[B-Greek] hOUS in Jude 22,23

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Sun Oct 14 01:43:40 EDT 2007


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yamada Yuki" <skepuki at gmail.com>
> Hi.
>
> I've been reading Jude and thinking about three relative pronouns,
> hOUS in verses 22 and 23.
> Since they are relative pronouns, I assume that the referent (in this
> case, Masculine Plural) should be found in the preceding text. If
> this is the case, the strongest candidate for the referent would be
> hOUTOI in verse 19. What made me think more about this is that my
> teacher suggested to take these relative pronouns as independent of
> the preceding text, I mean, here, another group of people are
> introduced by the use of hOUS. Is there such uses of relative pronoun
> elsewhere?
>
> Thanks,
> Yuki

Yes there is, and it is particularly common in a construction with MEN and DE. Both you and your 
teacher are on the fight track, so try to combine both insights.

Compare Rom 14:1-5, where in verse 1 the weak in faith is introduced as topic. Then in verse 2, we 
read:

hOS MEN PISTEUEI FAGEIN PANTA, hO DE ASQENWN LACANA ESQIEI

In v. 4 the topic of a servant of the Lord is introduced and then we read in v. 5:

hOS MEN KRINEI hHMERAN PAR' hHMERAN, hOS DE KRINEI PASAN hHMERAN

Usually the relatives refer back to some group of people or some things (like the implicit seeds in 
Mat 13:4 and parallels) mentioned or implied in the preceding context and then those people or 
things are divided into subgroups of which one subgroup is compared or contrasted to another 
subgroup. In v. 5 the different servants are compared, some of whom consider one day to be above 
another, others of whom consider all days the same.
However, in v. 2, the reference is more general, pointing to people/believers of whom some believe 
they are allowed to eat everything, while the weak in faith eat only vegetables (that is, abstaining 
from sacrificial meat).

In Jude 22-23 you have three groups which are described in various ways.

KAI hOUS MEN ELEATE DIAKRINOMENOUS, hOUS DE SWiZETE EK PUROS hARPAZONTES, hOUS DE ELEATE EN FOBWi 
MISOUNTES KAI TON APO THS SARKHS ESPILWMENON CITWNA.

I don't think these three groups are subgroups of the hOUTOI in v. 19, but rather subgroups of 
people in general. You may postulate an implied ANQRWPOI as referent, so the sense is: to some 
people specified as follows, do this, to others do that, and to others again do something else.

Group 1 is characterized as wavering/doubting - DIAKRINOMENOUS, show them kindness and empathy.
Group 2 is on the brink of destruction/punishment, so you should save them by snatching them out of 
the impending fire - EK PUROS hARPAZONTES
Group 3 are sinners who should be shown mercy while at the same time their sinful actions should be 
shunned.

The three groups may well have some overlap.

Iver Larsen 




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