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The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

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The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:16 pm

Luke 2:1-21 wrote:Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις, ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου, ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. 2 Αὕτη ἡ ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου. 3 Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν. 4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρέτ, εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν, εἰς πόλιν Δαυίδ, ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἴναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ, 5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ μεμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ γυναικί, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ. 6 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἴναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ, ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν. 7 Καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι.
8 Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν. 9 Καὶ ἰδού, ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς, καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς· καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν. 10 Καὶ εἴπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος, Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ γάρ, εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ· 11 ὅτι ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σήμερον σωτήρ, ὅς ἐστιν χριστὸς κύριος, ἐν πόλει Δαυίδ. 12 Καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον· εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον, κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ. 13 Καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου, αἰνούντων τὸν θεόν, καὶ λεγόντων, 14 Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη· ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία.
15 Καὶ ἐγένετο, ὡς ἀπῆλθον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οἱ ἄγγελοι, καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ ποιμένες εἴπον πρὸς ἀλλήλους, Διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως Βηθλέεμ, καὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονός, ὃ ὁ κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν. 16 Καὶ ἦλθον σπεύσαντες, καὶ ἀνεῦρον τήν τε Μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν Ἰωσήφ, καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ. 17 Ἰδόντες δὲ διεγνώρισαν περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τοῦ λαληθέντος αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου τούτου. 18 Καὶ πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν περὶ τῶν λαληθέντων ὑπὸ τῶν ποιμένων πρὸς αὐτούς. 19 Ἡ δὲ Μαριὰμ πάντα συνετήρει τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα, συμβάλλουσα ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς. 20 Καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες, δοξάζοντες καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν θεὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν καὶ εἴδον, καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς.
21 Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ τοῦ περιτεμεῖν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς, τὸ κληθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀγγέλου πρὸ τοῦ συλληφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ.


As I am an advocate of the Byzantine textual tradition, I have posted this from the 2005 RP Edition of the Greek N.T. (which is copyright free, by the way) However, if you are of other textual persuasions, feel free to bring up any interesting variants.

****EDIT*****
You can see a video of me reading the passage here: http://youtu.be/kPxv0MlbwVY
Last edited by uberdwayne on Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:32 pm

Luke 2:1 wrote:Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις,

I think I've heard from a few sources about the apparent Semitic nature of the phrase Ἐγένετο δὲ, often translated "and it came to pass." But perhaps this is too perfective for the use of the aorist, perhaps a plain old "It happened" would better bring out the aoristic nature the verb; the implication that we are looking back on something in a sort of summary fashion, Any Thoughts?

ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις - The "far" distinction of "ἐκείναις" I think is very evident here... From the perspective of the writer, he is looking back to the relatively distant past, and being plural, as something that happened over a greater period of time than could be deduced from the physical length of these 21 verses.

Luke 2:1 wrote:δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου

Would there be a shift in nuance if Luke had written "δόγμα ἐκ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου", or "δόγμα Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου" (no preposition)?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:22 pm

uberdwayne wrote:
Luke 2:1 wrote:δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου

Would there be a shift in nuance if Luke had written "δόγμα ἐκ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου", or "δόγμα Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου" (no preposition)?

I think παρὰ is more vague than the others. Perhaps the idea is that it wasn't necessarily Augustus in person that brought this δόγμα about; it was sanctioned by him, but his officials had the original idea and they took care of the details. Or something like that. Also, the narrator wasn't probably born at that time; he certainly didn't witness this personnally, so that could be a further reason for being vague.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:06 am

uberdwayne wrote:
Luke 2:1 wrote:Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις,

I think I've heard from a few sources about the apparent Semitic nature of the phrase Ἐγένετο δὲ, often translated "and it came to pass." But perhaps this is too perfective for the use of the aorist, perhaps a plain old "It happened" would better bring out the aoristic nature the verb; the implication that we are looking back on something in a sort of summary fashion, Any Thoughts?


It is found in Luke
Luke 2:1 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην.

Luke 6:12 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι, καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ.

Acts 9:37 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἀσθενήσασαν αὐτὴν ἀποθανεῖν· λούσαντες δὲ ἔθηκαν [αὐτὴν] ἐν ὑπερῴῳ.

And Exodus LXX

Ex. 2:11 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταῖς πολλαῖς ἐκείναις μέγας γενόμενος Μωυσῆς ἐξῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ. κατανοήσας δὲ τὸν πόνον αὐτῶν ὁρᾷ ἄνθρωπον Αἰγύπτιον τύπτοντά τινα Εβραῖον τῶν ἑαυτοῦ ἀδελφῶν τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ·

where it translates Ex. 2:11 ויהי בימים
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:07 am

ἐκ is "out of" -- it would conjure up a strange image, I think--the decree would somehow be coming physically out of Augustus. Which orifice?

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3De)k

παρὰ + genitive is regularly used to mean "from" a person, isn't it?

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dpara%2F
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:00 am

Qimmik wrote:ἐκ is "out of" -- it would conjure up a strange image, I think--the decree would somehow be coming physically out of Augustus. Which orifice?

I lol'ed when I first read this, but if I wanted to be cynical I could say from the same orifice that many politicians today seem to get a lot of their policies (I speak as a Canadian)...

But I digress...

However BDAG has a definition which is in fact disctinct from ek, "Marker of the point fr. which an action originates." with ek however, it doesn't have to be an action, but is more likely a thing. Its good to break open that expensive collection of words now and then!
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:47 am

uberdwayne wrote: BDAG has a definition which is in fact disctinct from ek, "Marker of the point fr. which an action originates."


I suspect the late F. Danker adopted this terminology from some linguists like J. P. Louw & E.A. Nida. I don't remember any of that kind of language in the 2nd Ed BAGD but my memory isn't perfect which is why I haven't dumped the 2nd still have it on hand.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:25 am

παρα is not anything to get hung up on. It's the ordinary and correct word to use of an instruction received "from" someone. It's everywhere in the documentary papyri, used for all sorts of communications, official and private. Nothing "vague" about it. It was an imperial decree (if one can yet speak of Augustus as emperor), so it issued "from" him.

