Rev. 8:6 Καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ ἄγγελοι οἱ ἔχοντες τὰς ἑπτὰ σάλπιγγας ἡτοίμασαν αὐτοὺς ἵνα σαλπίσωσιν.
H.B. Swete, R.H. Charles and others including a minority of the "committee" Metxger TextCom 1stEd. prefer the rough breathing on αὐτοὺς. Metzger says "Despite what appears to be Hellenistic usage a minority of the committee strongly prefers the use of the rough breathing on αὐτοὺς."
What is this all about? What does Hellenistic usage refer to in this context?
I found Danker's (3rd Ed) discussion of this p268 under εαυτου 1st paragraph. Also J.H. Moulton vol.2 p181, and Metxger's comments on Phil 3:21 TextCom 1stEd page 615-616. I am somewhat befuddled by the question "what is at stake here?", it seems that there is some contradiction or merely confusion in the different treatments. One treatment is semantic, saying that αὐτοὺς in the Hellenistic period expanded to overlap with the semantic domains of εαυτου. Other treatments seem to be focused simply on orthography (not semantic issues) saying that in some mss at some dates and locations the epsilon in εαυτου was omitted. I am really interested in the semantic issue but you really can not totally divorce the semantic issue from the spelling issue.
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:One treatment is semantic, saying that αὐτοὺς in the Hellenistic period expanded to overlap with the semantic domains of εαυτου. .
Perhaps I have not understood what Danker and others are saying. At first I thought they were claiming that αὐτοὺς had expanded to include reflexive usage overlapping with εαυτου. Now I wonder if that is really the case. Two more places to look, Moule Idioms p119 and Louw & Nida footnote #11 on page 818, §92.37 which I will cut and paste here:
11 Note the overlap between αὐτόςb (92.11) and αὐτόςc (92.37). αὐτόςb serves essentially as a reference to the third person, both singular and plural, and only in the nominative form does it carry emphasis. This could very well be classified as an instance of αὐτόςc. In the oblique cases there is no such emphasis. On the other hand, αὐτόςc may be an adjunct to any lexical item in an oblique case and, as such, carries emphasis.
Impossible to make sense out of this w/o seeing a b c:
58.31 αὐτός a, ή, ό (occurring with the article): pertaining to that which is identical to something — ‘same.’ προσηύξατο τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών ‘he prayed, saying the same thing’ Mk 14:39; οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ τελῶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν; ‘do not even the tax collectors do the same thing?’ Mt 5:46.
92.11 αὐτός b, ή, ό: a reference to a definite person or persons spoken or written about (with an added feature of emphasis in the nominative forms) — ‘he, him, she, her, it, they, them.’ αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν ‘for he will save his people from their sins’ Mt 1:21; καὶ οὗτος μὴν ἕκτος ἐστὶν αὐτῇ τῇ καλουμένῃ στείρᾳ ‘and this was the sixth month for her who was called barren’ Lk 1:36; αὐτῶν τὴν συνείδησιν ‘their conscience’ 1Cor 8:12; καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου λέγει αὐτῇ ‘and taking the child by the hand, he said to her’ Mk 5:41.
92.37 αὐτός c, ή, ό: a marker of emphasis by calling attention to the distinctiveness of the lexical item with which it occurs (used for all persons, genders, and numbers) — ‘-self, -selves’ (for example, myself, yourself, yourselves, ourselves, himself, herself, itself, themselves).11 πέπεισμαι δέ, ἀδελφοί μου, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐγὼ περὶ ὑμῶν ‘my fellow believers, I myself am persuaded concerning you’ Ro 15:14; αὐτὸς Δαυὶδ εἶπεν ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγίῳ ‘David himself spoke by means of the Holy Spirit’ Mk 12:36.
I am still somewhat less than perfectly clear about this. Particularly the semantic impact of reflexive pronoun vs non-reflexive. I suspect it would involve a change of referent from the trumpets to the Angels:
NKJV Rev. 8:6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. based on the Maj/TR Reading ητοιμασαν εαυτους ινα σαλπισωσιν.
NRSV Rev. 8:6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them. NA27 ἡτοίμασαν αὐτοὺς ἵνα σαλπίσωσιν
Now my question is, which breathing of αυτους lies behind the NRSV? I am assuming that it is the smooth breathing?