frjsilver at optonline.net frjsilver at optonline.net
Tue Nov 7 21:23:49 EST 2006

Dear Friends --

There's a rhetorical device in hellenistic and Byzantine Greek -- admittedly rare -- which uses the onomastic case for an emphatic form of direct address, but this is reserved for only the most formal and solemn contexts.

So, for instance, while the Hebrewof IS 6:3 _qadosh qadosh qadosh YHWH tsevaoth melo kal- ha arets kavodo_ is clearly an acclamation of the Seraphim made about God in the third person, and the text of the Greek 70 reflects this accurately, the practical application of this verse in the liturgy adapts this only slightly to a form of direct address (exceptions marked *):  hAGIOS hAGIOS hAGIOS KURIOS SABAWQ PLHRHS *hO OURANOS KAI* hH GH THS DOXHS *SOU*.

This structure is reflected also in the Trisagion Hymn:  hAGIOS hO QEOS hAGIOS ISCUROS hAGIOS ATHANATOS ELEHSON hEMAS, where the appellations of God are in the onomastic case, but the protactic verb form is in the second-person singular aorist.

These liturgical formulas are well understood by native speakers of Modern Greek as forms of direct address, not as predicative structures, although that's clearly the intent of the biblical text.

When reading Isaiah, native speakers of Modern Greek wonder about the difference between that text and what they sing in the liturgy, and it's usually explained to them that Old Testament liturgy is older than the Old Testament, and New Testament liturgy is older than the New Testament, and that the Church made the Bible -- not the other way around.

Your mileage may vary.  [[;-)33

Father James Silver

Monk James
Orthodox Church in America

----- Original Message -----
From: Webb 
Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2006 2:18 pm
Subject: [B-Greek] KURIOS hO QEOS hO PANTOKRATWR (Rev. 4:8)
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org

> If we assume that hAGIOS hAGIOS hAGIOS consists of three grammatically
> independent shouts of acclamation, can somebody give me a reason 
> strictly on
> the basis of Greek grammar (not from LXX or MT of Isa. 6) why 
> the following
> phrase, KURIOS hO QEOS hO PANTOKRATWR, wouldn't look to a Greek 
> speaker like
> "God the All-Powerful is Lord!"
> Webb Mealy
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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