The εγενετο is much more interesting, kicking off the narrative with a marked semiticism reminiscent of the far less literary style of Mark's gospel and of the Septuagint's Greek Exodus quoted by C.S.Bartholemew, which it is presumably meant to evoke. It contrasts starkly with the high literary tone that Luke set in the dedicatory proemium (1.1-4) — which itself was directly followed by εγενετο εν ταις ημεραις, as again here. When he chooses, Luke is capable of writing the kind of Greek that would not disgrace any cultured Greek-educated writer, and he displays that at the very outset (a model literary dedication). Here he shifts into a very different stylistic mode, which his Greek teachers (along with his dedicatee Theophilus, one imagines) would have found shocking if not disgusting.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:59 am

mwh wrote:
The εγενετο is much more interesting, kicking off the narrative with a marked semiticism reminiscent of the far less literary style of Mark's gospel ... Here he shifts into a very different stylistic mode, which his Greek teachers (along with his dedicatee Theophilus, one imagines) would have found shocking if not disgusting.


Just finished reading Fitzmyer's discussion of semitisms in Acts. He makes a distinction between LXX language and semitisms. Using language of the Septuagint would be like adopting King James Version idioms in the south (USA) at least up until the mid 20th century. The language register is "biblical" the source is LXX translation greek. The language is to be expected from a member of a community who used the LXX as their bible. The syntax is an expanded formula of the much more common[1] ἐγένετο δὲ which is how the LXX renders a clause initial ויהי. This a narrative marker.

[1] Luke 1:8, Luke 2:1, Luke 2:6, Luke 3:21, Luke 5:1, Luke 6:1, Luke 6:6, Luke 6:12, Luke 8:22, Luke 9:28, Luke 9:37, Luke 9:51, Luke 11:14, Luke 11:27, Luke 16:22, Luke 18:35, Luke 22:24, Acts 4:5, Acts 5:7, Acts 8:1, Acts 8:8, Acts 9:19, Acts 9:32, Acts 9:37, Acts 9:43, Acts 10:10, Acts 11:26, Acts 14:1, Acts 15:39, Acts 16:16, Acts 19:1, Acts 19:23, Acts 22:6, Acts 22:17, Acts 23:9, Acts 28:8, Acts 28:17,
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:58 pm

When he chooses, Luke is capable of writing the kind of Greek that would not disgrace any cultured Greek-educated writer, and he displays that at the very outset (a model literary dedication). Here he shifts into a very different stylistic mode, which his Greek teachers (along with his dedicatee Theophilus, one imagines) would have found shocking if not disgusting.


I just read over the preface. Is it possible that the preface was written by someone other than the author of the narrative that follows, or at least that the narrative was pulled together from someone else's work? After all, the preface seems to disavow autopsy. I'm sure lots of scholars must have constructed elaborate theories about this--a stylistic difference of this sort is an irresistible temptation to speculation--but I'm not at all familiar with this area.

And what's BADG?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:24 pm

Qimmik wrote:
When he chooses, Luke is capable of writing the kind of Greek that would not disgrace any cultured Greek-educated writer, and he displays that at the very outset (a model literary dedication). Here he shifts into a very different stylistic mode, which his Greek teachers (along with his dedicatee Theophilus, one imagines) would have found shocking if not disgusting.


I just read over the preface. Is it possible that the preface was written by someone other than the author of the narrative that follows, or at least that the narrative was pulled together from someone else's work? After all, the preface seems to disavow autopsy. I'm sure lots of scholars must have constructed elaborate theories about this--a stylistic difference of this sort is an irresistible temptation to speculation--but I'm not at all familiar with this area.

And what's BADG?


Theories about sources in the gospels are endless. There are several major frameworks for the so called "synoptic problem." Within each framework there is endless diversity. Stylistic difference is a fact which a text linguist might explain as a change of register, genre, … doesn't require multiple authorship. Fitzmyer (Luke, Acts Anchor Bible) claims that Luke put his literary stamp on everything he borrowed from sources. Nobody argues that he didn't have sources. Acts is a different problem from the gospel. But there are as many seams in the fabric in Acts as there are in Luke.

Bauer/Danker/Arndt/Gingrich: BDAG (standard English lexicon NT Greek, 3rd ed.) BAGD 2nd ed, BAG 1st ed. BADG dyslexia for BAGD. Replaces Grimm-Thayer which by the way is not such a bad lexicon, just prior to papyri which has very little practical effect on the definitions. Louw-Nida is a different concept, and after 25 years is now showing it's age. Someone somewhere is working an update or new lexicon . Something like SEMANTIC DICTIONARY OF BIBLICAL HEBREW, Reinier de Blois. http://www.sdbh.org/vocabula/index.html
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:38 pm

Bartholomew wrote:I don't remember any of that kind of language in the 2nd Ed BAGD

Your memory serves you right! This is a definition from the 3rd edition.

Perhaps the semetism is picked up from the "general lingo" in the religous groups of the day.... It would be akin to the way Christians speak today, its very easy to pick out a christian by the type of vocabulary they use (encouraged, struggle, faithful... etc.)

This semetism does beg one questions: Should we take the tense from the greek word itself or does the general meaning come from the original source?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:04 pm

uberdwayne wrote:"]Should we take the tense from the greek word itself or does the general meaning come from the original source?


Are you asking about time? in expression:

Luke 2:1 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις,

Well I don't seen any problem here until you try and translate it. Carl Conrad has pointed out many times that most of our fussing about the semantics of Greek verbs and noun cases boils down to how are we going to translate it into English. If you just read it in Greek and forget about how you would put it in english then Ἐγένετο δὲ is not going to cause you any grief. It is a fixed formula for introducing a new development in the narrative. It is perfective but that terminology opens up what Markos would call a "can of worms" and it is better to just read the story than get bogged down in all kinds of theoretical issues.

BTW, καὶ ἐγένετο is another common LXX rendering of ויהי. The apocalypse of John always uses καὶ ἐγένετο. However, I would not venture to say that καὶ ἐγένετο in the apocalypse is equivlent to Ἐγένετο δὲ in Luke 2:1.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:23 pm

A few very small quickies after looking through above posts.

Qimmik's otherwise appealing idea runs up against the beginning of Acts (Luke "Part 2"), as the NT guys here will know perfectly well but it should be pointed out.

Agree with CSB (much more expert than me, a complete outsider) on egeneto. It's Septuagint Greek, as read in Greek-speaking synagogues (which is not to say it's not a semiticism, it is, only at a remove). Very unGreek Greek, and here scarcely functioning as a verb at all, followed as it is by exhlqen.

