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Matthew 12:4

cwconrad wrote: Just to update my current state of thinking/confusion about this text:
πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
Would the construction be better if the φαγεῖν were omitted? Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 8th, 2014, 3:27 pm
 
cwconrad wrote: (2) I don't believe that the ὃ refers back to an implicit δῶρον; in fact, I don't understand how that notion originated;
That would have to have been in my thinking when it originated. δῶρον being an offering that you didn't intend to burn (cf. θῦμα). I was only hypothesising (would you say "hypothezizing"?) not asserting. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 8th, 2014, 11:43 am
Just to update my current state of thinking/confusion about this text:
πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
(1) I think it's conceivable that ὃ is acc. sg. n. functioning as the object of φαγεῖν, in the sense "the thing that it was not permissible for him nor for those with him to eat." -- I think, in fact, that this is the more likely explanation of the author's intent, but I am not at all convinced that this usage falls within the range of the other usages of the "indefinite relative pronoun" elsewhere -- I can't see how the ἄρτους could be referred to with the generic neuter relative ὃ; (2) I don't believe that the ὃ refers back to an implicit δῶρον; in fact, I don't understand how that notion originated; (3) I really prefer the explanation that ὃ represents something like the Latin relative quod in an acc. sg. n. accusative of specification, in the sense, "with-regard-to-which/the-fact being-that it wasn't lawful for him nor for those with him to eat (it)." I suppose that this is equivalent to saying that the ὃ functions here as might a ὅτι. I like this explanation better, but I'm not quite confident that it's what the author intended. (4) The relationship of Mt's formulation of this tradition to those of Mk and Lk continues to trouble me; I find it difficult to believe that Mt's version is earliest and was emended by the authors of Mk and Lk, but if the author of Mt knew the text of Mk, it's hard to conceive why he would have altered the οὓς of Mk's version to ὃ. It remains a puzzlement to me. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 8th, 2014, 9:47 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote: OK, so you take ὅ as the direct object of φαγεῖν, with an assumed δῶρον for the antecedent?
To make sense of the ὅ, I would expect that a Greek speaker conversant with Jewish temple practices, but not with Hebrew or Aramaic - or working on the assumption that it was good idiomaticf Greek - to introduce an understood θῦμα or δῶρον to sum up the whole meaning of "τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως" as the antecedent of the relative ὅ. As for my own view about how the form came to be there, rather than how it came to be understood... Up near the top of the thread, I mentioned that I thought that דִי (diy - which is not number or gender differentiated) might be "ὁ" referring to David, and so translated "the one". The αὐτῷ and the αὐτοῦ are both taken as refering back to David - while in form they could refer to a neuter singular ὅ just as well - so why not the ο too (taken as the definite article ὁ) to give the demonstrative pronouns an immediate context.
SGH's spelt-out construction of grammatical sense for taking Matthew 12:4 with ὁ not ὅ wrote: Δαυὶδ ... ὁ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ (ἐξὸν ἦν) τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ (φαγεῖν) ... (ἀλλὰ) (ἐξὸν ἦν) τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις (φαγεῖν) "David, the one who it was not customary for him to eat, nor (was it customary) for thois with him (to eat), but rather it was customary for the OT priests alone (to eat)"
Stephen Carlson wrote: I don't understand your first clause or how the initial ο could be an article.
It could be like that from a Semitic translation, but it would not have been understood as that by a Greek speaker unfamiliar with a laguage that liked to put a demonstrative at the end just to make things clear. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 8th, 2014, 7:36 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote: I personally prefer ο as ὁ ... αὐτῷ, but to look at how a person fluent in Greek might have understood it, perhaps τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως "The shew bread" as thought of as δῶρον "offering", and the ὅ was agreeing with that as the object of φάγειν.
OK, so you take ὅ as the direct object of φαγεῖν, with an assumed δῶρον for the antecedent? (I don't understand your first clause or how the initial ο could be an article.) Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 8th, 2014, 5:41 am
I personally prefer ο as ὁ ... αὐτῷ, but to look at how a person fluent in Greek might have understood it, perhaps τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως "The shew bread" as thought of as δῶρον "offering", and the ὅ was agreeing with that as the object of φάγειν. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 8th, 2014, 5:14 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote: if we take έξὸν ἦν as some kind of periphrastic for έξῆν, the the issue devolves to construing the two constituents ὅ and φαγεῖν with an impersonal that normally takes just the one.
Two? What are you doing with the αὐτῷ in this? So far as I know, the construction is (οὐκ) ἔξεστιν +dat, +inf. There are no accusatives involved in that part of the construction. To take ὅ as a nominative, and ἐξόν adjectivally is to use it like it would be used in a construction based on νόμιμος (νόμιμόν [ἐστί] τινι ποιεῖν τι) in
Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 8.8.8 wrote: νόμιμον γὰρ δὴ ἦν αὐτοῖς μήτε πτύειν μήτε ἀπομύττεσθαι it used to be their custom neither to spit nor to blow the nose (Translation from Perseus - Walter Miller, 1914)
Even here νόμιμον is similarly used impersonally like the participle ἐξόν - "It being permitted / customary / lawful", and can't really take up the (assumed to be nominative) ὅ. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 8th, 2014, 4:57 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote: we have a linking verb ἦν and apparently three things to link up--ὅ, ἐξόν, and φαγεῖν--instead of the usual two
1) ἔξεστιν is only used as an impersonal even in the participle. Impersonals do not have subjects.
OK, so if we take έξὸν ἦν as some kind of periphrastic for έξῆν, the the issue devolves to construing the two constituents ὅ and φαγεῖν with an impersonal that normally takes just the one. This valency issue (i.e. how many arguments for the verbal construction) is still there.
Stephen Hughes wrote: 2) The verb to be (in all persons and numbers) goes with nominatives
Yes indeed, for finite forms. I suppose it is a bit uncertain whether ὅ is nominative linked up by ἦν (ἐξόν), as I assumed above, or the accusative object of φαγεῖν (as the οὕς of the Markan and Lukan parallels clearly is).
Stephen Hughes wrote: The only possibility left is that ὅ (or οὕς or τοῦτο) is with φαγεῖν.
What do you mean by saying that "ὅ ... is with φαγεῖν"? As the object ("which thing that is not permitted to eat")? As modifying φαγεῖν sort of like "which eating is not permitted to them" but in an impersonal construction with the infinitive instead of this English gerund? I think Carl's proposal is to take ὅ out of the construction as an accusative of specification or something. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 8th, 2014, 4:06 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote: we have a linking verb ἦν and apparently three things to link up--ὅ, ἐξόν, and φαγεῖν--instead of the usual two
1) ἔξεστιν is only used as an impersonal even in the participle. Impersonals do not have subjects. 2) The verb to be (in all persons and numbers) goes with nominatives The only possibility left is that ὅ (or οὕς or τοῦτο) is with φαγεῖν. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 8th, 2014, 2:40 am
 
