[B-Greek] Mt. 28:17 hOI DE EDISTASAN

Albert & Julia Haig albert_and_julia at yahoo.com.au
Mon Apr 17 09:02:28 EDT 2006

>>> [RB] So how would Greeks have heard Mt 28:17? OI DE 'and others'  DE marks a change and OI means a different group.

>> [Me] OK, I see the point now. So is it impossible that the DE marks a  change of topic from faith to doubt? Why? 

> [CC] It marks a shift from focus upon those (of the disciples) who  responded in faith to at least two others (of the disciples) who  responded with doubt. 

I think the above sequence of quotes, and elsewhere in my post, makes clear that I now agree with you on this; but the fact that the "but some doubted" reading is probably correct *does not* mean that we cannot explore other possibilities also. I was just asking whether the other reading was possible, even granted that it is unlikely. Apparently you don't think so; but you haven't given me any reason, just restated the more likely reading which is no longer in dispute. I'm asking if there's a specific reason DE can't mark a contrasting antithesis of the "they were X, but they were also Y" kind. Consider the English sentence, "they were rich, but they were also poor". Couldn't the word "but" be DE in Greek? If so, isn't the alternative of Mt. 28:17 still a possibility, even if a less likely one?

>> [Me] Though this use, in which a pronoun and DE are  used to introduce an otherwise unspecified and elsewhere  unmentioned group, does seem to be rare. 
> [CC] The citations from Xenophon's Hellenica and Cyropaedia which I gave  you earlier (you said you would have to hunt them up, but I had done  that, gave you the citations as well as my own English version of  them) involved the same sort of shift to a sub-group of those cited  in what precedes the clause in which the pronoun hO + DE appears.

With respect, I think you're missing the point. I said such usage was, quote, "rare". Before you gave your examples, I thought there may have been no such instances, but once you had given them, I conceded that such usage occurred, but noted that it was "rare". And your examples prove my point precisely. If such usage was common, then why were you forced to resort to quoting extracanonical literature? Besides Matthew 28:17 and 26:67, can you show me any other example either from the New Testament or the LXX? If not, isn't it a fair call to say that such usage is "rare"? Otherwise, what do you think that "rare" means in this context?

> [AP] Quite so. The translator, in the target  language (Greek), marks a shift (from one means of watering to another), which is unmarked in the source language (Hebrew).  Thus in this case he caters to Greek usage rather than slavishly mimicking his source, as he does all too often.

Fair enough, but I think we can say more than this. ve in Hebrew does not mark a shift, and yes, the translator has selected DE to mark a shift which is unmarked in the Hebrew. But he has also selected DE to mark the meaning of ve. Otherwise, he has chosen to leave ve untranslated, which he does not do elsewhere. So it seems that the translator thought (a) we need to mark a conjunction (indicated by ve) *and* (b) we need to mark a shift (not indicated in the Hebrew grammar), and consequently chose DE. In short, there does seem to be some overlap between the meaning of DE and the meaning of ve.

All the best,

Albert Haig.

Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com 

More information about the B-Greek mailing list