[B-Greek] Periphrastic constructions in Mat 10 (Joseph Justiss)

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Wed Aug 18 15:44:46 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Randall Buth" <randallbuth at gmail.com>
To: "B Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>; "Joseph Justiss" 
<jljustiss at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 1:45 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] Periphrastic constructions in Mat 10 (Joseph Justiss)

>> In reading through Matthew I noticed that an abnormally large
> concentration of periphrastic constructions with a form of eimi +
> a participle shows up in chapter 10 (e.g. vv20, 22, 26, 30).
> Has anyone argued, or would it be possible to argue, that this is
> due to the more literal translation here at this point in the text
> from an original Aramaic source into Koine Greek?>
> Many have argued Aramaic substrata in the gospels.
> Most widely quoted over the last generation or two is Matthew
> Black's Aramaic Approach. Nigel Turner is noted for arguing
> that some/much of this entered 'Jewish Greek'.

Very interesting material on the Hebrew/Aramaic discussion.  However, with 
regard to Joseph's specific question, Deissman argued, over a century ago 
now, that many of the constructions thought to be Semitisms in the GNT could 
be paralleled from the non-literary papyri, and this would include 
periphrastic constructions, which had certainly become more common as Greek 
continued its linguistic development.  I wonder if any more recent work on 
this has been done?

However, that is an interesting datum on Matt 10.  I don't think it reflects 
an Aramaic substratum, but it might mean something.  Have you compared it 
with the rest of Matthew and the other narrative portions of the NT for 
frequency of the construction?  I suspect, but don't have time to study it 
or prove it, that the context simply called for these constructions as the 
best possible way (from Matthew's perspective) to express the concepts.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
(2010 Savatori Excellence in Education Winner)
Mentor, TNARS


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