[B-Greek] Matthew 28:17: hOI DE EDISTASAN

Albert & Julia Haig albert_and_julia at yahoo.com.au
Wed Apr 12 23:33:15 EDT 2006

Sorry for the delay in responding!

> [GFS] I'm not so sure that you have proven your case.  Mt 2.5 might or might not indicate only SOME.   Other cases of the appearance of hOI DE are part of a participial clause which would therefore be "those who *ing . .."  I haven't checked every instance which you cite since I'm still in the process of evaluating your conclusion, but my initial reaction is as above.

Your claim about Matthew 2:5 is a stretch I think. Verse 4 states that the chief priests and scribes were gathered and Herod asked them (EPUNQANETO PAR AUTWN) about the Christ's birthplace, and then verse 5 reports their reply ("and they said to him", hOI DE EIPAN). Surely the ones replying have to be the same ones who were asked!

As for the question of participles, I avoided verses where it seemed to me that the participle was functioning as a noun and the word hOI was therefore not functioning as a pronoun, but rather as the definite article (i.e "the *ing ones" or something like that). However, such judgments are subjective. If you want to exclude all cases where a participle follows, that's fine by me. It only serves to reinforce my point.

> [HH] I agree that hOI followed by a verb does not have to mean "some," but Carl's point still stands. If you look at all the examples you cite, there is a shift from one subject to another with hOI. Sometimes the shift may be subtle, as in the cases of the miraculous feeding, where it may not be stated who picked up the leftovers. But we know it was the apostles, so "the ones (hOI) eating" in the next verse is a slight shift.

First of all, in many of these 25 cases I don't see any marked shift in subject - certainly no more marked then is found elsewhere with other conjunctions or particles - though of course, if you look hard enough and want to find such a shift, you always can. However, there is a huge difference between a shift of subject, and a shift in pronomial reference. Not one of the 25 cases I gave in which the word hOI functions as a pronoun, involve a shift in the group to which the pronoun refers. This only leaves 1 unconvincing example (26:67) and the example under dispute. So saying that hOI followed by a verb does not have to mean "some" is an understatement. At best, you should say that "in Matthew, hOI followed by a verb might on rare occasions mean "some"". But I remain entirely unconvinced.

> [RB] The problem of course, is that everything could be called a development.

As usual, spot on. This is the point I was making above. I challenge people to show me a use of, say, KAI that does not involve development. I'll bet I can argue a case that there is development going on. Only a phrase which was a strict tautology following on would not involve "development".

> [IL] It looks like you are being mislead by the English, somewhat ambiguous, "they". Try to look at all instances of the nominative hO DE (singular) and hOI DE (plural). It is not significant whether there is a following masculine noun or not, since the noun only makes explicit what otherwise is implicit.

No, I think you are mistaken here. There is a fundamental difference whether or not the word hOI is followed by a masculine plural nominative noun. If it is, then it functions as *the definite article*. If it is not, then it functions as a *pronoun*. These are quite distinct functions. In the translations you claim are correct of 28:17, it is assumed that the noun which the pronoun references changes because of the DE. But in all other 26 examples bar possibly one (26:67), it does not. Hence my scepticism.

> [IL] There is no way the text can be taken to mean "and they also doubted" referring to the whole group.

It seems to me to naturally read that way, and if some had been intended, then it could easily have been said using TINES as Matthew does on many other occasions (e.g. 28:11, 27:47, etc).

> [SCC] BDF offers Matt 26:67 as an example similar to Matt 28:17: TOTE ENEPTUSAN EIS TO PROSWPON AUTOU KAI EKOLAFION AUTON, hOI DE ERAPISAN, 68 LEGONTES ...

This is the case I discussed earlier, which leaves me very unconvinced. It seems to read very naturally, "They they spat in his face and beat him with their fists, and they slapped him, and said, "prophesy to us ...".

Please show me an example where the context *demands* that a shift in reference for the pronoun is required, and I will believe you. If hOI DE has the meaning you claim, then such examples should be findable.

God bless,

Albert Haig.

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