David Lim wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:There's an article online by James L. Boyer from Grace Theological Journal who calls this a "neuter of general notion" and compares it to Gal 2:20; Eph 5:4, 5; Col 3:14; 2 Thess 3:17; and 1 Tim 2:10. I haven't checked all of them, but Col 3:14 ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις τὴν ἀγάπην, ὅ ἐστιν σύνδεσμος τῆς τελειότητος could be a reasonable parallel.
Thanks for the article! I see that his explanation is roughly the same as mine.
Yeah, but the article really doesn't address the syntactic question, where we have a linking verb ἦν and apparently three things to link up--ὅ, ἐξόν, and φαγεῖν--instead of the usual two. You can replace the ὅ with τοῦτο (cf. Eph 2:8) to avoid the issue of an indefinite relative but the syntactic issue remains. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 8th, 2014, 1:46 am
 
cwconrad wrote:
David Lim wrote:Carl, there's always the possibility that "ο" is a scribal mistake, but I don't think it's ungrammatical or stemming from some Hebrew. The repetition of the pronoun is not often especially in short phrases, so why would you expect "αυτους"? Also, how exactly is the instance of "ητις" in 1 John 1:3 different from the "ο" in Matt 12:4? Unless you mean that "ος" cannot function the way "οστις" does, I can't quite see your point. But if they are the same grammatically, then the "ο" and "αυτοις" in John 17:2 are equally jarring.
I don't think there's a scribal mistake, and I'm certainly not committed to the Semitism, but it does seem to me that Mt 12:4 -- again I quote:
... πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, ὃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
is not quite like the verses you've cited:
Mark 10:9 ὃ οὖν ὁ θεὸς συνέζευξεν ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω., Mark 13:37 ὃ δὲ ὑμῖν λέγω πᾶσιν λέγω, γρηγορεῖτε. 1 John 1:1 Ὃ ἦν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν …
In these three instances there is no antecedent but what is contained within the relative pronoun ὃ; in fact, in each of these texts the ὃ points forward. In Mt 12:4 the ὃ, even understood as an accusative object of φαγεῖν, still clearly looks back to the ἄρτους of the preceding clause. It still seems to me that the οὓς of the Marcan and Lucan texts is clearer.
Yes I understand, which is why I also mentioned 2 Thes 3:17 earlier, where the (indefinite) relative pronoun "ο" does have an antecedent. I see that Stephen Carlson has also helpfully provided another example of Col 3:14, but that one has the Byzantine textual variant of "ητις εστιν ...", which incidentally marginally supports my point that "ος" and "οστις" as indefinite relative pronouns are quite interchangeable. But 2 Thes 3:17 is free from textual variants, which is why I mentioned only it instead.
cwconrad wrote: For that matter, the periphrastic verbal formation οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν seems odd (to me, at least); why not ἐξῆν?
I don't know. It felt odd to me too.
cwconrad wrote: Moreover, although we ordinarily steer clear of redactional questions (Which version, if any is older;? Which version indicates reformulation in the interest of clarity?), I have difficulty conceiving Mt's phrasing of this clause as the earliest of the three versions, but I have equal difficulty seeing why he would have changed the οὓς to ὃ.
I myself don't consider Matthew's phrasing as the earliest, but still I think it is grammatically normal.
Stephen Carlson wrote: There's an article online by James L. Boyer from Grace Theological Journal who calls this a "neuter of general notion" and compares it to Gal 2:20; Eph 5:4, 5; Col 3:14; 2 Thess 3:17; and 1 Tim 2:10. I haven't checked all of them, but Col 3:14 ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις τὴν ἀγάπην, ὅ ἐστιν σύνδεσμος τῆς τελειότητος could be a reasonable parallel.
Thanks for the article! I see that his explanation is roughly the same as mine. I also though of the possibility that "ο εστιν" could be an idiomatic (fixed) expression, but came to the conclusion that it is not really so. I had gone through many instances of the relative pronoun and I think it is best understood as agreeing with the 'natural' gender, where words and phrases are 'naturally' neuter, which easily explains the large number of instances of "ο εστιν". In fact, John 1 has in quick succession "ο λεγεται ερμηνευομενον" and "ο εστιν μεθερμηνευομενον" and "ο ερμηνευεται", all three apparently interchangeable and yet using the 'natural' neuter "ο". Statistics: Posted by David Lim — January 7th, 2014, 9:17 pm