And I second CSB's latest re translation. Isn't this why we read Greek, to liberate ourselves from translation and translations?

Case in point: σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ μεμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ γυναικί, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ. Without μεμνηστευμένῃ she wouldn't necessarily be his wife (though it would most naturally be read so). Translation is difficult if not impossible. Now that I look at it, isn't it rather an odd phrase to use anyway?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:06 am

Luke 2:2-3 wrote: 2 Αὕτη ἡ ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου. 3 Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν.


My understanding of verse 2 is that, again, Luke is stating that the census is from the one "governing/ruling" over Syria, but what I don't understand is why Κυρηνίου is in the is at the end of the sentance, or even in the genetive case... Is it that Κυρηνίου is the reference for the participle, making him the ruler? I'm at a loss on this verse. What are your thoughs?

ἐπορεύοντο - Imperfect verb, any thoughts on why? Perhaps it was purposely set in the imperfect to sort of set the scene as to what was happening at the time. There arn't many imperfects in this passage, and as a narrative, lends itself mostly to the aorists which it includes.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:52 am

Genitive absolute, "while Kyrenios was governor of Syria." [Κυρηνιος a Greek rendering of Quirinius, Greek having no letter Q!] ηγενονευω takes genitive (της Συριας), means to be the ηγεμων, the Roman governor. Κυρηναιου doesn't have to come at the end but there's no reason it shouldn't, the effect perhaps more like "at the time when the governor of Syria was Quirinius." It's a common type of dating formula, giving a chronological fix.

Big chronological/historical problems here.

Tense of επορευοντο: not "everyone made the journey" as a simple event (aorist) but "everyone set about making the journey" (imperfect).
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:13 am

mwh wrote:Big chronological/historical problems here.

This is the first I've heard of this one! A quick google search shows the extant of the controversy, lets discuss... I have no knowledge of this, so I would be learning more than adding input.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:05 am

The preface to Luke does seem to be written in a sophisticated register. I read the preface this morning after reading mwh's post. Then I turned to what I'm currently engaged in reading, On the Crown, and stumbled across the exact same word:

Luke: παρηκολουθηκότι

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0155%3Abook%3DLuke%3Achapter%3D1%3Averse%3D3

Demosthenes: παρηκολουθηκότα

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0071%3Aspeech%3D18%3Asection%3D172

By the way, what kind of name is Loukas? It doesn't seem either Greek or Hebrew (not that I know much Hebrew). Aramaic?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:36 am

mwh wrote:Tense of επορευοντο: not "everyone made the journey" as a simple event (aorist) but "everyone set about making the journey" (imperfect).

I agree and this is interesting, because to me this seems similar to the Homeric usage we discussed in the another lengthy Homeric Greek thread. (E.g. Od 2.2. ὤρνυτ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐξ εὐνῆφιν Ὀδυσσῆος φίλος υἱὸς
). Looks like the Greek aspectual system remained pretty unchanged throughout antiquity.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby jaihare » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:12 pm

uberdwayne wrote:
Luke 2:1 wrote:Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις,

I think I've heard from a few sources about the apparent Semitic nature of the phrase Ἐγένετο δὲ, often translated "and it came to pass."


It could represent the phrase ויהי בימים ההמה vayehi ba-yamim ha-hema ("it came about in those days"). Very neat correspondence, actually.

uberdwayne wrote:But perhaps this is too perfective for the use of the aorist, perhaps a plain old "It happened" would better bring out the aoristic nature the verb; the implication that we are looking back on something in a sort of summary fashion, Any Thoughts?


Why not "in those days, it happened that..."? Sounds good to me. Let's try to avoid the sound of "and it came to pass in those days that..." in the style of the Book of Mormon. We have ample proof that this phrase can be overdone. ;)

uberdwayne wrote:ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις - The "far" distinction of "ἐκείναις" I think is very evident here... From the perspective of the writer, he is looking back to the relatively distant past, and being plural, as something that happened over a greater period of time than could be deduced from the physical length of these 21 verses.


I wouldn't put too much into the use of ἐκεῖναι here, since it would be used just to create a distinction with the present (that is, not now [νῦν = ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις] but then [ποτε = ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις]). Paul talked about his former way of life in Judaism and used the word ποτε to distinguish it from the present, and I cannot help but think that this is simply doing the same thing. It doesn't mean that it was "a long time ago in a galaxy far away." ;)

uberdwayne wrote:
Luke 2:1 wrote:δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου

Would there be a shift in nuance if Luke had written "δόγμα ἐκ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου", or "δόγμα Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου" (no preposition)?


Notice that Jesus often said that he had come "from the Father" (παρὰ τοῦ πατρός), and that he would send the spirit παρὰ τοῦ πατρός, that he made known what he had heard παρὰ τοῦ πατρός, and we have John the Baptist being sent παρὰ θεοῦ ("from God"). I cannot imagine the decree coming ἐκ the Caesar, but I can imagine it coming ἀπό him.

I see more will and intention involved with παρά than the others.
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby jaihare » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:17 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:And Exodus LXX

Ex. 2:11 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταῖς πολλαῖς ἐκείναις μέγας γενόμενος Μωυσῆς ἐξῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ τοὺς υἱοὺς Ισραηλ. κατανοήσας δὲ τὸν πόνον αὐτῶν ὁρᾷ ἄνθρωπον Αἰγύπτιον τύπτοντά τινα Εβραῖον τῶν ἑαυτοῦ ἀδελφῶν τῶν υἱῶν Ισραηλ·

where it translates Ex. 2:11 ויהי בימים


Actually, הימים (that is, without the preposition) comes with an adjective: ההם "those." The whole phrase in Ex 2.11 is ויהי בימים ההם (link).

Addition: It seems that the modifier ταῖς πολλαῖς is taken from verse 23 rather than verse 11, where we see ויהי בימים הרבים ההם with הרבים being translated as ταῖς πολλαῖς in the LXX.
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby jaihare » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:20 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:
mwh wrote:
The εγενετο is much more interesting, kicking off the narrative with a marked semiticism reminiscent of the far less literary style of Mark's gospel ... Here he shifts into a very different stylistic mode, which his Greek teachers (along with his dedicatee Theophilus, one imagines) would have found shocking if not disgusting.


