[B-Greek] Luke 1.20-21 What did he say?

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 26 19:20:14 EST 2006


19 KAI hAUTH ESTIN hH MARTURIA TOU IWANNOU hOTI APESTEILAN [PROS AUTON] hOI IOUDAIOI EC hIERROSOUMWN hIEREIS KAI LEUITAS hINA ERWTHSWSIN AUTON, "SU TIS EI?"
20 KAI hWMOLOGHSEN KAI OUK HRNHSATO, KAI hWMOLOGHSEN hOTI EGW OUK EIMI hO XRISTOS
21 KAI HROWTHSAN AUTON, "TI OUN?  SU HLIAS EI?" KAI LEGEI, "OUK EIMI." "hO PROFHTHS EI SU?" KAI APEKRIQH, "OU."

Just what is John supposed to be denying here?  He denies being the Messiah, and it would seem that he fairly clearly states that he is not Elijah.  Does he then deny that he is a prophet at all?  In the question put to him after denying being Elijah he is asked " *** hO PROFHTHS EI SU ** ?"  Are they asking whether he is Elijah again or are they asking whether he is a prophet at all?  Since the article can be used to reference an item or person already mentioned, are they asking "Are you the [i.e. 'THAT'] prophet?"  A.T. Robertson in _Word Pictures_ seems to be of the opinion that this refers to the Deutonomic promise in Dt 18.15, and B.F. Westcott seems to be of the same opinion

PROFHTHN EK TWN ADELFWN SOU hWS EME ANASTHSEI SOI KURIOS hO QEOS SOU . . .

Yet, in his _A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research_, p 762 Robertson states

 
4. Second Mention (Anaphoric). The use of the article with the second mention of a word is very frequent. Thus in Jo. 6:9, ARTOUS KAI OYARIA, but in verse 11 TOUS ARTOUS—KAI EK TWN OYARIWN. See Lu. 9:13, 16. Cf. hUDWR in Jo. 4:10 and TO hUDWR in verse 11. So MAGOI in Mt. 2:1, but TOUS MAGOUS in verse 7; ZIZANIA in 13:25, but TA ZIZANIA in verse 26. Cf. Ac. 9:4, 7; 9:11, 17; Jas. 2:2, 3; Rev. 15:1, 6. In Jo. 4:43, TAS DUO hMERAS, the article refers to verse 40. Cf. Jo. 20:1 with 19:41; 12:12 with 12:1; Heb. 5:4 with 5:1; 2 Cor. 5:4 with 5:1. In Ac. 19:13 we have PAULOS, but hO PAULOS in 19:15. Völker (Syntax, p. 21 f.) finds the anaphoric use of the article common enough in the papyri.

Robertson, A. (1919; 2006). A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (762). Logos.

george
gfsomsel
_________




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