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Revelation 2:13


S Walch wrote: ↑November 23rd, 2017, 6:33 amGood quick rundown there, Stirling. Just a few quick mistakes for you to rectify:Rev 10:1: you’ve not bolded the definite articles before κεφαλὴν/ςRev 11:3: In SBLG you’ve bolded προφητεύσουσιν instead of πε…

Hebrews 12:4


jgibson000 wrote: ↑January 14th, 2018, 3:00 pmΟὔπω μέχρις αἵματος ἀντικατέστητε πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνταγωνιζόμενοιIt is my understanding that this text is usually taken to be a statement that the readers of Hebrews have not yet experienced martyrdom (c…

1 Peter 1:15

Stephen Carlson wrote:

June 17th, 2017, 11:22 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:

June 15th, 2017, 3:17 pm

Several translations seem to translate κατά “just as”, giving a nice parallelism:
But can κατά really bend that way? Can you think of similar constructions where it is used like this? Or is there another justification for this kind of translation?

Translations are best thought of more of a guide to how someone interpreted the text rather than a commentary on the grammatical structures per se of the source text.

Of course, but translations seem to follow two very different ways of understanding this particular text. And these two different interpretations seem to be found in commentaries as well.

One interpretation takes ἅγιον to be a substantive, the other takes it to be a predicate complement.

Stephen Carlson wrote:

June 17th, 2017, 11:22 pm

A more literal ‘translation’ would be something like “in accordance with the holy one who called you” and even that does certain transformations like participle to relative clause, adding a “one” to substantive the adjective, etc. These transformations only become problematic with they seem to depart from fidelity to the sense of the source.

That’s a more literal translation of this interpretation (the one shown in my last post):



v.part καλέσαντα
o ὑμᾶς


And that agrees with Meyer, as quoted above. NET and NASB both understand the Greek text this way. Here is NASB:

NASB wrote:but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

I think I’ve persuaded myself that I like this understanding best. But ESV, HCSB, NIV, NLT, KJV, etc. are based on a different understanding of the Greek text. Here is ESV:

ESV wrote:but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

That seems to follow this understanding of the text:

+ ἀλλὰ


s τὸν καλέσαντα ὑμᾶς
pc ἅγιον

s καὶ αὐτοὶ
pc ἅγιοι
+ ἐν πάσῃ ἀναστροφῇ
v γενήθητε

Expositor’s Greek argues for this interpretation:

Expositor’s Greek wrote:—ἅγιον is better taken as predicate than as substantive, since ὁ καλέσας (καλῶν) is well-established as a title of God in His relation to Gentile Christians (cf. 1 Peter 2:9, etc.)

Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — June 18th, 2017, 12:07 pm

John 6:29

moon jung wrote:
But as long as we assume that the ἱνα clause represents a desirable state of affairs in general,
my rendering can be obtained.

At the expense of the context, as I’ve already explained. I hope you seriously reconsider why you are pushing your opinions on “ινα” so strongly, because if we disregard context, we can always argue for anything we like and find excuses for everything that doesn’t quite fit. No doubt, the context has to be interpreted, so again you are free to disregard everyone’s interpretation except those whom you agree with.

moon jung wrote:
My understanding seems to be consistent with the observation of Sim’s dissertation: […]

You can choose whatever you like, but I feel that you are just trying to get someone to agree with you, and at the same time you seem to also let your opinions drive your linguistic claims. For example, you keep trying to use what others say in order to prove your original claims, and you press people in that direction as far as you can. Thus I urge you to instead start learning Greek simply as a language rather than as a tool to be wielded. And it would be good for you to be aware of confirmation bias. No one is immune to it, so the best we can do is to provide objective evidence. For a natural language, it seems that only statistical evidence (with a sufficiently large sample size) is objective enough, as other types of evidence all turn upon interpretation, hence the multitude of opinions based on them. You will have to decide for yourself what you consider as sufficient evidence, but don’t expect me to agree with you if you do not provide corpus-based evidence but only your opinions concerning solitary instances.

Statistics: Posted by David Lim — July 13th, 2014, 10:47 pm

Matthew 26:18


Stephen Hughs wrote:

Is there enough in the πρός for us to know who was supplying the food? Is it more accurately: “I’ll be joining you for Pascha with my disciples.” or
“I’ll need a room at your place to hold Pascha with my disciples.”

I think it means “You will prepare the food, serve the tables and clean up afterward.”

