[B-Greek] Gen 32:30 GOT (32:29 in English) and demonstrative

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Jan 29 08:45:58 EST 2003

At 8:28 AM -0500 1/29/03, Trevor Peterson wrote:
>>===== Original Message From "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
>>I'm not altogether sure what your question is here; hINA TI (often written
>>as one word, hINATI) is used by many Koine writers for DIA TI and certainly
>>does correspond to the LMH of the MT;
>No problem there.
>>but apparently you're asking about
>>TOUTO, which, understood in terms of ordinary Greek syntax, would be
>>demonstrative with  TO  ONOMA MOU, "Why are you asking this name of mine?"
>>whereas the Hebrew seems more literally to be "Why are you asking this
>>(question) respecting my name?"
>>I'm not at all sure that that TOUTO ... TO ONOMA MOU is as odd as you
>>suppose it to be.
>But if it's not odd, you would in fact construe the demonstrative with TO
>ONOMA (as in your gloss above), correct? In Hebrew, this is not really an
>option. Basically, I'm trying to get a sense of what the translator was doing.
>Hebrew has a construction that adds a demonstrative to an interrogative,
>wherein the demonstrative does not seem to function in its normal capacity.
>I'm just trying to make sure I understand what the Greek actually says. It is
>a rather word-for-word translation (I can see that much), but it doesn't seem
>to me that it does the same thing as the Hebrew construction. If the
>demonstrative in Greek is to be construed with the object, I'd say it's
>definitely a departure from the Hebrew meaning.

I'd agree with you there, Trevor--that the Greek text does not quite
represent the construction of the corresponding passage in the Masoretic
text. I would only say: (a) I don't think there's anything odd about the
construction of the LXX text as it is written; but (b) we can't really be
sure, can we, that the Hebrew passage as represented by the Masoretic text
is exactly what the LXX translator put into Greek. I'm no expert, but I'm
aware that, although the reliability of the MT has been shown by means of
the DSS and other ancient Hebrew fragments to be considerably more reliable
than had once been thought, nevertheless there are readings in the LXX text
that can't be readily reconciled with the plain sense of the corresponding
MT passage, whether that's to be explained by the LXX translator's looking
at a different form of the Hebrew text or by the LXX translator's
misunderstanding or erroneous translation of the Hebrew into Greek. I think
you're asking a good question, but I'm not sure that it can really be
answered in terms of the available evidence.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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