[B-Greek] EPI vs EN TWi ONOMATI

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Jul 25 06:29:23 EDT 2007


On Jul 25, 2007, at 1:11 AM, Webb wrote:

> Does anyone have an idea why EPI TWi ONOMATI occurs only in the  
> gospels and
> Acts (14x) and EN TWi ONOMATI occurs in Matthew, Mark, Acts, and  
> various
> epistles (42x)? Is there a clear and consistent difference in  
> meaning? (If
> there is, it escapes me.)

I don't think there's an ounce of difference in meaning between the  
two; both are extended locative usages; while EPI with locative  
dative tends to be more precise with reference to the point of  
location while EN is less precise in reference to the sphere within  
which something is located, they appear to be interchangeable

I'd call attention to an early paragraph in that paper by Nigel  
Turner on usage of EN in the GNT to which I called attention  
yesterday (http://tinyurl.com/23pmcq):

"In the Koine, that free use of prepositions which is a feature even  
of classical Greek is intensified, with an accompanying lack of  
precision in meaning. All the prepositions become increasingly  
elastic and their sense has to be determined more often by the  
context than was the case in earlier Greek. This is notably so with  
EIS, EN, and EK. In particular there is a wide use of prepositional  
phrases, such as EIS or PROS with accusative and EN with dative,  
where in earlier Greek there would have been the dative alone. This  
elasticity makes it dangeorus to argue doctrinally on the basis of a  
precise use of prepositions, as though our authors were writing  
classical Greek.” (p. 113).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)




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