There's an article online by James L. Boyer from Grace Theological Journal who calls this a "neuter of general notion" and compares it to Gal 2:20; Eph 5:4, 5; Col 3:14; 2 Thess 3:17; and 1 Tim 2:10. I haven't checked all of them, but Col 3:14 ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις τὴν ἀγάπην, ὅ ἐστιν σύνδεσμος τῆς τελειότητος could be a reasonable parallel. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 7th, 2014, 5:45 pm
 
David Lim wrote: Carl, there's always the possibility that "ο" is a scribal mistake, but I don't think it's ungrammatical or stemming from some Hebrew. The repetition of the pronoun is not often especially in short phrases, so why would you expect "αυτους"? Also, how exactly is the instance of "ητις" in 1 John 1:3 different from the "ο" in Matt 12:4? Unless you mean that "ος" cannot function the way "οστις" does, I can't quite see your point. But if they are the same grammatically, then the "ο" and "αυτοις" in John 17:2 are equally jarring.
I don't think there's a scribal mistake, and I'm certainly not committed to the Semitism, but it does seem to me that Mt 12:4 -- again I quote:
... πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, ὃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
is not quite like the verses you've cited:
Mark 10:9 ὃ οὖν ὁ θεὸς συνέζευξεν ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω., Mark 13:37 ὃ δὲ ὑμῖν λέγω πᾶσιν λέγω, γρηγορεῖτε. 1 John 1:1 Ὃ ἦν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν …
In these three instances there is no antecedent but what is contained within the relative pronoun ὃ; in fact, in each of these texts the ὃ points forward. In Mt 12:4 the ὃ, even understood as an accusative object of φαγεῖν, still clearly looks back to the ἄρτους of the preceding clause. It still seems to me that the οὓς of the Marcan and Lucan texts is clearer. For that matter, the periphrastic verbal formation οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν seems odd (to me, at least); why not ἐξῆν? Moreover, although we ordinarily steer clear of redactional questions (Which version, if any is older;? Which version indicates reformulation in the interest of clarity?), I have difficulty conceiving Mt's phrasing of this clause as the earliest of the three versions, but I have equal difficulty seeing why he would have changed the οὓς to ὃ. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 7th, 2014, 4:39 pm
 
Stephen Hughes wrote: This is an infectional language where things have to agree to the linguistically most possible degree (with a few well-known exceptions - neuter plural with singular verbs) and in which lanugage accusative singulars (and plurals) tend to be treated as adverbs.
Hmm I think many "infectional" languages get infected by a disease that causes it to use "it" (or close equivalents) for lots of things, even if plural. If you need to have more examples, John 17:2 has "ο" referring to a group of multiple individuals that are later referred to by "αυτοις", and 2 Thes 3:17 has "ο" referring to "ο ασπασμος". Rom 6:10 has "ο" referring to the implicit "θανατον", but you can ignore this instance if you don't consider it to count. Also, I would appreciate if you get to the point instead of using various analogies half of which I don't get and the other half of which I disagree with. I've already explained how a singular neuter can be used to refer to more than just grammatically singular neuter entities, and many grammars agree with me. Carl, there's always the possibility that "ο" is a scribal mistake, but I don't think it's ungrammatical or stemming from some Hebrew. The repetition of the pronoun is not often especially in short phrases, so why would you expect "αυτους"? Also, how exactly is the instance of "ητις" in 1 John 1:3 different from the "ο" in Matt 12:4? Unless you mean that "ος" cannot function the way "οστις" does, I can't quite see your point. But if they are the same grammatically, then the "ο" and "αυτοις" in John 17:2 are equally jarring. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — January 7th, 2014, 12:31 pm
 
