[B-Greek] Mt 22:44 and an absence of the article

Iver Larsen iver at larsen.dk
Tue Jun 27 12:13:30 EDT 2006

> On Jun 27, 2006, at 7:50 AM, Peter Brzeski wrote:
>> Greetings.
>> In Mt 22:44 we find an instance of KURIOS without the article
>> preceding it. Daniel Wallace in his Greek Grammar gives a list of
>> conditions under which an anarthous noun can be definite. I was
>> trying to fit this example into one of his categories, but I'm not
>> sure if I got it right.
>> My first thought was that KURIOS in this instance could be either
>> taken as a monadic noun or as a proper name, but I'm not sure if it
>> qualifies for either (by the way, I do find these two categories
>> somewhat overlapping).  The passage is a quote from Psalm 110:1,
>> where in the LXX we do find the article before KURIOS, whereas the
>> hebrew text has the tetragrammaton here.
>> So my question is: why is KURIOS anarthous in Mt 22:44?
> This is a citation from the LXX, Ps. 110.1; it appears also in Mk
> 12:36 and Lk 20:42.
> Anarthrous KURIOS in the LXX conveys the tetragram IHWH, not directly
> but rather by giving the Greek equivalent of Heb. ADONAI.
> Carl W. Conrad

An interesting question. Just to add a bit to what Carl has said.

In the LXX, KURIOS is usually without the article when it translates YHWH, but Psalm 110:1 is one of the (many) 

In the NT apart from Luke and Acts, the arthrous hO KURIOS refers either to Jesus or to "the master/lord". The 
anarthrous KURIOS refers to YHWH. I looked rather quickly through the 177 instances of the nominative KURIOS in the NT 
to check this.

Luke is inconsistent like the LXX, but for this particular quote he apparently included the article as it is found in 
the LXX. He quotes it both in Lk 20:42 and Acts 2:34. In both cases there is a textual problem, but the better texts 
(IMO) as well as the majority of the texts have the article. The article was probably removed by scribes who were 
familiar with the rule from the rest of the NT that KURIOS refers to YHWH and hO KURIOS to Jesus.

Iver Larsen 

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