[B-Greek] Genitive Usage, 1 Peter 3:9 and Mark 11:22: (was "Theologically motivated translation, at times")

Rod Rogers rngrogers at embarqmail.com
Mon Jun 29 22:55:43 EDT 2009


Carl, I suppose I'm in need of a Greek
lesson. I don't understand what I said that
is so terribly wrong here from a five case
system:

I find this account altogether puzzling, not
least of all for the
reason that Rod Rogers asserts that the
genitive EPAGGELIAS in 2 Peter
3:9 and the genitive QEOU in Mark 11:22 are
both "Genitive -
Ablative." But I really find this description
of the "Genitive -
Ablative." incomprehensible: " The Genitive -
Ablative not only marks
off the boundaries and limits the context
which is dealt with but can
also relate to that which is marked off. The
possessive aspect of the
Genitive - Ablative deals with that which is
between the marked off
boundaries."

As I understand it, both the Genitive and
Accusative "limit" in some aspect, the
Genitive as Wallace puts it:In the eight-case
system, the genitive defines, describes,
qualifies, restricts, limits, where as the
Accusative limits  as to quantity or extent.
[Daniel B. Wallace. (1999; 2002). Greek
Grammar Beyond the Basics - Exegetical Syntax
of the New Testament (76). Zondervan
Publishing House and Galaxie Software.]

I really don't see much to quibble over
"marking off" and "restricting" or
"limiting". I also don't see where this
supports your "faith in God" translation. I'm
sure I missed something.

Carl you said,

"When I use the term "ablatival genitive," I
am referring to the
original PIE ablative case usage which was
subsumed in the Greek
genitive case -- the usage indicating
SEPARATION FROM, most commonly
found in expressions with the prepositions EK
and APO but also with
verbs of separation such as CWRIZOMAI (cf.
BDF §180. I don't
understand what all this about "boundaries"
has to do with the
ablatival genitive."

I never meant to comment on the Ablative
Genitive nor did I comment on the "My car
versus your car" analogy of Wallace. My only
comment was in regard to Genitive - Ablative
and that was in a five case context only
referring to the case ending. Sorry for being
confusing.

Carl you said,

"Is  EPAGGELIAS "ablatival genitive" with
BRADUNEI?  Does BRADUNEI mean
something akin to English "is slower than" or
"is behindhand from"? I
certainly don't think that "with regard to"
represents an ablatival
genitive notion."

I understand the ablative in a sense of
separation. I'm sure I don't understand all
that the Ablative may encompass but then I
never meant to comment on the Ablative
aspect. I see the Genitive as marking off or
setting the boundaries of EPAGGELIAS AND
QEOU. The slowness the Lord is charged with
is in relation or regards to the promise
made, his second coming. In the same sense I
don't think Jesus was telling the disciples
to have faith in God. They already had faith
in God. What they did not have was faith that
would move mountains. That is what I believe
QEOU was referring to. It was a particular
type of faith, not faith in general.

Carl you said,

Maybe so, but I find the NET (translates 2
Peter 3:9 as "The Lord is
not slow concerning his promise" -- but has a
translator's note on the
verse:

Or perhaps, “the Lord is not delaying [the
fulfillment of] his
promise,” or perhaps “the Lord of the promise
is not delaying.”
The verb can mean “to delay,” “to be slow,”
or “to be
hesitant.”

I don't have a problem with any of these
translations except that I don't think they
fit well with hWS TINES BRADUTHTA HGOUNTAI. I
only chose "tardy" to show what the ungodly
were charging Jesus with.

Carl you said,

I assume tongue in cheek, "I am very much
tempted to create a new term for a new
subcategory of adnominal  genitive:
"meditative genitive." Oddly I like this. I
think too many times scripture is shoved into
a category without the least thought or
meditation as to how this word, phrase,
clause fits into the passage.


rod rogers
bargersville, in









>
>>> Carl Conrad: But the "genitive of
comparison" is not an adnominal
>>> genitive; it is essentially an ablatival
genitive. I agree that
>>> the preferable English is "better THAN
... " but the more
>>> "literal" English would be "better OF ...
" but rather "better
>>> FROM ... "
>
> To me this does not take into consideration
the fact that the
> Genitive - Ablative first of all is the
case of "marking off" the
> boundaries. The Genitive - Ablative not
only marks off the
> boundaries and limits the context which is
dealt with but can also
> relate to that which is marked off. The
possessive aspect of the
> Genitive - Ablative deals with that which
is between the marked off
> boundaries. While this is the most often
aspect of the Genitive -
> Ablative, it is not the only one we find.
In 2 Peter 3:9 we find, OU
> BRADUNEI hO KURIOS THS EPAGGELIAS. I
believe THS EPAGGELIAS is
> referring to boundaries in which the
EPAGGELIAS is found not
> referring to the EPAGGELIAS itself.
Therefore in 2 Peter 3:9 it
> reads, "The Lord is not tardy regarding the
promise". I believe we
> find the same Genitive in 2 Peter 3:9 as in
Mark 11:22.

I find this account altogether puzzling, not
least of all for the
reason that Rod Rogers asserts that the
genitive EPAGGELIAS in 2 Peter
3:9 and the genitive QEOU in Mark 11:22 are
both "Genitive -
Ablative." But I really find this description
of the "Genitive -
Ablative." incomprehensible: " The Genitive -
Ablative not only marks
off the boundaries and limits the context
which is dealt with but can
also relate to that which is marked off. The
possessive aspect of the
Genitive - Ablative deals with that which is
between the marked off
boundaries."

