[B-Greek] John 20:28-Grammatical difference

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Sat Apr 1 22:26:09 EST 2006

On Sat, 01 Apr 2006 23:28:24 +0000 mabernathy714 at comcast.net writes:
> Maybe I'm being dense but in the context of John 20:29 I don't really 
> see how it is possible to take this to mean anything short of  a 
> declaration that Jesus is Lord and God.  But excluging verse 29, 
> Thomas was speaking to Jesus. Can we reasonably expect that John 
> would have stated that Thomas said to Jesus if Thomas was using Lord 
> and God as an exclamation?
> Sincerely,
> Michael Abernathy


147. Nominative instead of vocative. Even where the nominative is still
formally distinguished from the vocative, there is still a tendency for
the nominative to usurp the place of the vocative (a tendency observable
already in Homer). In the NT this is the case (1) generally with
adjectives used alone or without a substantive where the vocative is
clear; (2) with additions of all kinds to the vocative (Attic SU hO
PRESBUTATOS, PROCENE KAI hOI ALLOI), especially with participles
(§412(5)) which hardly ever form the vocative. (3) Attic used the
nominative (with article) with simple substantives only in addressing
inferiors, who were, so to speak, thereby addressed in the 3rd person
(Aristoph., Ra. 521 hO PAIS, AKOLOUQEI). The NT (in passages translated
from a Semitic language) and the LXX do not conform to these limitations,
but can even say hO QEOS, hO PATHR etc., in which the arthrous Semitic
vocative is being reproduced by the Greek nominative with article. 
        . . . .
—With attributive: hO KURIOS MOU KAI hO QEOS MOU Jn 20:28 (cf. Rev 4:11),
hO LAOS MOU Rev 18:4 (voc. sg. from LAOS LEWS generally not common); Lk
12:32, Mk 9:25. 

Blass, F., Debrunner, A., & Funk, R. W. (1961). A Greek grammar of the
New Testament and other early Christian literature (81). Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.

It would seem to me that Thomas is here unquestionably referring to Jesus
as both lord (which might be as simple as saying "sir") and God.


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