[B-Greek] hEIS and its referent

Anthony Buzzard anthonybuzzard at mindspring.com
Tue Nov 7 10:08:17 EST 2006

Rolf and Iver, Thanks so much to you both for discoursing on the 
meaning of the Shema in Mark 12:29. Clearly Bock's idea that his 
translation is the only unambiguously right one needed nuancing as 
you have done.
Thanks especially for laying out the various sentences with hEIS.
How would you render hEIS EEN Abraham?  (LXX of Ezek 33:24)
I would say :"Abraham was a single individual", ie (only) one person.
That seems to me to convey the sense well in English.
In this case would it be true to say of the other examples you gave 
of hEIS that the meaning "one person" is inferred, although that is 
not the main point of what is said.
I take it that an implied, inferred meaning is just as much a part of 
the meaning of a given phase or clause. But not being full time in 
the translating business, I may not be expressing this quite right.
A valid inference is presumably just as much a part of the semantic 
value of a sentence as the primary meaning.  Thus "you have only one 
teacher, Christ" does not set out to tell us that Christ is one 
person, the point is that Christ is your only absolute teacher. But 
nevertheless hEIS implies that  the one referenced is "one 
person."  -- that is self evident, I suppose.
Anthony Buzzard

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