What Smyth Actually Wrote

Gryllus Maior

Active member
There is a great deal of confusion in these threads advanced by those with little or no knowledge of Greek in general, and also a surprising ability to "interpretret creatively" what secondary sources (grammars and so forth) actually say. What did Smyth actually say about the anarthrous predicate nominative?

1150. A predicate noun has no article, and is thus distinguished from the subject: καλεῖται ἡ ἀκρόπολις ἔτι ὑπʼ Ἀθηναίων πόλις the acropolis is still called ‘city’ by the Athenians T. 2. 15.

Organizationally, Smyth will normally state a general principle, and then list variations and exceptions. Above is the general principle, which covers a great many passages throughout ancient Greek literature. The example could also easily be rendered "The acropolis is still called 'the city' by the Athenians." He then goes on:


1151. Predicate comparatives and superlatives, possessive pronouns, and ordinals have no article: ᾤμην τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ γυναῖκα πᾱσῶν σωφρονεστάτην εἶναι I thought that my wife was (the) most virtuous of all L. 1. 10, Χαιρεφῶν ἐμὸς ἑταῖρος ἦν Chaerephon was a friend of mine P. A. 21 a. Cp. 1125 d.

Most people will find this uncontroversial. Smyth then goes on to show exceptions:

1152. Even in the predicate the article is used with a noun referring to a definite object (an individual or a class) that is well known, previously mentioned or hinted at, or identical with the subject: οἱ δʼ ἄλλοι ἐπιχειροῦσι βάλλειν τὸν Δέξιππον ἀνακαλοῦντες τὸν προδότην the rest try to strike Dexippus calling him ‘the traitor’ X. A. 6. 6. 7, οὗτοι ἦσαν οἱ φεύγοντες τὸν ἔλεγχον these men were those who (as I have said) avoided the inquiry Ant. 6.27. οἱ τιθέμενοι τοὺς νόμους οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ἄνθρωποί εἰσι καὶ οἱ πολλοί the enactors of the laws are the weak men and the multitude P. G. 483 b, ὑπώπτευε δὲ εἶναι τὸν διαβάλλοντα Μένωνα he suspected that it was Menon who traduced him X. A. 2. 5. 28 (here subject and predicate could change places). So also with ὁ αὐτός the same (1209 a), θᾱ̓́τερον one of two (69), τοὐναντίον the opposite.

It's important to note that these are very specific contexts which do not negate the general principle stated in 1150 above.

The heading for this section in Smyth is "the article and a predicate noun." Note that Smyth does not distinguish between "equative" verbs and other types of intransitive verbs, and his examples include both. The fact that the noun is predicate is good enough for it to be included under these rules.
 
There is a great deal of confusion in these threads advanced by those with little or no knowledge of Greek in general, and also a surprising ability to "interpretret creatively" what secondary sources (grammars and so forth) actually say. What did Smyth actually say about the anarthrous predicate nominative?

1150. A predicate noun has no article, and is thus distinguished from the subject: καλεῖται ἡ ἀκρόπολις ἔτι ὑπʼ Ἀθηναίων πόλις the acropolis is still called ‘city’ by the Athenians T. 2. 15.

Organizationally, Smyth will normally state a general principle, and then list variations and exceptions. Above is the general principle, which covers a great many passages throughout ancient Greek literature. The example could also easily be rendered "The acropolis is still called 'the city' by the Athenians." He then goes on:


1151. Predicate comparatives and superlatives, possessive pronouns, and ordinals have no article: ᾤμην τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ γυναῖκα πᾱσῶν σωφρονεστάτην εἶναι I thought that my wife was (the) most virtuous of all L. 1. 10, Χαιρεφῶν ἐμὸς ἑταῖρος ἦν Chaerephon was a friend of mine P. A. 21 a. Cp. 1125 d.

