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Luke 13:4 adverbial prepositional phrase

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Luke 13:4 adverbial prepositional phrase

Postby Markos » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:51 pm

The general rule is that when a prepositional phrase is found within the article group, it goes with the substantive, whereas if found outside the article group, it is more or less adverbial.

οἱ σὺν ἀσπίσι πολέμιοι ἀπόλλυνται.

The enemies who have shields are being destroyed.

οἱ πολέμιοι σὺν ἀσπίσι ἀπόλλυνται.

The enemies are being destroyed (along) with their shields.


The distinction is often slight, of course.

Luke 13:4 ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δεκαοκτὼ ἐφ' οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς, δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἰερουσαλήμ;


The placement of ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ seems a bit odd to me. I would expect either

ἐκεῖνοι οἱ ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ δεκαοκτὼ ἐφ' οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος, where the emphasis is which men (the ones in Siloam) or

ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δεκαοκτὼ ἐφ' οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ πύργος

where the emphasis is on which tower (the one in Siloam.)

But what is being emphasized here? The location not of the men or the tower itself but of the falling? Can there be a distinction between the location of the tower and the location of the disaster? What is the difference, for that matter, in English, between

When the towers in New York fell, the world changed.

When the towers fell in New York, the world changed.



Ask 100 fluent English speakers what the difference is. Most will say there is no real difference, and the rest will not be able to agree on what the difference is, because it is so slight. Most will say the difference is more stylistic, and may say one just sounds a little better than the other.

Getting back to Luke, every translation I have seen, for example,

KJV: Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Soloam fell...



blurs the distinction (rightly, I think) by using the phrase "the tower in Siloam" except for this one:

TCNT: Or those eighteen men at Siloam on whom the tower fell...


which contradicts the usual Greek rule, and this one

Rheims: Or those eighteen men upon whom the tower fell in Siloe...


which follows more closely the Greek order, but seems somehow like strained English.

My feeling is that the word order here, as so often happens in Ancient Greek, is more euphonic than semantic.
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Re: Luke 13:4 adverbial prepositional phrase

Postby Markos » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:08 pm

By the way, the Athenian Bible Society Modern Greek version also makes no attempt to take the phrase adverbially, but connects it with a substantive (the tower.)

ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα ὀκτὼ ποὺ ἔπεσε ἐπάνω τους ὁ πύργος τοῦ Σιλωὰμ...
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Re: Luke 13:4 adverbial prepositional phrase

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:30 pm

Markos wrote:
Luke 13:4 ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δεκαοκτὼ ἐφ' οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς, δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἰερουσαλήμ;


The placement of ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ seems a bit odd to me. I would expect either

ἐκεῖνοι οἱ ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ δεκαοκτὼ ἐφ' οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος, where the emphasis is which men (the ones in Siloam) or

ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δεκαοκτὼ ἐφ' οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ πύργος

where the emphasis is on which tower (the one in Siloam.)


It looks to me like ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ is the location of the action.

Smyth
1659. Constructio Praegnans.—a. A verb of motion is often used with a preposition with the dative to anticipate the rest that follows the action of the verb: ἐν τῷ ποταμῷ ἔπεσον they fell (into and were) in the river X. Ages. 1.32. This use is common with τιθέναι, ἱδρύ_ειν, καθιστάναι, etc., and with tenses of completed action which imply rest; as οἱ ἐν τῇ νήσῳ ἄνδρες διαβεβηκότες the men who had crossed to (and were in) the island T. 7.71.


However, for what its worth, Codex Bezae reads:

ομοιως απολεισθαι η εκεινοι οι δεκα
οκτω · εφ ους επεσεν ο πυργος του σιλωαμ
και απεκτεινεν αυτους δοκειτε οτι
οφειλεται εγενοντο παρα παντας τους
ανθρωπους τους ενοικουνταο ϊερουσαλημ
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