Just finished reading Fitzmyer's discussion of semitisms in Acts. He makes a distinction between LXX language and semitisms. Using language of the Septuagint would be like adopting King James Version idioms in the south (USA) at least up until the mid 20th century. The language register is "biblical" the source is LXX translation greek. The language is to be expected from a member of a community who used the LXX as their bible. The syntax is an expanded formula of the much more common[1] ἐγένετο δὲ which is how the LXX renders a clause initial ויהי. This a narrative marker.

[1] Luke 1:8, Luke 2:1, Luke 2:6, Luke 3:21, Luke 5:1, Luke 6:1, Luke 6:6, Luke 6:12, Luke 8:22, Luke 9:28, Luke 9:37, Luke 9:51, Luke 11:14, Luke 11:27, Luke 16:22, Luke 18:35, Luke 22:24, Acts 4:5, Acts 5:7, Acts 8:1, Acts 8:8, Acts 9:19, Acts 9:32, Acts 9:37, Acts 9:43, Acts 10:10, Acts 11:26, Acts 14:1, Acts 15:39, Acts 16:16, Acts 19:1, Acts 19:23, Acts 22:6, Acts 22:17, Acts 23:9, Acts 28:8, Acts 28:17,


An excellent analysis, methinks.
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby jaihare » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:29 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:http://www.sdbh.org/vocabula/index.html


Thank you so kindly for this link.
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby jaihare » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:37 pm

mwh wrote:Genitive absolute, "while Kyrenios was governor of Syria." [Κυρηνιος a Greek rendering of Quirinius, Greek having no letter Q!] ηγενονευω takes genitive (της Συριας), means to be the ηγεμων, the Roman governor. Κυρηναιου doesn't have to come at the end but there's no reason it shouldn't, the effect perhaps more like "at the time when the governor of Syria was Quirinius." It's a common type of dating formula, giving a chronological fix.


Yes, indeed. With the genitive absolute, the subject of the participle is also in the genitive.

mwh wrote:Big chronological/historical problems here.


Isn't that a large controversy to open on a language study forum? ;)
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:13 pm

Luke has another narrative connection expression γενομένης δὲ +noun genitive which is not an LXX idiom but See samples from 2Macc. This is found in Thucydides.

Matt. 13:21 οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν, γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται.

Luke 4:42 Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον· καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτὸν καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν.

Acts 2:6 γενομένης δὲ τῆς φωνῆς ταύτης συνῆλθεν τὸ πλῆθος καὶ συνεχύθη, ὅτι ἤκουον εἷς ἕκαστος τῇ ἰδίᾳ διαλέκτῳ λαλούντων αὐτῶν.

Acts 12:18 Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἦν τάραχος οὐκ ὀλίγος ἐν τοῖς στρατιώταις τί ἄρα ὁ Πέτρος ἐγένετο.

Acts 15:2 γενομένης δὲ στάσεως καὶ ζητήσεως οὐκ ὀλίγης τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Βαρναβᾷ πρὸς αὐτούς, ἔταξαν ἀναβαίνειν Παῦλον καὶ Βαρναβᾶν καί τινας ἄλλους ἐξ αὐτῶν πρὸς τοὺς ἀποστόλους καὶ πρεσβυτέρους εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ περὶ τοῦ ζητήματος τούτου.

Acts 21:17 Γενομένων δὲ ἡμῶν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀσμένως ἀπεδέξαντο ἡμᾶς οἱ ἀδελφοί.

Acts 23:12 Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ποιήσαντες συστροφὴν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀνεθεμάτισαν ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες μήτε φαγεῖν μήτε πιεῖν ἕως οὗ ἀποκτείνωσιν τὸν Παῦλον.

Thucydides
1, 108, 1, 2

ἕκαστοι· ξύμπαντες δὲ ἐγένοντο τετρακισχίλιοι καὶ μύριοι.
νομίσαντες δὲ ἀπορεῖν ὅπῃ διέλθωσιν ἐπεστράτευσαν αὐτοῖς,
καί τι καὶ τοῦ δήμου καταλύσεως ὑποψίᾳ. ἦλθον δὲ καὶ
Θεσσαλῶν ἱππῆς τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις κατὰ τὸ ξυμμαχικόν, οἳ
μετέστησαν ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ παρὰ τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους. γενο-
μένης δὲ μάχης
ἐν Τανάγρᾳ τῆς Βοιωτίας ἐνίκων Λακεδαι-
μόνιοι καὶ οἱ ξύμμαχοι, καὶ φόνος ἐγένετο ἀμφοτέρων πολύς.
καὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι μὲν ἐς τὴν Μεγαρίδα ἐλθόντες καὶ
δενδροτομήσαντες πάλιν ἀπῆλθον ἐπ' οἴκου διὰ Γερανείας
καὶ Ἰσθμοῦ· Ἀθηναῖοι δὲ δευτέρᾳ καὶ ἑξηκοστῇ ἡμέρᾳ μετὰ
τὴν μάχην ἐστράτευσαν ἐς Βοιωτοὺς Μυρωνίδου στρατη


Thucydides
3, 74, 2, 2

μαχον, τοῖς δ' ἑτέροις ἐκ τῆς ἠπείρου ἐπίκουροι ὀκτακόσιοι.
διαλιπούσης δ' ἡμέρας μάχη αὖθις γίγνεται καὶ νικᾷ ὁ δῆμος
χωρίων τε ἰσχύι καὶ πλήθει προύχων· αἵ τε γυναῖκες αὐτοῖς
τολμηρῶς ξυνεπελάβοντο βάλλουσαι ἀπὸ τῶν οἰκιῶν τῷ κε-
ράμῳ καὶ παρὰ φύσιν ὑπομένουσαι τὸν θόρυβον. γενομένης
δὲ
τῆς τροπῆς περὶ δείλην ὀψίαν, δείσαντες οἱ ὀλίγοι μὴ
αὐτοβοεὶ ὁ δῆμος τοῦ τε νεωρίου κρατήσειεν ἐπελθὼν καὶ
σφᾶς διαφθείρειεν, ἐμπιπρᾶσι τὰς οἰκίας τὰς ἐν κύκλῳ τῆς
ἀγορᾶς καὶ τὰς ξυνοικίας, ὅπως μὴ ᾖ ἔφοδος, φειδόμενοι
οὔτε οἰκείας οὔτε ἀλλοτρίας, ὥστε καὶ χρήματα πολλὰ ἐμπό-
ρων κατεκαύθη καὶ ἡ πόλις ἐκινδύνευσε πᾶσα διαφθαρῆναι,




