hOS in Romans 8:32

Frank Gee frankrgee at outpost.net.au
Tue Mar 26 05:38:24 EST 2002

Dear Steven,
In reply to your message of 26/O3/02 2:45PM, (qv below),

I was putting together a response with some of the same points ably made by
Iver Larsen (26/03/02 7:15PM), and became so immersed in concordance
searching that I neglected to push my SEND button - so he beat me to it!

Iver has helpfully pointed out that the translation offered by BAGD for
Romans 8:32 would have to be a rendition of  ... KAI TOU IDIOU hUIOU  (and
thus not a correct translation for the ... GE ...  clause at all.)  Quite
apart from the contradiction between their translation and the functional
description for GE at the head of their article - no wonder you were

Rather than repeat anything else already explained by Iver, let me just draw
attention to something which reinforces his comment about the GE indicating
"emphasis to the [whole] clause (or proposition) it is part of".  In SIL's
BART  (Biblical Analysis and Research Tool), the grammar tag categorising GE
is QS,  that is,  Sentential Particle.  This will encourage  us to look for
exegetical clues in the context, rather than applying some rule depending
upon proximity to one particular word in the particle's own clause.

Before I came upon BART's grammar-tag definition, I was positing a new term
of my own for GE, such as Conjunction Nuancer.  [I wondered for a while
whether it could be classed as an Adverb, but rejected this as both lacking
in precision, and as not fitting into the traditional definition of Adverb
as a modifier of verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.]  There is only one
thing which gives me pause before seriously coining this definition of the
function of GE.   That is the intrusion of the word OFELON  between KAI and
GE at the front of the fourth clause in I Corinthians 4:8 -  KAI OFELON GE
EBASILEUSATE.   (ALL the other uses of  GE in GNT, including  its
combinative forms such as ARAGE and MENOUNGE, seem to show GE providing some
nuance of meaning for the conjunction(s) which it follows.)
Unless the placement of the GE after OFELON in I Cor. 4:8 is for reasons of
euphony only, this admittedly single exception to the prevailing pattern
would seem to support the BART "functionalist" definition.

It seems to me that this is a case in point where a Functionalist approach
to grammatical analysis is more useful to us than some of the traditional
definitions of  words-functions, especially for flexible, nuance-adding
particles like GE.

Applying such an approach, we would see the GE as adding an emphatic nuance
to the hOS clause of which it is part.  This function of GE thus
differentiates the function of the relative clause from other functions it
could have in other contexts, such as simple coordination (ie adding another
merely incidental piece of information about the antecedent of hOS, or that
function of a hOS clause which distinguishes the antecedent from other
possible members in a class, which we could call the "Defining Relative
We might see its (GE)  function here as similar to a that of the clause- or
phrase-straddling combination OU MONON  ... ALLA KAI,  thus producing a
dynamic equivalent in this context to:   hO THEOS OU MONON hUPER hHMWN

Hoping these observations may be of some interest to you,
with best wishes,

Frank Gee   (Rev.)
Old exegete, novice student of Linguistics
Jamberoo,  Australia

----- Original Message -----
From: Steven Lo Vullo <slovullo at mac.com>

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