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Apposition in the Revelation

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  • Apposition in the Revelation

    Given that "[a]n appositional construction involves (1) two adjacent substantives (2) in the same case (3) which refer to the same person or thing, (4) and have the same syntactical relation to the rest of the clause" (source), what do you make of the following:
    Actual text: καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστός, ὁ πρωτότοκος τῶν νεκρῶν καὶ ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς.
    We would expect all of the appositives to be in the genitive, in agreement with Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
    Proposed anticipated text: καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦ μάρτυρος τοῦ πιστοῦ, τοῦ τῶν νεκρῶν πρωτοτόκου καὶ ἄρχοντος τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς.
    It's another example of the oddness of the Revelation's Greek expression.
    I have permission to post on the Biblical Languages forum, as per email correspondence with Diane S.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jameson View Post
    It's another example of the oddness of the Revelation's Greek expression.
    By "oddness," are you suggesting explainable syntactic/pedagogical dissonance, or merely implying poor Greek composition?
    I wiped my slate clean and followed only biblical data to see if Unitarianism was true. After 40 weeks, I knew it was impossible.
    After 5 years, only 3 were even capable of interacting with the English part of the exegeses, so I am mostly inactive.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jameson View Post
      Given that "[a]n appositional construction involves (1) two adjacent substantives (2) in the same case (3) which refer to the same person or thing, (4) and have the same syntactical relation to the rest of the clause" (source), what do you make of the following:
      Actual text: καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστός, ὁ πρωτότοκος τῶν νεκρῶν καὶ ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς.
      We would expect all of the appositives to be in the genitive, in agreement with Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
      Proposed anticipated text: καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦ μάρτυρος τοῦ πιστοῦ, τοῦ τῶν νεκρῶν πρωτοτόκου καὶ ἄρχοντος τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς.
      It's another example of the oddness of the Revelation's Greek expression.
      The above (red) reminds me so very much of my own Koine compositions . It's like I'm staring back at my own material.

      Jameson, it's not exactly correct that the apostle had in mind the grammar of appositives above, only the concept. You should imagine a dash after καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, like so:

      καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ -- ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστός, ὁ πρωτότοκος τῶν νεκρῶν καὶ ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς.
      Or else you can assume a relative pronoun and a verb as you read the sentence:

      καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστός, ὁ πρωτότοκος τῶν νεκρῶν καὶ ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς.
      Here is my reading of the first Chapter of Revelation for more context.

      Best Wishes to all,



      Comment


      • #4
        Following is a parable I composed. I have named it "The Old Man and His Two Sons." :

        ἀνὴρ πρεσβύτης εἶχεν δύο υἱοὺς. Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ σαββάτου, ἐβούλετο πειράσαι αὐτοὺς. καὶ συναγαγὼν αὐτοὺς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς “ὦ τέκνα μου, δεῦρο , καὶ ἀκούσατε τὸν λόγον μου. ἠγόρασα ὑμῖν δύο κιβωτοὺς γεμούσας χρυσίου. οἱ δὲ παῖδές μου ἔθηκαν μίαν ἐν τοῖς οἴκους ὑμῶν. ἀλλά πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ μὴ βλέπῃς ἔσωθεν τὴν κῑβωτόν .”

        ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ ὁ νεώτερος ἦλθεν τοῦ κοιμηθῆναι ἐν ὑπερῴῳ αὐτοῦ πεπιστευκὼς ἐν τῷ αἰτήματι τοῦ πατρός αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ πρεσβύτερος πειρασθείς ἠνέῳξέν τὴν κῑβωτόν. Καὶ ἰδοὺ μέλισσαι ἐξῆλθαν καὶ ἔπαισαν αὐτὸν.

        Τῇ ἐπαύριον ὁ πατήρ ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς δύο υἱοὺς αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ πρεσβύτερος μετὰ αἰσχύνης ἔστη πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ εἱλκωμένον ἦν
        Here is the translation:

        An old man had two sons. And it so happened that on one of the days of the Sabbath he resolved to test them. So having gathered them together, he said to them, "oh my children, come here, listen to what I have to say. I have purchased two chests full of gold for you. My servants have placed each one in your respective houses. But be careful to not look inside the box."

        That night the younger son went to sleep in his upper room, having believed in the command of his father. However the older son having been tempted , opened the box. And behold, bees came out ( from the box) and attacked him.

        The next day, the father summoned his two sons. And the elder stood before the father in shame because his face was covered in sores.

        Comment


        • #5
          I just looked at the King James Version, and it does assume the words "who is" (by putting them in italics) into the text in translation:


          And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
          Not a bad translation.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by John Milton View Post
            Following is a parable I composed. I have named it "The Old Man and His Two Sons." :
            Why did you bother to post this? It has nothing to do with the thread.

            As someone responded on Textkit when you posted this:

            "These are incredibly bad compositions, which have more elementary errors than I can count."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ACAinstructor View Post
              By "oddness," are you suggesting explainable syntactic/pedagogical dissonance, or merely implying poor Greek composition?
              I don't think Jason was being quite that precise. The point is that if you've read a fair amount of Greek and have a good sense of how the language works, this is definitely odd. It doesn't do what you would normally expect. It may be explainable as an anacoluthon or perhaps on theological grounds (making it parallel to John's conception of the divine name in Revelation), but it's still not normal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Barry Hofstetter View Post
                Why did you bother to post this? It has nothing to do with the thread.
                No new reason. The honeyed facade the lying poster puts on at Textkit also evinces it.
                I wiped my slate clean and followed only biblical data to see if Unitarianism was true. After 40 weeks, I knew it was impossible.
                After 5 years, only 3 were even capable of interacting with the English part of the exegeses, so I am mostly inactive.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Barry Hofstetter View Post

                  Why did you bother to post this? It has nothing to do with the thread.
                  It has, because it mirrors the Greek at Revelation to an appreciable degree.