Thucydides
4, 34, 2, 1

αὐτοὺς ὁμοίως σφίσι φαίνεσθαι, ὅτι οὐκ εὐθὺς ἄξια τῆς
προσδοκίας ἐπεπόνθεσαν, ὥσπερ ὅτε πρῶτον ἀπέβαινον τῇ
γνώμῃ δεδουλωμένοι ὡς ἐπὶ Λακεδαιμονίους, καταφρονή-
σαντες καὶ ἐμβοήσαντες ἁθρόοι ὥρμησαν ἐπ' αὐτοὺς καὶ
ἔβαλλον λίθοις τε καὶ τοξεύμασι καὶ ἀκοντίοις, ὡς ἕκαστός
τι πρόχειρον εἶχεν. γενομένης δὲ τῆς βοῆς ἅμα τῇ
ἐπιδρομῇ ἔκπληξίς τε ἐνέπεσεν ἀνθρώποις ἀήθεσι τοιαύτης
μάχης καὶ ὁ κονιορτὸς τῆς ὕλης νεωστὶ κεκαυμένης ἐχώρει
πολὺς ἄνω, ἄπορόν τε ἦν ἰδεῖν τὸ πρὸ αὑτοῦ ὑπὸ τῶν
τοξευμάτων καὶ λίθων ἀπὸ πολλῶν ἀνθρώπων μετὰ τοῦ
κονιορτοῦ ἅμα φερομένων. τό τε ἔργον ἐνταῦθα χαλεπὸν




Thucydides
8, 81, 2, 1

πράγματα, ὥστε κατάγειν Ἀλκιβιάδην, [καὶ] τέλος ἀπ'
ἐκκλησίας ἔπεισε τὸ πλῆθος τῶν στρατιωτῶν, καὶ ψηφισα-
μένων αὐτῶν Ἀλκιβιάδῃ κάθοδον καὶ ἄδειαν πλεύσας ὡς
τὸν Τισσαφέρνην κατῆγεν ἐς τὴν Σάμον τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδην,
νομίζων μόνην σωτηρίαν εἰ Τισσαφέρνην αὐτοῖς μεταστή-
σειεν ἀπὸ Πελοποννησίων. γενομένης δὲ ἐκκλησίας τήν τε
ἰδίαν ξυμφορὰν τῆς φυγῆς ἐπῃτιάσατο καὶ ἀνωλοφύρατο ὁ
Ἀλκιβιάδης, καὶ περὶ τῶν πολιτικῶν πολλὰ εἰπὼν ἐς ἐλ-
πίδας τε αὐτοὺς οὐ σμικρὰς τῶν μελλόντων καθίστη, καὶ
ὑπερβάλλων ἐμεγάλυνε τὴν ἑαυτοῦ δύναμιν παρὰ τῷ Τισσα-
φέρνει, ἵνα οἵ τε οἴκοι τὴν ὀλιγαρχίαν ἔχοντες φοβοῖντο

Also in 2Mac.

2Mac. 2:4 ἦν δὲ ἐν τῇ γραφῇ ὡς τὴν σκηνὴν καὶ τὴν κιβωτὸν ἐκέλευσεν ὁ προφήτης χρηματισμοῦ γενηθέντος αὐτῷ συνακολουθεῖν· ὡς δὲ ἐξῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος, οὗ ὁ Μωυσῆς ἀναβὰς ἐθεάσατο τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ κληρονομίαν.

2Mac. 3:9 παραγενηθεὶς δὲ εἰς Ιεροσόλυμα καὶ φιλοφρόνως ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως τῆς πόλεως ἀποδεχθεὶς ἀνέθετο περὶ τοῦ γεγονότος ἐμφανισμοῦ, καὶ τίνος ἕνεκεν πάρεστιν διεσάφησεν· ἐπυνθάνετο δὲ εἰ ταῖς ἀληθείαις ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχοντα τυγχάνει.

2Mac. 4:39 Γενομένων δὲ πολλῶν ἱεροσυλημάτων κατὰ τὴν πόλιν ὑπὸ τοῦ Λυσιμάχου μετὰ τῆς τοῦ Μενελάου γνώμης καὶ διαδοθείσης ἔξω τῆς φήμης ἐπισυνήχθη τὸ πλῆθος ἐπὶ τὸν Λυσίμαχον χρυσωμάτων ἤδη πολλῶν διενηνεγμένων.

2Mac. 5:5 γενομένης δὲ λαλιᾶς ψευδοῦς ὡς μετηλλαχότος Ἀντιόχου τὸν βίον παραλαβὼν ὁ Ἰάσων οὐκ ἐλάττους τῶν χιλίων αἰφνιδίως ἐπὶ τὴν πόλιν συνετελέσατο ἐπίθεσιν· τῶν δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ τείχει συνελασθέντων καὶ τέλος ἤδη καταλαμβανομένης τῆς πόλεως ὁ Μενέλαος εἰς τὴν ἀκρόπολιν ἐφυγάδευσεν.

2Mac. 6:7 ἤγοντο δὲ μετὰ πικρᾶς ἀνάγκης εἰς τὴν κατὰ μῆνα τοῦ βασιλέως γενέθλιον ἡμέραν ἐπὶ σπλαγχνισμόν, γενομένης δὲ Διονυσίων ἑορτῆς ἠναγκάζοντο κισσοὺς ἔχοντες πομπεύειν τῷ Διονύσῳ.

2Mac. 8:24 γενομένου δὲ αὐτοῖς τοῦ παντοκράτορος συμμάχου κατέσφαξαν τῶν πολεμίων ὑπὲρ τοὺς ἐνακισχιλίους, τραυματίας δὲ καὶ τοῖς μέλεσιν ἀναπείρους τὸ πλεῖον μέρος τῆς τοῦ Νικάνορος στρατιᾶς ἐποίησαν, πάντας δὲ φυγεῖν ἠνάγκασαν.

2Mac. 10:29 γενομένης δὲ καρτερᾶς μάχης ἐφάνησαν τοῖς ὑπεναντίοις ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἐφ᾿ ἵππων χρυσοχαλίνων ἄνδρες πέντε διαπρεπεῖς, καὶ ἀφηγούμενοι τῶν Ιουδαίων,

2Mac. 12:1 Γενομένων δὲ τῶν συνθηκῶν τούτων ὁ μὲν Λυσίας ἀπῄει πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα, οἱ δὲ Ιουδαῖοι περὶ τὴν γεωργίαν ἐγίνοντο.