David Lim wrote: You got the meaning of "indefinite relative pronoun" wrong. It does not mean that it has no reference in the sentence. If you looked at the example of "οστις" that I gave earlier, you can see that "ητις ..." is in apposition to "την ζωην ...", but is called an indefinite relative pronoun. I don't know how the name "indefinite relative pronoun" came about, but if you want my own idiosyncratic explanation of its precise meaning: It creates an indefinite (unspecified) entity X, takes a phrase P of the same type that a relative pronoun takes (where P captures X as the missing part), and returns a noun phrase referring to X. This noun phrase can then be put in apposition to another noun phrase, just as in the example I gave.
While that is logical, it crosses the boundaries of how Greek is used. Nominal phrases do not have to agree to the same degree as relative clauses do. Relative clauses are relative clauses and while they have many of the same properties as nominal phrases they are constrained by more rules than nominal phrases - the reason for this is compensation for ambiguity. A noun has a reference, while a pronoun borrows its reference already in the sentence or implied by context - because of which dependency it has to agree more closely in number case and gender than a noun would have to. Without the extra requirements for agreement there is too much ambiguity in meaning and there is a likelihood that understanding would suffer. The creation of an initially null-value indefinite entity is a theoretical step which doesn't exist in the language and remains an indefinite entity even when it has the returned likeness of a noun phrase (similarly as you can't get rid of i (the unreal number) by assumption). The indefinite entity noun phrase that you have hypothesised has to always draw its existence from the process and the process can only continue to occur in understanding while there is agreement in number, case and gender with an element in the context. A noun has its own existence and can exist when it does not have full agreement with the thing in its context so long as that thing also enjoys its own existence. Nouns seem to be able to be juxtaposed in Greek simply on the basis of case. In the same vein, adjectives in Greek have no independent meaning, so they are required to agree in number, case and gender with their nouns etc. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 7th, 2014, 12:15 pm
 
David Lim wrote: indefinite relative pronoun ... It's the same category in which you find the English "that which" and more commonly "What you are holding is mine.". "οστις" (and the "οτι" that derives from it) is also in this category (1 John 1:2), but the more common indefinite relative pronoun used is the relative pronoun itself (Mark 10:9, 13:37, 1 John 1:1,3). Note that Mark 10:9 also uses "ο" for a 'compound' entity.
All of these are really different, I think, from the ὃ of Mt 12:4.
πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
ὃ would mean "which thing" -- but the neuter seems strange here. Certainly the οὓς of Mk and Lk are far less jarring. I too toyed with the thought that the ὃ of Mt 12:4 if functioning like the "what" of English "I know what you're saying" or even more likely like the quod of Latin that is a neuter sg. acc. pronoun introducing a topic to be discussed, in the sense, "As for the fact that ..." "Regarding the assertion that ... " On the other hand, it looks to me more like the construction of the Hebrew relative pronoun asher introducing a relative clause but still requiring pronominal reference to the antecedent, αὐτῷ in Mt 12:4. Cf. LXX Gen.1:12 Gen 1:12 καὶ ἐξήνεγκεν ἡ γῆ … ξύλον κάρπιμον ποιοῦν καρπόν, οὗ τὸ σπέρμα αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ κατὰ γένος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. In Rom 12:4 the ὃ would refer back to τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως but that would ordinarily be repeated in something like αὐτοὺς. It still looks "fishy" to me. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 7th, 2014, 11:49 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:Alas, it's not a newly-κοινεd term that I can call mine own. It is mentioned at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronoun for example.
I looked at that article too, and couldn't find it in reference to Greek.
I don't really care whether a term is used in reference to Greek or not, as long as it is appropriate. But anyway, a simple Google search returns as the first result http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/ ... html#par34.
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:"What you are holding is mine."
(having no particular reference) and
I think the "ο" here is just functioning as an indefinite relative pronoun (as the subject of "ουκ εξον ην ...") that is put in apposition to "τους αρτους ..."?
seem somewhat mutually exclusive.
    • "Indefinite" - having no reference in the sentence
and
    • "
In apposition to
    " - having a reference in the sentence
I understood where you were going with this, and the question still remains; Is there a way that you have conceived of to reconcile these two definitional antitheses? And to be convincing, you will have to explain how a neuter singular accusative and a masculine plural accusative would be in apposition to each other - the two things that we see (sentence position and shared accusativeness) are not enough. This is an infectional language where things have to agree to the linguistically most possible degree (with a few well-known exceptions - neuter plural with singular verbs) and in which lanugage accusative singulars (and plurals) tend to be treated as adverbs.
You got the meaning of "indefinite relative pronoun" wrong. It does not mean that it has no reference in the sentence. If you looked at the example of "οστις" that I gave earlier, you can see that "ητις ..." is in apposition to "την ζωην ...", but is called an indefinite relative pronoun. I don't know how the name "indefinite relative pronoun" came about, but if you want my own idiosyncratic explanation of its precise meaning: It creates an indefinite (unspecified) entity X, takes a phrase P of the same type that a relative pronoun takes (where P captures X as the missing part), and returns a noun phrase referring to X. This noun phrase can then be put in apposition to another noun phrase, just as in the example I gave. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — January 7th, 2014, 11:47 am
 
