AUTOS/AUTOU

Steven Lo Vullo doulos at merr.com
Sat Jan 19 02:58:38 EST 2002


On Friday, January 18, 2002, at 05:18  PM, Suelhmc at aol.com wrote:

> In Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible under EPI, it states 
> that EPI
> used with AUTOS means THEREON.

I did a search for EPI followed by AUTOS in any form and came up with 
192 hits. Of these, I could find no instances where EPI governing a form 
of AUTOS was an idiom for "thereon."

> In Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible under AUTOS, it states 
> that
> AUTOS used with prepositions can be frequently rendered as THERE(on) as 
> well.
>
> My questions are: 1) Are the words AUTOS and AUTOU very similar? Can 
> they be
> used interchangeably? and 2) In Matthew 19:9, I see that the word AUTOU 
> is
> used one word before the word EPI.  Would this then take on the meaning 
> of
> THEREON in this verse?

As Vincent stated, AUTOS and AUTOU are two forms of the same word, the 
one nominative and the other genitive. Greek uses what are called case 
endings (the OS and OU in this case) on nouns to indicate different 
functions. Though they are two forms of the same word, they can't be 
used interchangeably because of their case. For example, AUTOS could be 
the subject of a verb, but not the object. AUTOU could be used with 
another noun to indicate possession, but it could not be the subject of 
a finite verb. To simplify, the following are the singular forms of 
AUTOS and their meanings:

Nominative - AUTOS ("he;" often the subject of a verb)
Genitive - AUTOU ("of him;" often indicates possession)
Dative - AUTWi  ("to/for him;" often the indirect object)
Accusative - AUTON ("him;" often the object of a verb)

The above is an oversimplification of the case functions, but it gives 
you some idea of the differences between the uses of the different cases 
of the same word.

As for Matt 19.9, AUTOU cannot be governed by EPI, since EPI is a 
preposition whose object must follow it. There are a few prepositions I 
have come across that are "postpositive," i.e., follow the word they 
govern, but EPI is not one.

It should also be noted that EPI doesn't have only one meaning when 
governing one of the forms of AUTOS. It may govern the genitive, dative, 
and accusative cases, and, depending on the case of the word it governs 
and the context, it may have several different functions and meanings.

> I would also like to know why the words "it be" (except it be) in that 
> same
> verse are enclosed with brackets in Young's definition of "except".  
> Does
> this mean that the translators introduced those words on their own to
> possibly clarify their interpretation and that they do not actually 
> exist?

The words MH EPI PORNEIAi ("except for adultery") should probably be 
understood as parenthetical, in which case the idea is, "Whoever 
divorces his wife (unless [he divorces her] for immorality) and marries 
another woman commits adultery." A verb must be supplied, which is not 
uncommon in Greek (as in English), so it does no harm to add "it be," 
since these words point back to "divorces." Repeating the word that is 
implied often results in redundancy.

> And one last question:  I do not find the definition for "for" in 
> Matthew
> 5:32 listed in Young's Concordance. Is that an oversight on their 
> part?  They
> do list the word "for" in reference with the other pertinent words 
> (saving
> and cause), however I cannot find the actual meaning for "for".

The Greek improper preposition PAREKTOS in this case means something 
like "except for." So it is a case of one Greek word that may be 
translated by two English words. It may be that the definition in 
Young's doesn't treat "for" because it treats "except" or some other one 
word definition of PAREKTOS.
==========

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI




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