                  As someone responded on Textkit when you posted this:
                  Precisely. That "someone" is highly biased (a Trinitarian who leaves behind reason when it comes to me and to anything which I say or write). The same situation holds true with many "scholars" when it comes to the book of Revelation. They accuse this book of having "atrocious grammar," they say "it is full of elementary errors," and so forth for various reasons.

                  Here is the opinion of someone much more intelligent and impartial concerning my parable, but which you failed to highlight (thus betraying your own rabid bias against me).

                  Markos:

                  Hi, Isaac,

                  I like your sentences. They are comprehensible and fun. I look forward to reading more...

                  ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν is certainly not wrong, and I can imagine a Semitic Koine author writing this, but I think the bare dative would work here. I'm not sure that you need the article....

                  Again, given the freedom of Semitic Koine Greek, I don't think this is exactly wrong, but I would expect the subjunctive. ..

                  For Koine Semitic Greek, ἦλθεν κοιμηθῆναι is not wrong (although obviously there are more elegant ways to say this, in say, Attic.) But I think that adding the article makes the purpose clause a little more clear: ἦλθεν τοῦ κοιμηθῆναι.

                  Writing Greek is hard. There are a million places where you can go wrong. Randal Buth once said that in order to learn a language you have to make 50,000 mistakes. (And I am sure that I have in turn made mistakes in "correcting" your Greek. [IMG]https://www.************/greek-latin-forum/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif[/IMG] )

                  But, again, your Greek is robust and creative and basically sound. I really like the way you have sought to emulate a Semitic Koine style. And you know your GNT very well.

                  As Isaac points out, this Semitism can take an infinitive, a finite verb, or καί plus a finite verb. I think it is cool that Isaac is actually trying to compose original product using this construction. He may be the first to do so. So, there is lots of room for experimentation here.

                  Yes. Very common in, for example Mark. "periphrastic imperfect" or something, is the metalanguage.
                  ------

                  As Markos astutely opines, Koine Semitic Greek allows for some Greek constructions which someone studied in Attic might find odd or even terrible. Apostle John's Koine in Revelation is penned with a Semetic flavor , -- it is robust and creative and basically sound, just like my Greek. That's the point.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Barry Hofstetter View Post

                    I don't think Jason was being quite that precise. The point is that if you've read a fair amount of Greek and have a good sense of how the language works, this is definitely odd. It doesn't do what you would normally expect. It may be explainable as an anacoluthon or perhaps on theological grounds (making it parallel to John's conception of the divine name in Revelation), but it's still not normal.
                    Apostle John was not trying to compete with the Greek poets for most beautifully composed Koine. He was trying to bring his points across to the saints, simply and clearly in the book of Revelation. Do you not agree that his Greek in Revelation is robust and basically sound ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John Milton View Post

                      It has, because it mirrors the Greek at Revelation to an appreciable degree.




                      Precisely. That "someone" is highly biased (a Trinitarian who leaves behind reason when it comes to me and to anything which I say or write). The same situation holds true with many "scholars" when it comes to the book of Revelation. They accuse this book of having "atrocious grammar," they say "it is full of elementary errors," and so forth for various reasons.

                      Here is the opinion of someone much more intelligent and impartial concerning my parable, but which you failed to highlight (thus betraying your own rabid bias against me).

                      Markos:



                      ------

                      As Markos astutely opines, Koine Semitic Greek allows for some Greek constructions which someone studied in Attic might find odd or even terrible. Apostle John's Koine in Revelation is penned with a Semetic flavor , -- it is robust and creative and basically sound, just like my Greek. That's the point.
                      Revelation is written in Greek odd even by the standards of Koine and the rest of the NT. σοῦ δὲ τὸν τοῦ τεθνήκοτος κῦνος νοῦν ἔχοντος τὰ πολλὰ οὐ ἐλπίζω. Translation: "You wouldn't know good Greek if it bit you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Barry Hofstetter View Post

                        Revelation is written in Greek odd even by the standards of Koine and the rest of the NT. σοῦ δὲ τὸν τοῦ τεθνήκοτος κῦνος νοῦν ἔχοντος τὰ πολλὰ οὐ ἐλπίζω. Translation: "You wouldn't know good Greek if it bit you."
                        Because not many scribes dared to tamper with it even at the level of simple grammar and syntax ( in lieu of the curses attached to it, upon those who would “add to” and/or “subtract from” it). I think it is the most original work of any apostle of any book in the bible. The Greek of the other NT books was smoothed over by scribes throughout the centuries, that is why we don’t see too many grammatical errors. But Revelation seems to have been left alone to an appreciable ( not completely) degree, and I for one love it all the more because of this.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by John Milton View Post

                          Because not many scribes dared to tamper with it even at the level of simple grammar and syntax ( in lieu of the curses attached to it, upon those who would “add to” and/or “subtract from” it). I think it is the most original work of any apostle of any book in the bible. The Greek of the other NT books was smoothed over by scribes throughout the centuries, that is why we don’t see too many grammatical errors. But Revelation seems to have been left alone to an appreciable ( not completely) degree, and I for one love it all the more because of this.
                          I enjoyed this post. Thanks, JM.

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