hEAUTOU in Lk 14.25-33

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Sep 4 08:05:10 EDT 2001


At 5:58 AM -0400 9/4/01, Rbsads at aol.com wrote:
>14.26 OU MISEI TOV PATERA hEAUTOU (or is it PATERA AUTOU as I have in a
>Nestle/.Marshall interlinear Greek-English NT, based on Nestle 21)
>
>14.26 ETI TE KAI THN YUXHN hEAUTOU
>
>14.27 hOSTIS OU BASTAZEI TON STAURON hEAUTOU
>
>14.33  OUK APOTASSETAI PASIN TOIS hEAUTOU hUPARXOUSIN
>
>
>Does the pronoun hEAUTOU act reflexively referring to the associated noun
>itself or does it act possessively and refer to the one who would be a
>disciple as owning the associated noun?

It is used reflexively and refers back to the subject of the clause

>The translation differences might be something like:
>
>14.26 does not hate the father himself
>or 14.26 does not hate his father
>
>14.26 and even life itself
>or 14.26 and even his life
>
>14.27 does not bear the cross itself
>or 14.27 does not bear his crosss
>
>14.33 does not take leave of all the possessions themselves
>or 14.33 does not take leave of all his possessions

The second version of each of these is correct, although the more emphatic
form would be (14:26) 'does not hate his own father', (14:26) 'and even his
own life', (14:27) 'does not bear his own cross', and (14:33) 'does not
take leave of all his (own) possessions.' Generally in English it is
perfectly clear when we use 'his' or 'her' in these contexts that the
possessive pronoun refers reciprocally to the subject of the clause, but
older Greek was more careful to distinguish the reciprocal form from the
simple possessive AUTOU or AUTHS. Later Greek--the Koine of the
NT--generally no longer distinguishes the two very sharply, but a writer
trained in a grammar school (and Luke seems to write a type of Greek
reflecting that he was taught Greek in a school) is more likely to adhere
to the older distinction of the two.

The first version of each of the above is wrong because the hEAUTOU is
translated as if it were the INTENSIVE PRONOUN (AUTOS used in predicative
position relative to the article): THN YUCHN AUTHN or AUTHN THN YUCHN; TON
STAURON AUTON or AUTON TON STAURON, TOIS hUPARCOUSIN AUTOIS or AUTOIS TOIS
hUPARCOUSIN. Rather the hEAUTOU in each of those clauses must refer back to
the subject of the clause.

>I am not sure whether there is any significance in the translation
>differences, but I would be curious as to the reason for using hEAUTOU if the
>translations are better understood as AUTOU.

I hope what I've written is sufficiently clear to explain the distinction.
Certainly it is more common in NT writers to see the genitive
AUTOU/AUTHS/AUTWN used even in a reciprocal sense, but as I noted, Luke
writes a somewhat more stylistically elevated Greek than many other NT
writers.

[A secondary issue: your original message was in styled (MIME) text; we
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-- 

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
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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