[B-Greek] Solecisms in the book of Revelation

paladin343 at aol.com paladin343 at aol.com
Tue Aug 19 15:12:28 EDT 2008

Hi everyone,

Can anyone point me in the direction of scholarly works that list and/or discuss solecisms in the Gospels, Acts and Revelation?

Thank you for your time,

Bill Buss
Evanston, IL  USA
paladin343 at aol.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
To: Dr. Don Wilkins <drdwilkins at verizon.net>
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org; 'Leonard Jayawardena' <leonardj at live.com>
Sent: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 2:08 pm
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Solecisms in the book of Revelation

n Aug 18, 2008, at 2:52 PM, Dr. Don Wilkins wrote:
> PERIBEBLHMENOUS is not so much a matter of middle vs. passive, which  
 Carl has clarified; rather, the unexpected accusative forces the  
 reader to think of the unexpressed actor who has dressed the  
 multitude. To me, the effect is similar to one of attraction (which  
 redirects the reader's attention elsewhere), though I don't think  
 that there is any kind of attraction to STOLAS LEUKAS.

 I would agree with Carl that Semitic idioms probably play a part  
 here, though it does not seem necessary to explain the PANTOS  
 construction. It is natural enough to assume that PANTOS is meant to  
 cover everything; otherwise, you would need a string of PAS forms  
 that would give the phrase a different nuance.  Carl's constructio  
 ad sensum certainly explains the singular/plural mismatch. It also  
 explains the AUTWN with FOINIKES. As for FOINIKES itself, unless I'm  
 missing something, one needs only to add an understood HSAN
 to make  
 FOINIKES the subject of its own clause.

 If one really attributes all these constructions to the inexperience  
 or ignorance of a non-native Greek speaker, then how does one  
 explain John's overall fidelity to standard grammar and syntax? It  
 seems to me that if these constructions are blunders, then we either  
 have someone who is struggling with the basic demands of grammatical  
 agreement etc.--in which case we should expect the book to be  
 overrun with similar blunders--or we have the work of an old man who  
 is just getting careless. The latter may seem reasonable, but in  
 that case I would still expect to see a lot more of the same.
There really is no point in carrying this forward; we clearly have a  
undamental difference of opinion here. I just don't discern this  
uthor's) certainly not the same John as that of other Johannine docs  
n the GNT) "overall fidelity to standard grammar and syntax." If he  
ets it right much of the time, he gets it wrong too often., and the  
rgument that the lapses are all deliberate is one that many will find  
ard to swallow. GB Shaw once quipped, "God saw that the world that he  
ad created was good; I looked at it and saw that it could be  
mproved." Evidently later scribes who copied the text of Revelation  
saw that it could be improved."
Carl W. Conrad
epartment of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
 On Aug 18, 2008, at 9:39 AM, Carl Conrad wrote

> On Aug 18, 2008, at 4:28 AM, Vasile Stancu wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Leonard
>> Jayawardena
>> Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 9:05 PM
>> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subject: [B-Greek] Solecisms in the book of Revelation
>> Leonard Jayawardena wrote:
>> ... there seems to be a genuine grammatical error in Revelation 7:9:
>> The
>> participle "clothed" (PERIBEBLHMENOUS) is accusative plural, whereas
>> we
>> would expect it to be nominative plural (PERIBEBLHMENOI) to agree
>> with the
>> noun phrase 'great multitude' like the participle
>> 'standing' (hESTWTES).
>> Again, hESTWTES and PERIBEBLHMENOUS are plural in spite of the  
>> subject
>> OCHLOS being singular because of notional concordance (?), but the
>> relative
>> pronoun following the same subject in v. 9 is hON, whereas
>> consistency would
>> demand that it be hOUS.
>> A solecism can be regarded as deliberate if there is any discernible
>> intention behind it but what conceivable purpose could there have
>> been, for
>> example, for the first-mentioned irregularity mentioned in the
>> preceding
>> paragraph, i.e., why is "clothed" in the accusative instead of in  
>> the
>> nominative?
>> -----------------------------------
>> Could it be that the accusative is used here in order to emphasise
>> more
>> strongly the idea of (passively) "being clothed by somebody else" as
>> compared to the middle voice action of "jus
t having clothed
>> themselves"?
>> Vasile STANCU
> Rev. 7:9     Μετὰ ταῦτα εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ
> ὄχλος πολύς, ὃν ἀριθμῆσαι αὐτὸν
> οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο, ἐκ παντὸς ἔθνους
> καὶ φυλῶν καὶ λαῶν καὶ γλωσσῶν
> ἑστῶτες ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου καὶ
> ἐνώπιον τοῦ ἀρνίου  
> περιβεβλημένους
> στολὰς λευκὰς καὶ φοίνικες ἐν ταῖς
> χερσὶν αὐτῶν,
> No, I don't think so. For one thing PERIBALLW (active) does mean
> "clothe (someone)" but P
ERIBALLOMAI (middle) is standard for "put  
> on,"
> "clothe oneself (with)" -- with an accusative of what is worn or EN +
> dative. Cf. BDAG §2. It's conceivable that the accusative
> PERIBEBLHMENOUS is "attracted" into the case of STOLAS LEUKAS. The  
> new
> white garment is, I think, what the initiate puts on after passing
> through initiation and becoming a new person.
> This verse is interesting syntactically as a whole. Note also the
> superfluous AUTON in the hON clause -- explicable from Semitic usage
> but questionably added deliberately. The sequence EK PANTOS EQNOUS  
> FULWN KAI LAWN KAI GLWSSWN is somewhat odd, where we'd expect a  
> before the genitive plurals -- this too is explicable if one thinks  
> in
> terms of the "undeclined"  Heb. KOL for "every/all." Then too there's
> not just the odd PERIBEBLHMENOUS phrase following the OCLOS POLUS ...
> hESTWTES -- which one might explain as "constructio ad sensum"-- but
> the final FOINIKES EN TAIS CERSIN AUTWN is "out of whack" with the
> initial construction which is concerned with the "great throng" --  
> now
> we have a nominative FOINIKES and the AUTWN referring to the people
> constituting the OCLOS. I think this sequence is hardly explicable in
> terms of deliberate violation of norms of Greek syntax for some sort
> of emphasis; it is explained better by supposing that the author was
> not a native Greek-speaker/writer.
> BDF §136" (5) More Serious Incongruencies (Solecisms)"
> "Revelation exhibits a quantity of striking solecisms which are based
> especially on inattention to agreement (a rough style), in contrast  
> to
> the rest of the NT and to the other writings ascribed to John ... "
> I can readily believe that the marvelous sequence, hO WN KAI hO HN  
> hO ERCOMENOS (Rev 1:4, cf. 11:17, 16:5, ) may be deliberate -- but  
> I'm
> not so ready to concede that APO hO WN here in Rev 1:4 is deliberate.

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