David Lim wrote: Alas, it's not a newly-κοινεd term that I can call mine own. It is mentioned at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronoun for example.
I looked at that article too, and couldn't find it in reference to Greek.
David Lim wrote: "What you are holding is mine."
(having no particular reference) and
I think the "ο" here is just functioning as an indefinite relative pronoun (as the subject of "ουκ εξον ην ...") that is put in apposition to "τους αρτους ..."?
seem somewhat mutually exclusive.
    • "Indefinite" - having no reference in the sentence
and
    • "
In apposition to
    " - having a reference in the sentence
I understood where you were going with this, and the question still remains; Is there a way that you have conceived of to reconcile these two definitional antitheses? And to be convincing, you will have to explain how a neuter singular accusative and a masculine plural accusative would be in apposition to each other - the two things that we see (sentence position and shared accusativeness) are not enough. This is an infectional language where things have to agree to the linguistically most possible degree (with a few well-known exceptions - neuter plural with singular verbs) and in which lanugage accusative singulars (and plurals) tend to be treated as adverbs. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 7th, 2014, 10:38 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:indefinite relative pronoun
Sorry to cut in, but could you explain this category of pronoun. I'm not familiar with it. Is it something like ὅ,τι?
It's the same category in which you find the English "that which" and more commonly "What you are holding is mine.". "οστις" (and the "οτι" that derives from it) is also in this category (1 John 1:2), but the more common indefinite relative pronoun used is the relative pronoun itself (Mark 10:9, 13:37, 1 John 1:1,3). Note that Mark 10:9 also uses "ο" for a 'compound' entity.
cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:indefinite relative pronoun
Sorry to cut in, but could you explain this category of pronoun. I'm not familiar with it. Is it something like ὅ,τι?
Is it a newly-koinéed term? ;)
Alas, it's not a newly-κοινεd term that I can call mine own. It is mentioned at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronoun for example. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — January 7th, 2014, 10:00 am
 
