[B-Greek] Rev. 5:8

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Sun Jul 27 07:45:56 EDT 2003


At 7:26 AM -0400 7/27/03, Ron Snider wrote:
>In the Greek text of Rev. 5:8, there is a plural subject, the living
>creatures (neuter gender) and the 24 elders (masculine gender), the verb
>is third person plural (fell down--as one would expect), the participle
>(appears to be attendant circumstance) is masculine....My question is
>whether or not one can make a definitive case for whether the elders
>alone have the harps and bowls, or whether the elders and living
>creatures are both the subject of this participle.

Text (it really helps to have this in front of one when talking about the
text):
KAI hOTE ELABEN TO BIBLION, TA TESSARA ZWiA KAI hOI EIKOSI TESSARES
PRESBUTEROI EPESAN ENWPION TOU ARNIKOU ECONTES hEKASTOS KIQARAN KAI FIALAS
CRUSAS GEMOUSAS QUMIAMATWN, hAI EISIN hAI PROSEUCAI TWN hAGIWN.

The problem, as I think you realized very well, is with "make a definitive
case." While I think it is probable that only the elders were intended to
be the subject of ECONTES hEKASTOS, I don't see anything in the
construction as a whole that hinders understanding TA TESSARA ZWiA as being
included among those, "each of whom holds ..." I think it is also worth
noting here that the author of Rev.--for whatever reason, be it Semitic
thought-patterns or poetic license or something else--is notorious for
solecisms and "violations" of standard grammatical structures normally
observed by writers/speakers of Greek.
-- 

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



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