[B-Greek] Subject: Re: Matt. 28:1 OYE restored to "late" vs "before"
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Apr 19 16:10:01 EDT 2006
On Apr 19, 2006, at 2:07 PM, Lars wrote:
> Attn: Carl Conrad who wrote:
> Transliteration problems:
> This SHOULD read: THi EPIFWSKOUSHi EIS MIAN SABBATWN
>> The complication here is this particular point in time of
>> reference is not yet "one sabbaths", it only approaching "one
>> sabbaths". Since we know from other scriptures this is after the
>> sabbath the presumption for ONE SABBATHS is that it is one day
>> after the sabbath. But "lightening up into" is a reference to
>> before that period. So it is not yet "one sabbaths" and thus there
>> is a contradiction here if "one sabbaths" is believed to be the
>> general idiomatic reference to one day after the sabbath.
> CC: EIS MIAN SABBATWN means "into day one of the week," as the
> translation that you presented above rightly indicates. Here you're
> apparently operating on your own understanding (or misunderstanding?)
> of the Greek phraseology. You really ought to check a lexicon (BDAG
> or another) for the varied usage of SABBATON in the singular and
> plural forms.
> LW: Please note that you entirely missed the critical point here.
> It is not simply "into day one of the week" but THi EPIFWSKOUSHi,
> the reference to "lightening up into day one of the week" that is
> critical point here. "Lightening up" is used to express something
> that is approaching. Thus by comparison we find at Luke 23:54 a
> similar reference with a variation of this term translated as "Now
> it was Preparation, and the evening light of the sabbath was
> approaching." The Greek is:
> KAI SABBATON EPEFWSKEN
> and sabbath was lighting upon
EPIFWSKW means "to dawn" and, by extension in the somewhat peculiar
usage of Lk 23:54 "draw near" (where the reference is to a day
beginning as the darkness descends). In Mt 28:1 the usage is more
standard: THi EPIFWSKOUSHi (hHMERAi or perhaps hWRAi): "at the hour
dawning into the first day of the week."
> Since this was still preparation, the day before the sabbath,
> upon indicates the approach of the sabbath, thus at Matthew 28:1
> "lightening up into one sabbath" would likely express the approach
> of "one sabbaths"; "one sabbaths" had not as yet occurred.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "one sabbaths" -- that's not
Greek and it's also not English. The Greek phrase EIS MIAN (hHMERAN)
SABBATWN means "into (day) one of the week." SABBATWN, the genitive
plural of SABBATA evidently here refers to the week, rather than the
sabbath. The expression MIA SABBATWN carries over from Hebrew's
preferential use of the cardinal numeral "one" instead of the ordinal
numeral "first" for a numerical series.
> Because we know from other reference that this was indeed already
> after the sabbath and on the first day after the sabbath, "one
> is not well translated as a reference to the entire day, but better
> references the approach of a subdivision of the day. The context
> is that "one sabbaths" begins at sunrise. As I noted, since
> sunrise begins
> a major division of the day, one of two, it could be a reference
> to the
> "morrow" (EPAURION) that begins at sunsirse and since this would
> be the
> second morrow of the day, "one sabbaths" could be a reference to one
> morrow past the sabbaths.
> This allows Matthew's reference to "lightening up into one
> sabbaths" to
> thus be an approaching time of the day not already achieved,
> sunrise. Of course, it is obvious that this is the first day of
> the week when
> sunrise occurs, but "one sabbaths" is not a reference to "one day
> after the
> sabbaths" but more likely to one morrow after the sabbaths.
Sorry, but I persist stubbornly in thinking that BDAG had it right in
the definition for OYE that I cited in my earlier response; let me
put it more fully:
"3. marker of a point of time subsequent to another point of time,
after, w. special ref. to lateness, funct. as a prep. w. gen. OYE
SABBATWN after the Sabbath Mt 28:1 (Aelian, VH 2, 23; Polyaenus 5, 2,
5 OYE THS WRAS=later than the hour [decided upon]; Philostrat., Vi.
Apoll. 4, 18, 138, 8 OYE MUSTHRIWN; 6, 10, 213, 24 OYE TOUTWN, Her
12, 190, 10 OYE THS MACHS.—B-D-F §164, 4; Rob. 645f; ETobac, RHE 20,
1924, 239–43; JMaiworm, ThGl 27, ’35, 210–16; Goodsp., Probs. 43–45;
JGrintz, JBL 79, ’60, 32–47).—B. 961. DELG. M-M."
