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John 6:62

Dear all,

Can I ask if there is any way to tell what an adverb modifies? It seems to me that it can modify one or more of: a complete clause, a verb clause, another adverb (including adjectival or prepositional or dative clause), and even a noun clause. If so, how do I differentiate between the various possibilities when the adverb can be used in more than one way? Or is my concept of adverbs inaccurate? For example I wanted to classify the following:

“prwteron” = “firstly / initially” (adv.) / “former” (adj.) “prwton” = “first” (adv.) / “first” (adj.) “prwtos” = “first / foremost” (adj.) / “first” (adv.)

So I considered these to have the following meanings:

[John 6:62] “ean oun qewrhte ton uion tou anqrwpou anabainonta opou hn to proteron” = “therefore { if { you behold { the son ( of man ) ( going up ( where { [he] was ( initially ) } ) ) } } ? }” (where “initially” modifies the verb “[he] was”)

[Heb 7:27] “… proteron uper twn idiwn amartiwn qusias anaferein epeita twn tou laou …” = “… to offer up { sacrifices } ( firstly ) ( for ( [their] ) ( own ) sins ) ( subsequently ) ( [for] the [sins] ( of the people ) ) …” (where “firstly” modifies the adverbial prepositional clause “for [their] own sins” and also “subsequently” similarly)

[Rom 1:16] “… dunamis gar qeou estin eis swthrian panti tw pisteuonti ioudaiw te prwton kai ellhni” = “… for { [it] is { power ( of God ) ( for salvation ) } ( to ( all ) the [ones] ( who believe ) ) ( both ( to Jew ) ( first ) and ( to Greek ) ) }” (where “first” modifies the adverbial dative clause “to Jew”)

But I do not quite understand the following:

[Rom 1:8] “prwton men eucaristw tw qew mou dia ihsou cristou uper pantwn umwn …” ?= “( first ) ( indeed ) I thank { ( my ) God } ( through Jesus Christ ) ( for you ( all ) ) …” (where “first” and “indeed” both modify the complete clause “I thank my God …”)

[1 Cor 15:46] “all ou prwton to pneumatikon alla to yucikon epeita to pneumatikon” ?= “but { [it] [is] not ( first ) { the spiritual } but { the soulish } } { [it] [is] ( subsequently ) { the spiritual } }” (where “first” modifies “[it] [is]”) ?= “but { { first } [is] not { the spiritual } but { the soulish } } ( subsequently ) [it] [is] { the spiritual }” (where “first” is an adjective)

[2 Pet 1:20] “touto prwton ginwskontes oti pasa profhteia grafhs idias epilusews ou ginetai” ?= “knowing { this } ( first ) { that { { ( every ) prophecy } does not come to be ( of ( [one’s] ) ( own ) explanation ) } }” (where “first” modifies “knowing”) ?= “knowing { ( first ) this } { that { { ( every ) prophecy } does not come to be ( of ( [one’s] ) ( own ) explanation ) } }” (where “first” modifies “this”)

And I cannot figure out what “prwtos” means when it is declined as an adjective but used as an adverb…

[John 1:41] “euriskei outos prwtos ton adelfon ton idion simwna …” ?= “{ this [one] ( first ) } finds { ( [his] ) ( own ) brother } { Simon } …” (it does not mean “this first [one]”, does it?) (but what then is the difference between “euriskei outos prwtos” and “prwton euriskei outos”?)

[Luke 2:2] “auth h apografh prwth egeneto hgemoneuontos ths surias kurhniou” ?= “{ this enrollment ( first ) } came to be ( when { { Cyrenius } governed { Syria } } )” (if it means “this first enrollment”, as ASV interprets it, why is John 1:41 interpreted differently?)

Is the difference between “prwton” as an adverb and “prwtos” declined as an adjective not semantic but purely grammatical?

Thanks a lot,

David Lim

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