[B-Greek] John 8:17 DE

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Jul 8 06:59:39 EDT 2010


On Jul 7, 2010, at 11:49 PM, Eric Inman wrote:

> I think the verse could easily be understood differently if DE were omitted, since then KAI would likely be considered a connective ("and") rather than an adverb ("even").
> 
> My question would be whether or not KAI DE EN TWi NOMWi TWi hUMETERWi GEGRAPTAI would be permissible, since that is what I would have expected.

My question is why you would have expected that collocation. It doesn't appear anywhere in the GNT nor in the LXX, and I rather doubt that it's to be found in extant ancient Greek literature.

Carl W. Conrad

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Carl Conrad
> Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2010 6:41 PM
> To: Marilyn Phemister
> Cc: B-Greek
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] John 8:17 DE
> 
> 
> On Jul 7, 2010, at 5:19 PM, Marilyn Phemister wrote:
> 
>> **Esteemed Scholars:
>> 
>> I am puzzled about DE in John 8:17.  It seems to me that the verse would be translated the same with or without it. I'm afraid this is a silly question, but can someone tell me why DE is there? Is it translated AND or But with KAI being translated as ALSO?  That would make sense to me, but I still wonder why it is needed.
>> 
>> John 8:17: καὶ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ δὲ τῷ ὑμετέρῳ γέγραπται ὅτι δύο ἀνθρώπων ἡ μαρτυρία ἀληθής ἐστιν.
>> KAI EN TWi NOMWi DE TWi hUMETERWi GEGRAPTAI hOTI DUO ANQRWPWN hH MARTURIA ALHQHS ESTIN.
> 
> What's odd here is not so much the presence of the DE as its positioning after the entire phrase KAI EN TWi NOMWi, which the writer must have deemed a unit that could not be split, although the attributive/appositional TWi hUMETERWi could be appended after it.
> 
> I think the sequence of verses 16 and 17 needs to be noted:
> 
> John 8:16 καὶ ἐὰν κρίνω δὲ ἐγώ, ἡ κρίσις ἡ ἐμὴ ἀληθινή ἐστιν, ὅτι μόνος οὐκ εἰμί, ἀλλ᾿ ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πέμψας με πατήρ.  17 καὶ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ δὲ τῷ ὑμετέρῳ γέγραπται ὅτι δύο ἀνθρώπων ἡ μαρτυρία ἀληθής ἐστιν. 
> [John 8:16 KAI EAN KRINW DE EGW, hH KRISIS hH EMH ALHQINH ESTIN, hOTI MONOS OUK EIMI, ALL᾿ EGW KAI hO PEMYAS ME PATHR.  17 KAI EN TWi NOMWi DE TWi hUMETERWi GEGRAPTAI hOTI DUO ANQRWPWN hH MARTURIA ALHQHS ESTIN.]
> 
> In my opinion, Jesus in verse 16 is speaking of judgment in terms of his eschatological authority; in verse 17 he switches the discussion of the terms of Judaic legal practice: "Even by YOUR law ... " So what does the DE accomplish? I think it marks a contrast between absolute attestation and judgment and Mosaic traditions of attestation and judgment. As FWSFOROS MARKOS has put it, "Even in your law, after all, it is written ... " or "But even in your law, it stands written ... " I think there is a contrast marked by this DE, but Greek tends to use the connectives more generously than English; it really isn't needed in the English, but it can be supplied.
> 
> Nevertheless, one might have expected a sequence like GEGRAPTAI DE KAI EN TWi NOMWi TWi hUMETERWi hOTI ... I say, "one might expect" -- but maybe I'm the only one who would expect that.
> 
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)



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