2Mac. 12:11 γενομένης δὲ καρτερᾶς μάχης καὶ τῶν περὶ τὸν Ιουδαν διὰ τὴν παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ βοήθειαν εὐημερησάντων ἐλαττονωθέντες οἱ νομάδες ἠξίουν δοῦναι τὸν Ιουδαν δεξιὰς αὐτοῖς ὑπισχνούμενοι καὶ βοσκήματα δώσειν καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ὠφελήσειν αὐτούς.

2Mac. 15:29 γενομένης δὲ κραυγῆς καὶ ταραχῆς εὐλόγουν τὸν δυνάστην τῇ πατρίῳ φωνῇ.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:39 pm

Luke has another narrative connection expression γενομένης δὲ +noun genitive which is not an LXX idiom.


Mark prefers a different wording: Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου ...

Mark 6:2 καὶ γενομένου σαββάτου ἤρξατο διδάσκειν ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ, καὶ πολλοὶ ἀκούοντες ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες· πόθεν τούτῳ ταῦτα, καὶ τίς ἡ σοφία ἡ δοθεῖσα τούτῳ, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τοιαῦται διὰ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ γινόμεναι;

Mark 6:21 Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου ὅτε Ἡρῴδης τοῖς γενεσίοις αὐτοῦ δεῖπνον ἐποίησεν τοῖς μεγιστᾶσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῖς χιλιάρχοις καὶ τοῖς πρώτοις τῆς Γαλιλαίας,

Mark 6:47 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἦν τὸ πλοῖον ἐν μέσῳ τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ αὐτὸς μόνος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.

Mark 14:17 Καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα.

Mark 15:33 Καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης σκότος ἐγένετο ἐφ᾿ ὅλην τὴν γῆν ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης.

Perhaps in Thucydides?

Thucydides
4, 117, 1, 7

θέρους εὐθὺς ἐκεχειρίαν ἐποιήσαντο ἐνιαύσιον, νομίσαντες
Ἀθηναῖοι μὲν οὐκ ἂν ἔτι τὸν Βρασίδαν σφῶν προσαπο-
στῆσαι οὐδὲν πρὶν παρασκευάσαιντο καθ' ἡσυχίαν, καὶ ἅμα,
εἰ καλῶς σφίσιν ἔχοι, καὶ ξυμβῆναι τὰ πλείω, Λακεδαι-
μόνιοι δὲ ταῦτα τοὺς Ἀθηναίους ἡγούμενοι ἅπερ ἐδέδισαν
φοβεῖσθαι, καὶ γενομένης ἀνοκωχῆς κακῶν καὶ ταλαιπωρίας
μᾶλλον ἐπιθυμήσειν αὐτοὺς πειρασαμένους ξυναλλαγῆναί τε
καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας σφίσιν ἀποδόντας σπονδὰς ποιήσασθαι καὶ
ἐς τὸν πλείω χρόνον. τοὺς γὰρ δὴ ἄνδρας περὶ πλέονος
ἐποιοῦντο κομίσασθαι, ὡς ἔτι Βρασίδας ηὐτύχει· καὶ ἔμελλον
ἐπὶ μεῖζον χωρήσαντος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀντίπαλα καταστήσαντος

Thucydides 5, 76, 3, 5

σπονδὰς ποιήσαντες πρὸς τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίους αὖθις ὕστερον
καὶ ξυμμαχίαν, καὶ οὕτως ἤδη τῷ δήμῳ ἐπιτίθεσθαι. καὶ
ἀφικνεῖται πρόξενος ὢν Ἀργείων Λίχας ὁ Ἀρκεσιλάου παρὰ
τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων δύο λόγω φέρων ἐς τὸ Ἄργος, τὸν μὲν
καθ' ὅτι εἰ βούλονται πολεμεῖν, τὸν δ' ὡς εἰ εἰρήνην ἄγειν.
καὶ γενομένης πολλῆς ἀντιλογίας (ἔτυχε γὰρ καὶ ὁ Ἀλκι-
βιάδης παρών) οἱ ἄνδρες οἱ τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις πράσσοντες,
ἤδη καὶ ἐκ τοῦ φανεροῦ τολμῶντες, ἔπεισαν τοὺς Ἀργείους
προσδέξασθαι τὸν ξυμβατήριον λόγον. ἔστι δὲ ὅδε.
’Καττάδε δοκεῖ τᾷ ἐκκλησίᾳ τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων ξυμ-
βαλέσθαι ποττὼς Ἀργείως, ἀποδιδόντας τὼς παῖδας τοῖς
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:38 pm

I have to say I see nothing whatever remarkable about these. They're perfectly ordinary Greek (not semitic) genitive absolutes, fixing the time of day (as likewise with πρωας, οψιας, and the 3rd/6th/9th hour) in standard fashion. These examples put the verb first, but there are plenty of others that put the noun first.

Perhaps I'm missing what's being suggested here? The εγενετο … idiom is totally different.

—That, incidentally, in Luke I'd now be inclined to think is a semitism at second remove: he took it from written accounts which owed it in turn to the LXX in the Greek synagogues. (In Joseph Smith it's at 4th remove!) Plausible or not? I don't really know enough about Luke's Greek (or rather his semitisms) to say. Nothing is known about his background, is it, unless the conventional identification with the Luke mentioned by Paul is to be accepted, but that would put him earlier than one would guess from the preface and is there any good reason to accept it? I'm just an amateur here. When did the gospel get attributed to him, anyone know? (Pretty early, obviously, but just how early?)

EDIT. Oh, I see what you're getting at: δε versus και as the connective. That's certainly a significant stylistic difference. But (1) Mark's predilection for strings of και's is well known, and (2) there's no need to link it to this verb in particular (or is there?) (The relevance of Thucydides, of all people, I still don't see at all. And why 2 Mac.? No-one thinks that's Septuagint Greek do they? -- nor that it was written by Luke!)
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:35 pm

mwh wrote:I have to say I see nothing whatever remarkable about these. They're perfectly ordinary Greek (not semitic) genitive absolutes, fixing the time of day (as likewise with πρωας, οψιας, and the 3rd/6th/9th hour) in standard fashion. These examples put the verb first, but there are plenty of others that put the noun first.

Perhaps I'm missing what's being suggested here? The εγενετο … idiom is totally different.



