[B-Greek] 2 Thess 2:15

Ken Penner kpenner at stfx.ca
Thu Dec 30 15:06:18 EST 2010

I have always taught that the article may be dropped in a prepositional phrase.

Robertson's Grammar XVI.VIII(c) (page 791) has the following under "The Absence of the Article."

"(c) PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES.  These were also often considered definite enough without the article. So ἐν οἴκῳ (1 Cor. 11:34. Cf. ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ, ‘in the house,’ Jo. 11:20)=‘at home.’ So we say “go to bed,” etc. Moulton pertinently cites English “down town,” “on ’change,” “in bed,” “from start to finish.” This idiom is not therefore peculiar to Greek. It is hardly necessary to mention all the N. T. examples, so common is the matter." 
"For διά note διά νυκτός (Ac. 5:19), διὰ μέσου (Lu. 4:30), διὰ μέσον (17:11)." 
"For classic examples see Gildersleeve, Syntax, p. 259 f. The papyri furnish abundant parallels (Völker, Syntax, pp. 15–17) as do the inscriptions (Radermacher, N. T. Gr., p. 92)."

The next section continues:

"(d) WITH BOTH PREPOSITION AND GENITIVE.  It is not surprising to find no article with phrases which use both preposition and genitive like εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ (Ro. 1:1), ἀπὸ ὀφθαλμῶν σου (Lu. 19:42), ἐκ δεξιῶν μου (Mt. 20:23), ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς κόσμου (Mt. 24:21), παρὰ καιρὸν ἡλικίας (Heb. 11:11), ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ (Lu. 8:13), ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου (Mt. 25:34), ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ (Lu. 1:51), etc."

I hope this helps,

Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.
Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic vocabulary memorization software:
kpenner at stfx.ca

-----Original Message-----
From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Ehrman, Bart D
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 1:13 PM
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [B-Greek] 2 Thess 2:15

     In his commentary on 2 Thessalonians, W. Marxsen claims that since 2:15 εἴτε δι' ἐπιστολὴς ἡμῶν lacks an article (as in εἴτε δι' τῆς ἐπιστολὴς ἡμῶν) it does not refer back to a specific letter (e.g., to 1 Thessalonians) but is meant in a general sense to refer to any ole letter that he may have written (or not).  If he had wanted to refer to 1 Thessalonians in particular, he would have used the article.  I’m interested in the grammatical question.  What do y’all think?

n  Bart Ehrman

Bart D. Ehrman

James A. Gray Professor

Department of Religious Studies

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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