Most people will find this uncontroversial. Smyth then goes on to show exceptions:

1152. Even in the predicate the article is used with a noun referring to a definite object (an individual or a class) that is well known, previously mentioned or hinted at, or identical with the subject: οἱ δʼ ἄλλοι ἐπιχειροῦσι βάλλειν τὸν Δέξιππον ἀνακαλοῦντες τὸν προδότην the rest try to strike Dexippus calling him ‘the traitor’ X. A. 6. 6. 7, οὗτοι ἦσαν οἱ φεύγοντες τὸν ἔλεγχον these men were those who (as I have said) avoided the inquiry Ant. 6.27. οἱ τιθέμενοι τοὺς νόμους οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ἄνθρωποί εἰσι καὶ οἱ πολλοί the enactors of the laws are the weak men and the multitude P. G. 483 b, ὑπώπτευε δὲ εἶναι τὸν διαβάλλοντα Μένωνα he suspected that it was Menon who traduced him X. A. 2. 5. 28 (here subject and predicate could change places). So also with ὁ αὐτός the same (1209 a), θᾱ̓́τερον one of two (69), τοὐναντίον the opposite.

It's important to note that these are very specific contexts which do not negate the general principle stated in 1150 above.

The heading for this section in Smyth is "the article and a predicate noun." Note that Smyth does not distinguish between "equative" verbs and other types of intransitive verbs, and his examples include both. The fact that the noun is predicate is good enough for it to be included under these rules.

Thank you for finally providing the full citation! That Smyth does not agree with your nonsense is immediately proved at 1152. No wonder you never furnished this section before. This is the first time I'm seeing it:

Even in the predicate the article is used with a noun referring to a definite object (an individual or a class) that is well known, previously mentioned or hinted at, or identical with the subject....

What he is rather saying (and it echoes Wallace's position very well) here is that the article is an explicit sign of definitiveness. Note what Wallace says GGBB p. 119 bold below :

Further, calling θεος in 1:1c definite is the same as saying that if it had followed the verb, it would have had the article. Thus it would be a convertible proposition with λόγος v (i.e., “the Word” = “God” and “God” = “the Word”). The problem with this argument is that the θεος in 1:1b is the Father. Thus to say that the θεος in 1:1c is the same person is to say that “the Word was the Father.” This, as the older grammarians and exegetes pointed out, is embryonic Sabellianism or modalism.

Same thing, different words.

Notice that only in this section (1152) do we have examples of S-PNs with equative verbs. At 1150 Smyth gives one example not with an equative verb. Additionally, and this is important, he does not say at 1150 that "the reason the article is missing from the predicate nominative is to distinguish it from the subject." This is Gryllus's distortion. Here is what Smyth actually said :

A predicate noun has no article, and is thus distinguished from the subject

He makes the unconditional assertion that a predicate noun has no article. And then goes on to say, rightly, that this thus distinguishes it from the subject. That he is not talking about predicate nominatives with an equative verb when he says this is proved by the example he gives at 1150, and also by section 1152 where he indeed gives examples of articular predicative nominatives in S-PN constructions with equative verbs.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
There is a great deal of confusion in these threads advanced by those with little or no knowledge of Greek in general, and also a surprising ability to "interpretret creatively" what secondary sources (grammars and so forth) actually say. What did Smyth actually say about the anarthrous predicate nominative?

1150. A predicate noun has no article, and is thus distinguished from the subject: καλεῖται ἡ ἀκρόπολις ἔτι ὑπʼ Ἀθηναίων πόλις the acropolis is still called ‘city’ by the Athenians T. 2. 15.

Organizationally, Smyth will normally state a general principle, and then list variations and exceptions. Above is the general principle, which covers a great many passages throughout ancient Greek literature. The example could also easily be rendered "The acropolis is still called 'the city' by the Athenians." He then goes on:


1151. Predicate comparatives and superlatives, possessive pronouns, and ordinals have no article: ᾤμην τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ γυναῖκα πᾱσῶν σωφρονεστάτην εἶναι I thought that my wife was (the) most virtuous of all L. 1. 10, Χαιρεφῶν ἐμὸς ἑταῖρος ἦν Chaerephon was a friend of mine P. A. 21 a. Cp. 1125 d.

