b-greek digest: May 20, 2002

Mark House mark at thehousehouse.com
Tue May 21 01:29:06 EDT 2002


Manolis Nikolaou wrote:

--------------------------------------------
>>KAI IDONTES AUTON PROSEKUNHSAN AUTWi, hOI DE EDISTASAN.

>>As Mr. Conrad has written, this is a standard and really old usage of the
definite article + DE in Greek. A few examples drawn from NT have been
stated, as well. So your way of understanding is not really sound,
because:

>>". but struggled with their uncertainty" would be "EDISTASAN DE" not "hOI
DE EDISTASAN". The article hOI (before DE) is what makes all the
difference here.<<
-------------------------------------------

Isn't it true, though, that the "really old usage" implies (without always
explicitly stating) a "hOI MEN . . . hOI DE . . ." structure? If the meaning
here really is "some worshipped, but others doubted," shouldn't we expect to
have seen "hOI (MEN implied) PROSEKUNHSAN AUTWi, hOI DE EDISTASAN"?

Wallace seems to imply as much when he states:

"The article is often used in the place of a third person personal pronoun
in the nominative case. It is only used this way with the MEN. DE
construction or with DE alone. (Thus, O MEN. O DE or simply O DE.) These
constructions occur frequently in the Gospels and Acts, almost never
elsewhere." (211)

It strikes me that there's a third alternative that could be thrown into the
hopper. What if the sentence really ends after PROSEKUNHSAN AUTWi? ("And
when they saw him, they worshipped.") The new sentence would then closely
link the doubting with Jesus' promise of authority: " "But they (still)
doubted, and when Jesus had come he spoke to them, saying . . . " In this
case the hOI DE serves not so much as a contrast (either of subject or of
verbal action) with "worship," but simply as a narrative link, much like the
beginning of v. 16 (hOI DE hENDEKA . . . ), with a note of mild contrast.
The hENDEKA is not repreated because its closeness to the preceding context
renders it unnecessary.

TI DE UMIN DOKEI;

Mark House
Former contender, longtime lurker and sometime adjunct Greek prof.




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