[B-Greek] definiteness and names/titles

Wayne Leman wayne_leman at sil.org
Tue Jun 17 19:56:04 EDT 2003

> In the midst of wondering what else makes something definite (object of a
> preposition, for example), I wondered how we are able to define something
> a title or as a name.  For example, what do we do with QEOS?  Is it a
> Is it a title?

Ron, sometimes it is used as a name and sometimes as a title. As with most
things having to do with language, it all depends on the context. If we
examine the linguistic context in which a particular instance of QEOS is
used, we can often tell whether that noun is used as a name or title. For
instance, if it is used in a prayer to address God, I would think it is
being used as a name, just as we use any other name as an addressee.

It seems to me that hO QEOS in 1 Cor. 14:33 is, on the other hand, titular.

I'm not sure that it is always clear whether an instance of QEOS is a name
or a title. And I think it is possible that there could be other semantic
categories for usage of QEOS in some instance. For instance, in Phil. 3:19,
there is an articular (and definite) hO QEOS, but is this usage that of a
title or name? Not a name. Possibly a title. But to me it seems more likely
to be a semantic category ("god").

So, ultimately, it seems to me that the answer to your question is not
straightforwardly to be found in syntax, but, rather, in pragmatics, h.e. ow
QEOS is used in context.

Wayne Leman

> - Ron Fay

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