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The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:12 pm

Is ἄγγελος κυρίου in v9 the introduction of a new participant or a reintroduction of the ἄγγελος κυρίου from chapter one? In chapter one ἄγγελος κυρίου identifies himself by name, not so in this context. In both chapter one and here ἄγγελος κυρίου is first anarthrous and then arthrous καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος. This pattern can be explained in the traditional manner: First introduction of a participant is anarthrous and then arthrous once the participant is activated.

But there is more going on here. The anarthrous ἄγγελος κυρίου is marked salient by position in the slot before the verb: καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς. If we argue that ἄγγελος κυρίου has already been identified then lack of the article is another form of salience marking (Levinsohn 2000:148-160, Richard Hoyle Scenarios Ch6 [2]). Perhaps this is a different ἄγγελος κυρίου. In that case it is the same pattern of first anarthrous and then arthrous found in chapter one.

Another attention grabbing feature is found in the Byzantine and Western texts which read:

και ιδου αγγελος κυριου επεστη αυτοις και δοξα κυριου περιελαμψεν αυτους και εφοβηθησαν φοβον μεγαν.

So the introduction of ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου is marked salient by position, ιδου, and perhaps being anarthrous.

The introduction of ἄγγελος κυρίου activates a scenario[2] of Divine Discourse[3]. The ποιμένες accept the speech of ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου as a divine revelation: καὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονὸς ὃ ὁ κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν. Fitzmyer notes here that actions performed by ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου in the OT are on some occasions directly attributed to ὁ κύριος.




SBLGNT[1]
8Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν. 9⸀καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν· 10καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος· Μὴ φοβεῖσθε, ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ, 11ὅτι ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σήμερον σωτὴρ ὅς ἐστιν χριστὸς κύριος ἐν πόλει Δαυίδ· 12καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν ⸀τὸ σημεῖον, εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον ⸀καὶ κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ. 13καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς ⸀οὐρανίου αἰνούντων τὸν θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων· 14Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις ⸀εὐδοκίας.
15Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἀπῆλθον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οἱ ἄγγελοι, ⸀οἱ ποιμένες ⸀ἐλάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους· Διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως Βηθλέεμ καὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονὸς ὃ ὁ κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν.


[1]The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition editor: Michael W. Holmes, source BibleArc http://biblearc.com

[2] Richard A. Hoyle, Scenarios, discourse and translation. SIL 2008
http://www.sil.org/silepubs/Pubs/50670/ ... lation.pdf.

[3] Divine Discourse,Nicholas Wolterstorff.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:26 am

Random observations:

1. The affinity with the Hesiod proemium (Qimmik) is very striking. No surprise if Luke was acquainted with it, especially if he is in fact the physican from Ephesus known from Paul. He clearly had a traditional Greek schooling, and if he hadn't read the whole poem he'd at least have known the proemium. (He was apparently gentile rather than Jewish, despite recent attempts to argue the contrary.) Worth pursuing, I'd say, but watch out for the flak.
(He'd certainly have known Iliad too, which also has ποιμενες αγραυλοι but without the contextual comparability and without the memorability of the Hesiod.)

I'm less taken by the Ethiopian eunuch. Incidentally, did the Kushite monarchs in fact have eunuchs, or is that just an exotic (eastern) touch? (The Moeritic culture is a very interesting one, but one I know very little about, apart from its writing system.)
- in Heliodorus' Ethiopica (the world's best crafted and best written novel—I've touted it before on these boards) eunuchs are not Ethiopian but Persian (Bagoas) if I remember.
(Heliodorus was from Emesa - present-day Homs, which we should also have in our minds this season.)

2. Apropos of articles (CSBartholemew), I was mildly struck by ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ in 7, suggesting that this is an abbreviated retelling of a wellknown story. ("in the manger"—what manger?) — But now I see the United Bible Societies text gives ἐν φάτνῃ, which is more what I'd have expected. (I'd suppose the article crept in later, once it was a wellknown story.)
No article with 9 δόξα κυρίου—a fixed phrase?

3. In 14 I found ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία very jarring, just standing there on its own without any connective linking it to the preceding pair of phrases. Not at all a normal use of asyndeton. And once again, I see the UBS text gives εὐδοκίας, genitive ("and on earth peace among men of good will" or "among men well approved of [by God]"). This reading has much better manuscript support, I see. It also makes a better pairing: glory-heaven-god in the first, matched by earth-peace-men in the second. Personally I'd prefer it without the limiting ευδοκιας at all, but to go cutting out words without external authority would meet with universal condemnation (justifiably or not)!

4. ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα (15) is very weird Greek. A Hebraism?

