attributive genitive in Lk 16

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Sep 17 08:53:47 EDT 2001


At 8:25 AM -0400 9/17/01, Rbsads at aol.com wrote:
>Lk 16.8a KAI EPHiNESEN O KURIOS TON OIKONOMON THS ADIKIAS
>
>Lk 16.9b hEAUTOIS POIHSATE QILOUS EK TOU MAMWNA THS ADIKIAS
>
>The genitive construction can be difficult at times, at least for me, to
>render a suitable  and confident interpretation. And this particular teaching
>is hard enough without the difficulty of understanding how to read the
>genitives and the prepositional phrase.
>
>After some effort, with the help of Richard Young's Intermediate Grammar, I
>think that I have come to understand and to accept that the genitive is
>attributive and that the preposition expresses means. These interpretations
>seem to make the most sense given the immediate and general context. And they
>seem most consistent with the general sense of some different commentaries.
>
>If the genitive is attributive then, why does the Greek use the genitive of
>attribution rather that using a simple adjective? If the genitive in this
>construction simply communicates an attribute of the manager and of wealth
>then the most clear construction would seem to be an adjective.
>
>Is possible that an adjective would describe a quality that might be
>variable, such as blue car, a red car, describing a specific occurrence of a
>thing; and that the attributive genitive would describe a quality that is
>innate, even invariable, such as green grass, hard steel, describing a
>general characteristic common to all occurrences of a thing?
>
>Or perhaps the attributive genitive is merely a stylistic option of Greek
>writers, perhaps it is a style preference of Luke?
>
>The significance of my thinking is whether the attributive genitive intends
>to describe mammon which is by nature unrighteous or mammon that is in a
>particular circumstance unrighteous.
>
>Or perhaps there is another way to interpret this genitive function.

Richard, I rather suspect that there's a Semitism involved here underlying
the Greek formulation; I don't believe there's an ounce of difference in
this instance between TON OIKONOMON THS ADIKIAS  and TON OIKONOMON TON
ADIKON in 16:8 or between EK TOU MAMWNA THS ADIKIAS and EK TOU MAMWNA TOU
ADIKOU in 16:9. And yes, I do think these are attributive genitives.

>And it is best to understand the preposition EK as expressing means.  This is
>how the NRSV translates?

Yes, it certainly means "relying upon the resources of ..." in this instance.

>PS I have tried again to send this post plain text. If this post is received
>in plain text, then I think my earlier problem was that I had copied from
>other posts in my reply message.  Please let me know how this is received.

Thanks, Richard; it IS in plain-text ASCII, and I appreciate the effort
you've taken.
-- 

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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