Most people will find this uncontroversial. Smyth then goes on to show exceptions:

1152. Even in the predicate the article is used with a noun referring to a definite object (an individual or a class) that is well known, previously mentioned or hinted at, or identical with the subject: οἱ δʼ ἄλλοι ἐπιχειροῦσι βάλλειν τὸν Δέξιππον ἀνακαλοῦντες τὸν προδότην the rest try to strike Dexippus calling him ‘the traitor’ X. A. 6. 6. 7, οὗτοι ἦσαν οἱ φεύγοντες τὸν ἔλεγχον these men were those who (as I have said) avoided the inquiry Ant. 6.27. οἱ τιθέμενοι τοὺς νόμους οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ἄνθρωποί εἰσι καὶ οἱ πολλοί the enactors of the laws are the weak men and the multitude P. G. 483 b, ὑπώπτευε δὲ εἶναι τὸν διαβάλλοντα Μένωνα he suspected that it was Menon who traduced him X. A. 2. 5. 28 (here subject and predicate could change places). So also with ὁ αὐτός the same (1209 a), θᾱ̓́τερον one of two (69), τοὐναντίον the opposite.

It's important to note that these are very specific contexts which do not negate the general principle stated in 1150 above.

The heading for this section in Smyth is "the article and a predicate noun." Note that Smyth does not distinguish between "equative" verbs and other types of intransitive verbs, and his examples include both. The fact that the noun is predicate is good enough for it to be included under these rules.

@Gryllus Maior

I am at a loss to interpret this from Smyth "creatively." Can you help?

Smyth 1129. Words denoting persons, when they are used of a class, may omit the article. So ἄνθρωπος, στρατηγός, θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god). Thus, πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν man is the measure of all things P. Th. 178b.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
@Gryllus Maior

I am at a loss to interpret this from Smyth "creatively." Can you help?

Smyth 1129. Words denoting persons, when they are used of a class, may omit the article. So ἄνθρωπος, στρατηγός, θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god). Thus, πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν man is the measure of all things P. Th. 178b.
You may be at a loss, but RJM certainly can do it. He actually thinks that Smyth supports him. You cite from a longer section entitled:

fluctuation in the use of the article: omission of the article

1126.
The article is often omitted (1) in words and phrases which have survived from the period when ὁ, ἡ, τό was a demonstrative pronoun; (2) when a word is sufficiently definite by itself (3) when a word expresses a general conception without regard to its application to a definite person. The generic article is frequently omitted, especially with abstracts (1132), without appreciable difference in meaning. Its presence or absence is often determined by time need of distinguishing subject from predicate (1150), by the rhythm of the sentence, etc.

1127. The article is omitted in many adverbial designations of time, mostly with prepositions (except ἡμέρᾱς by day, νυκτός by night).

Thus, περὶ μέσᾱς νύκτας about midnight, ἅμα ἕῳ just before daylight, ὥρᾳ ἕτους at the season of the year. So with ὄρθρος daybreak, δείλη afternoon, ἑσπέρᾱ evening, ἔαρ spring; and ἐκ παίδων from childhood. Most of the above cases are survivals of the older period when the article had a demonstrative force.

1128. The article is very often omitted in phrases containing a preposition ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ λόγου in the beginning of the speech D. 37. 23, ἔξω βελῶν out of reach of the missiles X. A. 3. 4. 15, Ἠιόνα τὴν ἐπὶ Στρῡμόνι Eion on the Strymon T. 1.98.

1129. Words denoting persons, when they are used of a class, may omit the article. So ἄνθρωπος, στρατηγός, θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god). Thus, πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν man is the measure of all things P. Th. 178 b.


Smyth, H. W. (1920). A Greek Grammar for Colleges (pp. 288–289). New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company.

Now, what is your point? BTW, it does not seem that the CGG has a section discussing this, which is a loss.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
Thank you for finally providing the full citation! That Smyth does not agree with your nonsense is immediately proved at 1152. No wonder you never furnished this section before. This is the first time I'm seeing it:



What he is rather saying (and it echoes Wallace's position very well) here is that the article is an explicit sign of definitiveness. Note what Wallace says GGBB p. 119 bold below :



Same thing, different words.