No disagreement on this. Discourse studies aka NT Text Linguistics spends a lot of time talking about perfectly normal greek. Levinsohn (Discourse Features NT Greek 2000 pages 177-190) lumps εγενετο with pre-nuclear participle clauses in a discussion of back-grounding. What εγενετο has in common with γενομένης δὲ +noun genitive or Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου is that both are used for introducing narrative segments and according to Levinsohn both are used for back-grounding. In the examples given some form of γίνομαι is a component but γίνομαι is not a necessary component in the pre-nuclear participle clause.

I would claim that all of the above is perfectly normal Biblical Greek. Just like KJV-isms were perfectly normal American English up until fairly recently. Nobody accused anyone using KJV idioms of "bad English" or got excited because the KJV tended to model fairly closely the underlying syntax of the Greek and Hebrew vorlage. I am not a student of Milton but I suspect he used a lot of biblical idioms.








—That, incidentally, in Luke I'd now be inclined to think is a semitism at second remove: he took it from written accounts which owed it in turn to the LXX in the Greek synagogues. (In Joseph Smith it's at 4th remove!) Plausible or not? I don't really know enough about Luke's Greek (or rather his semitisms) to say. Nothing is known about his background, is it, unless the conventional identification with the Luke mentioned by Paul is to be accepted, but that would put him earlier than one would guess from the preface and is there any good reason to accept it? I'm just an amateur here. When did the gospel get attributed to him, anyone know? (Pretty early, obviously, but just how early?)

EDIT. Oh, I see what you're getting at: δε versus και as the connective. That's certainly a significant stylistic difference. But (1) Mark's predilection for strings of και's is well known, and (2) there's no need to link it to this verb in particular (or is there?) (The relevance of Thucydides, of all people, I still don't see at all. And why 2 Mac.? No-one thinks that's Septuagint Greek do they? -- nor that it was written by Luke!)


The relevance of Thucydides is to demonstrate the obvious, a genitive absolute with or without γίνομαι introducing a narrative segment is "perfectly normal greek" if we assume Thucydides as model of "normal greek." So I drawing a distinction between εγενετο δὲ / και εγενετο and γενομένης δὲ +noun genitive. One is Classical the other is Biblical greek.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:02 pm

I would claim that all of the above is perfectly normal Biblical Greek. Just like KJV-isms were perfectly normal American English up until fairly recently. Nobody accused anyone using KJV idioms of "bad English" or got excited because the KJV tended to model fairly closely the underlying syntax of the Greek and Hebrew vorlage. I am not a student of Milton but I suspect he used a lot of biblical idioms.


More on this:

A friend of mine who is a text-linguist and LXX scholar from Moscow (Russia not Idaho) explained to me that the attitude reflected in the western LXX scholarship toward the literary qualities of the LXX, take for example Albert Pietersma's "school boy greek" (source Carl Conrad), this attitude is not shared by all LXX scholars who are in Orthodox tradition. They consider the LXX a work of literature not just a tool for doing textual criticism on the Hebrew bible. The fact that it doesn't sound like Thucydides isn't an issue.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:14 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:No disagreement on this. Discourse studies aka NT Text Linguistics spends a lot of time talking about perfectly normal greek. Levinsohn (Discourse Features NT Greek 2000 pages 177-190) lumps εγενετο with pre-nuclear participle clauses in a discussion of back-grounding. What εγενετο has in common with γενομένης δὲ +noun genitive or Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου is that both are used for introducing narrative segments and according to Levinsohn both are used for back-grounding. ...

I would claim that all of the above is perfectly normal Biblical Greek.

The only trouble with this is that it erases the distinctiveness of the εγενετο idiom.

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:The relevance of Thucydides is to demonstrate the obvious, a genitive absolute with or without γίνομαι introducing a narrative segment is "perfectly normal greek" if we assume Thucydides as model of "normal greek." So I drawing a distinction between εγενετο δὲ / και εγενετο and γενομένης δὲ +noun genitive. One is Classical the other is Biblical greek.

Quite so.

Time to move on, perhaps?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:19 pm

mwh wrote:Time to move on, perhaps?


I think so... At this rate, we'll be into the new year before we make it to the end of the passage. lol

That was indeed quite the discussion, thanks for your time and effort into looking at that. So to conclude, there was semetic influance on the author due to the translation of the LXX which made its way into the new testament, especially in Luke and acts! Would you consider this statement accurate?

Let us consider "ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ," Near the end of Verse four... Any thought on why an "indefenite" pronoun is used for in a seemingly definite way? Or is this just a simple case of... Sometimes its just used that way?

τι νομιζετε;
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:15 pm

Yes we must get to the birth by Christmas Day!

Your summary statement I'd describe as accurate enough.
(But as a sidenote clarification: the LXX aka Septuagint is the translation, the translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek, reputedly by seventy—Lat. septuaginta, lxx—scholars commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus at Alexandria. There were other Greek translations too, by renowned later scholars, which at least partially displaced the LXX in synagogues but not I think before 2nd century.)

As to ἥτις versus ἥ, there's no significant difference; the -τις doesn't make it indefinite. You put it well: "sometimes it's just used that way."
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:06 pm

uberdwayne wrote:
Let us consider "ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ," Near the end of Verse four... Any thought on why an "indefenite" pronoun is used for in a seemingly definite way?

τι νομιζετε;


ὅστις = ὅς It functions as a relative pronoun. See the discussion of ὅστις in ATR p728f, BDF §293, N.Turner p47.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby uberdwayne » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:51 pm

C.S. Bartholomew wrote:ὅστις = ὅς It functions as a relative pronoun. See the discussion of ὅστις in ATR p728f, BDF §293, N.Turner p47.


Do you think there is any discourse significance to the use of ὅστις as apposed to ὅς? I've been reading through Stephen Runge's discourse grammar and I've been learning about marked use and back-grounding. Does Lehvinson maybe say anything about these two? It seems like ὅστις could be the marked usage over ὅς.
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:39 pm

uberdwayne wrote:
C.S. Bartholomew wrote:ὅστις = ὅς It functions as a relative pronoun. See the discussion of ὅστις in ATR p728f, BDF §293, N.Turner p47.


Do you think there is any discourse significance to the use of ὅστις as apposed to ὅς? I've been reading through Stephen Runge's discourse grammar and I've been learning about marked use and back-grounding. Does Lehvinson maybe say anything about these two? It seems like ὅστις could be the marked usage over ὅς.


