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Wallace on John 1:12

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Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Isaac Newton » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:37 am

In Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit (http://www.ibr-bbr.org/files/bbr/BBR_20 ... Spirit.pdf), Wallace says John 1:12 is an example of constructio ad sensum but doesn't elaborate. Here's John 1:12,

δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αυτοῦ,


Is he talking about the masculine τοῖς and the masculine form of the participle πιστεύουσιν referring to the neuter gendered τέκνα ?

Or perhaps the masculine ὅσοι (correlative) and αὐτοῖς referring to τέκνα ? Is τέκνα even the antecedent of these pronouns ?

Why does wallace think there is constructio ad sensum at verse 12. Let's investigate.
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby daivid » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:25 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:In Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit (http://www.ibr-bbr.org/files/bbr/BBR_20 ... Spirit.pdf), Wallace says John 1:12 is an example of constructio ad sensum but doesn't elaborate. Here's John 1:12,

δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αυτοῦ,


Is he talking about the masculine τοῖς and the masculine form of the participle πιστεύουσιν referring to the neuter gendered τέκνα ?

Or perhaps the masculine ὅσοι (correlative) and αὐτοῖς referring to τέκνα ? Is τέκνα even the antecedent of these pronouns ?

Why does wallace think there is constructio ad sensum at verse 12. Let's investigate.


I am not sure I fully understand the concept of constructio ad sensum but while there is certainly a gender shift it doesn't seem to be in any unexpected.
τέκνα is conected to the rest of the sentence via the infinitive γενέσθαι.
The ὅσοι of " ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν" seems to me to have an implied "ἄνθρωποι" ( or some such),
It is a complicated sentence but is what is really going on so different from:
οἱ ἄνθρωποι γίγνονται τέκνα
λονδον
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Markos » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:23 pm

I think you left out the first word of the verse.

ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αυτοῦ,


I think Wallace means that since φῶς is neuter, we would expect ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον ἀυτό, but John uses the masculine according to the sense that Jesus is a person. The idea is similar to what we were discussing on the other thread.
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:21 am

Markos wrote:I think you left out the first word of the verse.

ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοὺ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αυτοῦ,


I think Wallace means that since φῶς is neuter, we would expect ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον ἀυτό, but John uses the masculine according to the sense that Jesus is a person. The idea is similar to what we were discussing on the other thread.



Now why did I miss that, ? ..Alas, sometimes things are right infront of us, but we don't see them.

Thanks kindly Marcos for your time and assistance..
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Isaac Newton » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:23 am

On another note Markos, I was looking at verse 11,

εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.


Here again we have constructio ad sensum with αὐτὸν (masculine) referring to φῶς (neuter).

I aslo picked up on something unusual here. Notice the first instance of the adjective τὰ ἴδια is neuter, but the second is masculine οἱ ἴδιοι . The author is able to use both the neuter and masculine here because the referrent is φῶς , so that neuter τὰ ἴδια is agreeing with φῶς in grammatical gender, but the οἱ ἴδιοι with actual or natural gender. Is this correct, or do you think there is some other explanation ?
There is so much more here than meets the eye. ...
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:56 pm

In figurative language, the gender used for pronouns often follows the gender of the ultimate referent not the gender of the figure φῶς. I have little use for constructio ad sensum. There are other ways of explaining this.
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Markos » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:53 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:On another note Markos, I was looking at verse 11,

εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.


Here again we have constructio ad sensum with αὐτὸν (masculine) referring to φῶς (neuter).

I aslo picked up on something unusual here. Notice the first instance of the adjective τὰ ἴδια is neuter, but the second is masculine οἱ ἴδιοι . The author is able to use both the neuter and masculine here because the referrent is φῶς , so that neuter τὰ ἴδια is agreeing with φῶς in grammatical gender, but the οἱ ἴδιοι with actual or natural gender. Is this correct, or do you think there is some other explanation ?


No, I don't think that the gender of φῶς directly effects the gender of τὰ ἴδια or οἱ ἴδιοι because these are not properly pronouns with antecedents, but rather adjectives used here as substantives. The former is generally construed as "his own things, his own sphere, his own business, his own land and houses," while the later refers to "his own people, his own folks." I think maybe τὰ ἴδια is Judaism and οἱ ἴδιοι is the Jewish people.

The distinction, though is subtle, and the ABS Modern Greek ignores it:

εἰς τοὺς δικούς του ἦλθε ἀλλ΄οἱ δικοί του δὲν ἐδέχθησαν.


So, it is possible that having made a gender switch from ἀυτὀ (v. 5) to αὐτόν (v. 11,) this was somehow in John's mind as an echo when he wrote τὰ ἴδια/οἱ ἴδιοι. The latter is not properly a constructio ad sensum, but it may have been partially sparked by one.
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Isaac Newton » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:10 pm

Markos wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:On another note Markos, I was looking at verse 11,

εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.


Here again we have constructio ad sensum with αὐτὸν (masculine) referring to φῶς (neuter).

