[B-Greek] Rev. 19:12--names written on what? (was Rev 19:21)

Webb webb at selftest.net
Mon Nov 27 15:19:48 EST 2006


Of course, if John is trying to say that the rider on the horse has many
crowns on his head, each inscribed with a name that only he knows, that
statement as a whole remains “a description” of the rider. I don’t think
there’s anything about the poetic form that pushes the matter one way or the
other. On this score, note that his robe has a name written on it too—v. 16.
So not everything said is ascribed to his body as opposed, say, to his
accoutrements.

 

Webb

 

  _____  

From: George F Somsel [mailto:gfsomsel at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 12:04 PM
To: Carl W. Conrad; Webb
Cc: B Greek
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Rev. 19:12--names written on what? (was Rev 19:21)

 

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
 

george
gfsomsel
_________ 

 

----- 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  
IN FLUX.

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  
would use.

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.  
> 5:6)
>
> 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- 
> solecistic
> Greek?
>
> KAI EIDON GUNAIKA KAQHMENHN EPI QHRION KOKKINON GEMONTA ONOMATA  
> BLASFHMIAS
> ECWN KEFALAS hEPTA KAI KERATA DEKA (Rev. 17:3)
>
> KAI EPI THN KEFALHN AUTOU DIADHMATA POLLA ECWN ONOMA GEGRAMMENON hO  
> OUDEIS
> 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  
> somebody
> 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  
> KEFALAS
> 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
>> OUDEIS
>> OIDEN EI MH AUTOS
>>
>>
>>
>> Given that neuter plural nouns are often treated grammatically as
>> singular,
>> I immediately took the "name written" as inscribed on each of the
>> royal
>> 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
>> knows
>> 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
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/


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