[B-Greek] Singular Rel-pro in Rev 13:8; the plural Rel-pro in Rev 17:8

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Tue Nov 8 16:26:43 EST 2005

Frankly, Virgil, I think you're raising a non-issue here. Of course  
it is a scroll that our texts in question are concerned with: BIBLION  
does mean "scroll" whereas our kind of "book" is what came to be  
called a CODEX-- (Latin, not Greek). I do think that EN TWi BIBLIWi  
and EPI TO BIBLION in the two texts in question was intended to mean  
the same thing: "in" or "into" so as to be legible on the surface of  
the scroll. The chief point I was trying to make is that EPI +  
accusative seems to me a rather odd phrase to use with GRAFW for  
indication of where a ledger entry is placed. I don't doubt that it  
means "on the scroll" or "in the scroll." But as I've said, the  
author of Revelation has "some few several" odd items of grammar and  
diction in this text.

On Nov 8, 2005, at 12:17 PM, virgil newkirk wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
> Cc: "virgil newkirk" <virgilsalvage1 at msn.com>; "B-Greek B-Greek"
> <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 12:07 PM
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Singular Rel-pro in Rev 13:8; the plural Rel- 
> pro in
> Rev 17:8
> On Nov 7, 2005, at 1:36 PM, virgil newkirk wrote:
>> Carl,
>> I wasn't thinking or suggesting that the phrasing in 17:8 was  
>> actually
>> "derived from" 13:8; what was in my mind was, here is the author
>> essentially
>> writing again about all the people living on the earth and their
>> attention
>> to the beast ( I guess I am assuming it's the same subject..should
>> I not?)
>> and yet he writes EPI TO BIBLION where before he wrote in a similar
>> description of things EPI TWi BIBLIWi; should I think that his
>> Greek went
>> from good to bad in this short span ? (Please, I am not being
>> sarcastic..I
>> just don't understand) Or am I distorting what you've suggested
>> about the
>> flux of Greek ? If it is a case of solecism or bad Greek it puzzles
>> me why
>> it occurred so close together in two different manifestations ?
> Virgil, you're asking questions that I'm not prepared to answer. It
> may very well be that the author had in mind the phrasing or the idea
> from 13:8 when composing 17:8, but if so, he phrased it differently
> although probably with the same intent. I don't think it's all that
> unusual for an author to use somewhat different phrasing when he/she
> expresses the same idea within a single document as here: EN TWi
> BIBLIWi in 13:9, EPI TO BIBLION in 17:8, pretty clearly with the same
> intended sense; EN TWi BIBLIWi is a construction we might expect with
> GEGRAPTAI while EPI TO BIBLION is not what we might expect; that's
> why I said it might be a solecism, with which this book of Revelation
> is replete, or it might even be an instance of use of the accusative
> as the standard object-of-prepositon case used with any preposition
> -- as in Greek of later periods.
> _________________________
> Dear Carl,
> I was not able to embrace what you stated above,(I didn't really  
> understand
> why not) that is, until I learned a lesson. The lesson learned was  
> that I
> was (without being aware of it at the time) attempting to  
> understand what
> the Greek was saying ...from an English and place in time  
> perspective. Both
> in English and in 2005 a book to me is something you write  
> (whatever it is
> that you're going to write) you write that stuff "in" the book;  
> that book
> being that thing with all those pages along with the book's  
> construction. We
> wouldn't write about things "on" our books; as in EPI TO BIBLION, so I
> couldn’t get my thinking around how that could be in Rev 17:8. It  
> wasn't
> until for some reason I found myself reading Rev 17:8 in my NASB/NIV
> interlinear that I noticed under the Greek word BIBLION there
> was(fortunately)the gloss "scroll." Aha ! I said (being embarrassed  
> and
> corrected) you can expect one to write in Rev 17:8 EPI TO BIBLION !  
> On a
> scroll (accusative)...but not necessarily in English and the year  
> 2005...
> "on a book."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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