5. I spotted accentual errors in 6, 10, 15, 20 (ειναι, ειπεν, ειπον, ειδον).
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:38 am

About Ethiopians: This isn't really my idea, just something that Qimmik's remark brought to my mind. Stephanie West in her commentary on the Odyssey proposed something to the effect that from Homer on and throughout the antiquity, there was a general idea that Ethiopians are pious. She cited this particular Acts passage as an example. It's really beside the point where Homer or Luke or Heliodorus thought these Ethiopians lived -- the point is rather that pious Ethiopians (whether they are in Africa, Persia or on the moon) are a Greek topos, and if the author of Acts chose to make his pious Eunuch from a far-away land an Ethiopian, it looks like he has a Greek background/schooling, and is perhaps acquinted with Homer.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby mwh » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:47 am

I thought it interesting that his pious Ethiopian was a eunuch. To a Greek that ordinarily connotes Persia (where court officials were in fact eunuchs, just as in China and many other cultures, including pre-Ptolemaic Egyptian but not from 3rd cent. BCE on so far as I'm aware). Could be that "Ethiopian+eunuch" just = "exotic", but (1) Ethiopia is not normally assimilated to Persia (nor to Egypt) in the Greek imaginaire but always(?) distinguished from it, and (2) he certainly knows something about Ethiopia, witness Candace (the title of all Ethiopian/Meroitic empresses), so I wondered whether eunuchs were in matter of fact Ethiopian too. Does anyone know? It makes a difference to what we make of the story. "Topos" is a word we tend to throw around rather too easily I think, though I'm happy to accept it for pious Ethiopians.

Perhaps I should make one point at a time in my posts.:wink:
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:38 pm

Luke 2:14 δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας.

υἱὸς ὑψίστου κληθήσεται ‘he will be called Son of the Most High’ Lk 1:32.

[ὁ] θεὸς [ὁ] ὕψιστος used mostly in Luke-Acts is LXX language, translates אל עליון. Perhaps too much has been made of the pagan parallels to both the Hebrew and Greek forms of this expression. In regard to Luke's use in Acts see Irina A. Levinskaya 1996 The Book of Acts in its Diaspora Setting:

CHAPTER 5: God-fearers and the Cult of the Most High God
I. Pagan Background
II. Jewish Background
III. The Most High God in Acts: Pagan or Jewish? pp.83-104


The widely discussed Qumran parallel to Luke 1:32 is found in 4Q246 col. 2 line 1

ברה די אל יתאמר ובר עליון יקרונה

"He will be called the Son of God, they will call him the son of the Most High" M. Abegg
"He shall be hailed Son of God, and they shall call him Son of the Most High." J. Fitzmyer

Fitzmyer has commented on this fragment in several places, the article I have on hand is published in: Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins, pps. 41-61.

Do we have some Aramaic students/scholars here? Why is the first ברה in the construct state but not the second one בר ? And what is די , a relative pronoun?
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:09 am



Footnote #24 is very difficult to understand. Can anyone translate this jargon into English. The author is coming from some "framework" that I am not familiar with.

“The verb קרי in the sense of “to name” can have an object referring to an entity named raised to the grammatical subject in the process of passivisation as is the case here. However, the object of can not be personal. Hence the grammatical subject of יתאמר is, at most ברה די אל, a phrase which is prophesied to be uttered.”
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:04 am

I think what he is saying is that יאמרת is the passive of the verb אמר (which is the same word as the Hebrew word meaning "to say"), but it can't take a personal subject, and therefore ברה די אל יאמרת must mean not "he will be said [to be] the son of God," but rather something like "it will be spoken, 'the son of God'", or "the phrase 'the son of God' will be spoken".

If I'm understanding fn. 24 correctly, יקרונה is the passive of the verb קרי, "to call" (similar to Hebrew קרא), and this verb can take a personal subject in the passive, and so ובר עליון יקרונה means "and he will be called 'son of the most high'".

ר ו = רו, not ח.

That threw me off. It didn't look like יקחנה (as I read it at first) could be derived from קרי.
Last edited by Qimmik on Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:19 pm

ברה די אל יתאמר ובר עליון יקרונה

די is apparently a preposition meaning "of" or "out of". (I found that on various internet sites.)

There's a discussion of Jewish Aramaic here that seems like the writer knows what he's talking about and that addresses both די and the definite article א-:

http://www.christianforums.com/t7469745/

Note: I deleted some thoughts that turned out to be wrong.
Last edited by Qimmik on Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:22 pm

Qimmik wrote:ברה די אל יתאמר ובר עליון יקרונה

די is apparently a preposition meaning "of" or "out of". (I found that on various internet sites.)



Martin Abegg tags it as a relative pronoun. Don't know how much weight that carries.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby jaihare » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:27 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:
Qimmik wrote:ברה די אל יתאמר ובר עליון יקרונה

די is apparently a preposition meaning "of" or "out of". (I found that on various internet sites.)



Martin Abegg tags it as a relative pronoun. Don't know how much weight that carries.


As far as I know, it corresponds to Hebrew ש־ as a relative pronoun, which can also be used for possession. It is even more flexible, though, even appearing as a particle with construct sense.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:30 pm

This explains everything. Scroll down to part 3:

http://www.introlessonsinaramaic.com/downloads/07-ILiA_Lesson06.PDF

This explains both די and the suffix ה- appended to the form בר.

