[B-Greek] Luke 17: 20-21

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Thu Sep 17 09:22:23 EDT 2009

On Sep 17, 2009, at 8:38 AM, rhutchin at aol.com wrote:

> Apparently, this verse has engendered more discussion over the years  
> that I was aware of.  I don't think a grammatical analysis resolves  
> the issue or, at least, not to everyone's satisfaction.  A lot of  
> people argue against your position.
> I was referred to a comment that Dr. Conrad made back in 1998 on  
> this when he wrote, "I just did a check of the Perseus LSJ on ENTOS  
> and find it regularly
> used with a partitive genitive of the boundaries within which X is
> located, including in particular TEIXEWN (calculations,) HUMWN (our
> Lucan passage), MAQHMATWN (learning), GRAMMATWN (literature). Most of
> these are not instances of a group of persons, so that I don't know
> that it would be the normal way to say "among", but to be very precise
> about the sense of a partitive genitive, I'd think it is not so
> terribly different from epi + genitive = "somewhere within the
> boundaries of X" -- so ENTOS + genitive = "at some point within the
> boundaries of X."
> Roger Hutchinson

Perhaps I was more perceptive 11 years ago  ; -)  -- Gee, I'm glad we  
have the archives!
Iver did call attention to a very important and commonly-ignored  
aspect of this much-disputed text: that hUMWN, the object of ENTOS, is  
plural and therefore must refer to a grouping of persons. I'm not sure  
that makes the Jesus-saying less cryptic or less open to a broad range  
of interpretations dependent upon the assumptions underlying  
approaches to it, but the fact that it refers to a group of persons  
does make some of the common interpretations less plausible.

And, for what it's worth, I agree with your judgment, "I don't think a  
grammatical analysis resolves the issue or, at least, not to  
everyone's satisfaction." But I also agree with Iver  that "GAR never  
introduces a contrast." I think the notion that it does is a dead  
horse that needs no more flailing.

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

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