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

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon Apr 17 13:16:31 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.
...  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?>

What was wrong with examples like
Acts 17:18
or 17:32?

These are not rare.
DE marks the change, OI makes it a different subject. One would not
repeat the OI for the same subject if only the verb were being
This is the O DE idiom is being used.

So the four plural examples above, plus any others that search
software may bring from the NT, plus all of the singular examples of O
DE and H DE which mark a change of speaker or subject/topic, allow one
to recognise one of the devices of Greek for organizing its

P.X. (paradeigmatos xarin)
I was just reading a story from the life of Aesop.
One speaker is introduced with
H DE participle clause EIPEN <<quote>> [and she-A, ..., said << >>]
The respondent is immediately introduced
H DE <<quote>> [and she-B << >>]
followed by
H DE noun EKSHGHSATO <<quote>> [and the foolish girl-A explained << >>]

This is typical Greek repartee. Especially the middle H DE, which was
even able to drop a verb for 'saying'. Listening to this kind of give
and take is how anyone learns and internalizes how Greek uses its
signals. You will find it common wherever you got such kinds of
contexts. I think of it as a "O DE (EIPEN)" idiom, but it is not
limited to the verb EIPEN, just that it is most often seen in
conversational exchanges.

Haggim smeHim,
Randall Buth

Randall Buth, PhD
ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
randallbuth at gmail.com

More information about the B-Greek mailing list