ti in Luke 16.2

Steven Lo Vullo themelios at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 6 17:20:51 EDT 2001

on 10/5/01 11:24 AM, Ross Durham at rhdurham at cgsonline.org wrote:

> I have a question about tis in Luke 16.2. In casual reading, I translated
> <ti touto akouvw peri sou> as: why am I hearing this about you?  Then
> checking translations, they all translate it: what is this I hear about you?
> There is not a huge difference between the two, but I can't see why the
> "why" (adverbial tis) reading is wrong or even not preferred.  Obviously
> touto would have to be taken as an accusative object of akouw, which is
> common for a thing as object (BDAG akouw 1.b.a/g;  BDF 173). The context of
> the servant's fate already being established (16.2) would seem to support
> "why" (the situation is established--"how could you have done this") rather
> than "what" (investigative--"what did you do").  Of BDAG's citations Acts
> 14.15, Luke 6.46, seem very similar in construction.

Robertson discusses the various ways in which TI TOUTO AKOUW has been

"What is this that I hear? (TI TOUTO AKOUW;). There are several ways of
understanding this terse Greek idiom. The Revised Version ... takes TI to be
equal to TI ESTIN TOUTO hO AKOUW; That is a possible use of the predicate
TOUTO. Another way is to take TI to be exclamatory, which is less likely.
Still another view is that TI is 'Why': 'Why do I hear this about thee?' See
Acts 14:15 where that is the idiom employed."

Most translations follow the first sugestion above, taking TI and TOUTO as
nominative. This is how both words are tagged in Accordance. The third view
(which you suggest) takes TI and TOUTO as accusative, with TI being
adverbial and TOUTO the direct object of AKOUW. As for your suggestion "how
could you have done this," the KJV seems to express the same semantic force:
"How is it that I hear this of thee?"

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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