[B-Greek] Middleton: The Doctrine of the Greek Article

Louis Sorenson llsorenson at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 14 19:24:04 EDT 2009


I am an optimist, not a pessimist. But does not there need to be a 
differention between authors? Looking at passages in the LXX, there 
are many different translation strategies taking place. This has to be
taken into account. 

Carl said look at 2, 3, 4 Maccabees, Philo, and Josephus. Josephus (has
 a range of translation techniques. "The Wars" is Attistic -- created with
the aid of an emanuensis; Against Appion(?), along with others is written
in a more Semitic(?)tone. Most likely in the above volumes, when mixed
with the "Good Greek Native Speakers," the pattern of the article can be 
surmised. But of course, nothing definitive about a specific passage can
be determined, unless a new rule is discovered such as Granville-Sharp,
Colwell, or some other similar pattern. Is not it always "author and 

As the corpus of ancient Greek texts is increased and analyses are
multiplied, patterns will become increasingly harder to debunk. Your
constant influx of secular texts is greatly appreciated. Part of the 
problem of this list is that some try to be dogmatic about a particular
passage or structure. One thing any student of Greek knows is that
there is always an exception to the rule. 

So I have to ask myself, what structures can I be dogmatic about? Is
there anything that means what it says?  Even without Modern linguistics
chiming in, in the old world there were always at least two versions
 of every opinion. Clearly the "hermeneutics" of a person, 
i.e. the principles which a person uses in determining patterns
 in speech and how to interpret meaning, have been in play
 since the 1st century. Ultimately, I fear, it is opinion and not
facts and weight of evidence and patterns that make one decide his/her
position on any given interpretation of any passage. I'm sure I am 
also subject to such bias.

The goal (I think) of the B-Greek list is to separate fact from 
opinion. I appreciate always the "you can't say that, that is 
'interpretation'. But in the trees, one gets lost in the forest.
Does anyone know how much their native language affects their 
understanding of a foreign language?

Lost in the Forest,
Louis Sorenson

On Oct 14, 2009, at 2:58 PM, Louis Sorenson wrote:

> 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.


I don't think it is unsolvable. The first step is forget about English  
and don't read grammars that spent all their time showing you  
illustrations on english. Carl's words are ringing in my ears  
"motivated by translation strategies", avoid these books.

It is a big project, but not impossible. Probably on the same scale as  
learning the greek participle. It will take you a few years.

Note the double irony   "like an ESL student looking to Gertrude Stein  
for an understanding of the English syntax" where I misused the  
English article. This a redactional error, "English language" was  
changed to "English syntax" without any adjustment of the noun phrase.  
I can't even tell you why "the English syntax" is wrong but I know it  

Elizabeth Kline

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