When I use the term "ablatival genitive," I
am referring to the
original PIE ablative case usage which was
subsumed in the Greek
genitive case -- the usage indicating
SEPARATION FROM, most commonly
found in expressions with the prepositions EK
and APO but also with
verbs of separation such as CWRIZOMAI (cf.
BDF §180. I don't
understand what all this about "boundaries"
has to do with the
ablatival genitive.

Nor do I really understand the genitive usage
of EPAGGELIAS in 2 Peter
3:9: οὐ βραδύνει κύριος τῆς
ἐπαγγελίας [OU BRADUNEI KURIOS THS
EPAGGELIAS]. Is
EPAGGELIAS "ablatival genitive" with
BRADUNEI?  Does BRADUNEI mean
something akin to English "is slower than" or
"is behindhand from"? I
certainly don't think that "with regard to"
represents an ablatival
genitive notion. Yet BDF §180: " 2 P 3:9 οὐ
βραδύνει
κύριος τῆς ἐπαγγελίας ‘the Lord is not
holding
back, delaying the fulfilment of his promise’
also belongs here."

Maybe so, but I find the NET (translates 2
Peter 3:9 as "The Lord is
not slow concerning his promise" -- but has a
translator's note on the
verse:

Or perhaps, “the Lord is not delaying [the
fulfillment of] his
promise,” or perhaps “the Lord of the promise
is not delaying.”
The verb can mean “to delay,” “to be slow,”
or “to be
hesitant.”

A search of the archives for 2 Peter 3:9 or
BRADUNEI does not yield
any enlightenment (to me, at least) on the
relationship between
BRADUNEI and EPAGGELIAS, if there is one.

>
> [omitted material]
>
> I think Mark Lightman hit the theological
nail on the head. As I
> said above, I don't think the text, ECETE
PISTIN QEOU, is dealing
> with faith in a possessive way as much as
it is in marking off what
> that faith is. It is a faith which is in
regards to God. The whole
> passage from v12 through 26 is dealing with
faith. It wasn't that
> the Jews did not
> "believe" in God. It was that their faith
did not affect how they
> worshiped God in a positive way. That is
why Jesus drove out those
> whose motives (and faith) where not
> right. Then Jesus moves to the cursing the
fig tree and tells his
> disciples that if they have faith "as
within the framework of God"
> or "regarding God", that is, "that their
> faith reflected the character and
faithfulness of God", then they
> could move mountains. It wasn't that the
disciples had no faith in
> God nor was Jesus saying that the object of
their faith was to be in
> God. I believe what Jesus was saying was to
have faith in a Godly
> context, manner.That is what the Jews
lacked miserably.

Much of this focuses on hermeneutical matters
bearing upon the
"theologically motivated translation"
perhaps, but outside of my
concern regarding genitive case usage. I
really fail to see how the
usage of QEOU here is in any way similar to
the usage of EPAGGELIAS in
1 Peter 3:;9, and I certainly don't see how
it can be called
"ablatival" (or "possessive" either, for that
matter). I am very much
tempted to create a new term for a new
subcategory of adnominal
genitive: "meditative genitive." Really,
however, it is mosst surely
an instance of the "aporetic genitive"
Wallace's acccount of the
Aporetic Genitive (GGBB, pp. 79-80) is really
so good that I think
I'll cite it in toto. It's really about the
best description of the
general character o the adnominal or
"adjectival" genitive that I know
of.
========
1.  Descriptive Genitive (“Aporetic”
Genitive) [characterized by,
described by]
a.  Definition: The genitive substantive
describes the head noun in a
loose manner. The nature of the collocation
of the two nouns in this
construction is usually quite ambiguous.
b.  Amplification: This is the “catch-all”
genitive, the “drip
pan” genitive, the “black hole” of genitive
categories that tries
to suck many a genitive into its grasp! In
some respects, all
adjectival genitives are descriptive, yet no
adjectival genitive is
descriptive. That is to say, although all
adjectival genitives are, by
their nature, descriptive, very few, if any,
belong only to this
specific category of usage. This use truly
embodies the root idea of
the (adjectival) genitive. It is often the
usage of the genitive when
it has not been affected by other linguistic
considerations—that is,
when there are no contextual, lexemic, or
other grammatical features
that suggest a more specific nuance.
Frequently, however, it is close to the
attributive genitive, being
either other than or broader than the
attributive use. Hence, this use
of the genitive should be a last resort. If
one cannot find a narrower
category to which a genitive belongs, this is
where he or she should
look for solace.
c.  Key to Identification: For the word of
insert the paraphrase
characterized by or described by. If this
fits, and if none of the
other uses of the genitive fits, then the
genitive is probably a
genitive of description.
=========
In the same category of Wallace's finest
categories is one which we
have mentioned before but that should surely
not be overlooked, the
Nominative Ad Nauseam" (I won't mention that
"nauseam" is misspelled,
but never let it be said that Professor
Wallace lacka sense of humor):
=========
V.  Nominative ad Nauseum: Also known as the
aporetic nominative
(from the Greek word ἀπορέω, “I am at a
 loss”), this is the
category one should appeal to when another
slot cannot be found. The
title is descriptive not of the nominative
but of the feeling one has
in the pit of his/her stomach for having
spent so much time on this
case and coming up with nothing.
=========

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



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