[B-Greek] John 17:24 hO and KAKEINOI

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Sun Jul 18 13:29:51 EDT 2010

On Jul 18, 2010, at 11:21 AM, Marilyn Phemister wrote:

> Scholars:
> Here I am with another question.
> In John 17:24 we have:
> Πάτερ, ὃ δέδωκας μοι, θέλω ἵνα ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ κακεῖνοι ὦσιν μετ̓ ἐμοῦ,
> Why does John use a neuter singular pronoun hO and then refer back to it with a masculine plural demonstrative KAKEIVOI?  Shouldn't the two agree in gender and number?  Is there a rule here I am missing?  Is it possible that ὃ hO represented a collective neuter noun such as ποιμνιον POIMNION, and KAKEINOI the members of that group? 
> Thank you,

There will surely be other opinions about this, but I'm not so sure that KAKEINOI (κἀκεῖνοι) must necessarily be the antecedent of the neuter singular acc. relative pronoun hO (ὂ). 

It's worth noting that within Chapter 17, the so-called "High Priestly Prayer," there are nine instances of the 2 sg. perfect DEDWKAS, three of the 1 sg. perfect DEDWKA. Object of the verb DEDWKAS in these verses include 

-- another neuter sg. acc. relative pronoun hO in verse 2 (PAN hO DEDWKAW AUTWi), where the disciples are pretty clearly the referent of the PAN hO)
-- another neuter sg. acc. relative pronoun hO in verse 4 with an antecedent TO ERGON
-- a neuter pl. acc. relative pronoun hOSA in verse 7 with an antecendent PANTA
-- a neuter pl. acc. relative pronoun hA in verse 8 with an antecedent TA hRHMATA
-- a masc. pl. gen. relative pronoun hWN in verse 9 with what is presumably an implicit antecedent EKEINOUS referring to the disciples
-- a neut sg. dat. relative pronoun hWi in verse 11 with what is presumably an implicit antecedent referent ONOMA
-- the same identically in verse 12
-- a fem. sg. acc. relative pronoun in verse 22 with an antecedent THN DOXAN
-- the same identically in verse 24 (last part of the verse)

It would appear that the Father's DWRON to the Son is inclusive of many things, including the disciples; verse 2 clearly displays a neuter sg. acc. rel. pronoun that must refer fundamentally to the disciples. We might understand the usage in verse 24 the same way. Alternatively we might understand the clause, hO DEDWKAS MOI as an adverbial sentence modifier, "with respect to what you've given me."

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

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