hOI for some in Mt 28:17?

Mike Sangrey msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Tue May 21 07:15:31 EDT 2002

On Mon, 2002-05-20 at 14:26, Manolis Nikolaou wrote:
> 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.

Yes, of course.  I should have been more careful with my wording.  What
was on my mind at the time was trying to specifically answer Richard's
question.  He had asked:

> Then my question is whether the hOI DE means they (all of the eleven),
> some of the eleven, or some others who are not mentioned as an
> antecedent.

While Carl's and your answers are helpful, they did not go far enough to
answer this question.  That's why he had to ask it again.  I added more
material in the hopes of providing Richard the information he needed in
order to make an informed choice.

The short version of the answer to this question is simply that hOI is
functioning as a pronoun and the referent of that pronoun is a subset of
the group in view.

The reasons for that, at least as I understand it, are:
        1. hOI functioning as pronoun is very standard usage of the
        2. The referent of a pronoun must easily be accessible to the
           original audience's cognitive environment.  While this
           referent is nearly always within the text, communication
           theory does not demand that this be so 100% of the time.  In
           this text, the eleven are specifically mentioned.  There's
           nothing, in the text or elsewhere, to indicate there were any
           others around.
        3. DE introduces new material which builds on the previous
        4. There's also the socio-linguistic context, which I won't
           restate here.

BTW, Richard, I also shouldn't have inferred that PROSKUNEW meant
"believe".  That was a slip caused by my focusing on the nature of
`certainty'.  "Worship" is good.  And I'll add that the nature of this
verb is such that it sets up considerable tension between PROSKUNEW and

Mike Sangrey
msangrey at BlueFeltHat.org
Landisburg, Pa.
                        "The first one last wins."
            "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."

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