[B-Greek] RE The Article / was Zechariah 8:3 (LXX)
llsorenson at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 14 17:58:51 EDT 2009
Regarding trying to figure out the article.....
Perhaps we should put Mastery of the Greek article as one of the
last thing a foreign language learner of ancient Greek internalized.
I have been reading a lot of 2nd language introduction books lately.
One of the things I have noted is that, for English, the indefinite
article "a" is one of the last things "correctly internalized".
If one is going to find what "correct Greek" usage of the article was,
would not one have to "commit" to a very limited corpus of Greek
literature which was literary and non-Semitic. But even then, one
would need to limit the corpus to native Greek speakers, as Latin
which has no article and other Near Asian languages were also
frequently the native language of speakers.
If I were to take a bunch of people from Minnesota, USA, some of them
Somalian, Mexican, Hmung, etc. Even though well educated and most (80%)
native 2nd generation Minnesotans (Don't ya knoow), they would
have a great difference in how they use the article. 2nd language learners
over age 15 do not acquire language the same way as those who acquire it
at an earlier age. And perhaps we can say that most Greek writers
in the NT Period were schooled in Greek at an early age
(most were probably children of well-to-do families). Perhaps
in the future, there will be a way to "filter out"
such 2nd language blunders in the NT and other relevant texts.
Personally, I see the "article dilemna" as hopelessly unsolvable.
Which does not mean we should not try to still figure it out. Perhaps
"author" usage should take precedence here.
PS. The book The Doctrine of the Article by Middleton is available
on Google Books in full view.
Elizabeth and others comments as follows......
On Oct 13, 2009, at 6:31 PM, Stephen Baldwin wrote:
Leonard's question coincides with a small amount of reading I've been
doing in Wallace [GGBB]. The article in Greek seems to be [according
to Wallace' s intro] a most curious thing. Its uses are not
immediately apparent to the novice and does not function in the same
as e.g. English. We see articles appearing and disappearing seemingly
arbitrarily. Wallace mentions Middleton's book The Doctrine of the
Article [150+ yrs old now apparently].
I'd be interested to know the current state of knowledge any comments
on the treatment of the subject in GGBB -- and also something that
occurre d to me in the discussion on Zechariah -- namely if the
Biblical writers are introducing Hebraisms [and Aramaisms] into their
[Greek] texts does this not present a problem in trying to arrive at a
definition of "correct " Greek usage? Does this force us to look
outside of the Biblical texts for correct usage since the LXX is
[mostly] from Hebrew and chunks of the NT a re [apparently] reporting
on proceedings conducted in Aramaic [or is the la tter true only of
the gospels?] Or put another way where do we look in t he Bible for
examples of good Greek?
Elizabeth Kline replied:
Your confusion may have something to do with what you are reading,
like an ESL student looking to Gertrude Stein for an understanding of
the English syntax.
A reasonably complete accounting of the use of the Greek article would
run hundreds of pages. You would need to trace the development from
speculations about Proto-Indo-European (see ATR), through Homer (see
Monro), Herodotous, Attic Tragedy, Attic prose (see H.W.Smyth,
G.Cooper), with a side trip into some of the LXX samples.
Generalizations about the LXX are generally wrong, the Prophets, the
Pentateuch, the writings, all different. One Prophet different from
another prophet, etc. This is Al Pietersma's department. In the NT
Greek Text you can run across examples of the article which reflect
usage from any one of the prior periods/dialects, so knowledge of the
history of the article is essential.
It is really impossible to answer such an open-ended question in this
forum. Better to present a specific text you want explained.
Here is a sample of the neuter singular article TO w/inf used in a
manner which would be quite foreign to a native speaker of English but
it is standard usage in Greek:
2Cor. 7:11 ἰδοὺ γὰρ αὐτὸ τοῦτο τὸ κατὰ
θεὸν λυπηθῆναι πόσην κατειργάσατο
ὑμῖν σπουδήν, ἀλλὰ ἀπολογίαν, ἀλλὰ
ἀγανάκτησιν, ἀλλὰ φόβον, ἀλλὰ
ἐπιπόθησιν, ἀλλὰ ζῆλον, ἀλλὰ
ἐκδίκησιν. ἐν παντὶ συνεστήσατε
ἑαυτοὺς ἁγνοὺς εἶναι τῷ πράγματι.
2COR. 7:11 IDOU GAR AUTO TOUTO TO KATA QEON LUPHQHNAI POSHN
KATEIRGASATO hUMIN SPOUDHN, ALLA APOLOGIAN, ALLA AGANAKTHSIN, ALLA
FOBON, ALLA EPIPOQHSIN, ALLA ZHLON, ALLA EKDIKHSIN. EN PANTI
SUNESTHSATE hEAUTOUS hAGNOUS EINAI TWi PRAGMATI.
What I find interesting here is the string AUTO TOUTO TO, I did a
search of TLG-E for AUTO TOUTO TO + inf, found one sample in the
second century in Galenus who seemed to be fond of AUTO TOUTO TO,
Stein has been revered to as "The Mother of Confusion."
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