[B-Greek] Some Questions on John 5

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 8 21:49:06 EDT 2009

Sorry, Carl, but I wouldn't exactly say that EXWN is "to be in a condition" here.  Anyone familiar with Spanish will be acquainted with the expression "tiene X años" viewing the number of years which one has lived as a possession (though meaning in English "he is X years old").  EN, on the other hand does signify being in a condition -- here that of being sick.

… search for truth, hear truth, 
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, 
defend the truth till death.

- Jan Hus

----- Original Message ----
From: Carl Conrad <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
To: Elizabeth Kline <kline_dekooning at earthlink.net>
Cc: greek B-Greek <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thu, October 8, 2009 6:37:17 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Some Questions on John 5

On Oct 8, 2009, at 4:35 PM, Elizabeth Kline wrote:

> On Oct 8, 2009, at 12:34 PM, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
>> 2.  I am wondering about the meaning of ECW in the first several
>> verses.  John 5:2 uses ECOUSA with its typical sense of "have."  In
>> John 5:5, however, ECWN in ECWN EN THk ASQENEIAi AUTOU, it seems
>> that ECW must be rendered, as BDAG does, something like "having been
>> in his illness."
>>  While I agree with BDAG that this seems to be what has to be done
>> in English, Louw-Nida do not list "to be/have been" as part of the
>> semantic domain of ECW.  So I'm wondering if this usage in John is a
>> well-established idiom or if this is a case where, whatever a native
>> Greek speaker might have thought ECWN meant, we have to punt in
>> English for a sentence that makes sense. Or, alternatively, is "have
>> been" really a logical extension of the semantic domain of ECW?
> I would suggest reading the entire entry for ECW in LSJ. ECO has a
> vast range of meanings and functions.  It can be used to indicate
> being or remaining in a state with the state indicated in a
> preposition phrase. This is not unusual.

Yes, I think that the sense of ECW here is "be in a condition" in  
conjunction with an adverbial expression. TRIAKONTA OKTW ETH and POLUN  
HDH CRONON are not objects of ECW but rather accusative of extent. IN  
BDAG this is sense #10. LSJ shows it in intransitive uses of ECW.

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

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