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

Albert & Julia Haig albert_and_julia at yahoo.com.au
Tue Apr 18 01:57:12 EDT 2006

>> [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.

Then from me again, referring to the above quote:

>> [Me] ...  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?

> [RB] 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 contrasted. This is the O DE idiom is being used.

Acts 17:18 and 17:32 are clear examples, sorry for not acknowledging that. They are the only NT examples that anyone has yet provided that actually answer the question and unambiguously demonstrate the usage described. But even so, we're now up to a count of 4 in the entire New Testament. Maybe there are more, but it still seems to me to be accurately described as "rare".

> [AP] If we agree that Hebrew VE DOES NOT mark a shift, we cannot at the same time say that VE DOES mark a shift.

And, quite clearly, I didn't say that it did. I said the semantic domain of ve must overlap with that of DE. That does not, in any sense, imply that ve marks a shift. The semantic domain of "pet" overlaps with the semantic domain of "cats". That does not mean that a lion is a pet, or that a dog is a cat.

> [AP] And there the answer remains: DE marks contrast, but  VE  does not mark contrast. 

Which is what I said.

> [GS] DE does mark some distinction as has been noted, but what you are proposing seems to be not so much a distinction as a contrast.  DE is not a strong adversitive but "a marker connecting a series of closely related data . . ." (BDAG, s.v. "DE").  For what you are proposing it seems more likely that ALLA, a stronger adversitive would be used.  See Mt 9.24 ELEGEN, "ANAXWREITE, OU GAR APEQANEN TO KORASION ALLA KAQEUDEI" He said, "Depart for the girl is ** not dead BUT sleeps ** "
> [CC] If we're talking about one group, all of whom are declared to be both  rich and poor, I would expect the Koine Greek of your proposed  English sentence to be something like: (a) PLOUSIOI HSAN, ALLA KAI  PTWCOI, or (b) HSAN PLOUSIOI MEN, PTWCOI DE. But I would NOT expect  to see the pronoun hOI used with the DE to indicates what you're  suggesting. 

Thanks George and Carl, that's the kind of answer I was looking for.

> [CC] For my part, I would be content to accept the proposition that the  LXX translator interpreted the Hebrew text and put it into Greek  formulation consistent with his interpretation rather than slavishly  using a literal word-for-word technique of conversion.

But if you looked at the surrounding text, you would find that he does quite consistently translate ve, typically as KAI, but sometimes as DE. I've quickly scanned through and as far as I can see he *never* leaves ve untranslated in the early chapters of Genesis. So I would not be prepared to accept your proposition, at least in regards to the early chapters of Genesis and ve. For obvious reasons, the translators of the LXX adopted a fairly strict approach to the Pentateuch, although they were much less formal elsewhere in the OT.

> [CC] With respect, this argument reminds me very much of an account I once  heard of an argument with a fellow insisting that the moon is really  made of green cheese. Numerous tests having been made of materials  taken from the moon surface and shown to be not even remotely of the  texture or composition of any known green cheese, the proponent of  the proposition replied that, if one could penetrate to the very core  within the moon, one would surely extract a sample that could be  identiified as green cheese.  So, the instances cited of the hO DE  clauses in ancient Greek in support of the conventional  interpretation of hOI DE in Mt 28:17 being extra-canonical except for  the instance in Mt 26:67, and that instance having been dismissed on  grounds that there's a conceivable (if unlikely) alternative  explanation, it would appear now to be argued that this one text, Mt  18:17 (hOI DE EDISTASAN) might conceivably be an instance of  something that is unparalleled but
 theoretically plausible. It seems  to me that this is the very essence of an argument that is  conventionally called "purely academic."

So far, we have 2 unambiguous and 2 probable instances of the usage in question from the entire NT. We have no instance of the alternative. That makes the reading you support very likely, but it is hardly overwhelming evidence is it? Whereas the evidence that the moon is not made of green cheese, as I understand it, consists of a slightly more substantial body of data. If you think that raising questions about the former is on a par with questions about the latter, then I think the discussion ought to shift to principles of inductive reasoning - which, of course, is outside the scope of this forum. It also leaves me kind of wondering, what is the point of the B-Greek discussion list? Obviously not to debate the pros and cons of alternative ways of reading the Greek.

All the best,

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