> Again, as well in relation to DE not working here as "just
> before", just
> like "one sabbaths" has to be interpreted by the context and is an
> idiomatic expression, "but one sabbaths" is in idiomatic form as
> well and
> would not thus be expected to mean exactly what it represents,
> but rather
> needs to be interpreted based on the context. For that matter DE
> even function as "but" or "not" but merely repersents a longer
> phrase that has
> been completely shortened here just as "one sabbaths" is short
> for "one day
> after the sabbaths." So you can't simply look at DE MIA SABBATWN
> and begin
> explaining why DE isn't modifying MIA SABBATWN, because there
> could be
> several words missing here that are presumed and understood
> though unstated.
> This could be like any other idiomatic that is only understood in
> its unique
> context, just as we express 11:00 p.m. as "twenty-three hundred
> hours" knowing
> that "hundred" is not a literal reference here but substitutes
> for a concept.
> So we must basically understand the reefrence as best we can,
> fill in the missing
> words and then after that we can begin to see how the rules of
> grammar might
I really do know what an idiom is. What's idiomatic about MIA
(hHMERA) SABBATWN is that the cardinal number in the feminine form
to fit the implicit noun hHMERA ("day") is used instead of the more
common Greek ordinal number PRWTH (hHMERA). That reflects usage
carried over from Hebraic idiom. Nevertheless the substantival
adjective MIAN is in the accusative case as it must be to follow
upon the preposition EIS. The idiomatic phrase notwithstanding, the
grammar of the phrasing is intelligible Greek.
As for DE, I think it is remotely possible that you might persuade
some others that DE preceding a temporal phrase has some special
"idiomatic" meaning, but I will reiterate that beginning students of
ancient Greek who have gotten a couple months into their studies know
very well that DE is about as ubiquitous in ordinary Greek prose as
KAI. KAI appears 9161x in the GNT (according to a quick Accordance
search), while DE appears a scant 2792x. The appearance of a DE
before a temporal phrase is not essentially different semantically or
syntactically from the appearance of a DE before any other Greek
phrasing. I note that DE appears 44x in the first chapter of Matthew;
only one of these 44 instances involves a temporal phrase: Mt 1:12
META DE METOIKESIAN BABULWNOS ("after the Babylonian exile"), where
the function of DE is to link the whole clause beginning with the
META to the preceding narrative; the DE has absolutely nothing to do
with the temporal phrase itself. What is true in Mt 1:12 is not
different from the several cases that you cited:
Mt 28:1 OYE DE SABBATWN, THi EPIFWSKOUSHi EIS MIAN SABBATWN HLQEN
MARIAM hH MAGDALHNH ...
Lk 24:1 THi DE MIAi TWN SABBATWN ORQROU BAQEWS EPI TO MNHMA HLQON
Jn 20:1 THi DE MIAi TWN SABBATWN MARIA hH MAGDALHNH ERCETAI PRWI
SKOTIAS ETI OUSHS EIS TO MNHMEION ...
Mk 16:2 (1-2) KAI DIAGENOMENOU TOU SABBATOU MARIA hH MAGDALHNH KAI
MARIA hH [TOU] IAKWBOU KAI SALWMH HGORASAN ARWMATA hINA ELQOUSAI
ALEIYWSIN AUTON. 2 KAI LIAN PRWI THi MIAi TWN SABBATWN ERCONTAI EPI
TO MNHMEION ANATEILANTOS TOU hHLIOU.
In Mt 28:1, Lk 24:1 and Jn 20:1 the DE follows standard Greek usage:
it FOLLOWS the initial word of the clause (OYE, THi, THi
respectively) and links the new sentence to the narrative immediately
preceding (the chapter break, I assume you realize, is an artificial
creation of the scribes, not a division created by the
evangelists,whose narrative of the crucifixion and death of Jesus led
immediately into the resurrection narrative.
What makes Mark different is that he prefers to achieve the narrative
linkage to the preceding narrative with a KAI rather than with a
postpositive DE. Mark is notorious for his preference for KAI as a
linking element of new clauses and sentences with what precedes.
There really is no SEMANTIC significance whatsoever to the fact that
in Mt 28:1, Lk 24:1, Jn 20:1 (or elsewhere) the DE happens to appear
before a temporal phrase. The position of the DE is determined by
whatever is chosen as the first word of the sentence or clause; the
reason that it is found preceding a temporal phrase as commonly as it
is in fact found is that temporal phrases are regularly employed as
opening adverbial settings for narration of a new happening. There is
nothing idiomatic about the appearance of a DE before a temporal
phrase that should lead anyone to expect that it alters the meaning
of the temporal phrase itself.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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