Stephen Hughes wrote:
David Lim wrote:indefinite relative pronoun
Sorry to cut in, but could you explain this category of pronoun. I'm not familiar with it. Is it something like ὅ,τι?
Is it a newly-koinéed term? ;) Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 7th, 2014, 8:49 am
(Sorry, folks, but this is rather long.) After several twists and turns and reconsiderations, I've reached a tentative conclusion on the question that I initially raised several days ago. I'm grateful Stephen Hughes, David Lim (yes, it does involve a relative indefinite pronoun), and Stephen Carlson for their contributions to this inquiry. The initial quesiton was whether in Mt 12:4
πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
should be considered accusative as object of φαγεῖν or nominative as subject of ἔξεστιν. My tentative conclusion is that the phrase, ὃ (οὐκ) ἔξεστιν, accompanied by an infinitive (sometimes implicit) and by a dative or an accusative of the person(s) allowed to perform an action, sometimes by an accusative of the act(s) performed, has become a common idiomatic phrase for “what is/is-not permissible/possible”; the ὃ may originally have been an accusative object of the implicit or explicit infinitive, but it appears in several instances to function as a nominative relative pronoun with implicit antecedent: “that which (is) allowed/possible (to do).” First, let me summarize what illumination on the impersonal verbs I've found in BDF: 1. Periphrasis for impersonals is very common: e.g. ἐξὸν (ἐστίν, ἦν, ἔσ(ε)ται, pres. ptc. adjectival (§§ 127, 353) — i.e. ἐξὸν ought never to be deemed an acc. abs. (§424) 2. The imperfect (without ἄν) in expressions of necessity, obligation, duty, possibility etc. denotes in classical something which is or was actually necessary, etc., but which does not or did not take place (§358) 3. The infinitive in impersonal expressions and with nouns and adjectives. A relationship between the infinitive and ἵνα similar to that which exists between them with verbs exists with a series of impersonal expressions (§393) 4. Impersonal and adjectival or substantival expressions like συμφέρει, ἔθος ἐστίν, ἀθέμιτον, αἰσχρόν, καλόν ἐστιν usually take the dat. (cf. §190). The infinitive, however, can have its own different subject in the acc. to distinguish it from the person(s) concerned (Jn 18:14 συμφέρει ἕνα ἄνθρωπον ἀποθανεῖν). It is even more striking that καλόν ἐστιν ‘it is good’ can take an acc. of the person concerned with the infinitive (§409). Here's the evidence in the GNT: 1. ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν (+ infinitive, dative or accusative or person allowed Mt 12:2 οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἰδόντες εἶπαν αὐτῷ· ἰδοὺ οἱ μαθηταί σου ποιοῦσιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ποιεῖν ἐν σαββάτῳ. Mt 12:4 πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, ὃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις; Mk 2:24 καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον αὐτῷ· ἴδε τί ποιοῦσιν τοῖς σάββασιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν; Lk 6:2 τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν· τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν; 2. ἔξεστιν introduced by acc. pronoun of the object Mk 2:26 πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἀβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγεν, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ τοὺς ἱερεῖς, καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ οὖσιν; 3. Nominative subject of ἔξεστιν? – or should we understand ἃ and πάντα in these instances as an accusative object of the implicit or explicit infinitive? I incline to understanding these as accusative. Acts 16:21 καὶ καταγγέλλουσιν ἔθη ἃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἡμῖν παραδέχεσθαι οὐδὲ ποιεῖν Ῥωμαίοις οὖσιν. 1 Cor 6:12 Πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν ἀλλ᾿ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει· πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν ἀλλ᾿ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ὑπό τινος. 1 Cor 10:23 Πάντα ἔξεστιν ἀλλ᾿ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει· πάντα ἔξεστιν ἀλλ᾿ οὐ πάντα οἰκοδομεῖ. 4. ἐξὸν is implicitly periphrastic for ἐξόν ἐστιν (it is not an accusative absolute) Acts 2:29 Ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, ἐξὸν εἰπεῖν μετὰ παρρησίας πρὸς ὑμᾶς περὶ τοῦ πατριάρχου Δαυὶδ ὅτι καὶ ἐτελεύτησεν καὶ ἐτάφη, καὶ τὸ μνῆμα αὐτοῦ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν ἄχρι τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης. 2 Cor 12:4 ὅτι ἡρπάγη εἰς τὸν παράδεισον καὶ ἤκουσεν ἄρρητα ῥήματα ἃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἀνθρώπῳ λαλῆσαι. Stephen Carlson, via TLG search, found two more instances of the construction in Acts of Peter 40, Achilles Tatius, Leucippe et Clitophon 4.7.8, the former with the periphrastic construction, ὃ μὴ ἐξὸν ἦν, the latter the simpler ὃ ἔξεστιν. I will just add that I also checked the LXX for usage of the impersonal verb ἔξεστι(ν). I didn't find any usage corresponding to ὃ (οὐκ) ἔξεστιν. What I did find ist: 1. Regular usage of ἔξεστι, ἐξέσται, ἐξεῖναι: Ezra 4:14, Esth 16:7 [8·12g], 1 Macc 14:44, 3 Macc 1:11, 4 Macc 1:12; 2. Periphrastic usage of ἐξὸν (with implicit or explicit ἔστιν): Esth 4:2, 4 Macc 5:18, 4 Macc 17:7. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 11th, 2014, 10:49 am
 
cwconrad wrote: In earlier Greek we commonly see the accusative absolute of ἔξεστι as ἐξὸν with dative and infinitive: "it being permissible to A to do B". It looks like the impersonal usage may have become somewhat modified in later usage such that the ὃ is a quasi-subject of ἔξεστιν. I'm speculating here; a lot more evidence would be needed.
I have provided evidence from a super-set of impersonals and impersonal-like constructions, which is what ἔξεστιν is just a part of in the lanuage, in another thread with a nerdish name Evidence for impersonal(oid)s verb/adj +inf +dat Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 9th, 2014, 1:57 pm
 
