KAI LEGWN--epexegetical KAI?

Mark DelCogliano cassian at dellepro.com
Mon Jan 28 17:43:53 EST 2002

Dear Iver,


> First, I believe there is Semitic influence behind many if not all of
> expressions. That is why they are most common in Matthew and Mark.
> Second, in Semitic thought pattern it is common first to mention a generic
> concept and then follow it with one or more specific aspects of what is
> covered by the generic word or phrase or clause. This may be easiest to
> in some of the examples Clay quoted. For instance, in Mark 15:29 "shaking
> the head" and "saying: (insulting words)" are specific aspects of the
> general concept of BLASFHMEW. This also touches on Clay's comment that the
> specific expression may not be all inclusive of the content, but rather an
> example of it or a reference to the most important aspect of something
> larger. In your example above, KHRUSSEIN TO EUAGGELION TOU QEOU is the
> general concept, followed by the specific example or summary of the main
> point of the Gospel.
> Third, Semitic languages often have pairs like "answer and say", "shout
> say" where the "say" basically functions as a quote introducer. It may be
> related to the generic-specific restatement where a generic word is paired
> with a more specific one.

To posit a Semitic thought-pattern is the background is most helpful here. I
am in agreement with what you say here, and I hope I have clarified my
proposal in my reply to Clay. It is interesting that in some of the examples
only the direct discourse introduced by KAI LEGWN/LEGONTES concretizes the
general concept of the main verb (like Mk 1:14-15), while in other cases the
direct quote is preceded by other actions, expressed grammatically by
circumstantial participles, that further concretize or give a typical
example of the action for which speech alone does not suffice (like Lk

> Fourth, you are right in saying that KAI is not always coordinate. I
> to think of KAI as "additive". The two conjoined concepts may not be on
> same level and therefore not be coordinate in our sense of the word. But
> KAI adds something. That something is often part of the first concept
> it is joined to. We discussed this some time ago in phrases like "The
> apostles and Peter" where Peter is a specific example of one of the
> apostles, or a member of a set, to use mathematical terms.

What would you call the usage of KAI here?

> >
> > Secondly, I would like to understand the participles that follow the
> > verb as telic. The agents do not 'appear (in), come forward (to) or fall
> > (down upon)' a certain place *as* they are 'proclaiming, beseeching or
> > praying', but do so *in order to* 'proclaim, beseech or pray'.
> >
> > If my attempt at understanding these passages is not misled, I
> > would like to propose a translation (using Mk 1:14 as an example) such
> "Now
> > after John was handed over, Jesus came into Galilee in order to proclaim
> the
> > gospel of God and this is what he was saying: The time, etc." [I should
> note that in
> > the two passages that have KHRUSSWN (Mt 3:1 and Mk 1:4), the context
> > to indicate an ongoing proclamation and LEGWN is rendered according to
> > aspectually imperfect nature of the activity. The other cases narrate
> > one-time events and, in my interpretation of these passages, KAI
> > LEGWN would have to be translated by something like "and this is what he
> said:"] I
> > realize that B-Greek is not a translation list but I am providing
> > translations in order to better convey my proposed interpretation of the
> > Greek of these passages.
> I would say this is going too far, and not necessary. Since KHRUSSWN is a
> present participle, it gives further information about an activity more or
> less simultaneous to the main verb HLQEN. LEGWN then gives further
> information.
> If I look beyond the Greek grammar for a moment to the underlying Semitic
> thought pattern, I see a three-piece generic-specific train. First: He
> to Galilee. Second: More specifically, he was proclaiming the Gospel when
> came. Third: More specifically, he basically said this while proclaiming
> Gospel.
> There is an implicit purpose in the text, but I do not think that this
> purpose is expressed in the grammar the way you suggest. There are several
> ways to express purpose in Greek, but I don't see any of them here. One
> could argue that Semitic KAI may support a purpose connection, but even
> the purpose would be derived from the whole context, not the grammar as
> such.

Yeah, perhaps I was reading too much into the grammar here. You express it
well by saying there is an implicit but not grammatical purpose int he text.
Having re-examined the NT examples of KAI LEGWN/LEGONTES, I see that while
there is some connection between a main verb of motion and a participle of a
verb of communication, to label this as 'telic' would be too restrictive.

Your reference to underlying Semitic thought patterns interests me--is there
something to read on this?

Thanks for your insights,
Mark DelCogliano

More information about the B-Greek mailing list