My previous speculations about the suffix were wrong, and I've deleted them.

Lesson 6 goes on to explain that די also functions as a relative pronoun.

Introduction to these lessons in Aramaic:

http://www.introlessonsinaramaic.com/downloads/01-ILiA_Introduction.PDF
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:16 pm

Qimmik wrote:This explains everything. Scroll down to part 3:

http://www.introlessonsinaramaic.com/downloads/07-ILiA_Lesson06.PDF

This explains both די and the suffix ה- appended to the form בר.

My previous speculations about the suffix were wrong, and I've deleted them.

Lesson 6 goes on to explain that די also functions as a relative pronoun.

Introduction to these lessons in Aramaic:

http://www.introlessonsinaramaic.com/downloads/01-ILiA_Introduction.PDF


Thank you, that clears up the issue with די.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:48 pm




Årstein Justnes quoting Cook

“he shall behailed (as) the Son of God,” is “too highly colored”,


That was basically my take on it but Fitzmyer was rather well informed on Aramaic so I just posted Abegg's version and kept my mouth shut :-)

I appreciate articles which take a critical look at issues like this one. There are two patterns at work here. One is for scholars to find flaws in other scholars work. Another is a tendency for work by "authorities" like Fitzmyer and Frank Moore Cross to become established dogma. I don't think Fitzmyer in his more recent treatment of 4Q246 was making some of the claims the author here implies. It seemed to me that Fitzmyer's most recent treatment was very cautious about making any claims at all. (See The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins, Eerdmans 2000.) I just read (hard copy) of the 1974 article. It seems that this critique is aimed people who followed the 1974 article and took it places it was never intended to go. I don't have access to those other publications but I suspect there we might find there is a straw man in the works here.

Fitzmyer, Joseph A.
- See more at: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/item/show ... VvCpM.dpuf


While Luke in 1:32b uses the futurum passive of καλέω (like in 1:35), 4Q2462:1b has the corresponding verb in the active voice. Unlike the passive form in Luke1:32b, the third person plural form in 4Q246 2:1b probably refers back to concrete referents in the context (4Q246 1:8?). It is clear from this that even though the two texts use related verbs, the way they use these verbs differs. The verb καλέω is used frequently in the first two chapters of Luke, and is a typical element inannouncement stories (cf. Luke 1:13; Matt 1:21, 23).


Reading what little remains of the context[2] in the previous lines of 4Q2462:1a, I suspect there is less significance to the active third person plural than this discussion implies. A third person plural can be used in a generic fashion without referring back to "concrete referents in the context." Even if we accept the the concrete referents I don't see why that would cause a serious problem.

Cook has further noted that ברה די אל should be taken as a definite form, while υἱὸς θεοῦ is indefinite.


Does υἱὸς θεοῦ have a unique referential identity in the context? If it does then it is marked for salience by being anarthrous. Levinsohn and Richard Hoyle both cover this in detail. (Levinsohn 2000:148-160, Richard Hoyle Scenarios, Discourse, and Translation Ch6 )

[2] Martin Abegg's translation (pay close attention to the brackets. Not much text here.)
4Q246 f1i:1 [… a spirit from God] rested upon him, he fell before the throne. 2 [… O ki]ng, wrath is coming to the world, and your years 3 [shall be shortened … such] is your vision, and all of it is about to come unto the world. 4 [… Amid] great [signs], tribulation is coming upon the land. 5 [… After much killing] and slaughter, a prince of nations 6 [will arise …] the king of Assyria and Egypt 7 […] he will be ruler over the land 8 […] will be subject to him and all will obey 9 [him. Also his son] will be called The Great, and be designated by his name.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:20 am

Qimmik wrote:This explains everything. Scroll down to part 3:

http://www.introlessonsinaramaic.com/downloads/07-ILiA_Lesson06.PDF

This explains both די and the suffix ה- appended to the form בר.

My previous speculations about the suffix were wrong, and I've deleted them.

Lesson 6 goes on to explain that די also functions as a relative pronoun.

Introduction to these lessons in Aramaic:

http://www.introlessonsinaramaic.com/downloads/01-ILiA_Introduction.PDF


RE: the the suffix ה- appended to the form בר.
Here is an article on it.
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/5 ... 3252162683

I was assuming that ה- was a construct inflection, not so. There are several ways of marking the genitive relationship. Look here for an explanation:
http://arshama.classics.ox.ac.uk/downlo ... 3%20(Nouns).pdf

The point in the original article was that אל is a definite noun while υἱὸς θεοῦ is indefinite. But in Greek absence of the article doesn't always indicate that something is indefinite.
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Re: The Reason for the Season Luke 2:1-21

Postby Qimmik » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:32 pm

"in Greek absence of the article doesn't always indicate that something is indefinite."

βασιλεύς without article regularly means "the king of Persia."
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