Notice that only in this section (1152) do we have examples of S-PNs with equative verbs. At 1150 Smyth gives one example not with an equative verb. Additionally, and this is important, he does not say at 1150 that "the reason the article is missing from the predicate nominative is to distinguish it from the subject." This is Gryllus's distortion. Here is what Smyth actually said :



He makes the unconditional assertion that a predicate noun has no article. And then goes on to say, rightly, that this thus distinguishes it from the subject. That he is not talking about predicate nominatives with an equative verb when he says this is proved by the example he gives at 1150, and also by section 1152 where he indeed gives examples of articular predicative nominatives in S-PN constructions with equative verbs.
All you've done is proven that you can't read Smyth correctly. But there it is -- hopefully others will find it helpful.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
You may be at a loss, but RJM certainly can do it. He actually thinks that Smyth supports him. You cite from a longer section entitled:

fluctuation in the use of the article: omission of the article

1126.
The article is often omitted (1) in words and phrases which have survived from the period when ὁ, ἡ, τό was a demonstrative pronoun; (2) when a word is sufficiently definite by itself (3) when a word expresses a general conception without regard to its application to a definite person. The generic article is frequently omitted, especially with abstracts (1132), without appreciable difference in meaning. Its presence or absence is often determined by time need of distinguishing subject from predicate (1150), by the rhythm of the sentence, etc.

1127. The article is omitted in many adverbial designations of time, mostly with prepositions (except ἡμέρᾱς by day, νυκτός by night).

Thus, περὶ μέσᾱς νύκτας about midnight, ἅμα ἕῳ just before daylight, ὥρᾳ ἕτους at the season of the year. So with ὄρθρος daybreak, δείλη afternoon, ἑσπέρᾱ evening, ἔαρ spring; and ἐκ παίδων from childhood. Most of the above cases are survivals of the older period when the article had a demonstrative force.

1128. The article is very often omitted in phrases containing a preposition ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ λόγου in the beginning of the speech D. 37. 23, ἔξω βελῶν out of reach of the missiles X. A. 3. 4. 15, Ἠιόνα τὴν ἐπὶ Στρῡμόνι Eion on the Strymon T. 1.98.

1129. Words denoting persons, when they are used of a class, may omit the article. So ἄνθρωπος, στρατηγός, θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god). Thus, πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν man is the measure of all things P. Th. 178 b.


Smyth, H. W. (1920). A Greek Grammar for Colleges (pp. 288–289). New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company.

Now, what is your point? BTW, it does not seem that the CGG has a section discussing this, which is a loss.


Let’s see. I think you may be more creative than I am if you apply this to John 1:1:


1126. The article is often omitted


(1) in words and phrases which have survived from the period when ὁ, ἡ, τό was a demonstrative pronoun;

[Are these identified anywhere? Regardless the example of θεός for 1129 eliminates it from this entry (θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god)


(2) when a word is sufficiently definite by itself

[This is pretty general and hardly overturns 1129.]


(3) when a word expresses a general conception without regard to its application to a definite person.

[This looks to me to be a possibility, and yet it is applied to ο λόγος so it would need some nuancing.]


The generic article is frequently omitted, especially with abstracts (1132),

[Wouldn't this be the same as qualitative?]

without appreciable difference in meaning. Its presence or absence is often determined by time (sic) the need of distinguishing subject from predicate (1150)

[This is interesting in that it waters down the statement with “often” and “need.” It’s not needed at John 1:1c because και in the clause structure and the subject being set in 1:1ab makes it the same by default at 1:1c]

, by the rhythm of the sentence, etc.

[Now that would be creative!]
 
All you've done is proven that you can't read Smyth correctly. But there it is -- hopefully others will find it helpful.

Is that why you did not interact at all with my last post ?

You have Smyth apparently saying that the predicate nominative does not have the article because the conscious removal of it by the writer serves to distinguish it from the subject in a S-PN construction, as if Greek is a code to be written and then broken by the reader. Yet at 1152 he clearly provides examples with articular predicate nominatives in a S-PN construction, in contradiction to your claim. See here:

οὗτοι (Subject) ἦσαν (equative verb) οἱ φεύγοντες τὸν ἔλεγχον (ARTICULAR Predicate Nominative)

etc..

So either you cannot read Greek properly, or you are trying to deceive the gullible . Neither of which bodes well for you .
 