Seriously though, I don’t think there is any particular indication though I don’t think Tupperware had yet been invented so I doubt that a pot luck dinner was envisioned. Probably the host would prepare the meal as well as providing the facilities for the dinner, but that isn’t something you’re going to get from the language of the passage

Statistics: Posted by George F Somsel — January 18th, 2014, 12:22 pm

1 Corinthians 4:8

David Lee wrote:
The author (both human and divine) would write in a way that the epistle could be understood by most readers, especially if it was meant to be passed around and read in different churches. I think languages have enough nuance that by using certain vocabulary, word order, and word patterns, a fluent immersed reader would be clear on what the epistle is saying, at least semantically.

The first statement of yours is an assumption, which may not be so easy to justify as you might have assumed. Your second statement is reasonable, but what if a rhetorical question and a rhetorical statement have almost exactly the same semantic meaning? Then there would be no need for the reader to attempt to distinguish between the two. Even in English not everything is a statement or a question… We see people using “…?”, “?!”, “!?!?” and so on, which seems to suggest that some exclamations are ‘in-between’…

Statistics: Posted by David Lim — May 16th, 2014, 5:18 am

John 1:4


There are really two different issues being discussed in this thread — agency and instrumentality. Agency is usually expressed with a preposition + the genitive, instrumentality is usually expressed with the dative, sometimes (and especially in Koine) with the preposition ἐν + dative. Agency is usually personal, instrumentality impersonal. I would take ἐν αὐτῷ with ζωὴ ἦν, which would meant that the λόγος is the source of life.

Statistics: Posted by Barry Hofstetter — September 27th, 2016, 1:53 pm

John 1:16

Jonathan Robie wrote:
The SBLGNT punctuation uses parentheses around verse 15:

14 Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας· 15 (Ἰωάννης μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ κέκραγεν λέγων· Οὗτος ἦν ὃν εἶπον· Ὁ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν, ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν·) 16 ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν, καὶ χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος· 17 ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο.

This implies that the ὅτι in verse 16 continues from the last clause of verse 14:

πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας … ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν

Makes sense to me …

Wow! It makes sense. The fact that the witness of the Baptist begins from John 1:19 makes it reasonable
to think that the statement in John 1:15 about the Baptist is parenthetical. The only problem seems whether
such a parenthetical insertion without any discourse particle (e.g. δε ) is an established method of narration.

Moon Jung

Statistics: Posted by moon jung — July 12th, 2014, 10:19 pm

1 Corinthians 7:36


I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but my questions about this clause are not really about its pragmatics but just the low-level stuff of figuring out subjects, antecedents, referents, etc.

Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — December 27th, 2016, 8:58 am

John 6:6


Dear friends and collegues,

John 6:6 Τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγεν πειράζων αὐτόν· αὐτὸς γὰρ ᾔδει τί ἔμελλεν ποιεῖν.

Why used John the Imperfect ἔλεγεν and not an Aorist form? What intended force could that imply? Is he saying that while/as/during Jesus was saying that he wanted to test his disciple?

Thanks for all help – even suggestions are highly welcome !


Statistics: Posted by Peter Streitenberger — April 4th, 2014, 8:25 am

Hebrews 11:1



Ἔστιν δὲ πίστις ἐλπιζομένων ὑπόστασις, πραγμάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεπομένων

What is the effect of having πίστις without the article here? One commentator suggests:

Faith (πίστις). Without the article, indicating that it is treated in its abstract conception, and not merely as Christian faith.

Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Vol. 4, p. 509). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Vincent is a bit dated, of course, but that thought occurred to me before I started poking around. What bothers me about it is that πίστις is by definition an abstract noun, with or without the article, and abstract nouns may take the article, but don’t thereby change into something more concrete. Thoughts, before I share my own conclusions?

Statistics: Posted by Barry Hofstetter — August 2nd, 2016, 12:23 pm

John 21:9


Sorry, the link for the upright skewers, leaning (not resting) over a fire is here. This is a cooking arrangement, which I don’t think is meant by the Greek.

Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 25th, 2017, 7:51 am

Matthew 12:40


Just wondering if Matthew 12:40 (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἦν Ἰωνᾶς ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ τοῦ κήτους τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας, οὕτως ἔσται ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας) could be translated this way:

For the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights for the same reason that Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.


Statistics: Posted by jgibson000 — June 22nd, 2017, 4:36 pm

Mark 9:20


καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν τὸ πνεῦμα εὐθὺς συνεσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων.

I can see two ways of reading this – either the boy is the one who ἰδὼν Jesus, or the spirit within him (so masc. part. is CAS).

Looking at the other participles in the verse, they clearly describe physical actions that the boy is doing (πεσὼν … ἀφρίζων), so my initial instinct is to read ἰδὼν as referring to the boy, and not the spirit. Would then account for the mention of τὸ πνεῦμα as giving a separate subject for the action of the verb συνεσπάραξεν.

