[B-Greek] Jn 20:28 - Grammatical difference between the nominativefor vocative or of exclamation?

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Sat Apr 1 08:46:39 EST 2006


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <frjsilver at optonline.net>
To: "Robb Wallace" <robbw at calvary-tricities.org>
Cc: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 8:01 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Jn 20:28 - Grammatical difference between the 
nominativefor vocative or of exclamation?


>>Dear Friends --

One of the most ancient Christian liturgical prayers still in use, the 
Trisagion, employs just such a construction:

        hAGIOS ho THEOS hAGIOS ISCUROS hAGIOS ATHANATOS ELEHSON hHMAS


The ancient Roman liturgy, while retaining this prayer in transliterated form, 
also preserves the grammar of the Greek in its Latin formula:

        SANCTUS DEUS SANCTUS FORTIS SANCTUS IMMORTALIS MISERERE NOBIS

While both THEOS and DEUS, etc., are clearly in the nominative form, this is 
regarded as an example of the 'emphatic vocative';  note that ELEHSON and 
MISERERE are 2PS imperative forms.

I regret that I can't adduce NT forms at the moment to corroborate the 
rammar  -- I wanted only to illustrate the point that it exists.<<

I think it's fair to say that the Trisagion employs Greek somewhat later in 
development than even the Koine of the NT.  By the time of the composition of 
the NT, it appears that the nominative has largely supplanted the few vocative 
forms in active play during the classical period, except in "frozen" forms, or 
when an author is deliberately trying to sound a bit more classical...  The 
Latin translation (not transliteration!) is simply a literal rendering of the 
Greek.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Adjunct Faculty, The Center for Urban Theological Studies
         Philadelphia, PA
http://www.cuts.edu
Visiting Faculty, Reformed Theological Seminary
         Washington, D.C.
http://www.rts.edu/campuses/washington_dc/index.cfm

And me:
http://mysite.verizon.net/nebarry/
http://my.opera.com/BarryHofstetter/blog/

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