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Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
You may be at a loss, but RJM certainly can do it. He actually thinks that Smyth supports him. You cite from a longer section entitled:

fluctuation in the use of the article: omission of the article

1126.
The article is often omitted (1) in words and phrases which have survived from the period when ὁ, ἡ, τό was a demonstrative pronoun; (2) when a word is sufficiently definite by itself (3) when a word expresses a general conception without regard to its application to a definite person. The generic article is frequently omitted, especially with abstracts (1132), without appreciable difference in meaning. Its presence or absence is often determined by time need of distinguishing subject from predicate (1150), by the rhythm of the sentence, etc.

1127. The article is omitted in many adverbial designations of time, mostly with prepositions (except ἡμέρᾱς by day, νυκτός by night).

Thus, περὶ μέσᾱς νύκτας about midnight, ἅμα ἕῳ just before daylight, ὥρᾳ ἕτους at the season of the year. So with ὄρθρος daybreak, δείλη afternoon, ἑσπέρᾱ evening, ἔαρ spring; and ἐκ παίδων from childhood. Most of the above cases are survivals of the older period when the article had a demonstrative force.

1128. The article is very often omitted in phrases containing a preposition ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ λόγου in the beginning of the speech D. 37. 23, ἔξω βελῶν out of reach of the missiles X. A. 3. 4. 15, Ἠιόνα τὴν ἐπὶ Στρῡμόνι Eion on the Strymon T. 1.98.

1129. Words denoting persons, when they are used of a class, may omit the article. So ἄνθρωπος, στρατηγός, θεός divinity, god (ὁ θεός the particular god). Thus, πάντων μέτρον ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν man is the measure of all things P. Th. 178 b.


Smyth, H. W. (1920). A Greek Grammar for Colleges (pp. 288–289). New York; Cincinnati; Chicago; Boston; Atlanta: American Book Company.

Now, what is your point? BTW, it does not seem that the CGG has a section discussing this, which is a loss.

It's not entirely missing from CGG

28.2 The lack of an article in prose is normally significant, but in poetry the article is omitted much more freely: (3) χολωθεὶς τέκτονας Δίου πυρὸς

Why is the lack of the article significant to you at J 1:1c?
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
It's not entirely missing from CGG

28.2 The lack of an article in prose is normally significant, but in poetry the article is omitted much more freely: (3) χολωθεὶς τέκτονας Δίου πυρὸς

Why is the lack of the article significant to you at J 1:1c?
If it weren't for all the theological capital everyone tries to make out of the text, it wouldn't be significant at all. I can read and understand the text, and that's ultimately sufficient for me.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
If it weren't for all the theological capital everyone tries to make out of the text, it wouldn't be significant at all. I can read and understand the text, and that's ultimately sufficient for me.

According to CGG it is significant for understanding the text. Perhaps you are not using the word "significant" with the same object that they they are.
 
If it weren't for all the theological capital everyone tries to make out of the text, it wouldn't be significant at all.

The lack of an article in John 1:1c is significant, that you cannot grasp this (even after the Smyth citation from Roger) is troubling.

I can read and understand the text, and that's ultimately sufficient for me.

Don't say that. One of the reasons you cannot understand this text is precisely because you don't see any significance in the apostle's deliberate use of the anarthrous θεός at clause c versus his arthrous use of it at clause b. It is also partly the reason why you deny that τὸν θεόν in John 1:1b is the Father.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
The lack of an article in John 1:1c is significant, that you cannot grasp this (even after the Smyth citation from Roger) is troubling.



Don't say that. One of the reasons you cannot understand this text is precisely because you don't see any significance in the apostle's deliberate use of the anarthrous θεός at clause c versus his arthrous use of it at clause b. It is also partly the reason why you deny that τὸν θεόν in John 1:1b is the Father.
Tell yourself what you like, whatever makes you feel better. Anybody with any sense knows better.
 
Tell yourself what you like, whatever makes you feel better. Anybody with any sense knows better.

Anybody with any sense infact knows better than to deny that τὸν θεόν in John 1:1b is the Father. At least take it from 1 John 1:2 if not from me: ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα

Anyhow, your denial reminds me of Isaiah 5:20

Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν
 
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