I aslo picked up on something unusual here. Notice the first instance of the adjective τὰ ἴδια is neuter, but the second is masculine οἱ ἴδιοι . The author is able to use both the neuter and masculine here because the referrent is φῶς , so that neuter τὰ ἴδια is agreeing with φῶς in grammatical gender, but the οἱ ἴδιοι with actual or natural gender. Is this correct, or do you think there is some other explanation ?


No, I don't think that the gender of φῶς directly effects the gender of τὰ ἴδια or οἱ ἴδιοι because these are not properly pronouns with antecedents, but rather adjectives used here as substantives. The former is generally construed as "his own things, his own sphere, his own business, his own land and houses," while the later refers to "his own people, his own folks." I think maybe τὰ ἴδια is Judaism and οἱ ἴδιοι is the Jewish people.

The distinction, though is subtle, and the ABS Modern Greek ignores it:

εἰς τοὺς δικούς του ἦλθε ἀλλ΄οἱ δικοί του δὲν ἐδέχθησαν.


So, it is possible that having made a gender switch from ἀυτὀ (v. 5) to αὐτόν (v. 11,) this was somehow in John's mind as an echo when he wrote τὰ ἴδια/οἱ ἴδιοι. The latter is not properly a constructio ad sensum, but it may have been partially sparked by one.


Thanks, I think you're right...
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Re: Wallace on John 1:12

Postby Steven Avery » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:15 pm

construction ad sensum - clear gender shift sub-group for people

Hi,

C. S. Bartholomew wrote: I have little use for constructio ad sensum.

Putting aside this John verse, I found this quote interesting, after some recent studies. (Looked for an email or contact addy for you, decided here is best.)

There seems to be only one type of pure gender shift verse that is often put in the construction ad sensum class. Winer is rare among grammarians, in that he says that this type of shift is in regard to animate objects, or things that have life. Possibly an even greater limitation to people and people groups is possible.

For now let me just put in three of the Winer verses in English. I just ran over these this morning, we can discuss any questions and add more examples.

These are fairly well known from various sources, so please don't expect anything new in these verses.

====================================

Grammar of the New Testament Diction (1860)
Georg Benedikt Winer (6th ed German, 1855, translated by Edward Masson)
http://books.google.com/books?id=YQoOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA153

Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms: Als sichere Grundlage der neutestamentlichen Exegese - (1855) 6th ed.
https://archive.org/details/grammatikdesneu00lngoog

Pronouns, whether personal, demonstrative, or relative, not unfrequently take a different gender from the nouns to which they refer. This is called constructio ad sensum, the meaning, and not the grammatical gender of the word, being mainly considered. It is used particularly when some animate object is denoted by a Neuter or an abstract Feminine noun. The pronoun is then made to agree grammatically with the object in question ...

====================================

Matthew 28:19 (AV)
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

TR and CT
πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος

Masculine pronoun, neuter antecedent.

(A controversial verse in interpretation, partially due to the grammar shift, even in the 1800s controversies.)

====================================

Romans 2:14 (AV)
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law,
do by nature the things contained in the law,
these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

TR
ὅταν γὰρ ἔθνη τὰ μὴ νόμον ἔχοντα φύσει τὰ τοῦ νόμου ποιῇ, οὗτοι νόμον μὴ ἔχοντες ἑαυτοῖς εἰσιν νόμος

CT
ὅταν γὰρ ἔθνη τὰ μὴ νόμον ἔχοντα φύσει τὰ τοῦ νόμου ποιῶσιν οὗτοι νόμον μὴ ἔχοντες ἑαυτοῖς εἰσιν νόμος

Masculine pronoun, neuter antecedent.

====================================

Galatians 4:19 (AV)
My little children,
of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

TR
τεκνία μου οὓς πάλιν ὠδίνω ἄχρις οὗ μορφωθῇ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν

CT
τέκνα μου οὓς πάλιν ὠδίνω μέχρις οὗ μορφωθῇ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν

Masculine pronoun, neuter antecedent.

====================================

My question is really three-fold.

1) Is there any substantive and clear claim of the gender shift of constructio ad sensum on verses that are not people and people groups?

And one caveat, Greek minority Alexandrian ms variants, even if in the NA/UBS text, should not be included. Due to the known propensity for grammatical errors in that stream. And I do not believe that grammar formulations should be made upon what looks like simply a corruption. And that is in a small proportion of the Greek mss.

2) C. S., do you, or anyone, agree on this limited group as being the clear gender examples, and would you suggest a better, more targeted name for the limited phenomenon above? (I've tried to think of one.) So that it does not get mixed up with wider uses, with are often dubious, contested and/or unclear.

3) How normative are these constructio ad sensum? That is, are there many cases where a word representing people or a people group is in the neuter or feminine, as with the nations or gentiles, ἔθνη, and the NT grammar for the pronoun matches that neuter or feminine, even though constructio would be sensible?

Thanks.

Steven Avery
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