A third option would be to not think of the two as separate entities, and so it’s not a case of “either/or” but “both”, as they’re rather intertwined at this moment.

I see a similar thing in Mark 9:26 – καὶ κράξας καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξας ἐξῆλθεν – the participles describe the physical actions of the boy, and the verb is the action that the spirit does (‘And after crying out and convulsing violently, it departed’).


Statistics: Posted by S Walch — February 18th, 2017, 8:30 pm

1 Timothy 3:16



The grammar of this verse, especially in the variant that is currently in the critical text,
has been the subject of controversy for over 300 years.

1 Timothy 3:16 (AV)
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels,
preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
received up into glory.

The Critical Text does not have “God was manifest”, the distinction is well known:

θεός – Received Text, almost all Greek mss
ὃς – Critical Text – a few Greek mss – translated variously

And I won’t go into the ECW and versional support since that involves also evaluating a 3rd variant:

ὃ – Codex Bezae, non-TR reading until Griesbach, supported by Grotius, Newton, Wetstein

adding complexity.

So we have the Critical Text, and check your Bibles for the wider section (which you may need for considering antecedents.)

3:16 (CT) καὶ ὁμολογουμένως μέγα ἐστὶν τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι ὤφθη ἀγγέλοις ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν ἐπιστεύθη ἐν κόσμῳ ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ

The history on this debate is very rich, a lot of fun to study, and little known. We are looking at that on Facebook forums the last week or so.

And the debate is complicated by the late 1800s development of the hymn (or confession or poem) theory for the verse. An idea that was mildly considered and often rejected … until it was kick-started by Fenton Hort. Once Hort gave his approval, the die was cast, and the theory remains very popular today in textual circles. And it is not my idea to discuss that theory here, however it would be remiss to raise the grammatical issue of the verse without mentioning the theory. The hymn theory says that the antecedent resides in the ethereal hymn and since it is a quotation, no proper antecedent has to be in the NT text for grammar solidity.

Now as to the grammar of the Critical Text:

As an example, Daniel Wallace has a number of comments on the grammar, including (emphasis added):

…1 Tim 3:16 most likely has an entirely different reason for the masculine relative pronoun—namely, because it is probably an embedded hymn fragment, there is no real antecedent. – Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit (2003)

Basically, I am wondering what you think of the grammar. And references you might want to share. The Critical Text is the question. Putting aside hymn theory, which is not really a b-greek discussion, since it goes outside the NT to a text unknown to complete the grammar components.

Hort talked of an “apparent solecism”. Metzger says that the text was changed from ὃς, which he considered the authentic autographic text, “to bring the relative into concord with μυστήριον”.

Your thoughts?


Steven Avery
Bayside, NY

Statistics: Posted by Steven Avery — June 15th, 2014, 9:55 am

Hebrews 1:7


Feel free to ask for help deciphering BDAG any time.

Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 21st, 2016, 9:43 am

1 Peter 4:3

Paul-Nitz wrote:
Thanks. That’s simpler and helpful. The addition of either ημιν and υμιν are variant readings here, by the way.
Why would we expect a Dative Ptc?
(I just read Smyth Section 1497 and 1498 about the Dative Ptc. Those descriptions don’t seem to fit here.)

Because ἀρκετός normally takes the dative + infinitive, so a participle modifying ὐμῖν or ἡμῖν would also normally be in the dative, πεπορευομένοις. That’s what motivates people to try to explain the accusative…

Statistics: Posted by Barry Hofstetter — May 3rd, 2014, 6:49 am

John 3:8

cwconrad wrote:
Perhaps I’m simply saying what’s obvious, but the fact that πνευμα in Greek, like ruach in Hebrew and spiritus in Latin, is a metaphoric extension from verbs in these same languages that can mean both “blow” and “breathe” would seem to indicate that the analogy is being drawn to comparable instances of unpredictability in the volatile “substance” for which these languages use the single word.

Yes, that makes sense.

Statistics: Posted by grogers — April 1st, 2014, 12:18 pm

Mark 12:18


If anything, I’d simply like to add here what I think is really pretty clear from the outset: the problem being raised here and the solution(s) being offered don’t hinge on the phrasing of the Greek text.

Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — June 6th, 2014, 1:22 pm

Mark 14:4


Stephen Hughes wrote:If John was in the thick of it, he was relating a part event that Peter wasn’t an ear-witness to.I fear that taking this position is wrapping an assumption in another assumption. If Matthew and Mark are taking a bird’s eye view, t…