[B-Greek] Rev. 19:12--names written on what? (was Rev 19:21)
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 27 15:03:43 EST 2006
I would still maintain that the antecedent of EXWN is the m sg nom hO KAQHMENOS EP' AUTON. This phrase has a number (7) descriptions attached
11. KAI EIDON TON OURANON HNEWiGMENON, KAI IDOU hIPPOS LEUKOS
KAI hO KAQHMENOS EP' AUTON
(1) [KALOUMENOS] PISTOS KAI ALHQINOS
(2) KAI EN DIKAOSUNHi KRINEI KAI POLEMEI
12. (3) hOI DE OFQALMOI AUTOU [hWS] FLOC PUROS
(4) KAI EPI THN KEFALHN AUTOU DIADHMATA POLLA
(5) EXWN ONOMA GEGRAMMENON hO OUDEIS OIDEN EI MH AUTOS
13. (6) KAI PERIBEBLHMENOS hIMATION BEBAMMENON hAIMATI
(7) KAI KEKLHTAI TO ONOMA AUTOU hO LOGOS TOU QEOU
----- Original Message ----
From: Carl W. Conrad <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: Webb <webb at selftest.net>
Cc: B Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 8:22:52 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Rev. 19:12--names written on what? (was Rev 19:21)
There's been a little water under the bridge, but I have been
pondering this matter a bit.
On Nov 24, 2006, at 6:39 PM, Webb wrote:
> Does it move you towards Lattimore and me for me to observe that
> John likes
> using EXWN with a neuter singular subject?
I'm glad you've called attention to this (although I wish you'd be
more consistent with regard to transliterating Chi: you're using BOTH
"X" AND "C" instead of one or the other. I prefer to keep "X" for Xi),
You haven't made me change my opinion regarding ECWN in Rev 19:12
from what I wrote earlier (my original response below), but you've
called attention to the unquestionable fact that use of ECWN as an
"indeclinable" participial form by the author of Revelation is more
common than one might imagine. This is discussed in BDF §136 '(5)
More Serious Incongruencies (Solecisms).' I cite subsection (5) from
this account (page 75): "Incongruence in number: ... The participle
accounts for the major part of these incongruencies; in other
respects, too, its use in the later period becomes more and more
uncertain, with the masculine, especially in the nominative singular,
greatly preferred; in MGr the participle has only ONE indeclinable
form in -NTAS (nom.)."
So -- what is involved in these instances of ECWN is not simply a
grammatical solecism (from the perspective of contemporary school
Greek grammar) but rather an early phase of the development toward a
single and indeclinable present participial form of the verb. The
Greek of this author then may not be so much anomalous as it is
closer to the vernacular in its usage than any other NT document.
More evidence, evidently(!), of the fact that NT Greek is a language
I haven't made a study of the grammatical usage of the author of
Revelation -- nor have I consulted the commentaries which must have
sections on this, but I guess what we'd have to say is that the
indeclinable m. sg. nom. form of the ptc. must seem "natural" to this
author so that he frequently employs it without thinking, while at
other times he's sufficiently aware that it doesn't conform to the
school grammar that he corrects it -- or, as you say, it may be the
copyists that have "corrected" these forms to what school grammar
Another idea that occurs to me -- but it's no more than a hazardous
notion -- is that ECWN is functioning much like a preposition
construed with accusative-case forms meaning "with." After all, that
particular sense of the present participle of ECW, "wear," or "have
on," can become idiomatic: e.g., "the man with the yellow hat."
> KAI TO TRITON ZWiON ECWN TO PROSWPON hWS ANQRWPOU (Rev. 4:7)
> KAI TA TESSARA ZWiA hEN KAQ hEN AUTWN ECWN ANA PTERUGAS hEX (Rev. 4:8)
> KAI EIDON EN MESWi TOU QRONOU KAI TWN TESSARWN ZWiWN KAI EN MESWi TWN
> PRESBUTERWN ARNION hESTHKOS hWS ESFAGMENON ECWN KERATA hEPTA (Rev.
> KAI EIDON KAI IDOU NEFELH LEUKH KAI EPI THN NEFELHN KAQHMENON
> hOMOION hUION
> ANQRWPOU ECWN EPI THS KEFALHS AUTOU STEFANON CRUSOUN (Rev. 14:14)
> Or would
> the attraction to the gender of ANQRWPOS be predicted in non-
> KAI EIDON GUNAIKA KAQHMENHN EPI QHRION KOKKINON GEMONTA ONOMATA
> ECWN KEFALAS hEPTA KAI KERATA DEKA (Rev. 17:3)
> KAI EPI THN KEFALHN AUTOU DIADHMATA POLLA ECWN ONOMA GEGRAMMENON hO
> OIDEN EI MH AUTOS (Rev. 19:12)
> KAI TO TEICOS THS POLEWS ECWN QEMELIOUS DWDEKA (Rev. 21:14)
> Note that John is also capable of doing it right (either that, or
> has fixed it extremely early in transmission--it sounds about the
> same in
> dictation, anyway, right?):
> KAI EIDON EK THS QALASSHS QHRION ANABAINON ECON KERATA DEKA KAI
> hEPTA (Rev. 13:1)
> Now, on a totally different tack, can one take ECWN with what
> precedes? Thus
> (observe the comma):
> KAI EPI THN KEFALHN AUTOU DIADHMATA POLLA ECWN, ONOMA GEGRAMMENON
> hO OUDEIS
> OIDEN EI MH AUTOS (Rev. 19:12)
The comma, of course, is added by the modern editor, not by the
copyist. But it tells us that the modern editor has not understood
ECWN as an indeclinable participle but rather as referring back to
the rider of the horse.
> Once again I guess the assumption would have to be that GEGRAMMENON is
> singular because he's thinking distributively.
> I'll be glad if any of this works, because those crowns want names
> on them.
I think what you mean is that YOU want names on them! For my part I'm
less inclined to want to attempt to sort out the kaleidoscopic
imagery of this document.
> Webb Mealy
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carl W. Conrad [mailto:cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu]
> Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 2:28 PM
> To: Webb
> Cc: 'B Greek'
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Rev. 19:21--names written on what??
> On Nov 24, 2006, at 4:57 PM, Webb wrote:
>> KAI EPI THN KEFALHN AUTOU DIADHMATA POLLA ECWN ONOMA GEGRAMMENON hO
>> OIDEN EI MH AUTOS
>> Given that neuter plural nouns are often treated grammatically as
>> I immediately took the "name written" as inscribed on each of the
>> crowns, thus:
>> .and on his head are many royal crowns. They have a name (or names,
>> implicitly, the singular functioning as distributive) written on
>> them, which
>> nobody knows but him."
> The reason this won't do is that the participle ECWN is masc. sg.
> nom. -- it cannot possibly modify DIADHMA sg. or DIADHMATA pl. It can
> only refer to the rider of the horse, although it is awkwardly
> positioned -- another of the grammatical irregularities of this book
> that we commonly refer to as "solecisms."
>> Looking at 35 English translations or so, I couldn't find a single
>> one that
>> took it that way. But then.I read Lattimore:
>> "On his head are many diadems, inscribed with the name which no one
>> except himself."
>> I love it when Lattimore and I agree all by ourselves :)
>> Can anyone tell me why Lattimore and I can't be correct?
>> Webb Mealy
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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