John 20:28

Steven Lo Vullo doulos at
Sat Jan 26 18:05:16 EST 2002

On Friday, January 25, 2002, at 01:45  PM, Ken Smith wrote:

> I expect what they probably mean is that it isn't in the vocative case,
> i.e., isn't a case of address.  Doing my best to leave theological
> presuppositions aside, I would probably understand hO KURIOS MOU KAI hO
> QEOS MOU as a somewhat elliptical way of saying, [SU EI] hO KURIOS MOU
> KAI hO QEOS MOU, in which case we would expect the nominative rather
> than the vocative case.  (A parallel confession, in the form of a
> complete sentence, is found, of course, in Matt. 16:16 -- SU EI hO

I think you are probably right to understand the equative verb EI here, 
and I think your parallel of Matt 16.16 is a good one. I would just like 
to make two comments about the vocative:

(1) If one argues that the words hO KURIOS MOU KAI hO QEOS MOU cannot be 
addressed to Jesus because the nouns are not in the vocative case, the 
same argument would apply to the contention that they are addressed to 
the Father, for in either case (if one concludes direct address is in 
view and that the vocative is required in direct address) the nominative 
rather than the vocative would preclude the conclusion. On the other 
hand, if Ken's solution is adopted (which I think is probable), there is 
no reason to suppose the words are not addressed to Jesus.

(2) There are many, many cases of the nominative case being used in 
direct address in the GNT, and it is clear that it is equivalent (at 
least syntactically) to the vocative in such cases. This can be seen, 
e.g., in the parallel passages Matt 27.46/Mark15.34, where Matthew has 
QEE MOU QEE MOU (vocative) and Mark has hO QEOS MOU hO QEOS MOU 
(nominative). Both clearly express direct address.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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