PANTES In Mt.26:27

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Wed Oct 17 06:42:13 EDT 2001

At 10:58 PM -0500 10/16/01, RUSSELL RANKIN wrote:
>I see that PANTES was "in agreement with the implicit second-plural subject
>of the imperative
>PIETE--it's not itself the subject."  This is what puzzles me when
>categorizing PANTES in what seemed to be a two subject sentence, or two
>sentences in one.
>Of the three subcategories into which Adjectives are divided by Friberg and
>Friberg, that of Pronominal identifies "those used substantively" and
>"standing as a noun" [Introduction p.xii; Appendix p.819**].  This
>suggests, as Harry Jones, that PANTES is substantive because it is a
>Nominative.  The other two subcategories are "adverbs" and "attributive and
>predicate adjectives" [Introduction, p.xii].  I infer from this that,
>because PANTES is Nominative, it cannot fit the two latter categories, so
>is forced into a grammatical category without due consideration of the
>semantic structure of the sentence, i.e., the imperative of PIETE
>[???].  If this premise is correct, then PIETE, having its own subject
>["you drink"], makes PANTES stand alone as a redundant one-word statement
>in agreement with the imperative -- "all" [of you drink of it].  Standing
>alone, its grammatical structure need not be strictly identified, except as
>Nominative.  Would this be a fair analysis of the semantic meaning of the
>sentence?  Your comments, please.  Thanks.
>Russell Rankin
>Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA
>rrankin at
>** Analytical Greek New Testament, Greek Text Analysis edited by Barbara
>Friberg and Timothy Friberg, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1981, 1993

[I've deleted prior correspondence, since Russell has included the really
relevant portions of it within his message.]

(1) Having looked at the introduction of Friberg and Friberg (which I find
must be read in Acrobat 4 rather than 5 if one wants to read the Greek font
correctly), I now understand what was meant by "pronominal adjectives,"
although this strikes me as another instance of the gratuitous
multiplication of confusing terminology when all that was meant was
"adjective used substantivally"; what went through my head when I saw
"pronominal adjective" was a word like EMOS, SOS, hHMETEROS, hUMETEROS or
the like. Perhaps some of this is unavoidable if you have to invent a
usable shorthand for grammatical tags for parsing, but my not very
charitable view of such work is that it's fundamentally a crutch for those
who want to read Greek without learning the grammar thoroughly.

(2) Nor can I agree that PANTES should be deemed "substantival" because it
is nominative; I can readily conceive a sentence such as TAUTA EDEIXA PASI,
"I showed these things to everyone" where PASI is dative plural and might
quite reasonly be called substantival. RATHER, I would assert that PANTES
in Mt 26;27 is "predicative" in function: i.e. it adds an adverbial force
to the imperative PIETE and is not simply redundant: it's not simply "you
people drink it!" but "you people drink it--not just one or two of you but
all of you!" I don't think it's redundant like the "all" of American
Southern English "you all" (perhaps meant originally to distinguish it from
the singular "you") but is in fact emphatic and even exegetically important
in its emphasis upon eucharistic drinking of the cup as a CORPORATE action
of the body of Christ rather than a PRIVATE ritual action of meaning only
to the ritual agent. I would argue therefore that PANTES in Mt 26:27 has an
adverbial force, that it means "as one body."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at OR cwconrad at

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