Stephen Carlson wrote: A TLG search got me the Acts of Peter example. It's not a common construction and there are lots that look legitimate. Here's another possible example from the second-century Achilles Tatius:
Achilles Tatius, Leucippe et Clitophon 4.7.8 wrote:ὃ δὲ ἔξεστιν αἰτῶ παρ’ αὐτῆς· εἰς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἡκέτω τοὺς ἐμοὺς καὶ λόγων μεταδότω· ἀκοῦσαι θέλω φωνῆς, χειρὸς θιγεῖν, ψαῦσαι σώματος· αὗται γὰρ ἐρώντων παραμυθίαι. ἔξεστι δὲ αὐτὴν καὶ φιλῆσαι· τοῦτο γὰρ οὐ κεκώλυκεν ἡ γαστήρ.”
That's neat: almost "What's within the realm of the possible" or "What's possible". I suppose the idiomatic(?) construction, if there is one, might be analyzed such that ὃ is n. acc. sg. object of an implicit infinitive -- or an explicit one, like φαγεῖν -- that still seems more likely than a nominative to me. I assume you have institutional access to TLG, rather than a purchased license. I very much appreciate your picking up on this. The fact is that Tim Friberg has given me a list of neuter nouns and pronouns that might be either nominative or accusative, depending on how one interprets the syntax. This was one that really bothered me, but I think ou may have discovered the key to it. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 9th, 2014, 7:57 am
A TLG search got me the Acts of Peter example. It's not a common construction and there are lots that look legitimate. Here's another possible example from the second-century Achilles Tatius:
Achilles Tatius, Leucippe et Clitophon 4.7.8 wrote: ὃ δὲ ἔξεστιν αἰτῶ παρ’ αὐτῆς· εἰς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἡκέτω τοὺς ἐμοὺς καὶ λόγων μεταδότω· ἀκοῦσαι θέλω φωνῆς, χειρὸς θιγεῖν, ψαῦσαι σώματος· αὗται γὰρ ἐρώντων παραμυθίαι. ἔξεστι δὲ αὐτὴν καὶ φιλῆσαι· τοῦτο γὰρ οὐ κεκώλυκεν ἡ γαστήρ.”
Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 9th, 2014, 4:33 am
 
Stephen Carlson wrote: Here's another example of the construction without the infinitive:
Acts of Peter 40 wrote: Ὁ δὲ Μάρκελλος, μηδὲ γνώμην τινὸς λαβών, ὃ μὴ ἐξὸν ἦν, ἰδὼν ὅτι ὁ μακάριος Πέτρος ἀπέπνευσεν, ἰδίαις χερσὶν καθελὼν αὐτὸν τοῦ σταυροῦ ἔλουσεν ἐν γάλακτι καὶ οἴνῳ· καὶ κόψας χίας μνᾶς ἑπτὰ καὶ σμύρνης καὶ ἀλόης καὶ φύλλου ἄλλας πεντήκοντα, ἐσμύρνισεν αὐτοῦ τὸ λείψανον, καὶ γεμίσας μάκτραν λιθίνην τιμήματος πολλοῦ Ἀττικοῦ μέλιτος, ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ αὐτοῦ μνημείῳ κατέθετο αὐτό.
Hmm ... It looks like we may have an idiomatic(?) usage here of the phrase ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστι/ὃ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν for "in violation of protocol" or "unlawfully". In earlier Greek we commonly see the accusative absolute of ἔξεστι as ἐξὸν with dative and infinitive: "it being permissible to A to do B". It looks like the impersonal usage may have become somewhat modified in later usage such that the ὃ is a quasi-subject of ἔξεστιν. I'm speculating here; a lot more evidence would be needed. I wonder whether a search of TLG would yield more instances. But the use of μὴ with the indicative imperfect looks odd in the Acts of Peter text. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 8th, 2014, 8:32 pm
Here's another example of the construction without the infinitive:
Acts of Peter 40 wrote: Ὁ δὲ Μάρκελλος, μηδὲ γνώμην τινὸς λαβών, ὃ μὴ ἐξὸν ἦν, ἰδὼν ὅτι ὁ μακάριος Πέτρος ἀπέπνευσεν, ἰδίαις χερσὶν καθελὼν αὐτὸν τοῦ σταυροῦ ἔλουσεν ἐν γάλακτι καὶ οἴνῳ· καὶ κόψας χίας μνᾶς ἑπτὰ καὶ σμύρνης καὶ ἀλόης καὶ φύλλου ἄλλας πεντήκοντα, ἐσμύρνισεν αὐτοῦ τὸ λείψανον, καὶ γεμίσας μάκτραν λιθίνην τιμήματος πολλοῦ Ἀττικοῦ μέλιτος, ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ αὐτοῦ μνημείῳ κατέθετο αὐτό.
Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 8th, 2014, 6:36 pm
 
Matt 12:4 wrote: πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
 
cwconrad wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
cwconrad wrote:Just to update my current state of thinking/confusion about this text:
Would the construction be better if the φαγεῖν were omitted?
Not very significantly, if at all. As I see it, ὃ would then have to be nominative and subject of οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν -- but -- subject of an impersonal verb? It's difficult enough taking it as accusative object of φαγεῖν with the neuter relative pronoun referring back to τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως.
OK, so Luke 6:2 Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν; won't be an enlightening parallel then. I notice that Matt 12:2 has Ἰδοὺ οἱ μαθηταί σου ποιοῦσιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ποιεῖν ἐν σαββάτῳ, where the neuter singular relative is better. I wonder if the construction of v.4 is trying to parallel it. Maybe the verse would be better without τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως? Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — January 8th, 2014, 5:30 pm
 
