIZWN is (in Metzger's words)
"impossible Greek, and cannot be construed."
I'm more inclined to judge that MEIZON (which has to boil down to saying the
sheep [what my father gave to me] are greater than all) rather than MEIZWN
(the father is greater than all) is more definitely impossible Johannine
theology than hO . . . MEIZWN is impossible grammar.
So I think I agree with your bottom line: scribes who wrote hO . . . MEIZWN
somehow managed to be content basically to construe hO as a relative
pronoun. How many of them thought it was good grammar (or had any concept of
good grammar, for that matter) we'll never know.
I have no difficulty imagining either that the urtext had hO because the
urscribe made a mistake or that the urtext had hOS and a later scribe
accidentally dropped a sigma (and subsequent scribes followed along like
[Johannine or non-Johannine] sheep). Actually, how about this: a scribe
misread hOS EDWKEN as hO DEDWKEN because the sigma was messed up?
Anyway, the Ernest edition of the GNT would read hOS . . . MEIZWN, but that
edition will never exist, so I'm content to read hO MEIZWN and sign on to
the Elizabethan understanding thereof (to which I think Cooper finally ends
up contributing nothing). hO . . . MEIZON is what you get from scribes who
misheard the (either ungrammatical or doubtfully grammatical) masculine hO
as neuter hO and are therefore heard masc. MEIZWN as neuter MEIZON, and from
modern critics who in establishing their text rely too much on analysis of
transcriptional probabilities, assuming that scribal mistakes always follow
a tidy logic and are never the inexplicable random goof-ups that the rest of
us see and perform every day. ;-) I'd give more weight to content: the point
has to be that the Father has given the sheep to the Son, and because the
Father is greater than anyone, no one will be able to pluck the sheep out of
the Son's hand.
Of the commentaries I have here, Barrett and Temple discuss the variants and
their meanings; so also, more briefely, Whitacre.
On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 3:33 PM, Elizabeth Kline <
kline_dekooning at earthlink.net> wrote:
> I agree that Cooper is not describing what is going on in the
> Sinaiticus reading for John 10:29. What Cooper is describing is
> similar to what we find in BDF #267, Turner p182 and ATR 766. So if we
> just set aside that issue, and forget about Cooper, BDF, Turner and
> ATR. Returning to Codex Sinaiticus JN 10:29 and Westcott and Metzger's
> statements that this is impossible greek which cannot be construed:
> >> Codex Sinaiticus*[c]
> >> JOHN 10:29 hO PATHR [MOU] hO DEDWKEN MOI PANTWN MEIZWN ESTIN
> My question is a linguistic one. Is this a well formed sentence? What
> is the function of hO? It seems to me that hO marks what follows,
> DEDWKEN MOI, as something that qualifies hO PATHR. I don't seem to
> have any problem reading this sentence. The relative hOS DEDWKEN
> MOI is an easier read but calling hO DEDWKEN MOI "impossible greek"
> appears to me unwarranted. The corrector [c] of Sinaiticus didn't
> have a problem with it. That should give us a sufficient reason to go
> looking for a way to make sense out of the syntax of this text, not to
> just declare it ungreek.
> Elizabeth Kline
>  My current inclination is to question N.Turner's blanket denial
> that hO can function as a relative in NT greek.
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