[B-Greek] Why is the Genitive different from all other cases?

virgil newkirk virgilsalvage1 at msn.com
Thu Mar 16 01:18:20 EST 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: "virgil newkirk" <virgilsalvage1 at msn.com>
Cc: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Why is the Genitive different from all other cases?

> One final response from me on this subject; over and out! I shall not
> return to the topic, although I have no doubt that Virgil will
> readily continue to dialogue with anyone who is willing, perhaps even
> with some who are not willing, but that's between Virgil and
> themselves. I simply wish to state my position one final time as
> clearly as I can.


>From the B-Greek FAQ:

and in part from...

 Respectful discourse:

 While scholarly debate, including disagreement, is encouraged as a goal of 
this conference.....

 In view of this as well as other considerations, I would like to respond, 
Carl, to the challenges that your comments present; much like I did to Yancy 
Smith's conjectures and specific questions.

  Carl, you wrote:

> I honestly believe that much of the problem is that Virgil has been
> thinking of genitive case-forms that are objects of prepositions as
> as essentially adnominal genitive-case forms to which a preposition
> is attached. If that's the case, it would account for much of the
> failure of communication; but unless it is clearly understood that
> the genitive-case form PROGONWN is strictly the form required by the
> preposition APO and bears no relationship whatsoever to an adnominal
> type of genitive, I'm not sure that we can reach any shared
> understanding of the phrase APO PROGONWN in the construction hWi

VN: Firstly I would make it clear that I ascribe to none of the so-named 
categories of genitive-cased words, rather, when happening onto a 
genitive-cased word I want my attention to be gathered into the thought that 
the writer is about to tell me. That thought or truth (reality) that is 
contained in the genitive cased word or words is sure to focus on some 
relational phenomena, whose characteristics are going to be indicated in 
that something nearby.  I prefer to stay only (when considering how a 
genitive-cased word relates to what it depends on)..to stay only with the 
consideration expressed in the principle, e.g., that Smyth states under 
#1289 that being:

The genitive most commonly limits the meaning of substantives, adjectives, 
and adverbs, less commonly that of verbs (which is the case (a verb, that 
is)in our current discussion of LATREUW involving how and what 
characterization APO PROGONWN is granting to it.)

Having said that; I strongly disagree that PROGONWN follows APO strictly 
because it is the form required. No, it is there because the writer was 
wanting to say that Paul's serving was something characterized by "of 
fathers" and also chose to use the preposition APO to make the thought 
contained in PROGONWN "adverbally" more clear, in that his serving was with 
what came "of from" (something or somethings that were with and now have 
come to Paul's service "of fathers;" to put it somewhat literally. Now it's 
up to the reader to garner what that indicates, but it doesn't change the 
fact that the main limiting or classification (most of the weight if you 
will) granted to LATREUW is PROGONWN, clarified even farther by APO.

Funk says:

"With respect to the oblique cases, moreover, it is often significant to 
inquire why this oblique case and not some other was used"...and also that, 
" The specific functions of the cases are best learned in the context of 
actual word clusters and sentences." He also states that, " The oblique 
cases are often aided in their function by means of a preposition. 
Prepositions supplement (in other words add nothing and are redundant) or 
further specify the function of the case."

In regard to the current text; this involves not only the present indicative 
LATREUW but that the writer also adds hWS ADIALEIPTON to indicate that this 
LATREUW APO PROGONWN is connected also to the present indicative ECW THN 

Robertson states very definitely that the preposition does not govern. " The 
prepositions come in to help out the meaning of the case in a given context. 
The notion, therefore, that prepositions "govern" cases must be discarded 

  "Why is the Genitive different from all other cases?"
> The truth is that it is NOT different from them, except INSOFAR as
> each case is used in some ways that are distinct and unparalleled.

VN: ?

> On Mar 13, 2006, at 10:05 PM, virgil newkirk wrote:
> >   For me, then, speaking to the Genitive case, I would say it is
> > the case
> > that calls for us to "look into & consider the contents." This does
> > require
> > more consideration, I would say.

> For my part, I don't think it is any more true of the genitive than
> of the other cases that "it requires us to 'look into and consider
> the contents."

VN: Again, I strongly disagree. If something represented by a word and it's 
content of meaning (the genitive) is used by a writer in such a way that 
they are claiming that what one is to find there, ....is now something that 
can be discovered to be a characteristic of something mentioned nearby; 
that, istm, requires a different level of attention and consideration; 
especially of that word, or words in the genitive case. LATREUW APO PROGONWN

I wrote:

> > I can only respond honestly to this comment by saying, "For me to
> > be able to
> > realize what "kind of"; that is to say, what was characterizing Paul's
> > service to God is what is prominent to my realization of what's
> > written in 2
> > Tim 1:3. The words in the genitive case APO PROGONWN are what give
> > that
> > classification so there are no apologies that I would offer for
> > their being
> > considered carefully, no.

> But "what kind of" characterizes the adnominal genitive and doesn't
> apply here at all. The noun PROGONWN in this instance is in the
> genitive case ONLY because the preposition APO requires a genitive
> case-form.

VN: I contend that APO PROGONWN tells the reader what "kind of" service is 
being performed. "Kind of" can be applied to verbs istm. Robertson, 
broaching the genitive with verbs, refers to Broadus saying that the 
genitive with verbs means 'this and no more.' For me...that's "kind of."

To the rest of Carl's comments...

I would like to finish at another time. I am particularly interested in 
sharing how for me there are lbs. of difference between the dative and 
genitive phrases employing SUN+Dative...META+Genitive.

Virgil Newkirk
Salt Lake City, Utah


More information about the B-Greek mailing list