Exceptions to a rule
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Oct 30 07:24:23 EST 2001
At 5:41 AM -0500 10/30/01, Harry W. Jones wrote:
>I believe that you have made a very valid point on this.
>I'm self studying NT Greek from an engineering point of
>view with a guiding principle of KISS. That's why I would
>take ... TOIS DESPOTAIS OU MONON TOIS AGAQOIS KAI EPIEIKESIN...
>in 1Pet. 2:18 and reengineer it into
>...OU MONON TOIS DESPOTAIS TOIS AGAQOIS KAI EPIEIKESIN...
>Then things are quite clear. That's why I'm inclined to
>agree with that the exceptions are part of the rule in NT Greek.
But if you look at the whole construction, the position of the OU MONON is
clear and appropriate: hOI OIKETAI hUPOTASSOMIENOI EN PANTI FOBWi TOIS
DESPOTAIS, OU MONON TOIS AGAQOIS KAI EPIEIKESIN ALLA KAI TOIS SKOLIOIS. OU
MONON ... ALLA marks off the the attributive phrases describing the
alternative characterizations of masters: "slaves submitting with all
reverence to their masters, not only the good and generous ones, but also
the perverse ones." Of course, in English, we can do as you're suggesting
("slaves submitting with all reverence not only to good and generous
masters, but even to perverse ones." But the difference lies in the
characteristic structure of English and Greek word-order and the patterns
by which it stresses what it intends to stress. Here the pattern is
basic assertion "slaves subject with all reverence to masters"
emphatic qualification: "whether they should be good and kind
or even if they should be perverse"
I won't say that the word-order in Greek can't vary, because it certainly
can, but in a text which shows itself in other respects to be composed by a
careful writer it would be a mistake to assume that the word-order is
>That would go for M/P cases too. One of the reasons that I like
>Wallace more and more is that a he really believes in cutting to the
I am not one of those who finds GGBB unhelpful. While there are some points
in it with which I disagree, I think his perspectives and judgments are
generally pretty good and helpful. The one quality that I've consistently
remarked upon is his tendency to create new grammatical subcategories that
are based upon diffferentiations not clearly present in the Greek but
rather in conversion to the target language's patterns.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
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