Stephen Carlson wrote:
cwconrad wrote:Just to update my current state of thinking/confusion about this text:
πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
Would the construction be better if the φαγεῖν were omitted?
Not very significantly, if at all. As I see it, ὃ would then have to be nominative and subject of οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν -- but -- subject of an impersonal verb? It's difficult enough taking it as accusative object of φαγεῖν with the neuter relative pronoun referring back to τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως. Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 8th, 2014, 5:05 pm
 
David Lim wrote: indefinite relative pronoun
Sorry to cut in, but could you explain this category of pronoun. I'm not familiar with it. Is it something like ὅ,τι? Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 7th, 2014, 8:34 am
 
cwconrad wrote: Mt 12:3-4
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ ὅτε ἐπείνασεν καὶ οἱ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ, 4 πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
How are we to understand the relative pronoun in verse 4? It would appear to be nom. sg. neuter and subject of οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις -- but why the neuter singular? Could it be accusative of specification, as, for example, "with regard to which action it wasn't permissible for him to eat (it) nor for those ... " Or is there a Semitism involved here?
I think the "ο" here is just functioning as an indefinite relative pronoun (as the subject of "ουκ εξον ην ...") that is put in apposition to "τους αρτους ..."? In English: "ate the bread loaves of the display, that which was not permissible for him to eat, ...". However I note that the Codex Sinaiticus and the Byzantine manuscripts have "ους" instead. Statistics: Posted by David Lim — January 7th, 2014, 7:25 am
 
CWConrad Thread name wrote: Mt 12:4 Construction of the relative ὃ
Can we be sure it shouldn't have been accented as the masculine singular definite article referring back to David in a mismash of bad Semitic Greek picking him up with the with the
Mt 12:4 with SGH's conjectured ὁ for ὃ wrote: Δαυὶδ ... ὁ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν "David ... he it was not fitting to him to eat"?
That is the sort of English that I hear from peoples from the Middle East whose L1 is semitic and has these sort of constructions natively. Of course it would have been best understood by a Greek speaker as the relative ὅ. [cf. CSB's current thread] Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 7th, 2014, 3:41 am
 
cwconrad wrote: How are we to understand the relative pronoun ὃ in verse 4?
Perhaps as a translation of דִי the (Biblical) Aramaic relative pronoun (Page 25, Section 35 of A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic By Franz Rosenthal). Then the question is why it was rendered into Greek in the neuter singular? To answer that, perhaps we could consider that there are two distinct uses for πῶς (1) as a word marking the start of a question (not in this case) and (2) as a way of marking a whole idea expressed by a verb for consideration (which seems to be the intended useage here). Why was that? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems possible that the πῶς εἰσῆλθεν was used to represent a Hebrew infinite construct form (or a similar Aramaic form) "David's entering" after don't the οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε "Don't be ignorant of ... ", in a similar way to the way that the לֶכְתְּךָ֔ "your walking" of Deuteronomy 2:7 was rendered as πῶς διῆλθες "how you walked through" (with the διά added because going through would be the sensible / expected thing to do in a desert). If the person rendering the story into Greek was considering how to relate the relative to the previous part of the verse, and he was thinking that the action was expressed nominally, it may be that he so rendered the indeclinable relative pronoun as neuter singular to relate to the action of coming in and eating. The other varient rendering in Mark and Luke may have either "corrected" the Greek to agree - in a way that is good Greek - with τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως, which is the last element of the sentence (closest to the relative) and most likely to be agreed with [the hand of a redactor] or when they were rendered into Greek, the conversion to a verb πῶς εἰσῆλθεν / [ὡς] εἰσῆλθεν was complete and then he moved on to the next element of the sentence [the work of a word-by-word or small-phrase-by-small-phrase translator]. Personally I favour the redactor sprucing up the Greek theory. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Hughes — January 6th, 2014, 8:47 pm
Mt 12:3-4
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τί ἐποίησεν Δαυὶδ ὅτε ἐπείνασεν καὶ οἱ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ, 4 πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγον, οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις;
How are we to understand the relative pronoun in verse 4? It would appear to be nom. sg. neuter and subject of οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν αὐτῷ φαγεῖν οὐδὲ τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ εἰ μὴ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν μόνοις -- but why the neuter singular? Could it be accusative of specification, as, for example, "with regard to which action it wasn't permissible for him to eat (it) nor for those ... " Or is there a Semitism involved here? For comparison's sake, the parallels in Mark and Luke have οὓς in this position, clearly referring back to the loaves as antecedent:
Mk 2:26 πῶς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἀβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως ἔφαγεν, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ τοὺς ἱερεῖς, καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τοῖς σὺν αὐτῷ οὖσιν;
 
Lk 6:4 [ὡς] εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως λαβὼν ἔφαγεν καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς;
This is one of those not so rare instances of a text whose meaning is perfectly clear but whose syntax is not so clear. Any suggestions? Statistics: Posted by cwconrad — January 6th, 2014, 5:52 pm