It is risky to dogmatically assert that the distinction could have no discourse relevance. We need to distinguish between morphological marking, semantic functional marking, and marked in regard to information structure. Obviously ὅστις is morphologically different from ὅς. The question in most NT grammars has to do with the semantic and syntactic functional distinction between ὅς and ὅστις. Standard grammars don't consider questions of information structure or if they do it is trivialised to the point of being useless.

Acts 23:12 Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ποιήσαντες συστροφὴν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀνεθεμάτισαν ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες μήτε φαγεῖν μήτε πιεῖν ἕως οὗ ἀποκτείνωσιν τὸν Παῦλον. 13 ἦσαν δὲ πλείους τεσσεράκοντα οἱ ταύτην τὴν συνωμοσίαν ποιησάμενοι, 14 οἵτινες προσελθόντες τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις εἶπαν· ἀναθέματι ἀνεθεματίσαμεν ἑαυτοὺς μηδενὸς γεύσασθαι ἕως οὗ ἀποκτείνωμεν τὸν Παῦλον.

In regard to back-grounding Levinsohn (2000:192) cites Acts 23:12-14a where the relative clause is a continuative use of the relative. This use of the relative clause often follows a clause with background. The continuative relative narrates foreground events following a clause which contains information about the setting, time, scenario, etc. But note that the form of the pronoun is not a factor in this. What marks it in terms of discourse is how it is used in the narrative. Levinsohn makes no reference to the form of the relative οἵτινες. The form doesn't have any bearing on the discussion.

back to Luke

Luke 2:4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ,

This is a restrictive relative clause. It limits the scope of reference for εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ. There may be multiple places that this could refer to by we are only concerned with one ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ. All of this is background information.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:26 pm

I'm not completely sure I understand what you mean, but I think I would translate ὅστις "the one which".
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:08 am

I am not particularly happy[1] with Levinsohn's treatment of the relative clause. It has little or nothing to do with the question about ὅστις vs. ὅς. This is not IMHO a discourse issue. The relative in Lk 2:4 is simple. It limits the scope for "City of David." That's all.



[1] I am inclined to think the relative clause introduces background information in many instances. I don't sit well with notion that the primary use of it in Gospel narrative is to background the clause prior to the the relative clause. That is something that leads me to suspect that Levinsohn is working with a different understanding of background than I am. I got my background on background from R. E. Longacre Grammar of Discourse, 2nd ed. which I no longer have.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:27 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:This is not IMHO a discourse issue.

I agree. No amount of guff about background and foreground is going to elucidate the difference between ητις and simple *η in this clause. There's effectively none. They're used indifferently. It's a null distinction.

In certain syntactic contexts the -τις adds indefiniteness. Not here.

I can't wait to find out what's going to happen! She's pregnant, you can count on it, the two of them forced to set out on such a journey by those nasty Romans. Will she come to term? Will it be a boy or a girl? I'm rather hoping it will be a girl myself, but I expect that's too much to hope for, these stories are always about boys. What will it be called? I'm guessing there's going to be something special about it, but what? Oh the suspense!
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:51 pm

Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν. 9 Καὶ ἰδού, ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς, καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς· καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν. 10 Καὶ εἴπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος, Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ γάρ, εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ·

This brings to mind Hesiod Theogony 21ff:

αἵ νύ ποθ᾽ Ἡσίοδον καλὴν ἐδίδαξαν ἀοιδήν,
ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ᾽ Ἑλικῶνος ὕπο ζαθέοιο.
τόνδε δέ με πρώτιστα θεαὶ πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπον,
Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδες, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο:
ποιμένες ἄγραυλοι, κάκ᾽ ἐλέγχεα, γαστέρες οἶον,
ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα,
ἴδμεν δ᾽, εὖτ᾽ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι.
ὣς ἔφασαν κοῦραι μεγάλου Διὸς ἀρτιέπειαι:
καί μοι σκῆπτρον ἔδον δάφνης ἐριθηλέος ὄζον
δρέψασαι, θηητόν: ἐνέπνευσαν δέ μοι αὐδὴν
θέσπιν, ἵνα κλείοιμι τά τ᾽ ἐσσόμενα πρό τ᾽ ἐόντα.
καί μ᾽ ἐκέλονθ᾽ ὑμνεῖν μακάρων γένος αἰὲν ἐόντων,
σφᾶς δ᾽ αὐτὰς πρῶτόν τε καὶ ὕστατον αἰὲν ἀείδειν.
ἀλλὰ τί ἦ μοι ταῦτα περὶ δρῦν ἢ περὶ πέτρην;

[The goddesses] taught Hesiod beautiful song as he was shepherding his lambs at the foot of holy Helicon. The Muses of Olympus, daughters of Aegis-bearing Zeus, spoke this speech to me first: Shepherds out in the fields, you worthless creatures, you're nothing but stomachs! We know how to speak many lies that seem like truths, but when we want to, we also know how to proclaim truths. This is what the prompt-speaking daughters of great Zeus said. And they cut off a thriving branch of laurel and gave it to me as a staff, an awesome one, and they breathed into me divine speech so that I could celebrate the future and the past. And they commanded me to sing praises of the race of eternal beings, and to always sing of themselves first and last. But why is this about oak and rock to me?

Of course, ἄγραυλοι naturally goes with ποιμένες, but the parallels between the supernatural messages to shepherds out in the fields are striking.

περὶ δρῦν ἢ περὶ πέτρην - a lot of ink has been spilled trying to explain that Greek expression (which crops up elsewhere) -- all of it unconvincing.

Will it be a boy or a girl?


I skipped ahead and saw something about περιτεμεῖν, so I guess that answers the question.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:16 pm

Qimmik wrote:Of course, ἄγραυλοι naturally goes with ποιμένες, but the parallels between the supernatural messages to shepherds out in the fields are striking.

That's very interesting and I suppose there's little doubt that this is a real topos. By itself, this doesn't necessarily mean that Hesiod is the source or that the author even knew Hesiod. But this brings to my mind the righteous Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-40 and the Ethiopians in Homer. Now I don't think that there's so much of a word for word parallel between Acts and Homer, but the idea that Ethiopians have a special relationship with god(s) is the same.

If indeed Luke and Acts were written by the same person, we could argue that he was particularly fond of traditional Greek topoi. Perhaps we could even argue that he was well acquinted with Homer and Hesiod.

This just came to my mind; like I've said before, I don't really know much about the NT.
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