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Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

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Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Vladimir » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:44 pm

If the verb of a Greek phrase is omitted, does it necessarily mean that it is the verb εἰμί? E.g., in some Creeds or in some works by Fathers of the Church sometimes we can see expressions like this: πιστεύομεν εἰς τὸ Πνεύμα τὸ Ἅγιον ὃ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ or something of this kind. So should we necessarily conclude that according to that text, τὸ Πνεύμα ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ ἐστιν i.e. the Holy Spirit is or has His being from the Father and the Son? Are any other interpretation philologically possible?
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:46 pm

Just a thought... What information does the word ἐστιν carry? Or the English is, for that matter? Nothing much really. It's just a copula. What I mean is that the omission of the copula is not necessarily an anomaly; Greek is more logical than, say, English in this respect: when the relationship between the subject and the predicate is obvious without the copula, it is completely superfluous.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:00 pm

Vladimir wrote:If the verb of a Greek phrase is omitted, does it necessarily mean that it is the verb εἰμί? E.g., in some Creeds or in some works by Fathers of the Church sometimes we can see expressions like this: πιστεύομεν εἰς τὸ Πνεύμα τὸ Ἅγιον ὃ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ or something of this kind. So should we necessarily conclude that according to that text, τὸ Πνεύμα ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ ἐστιν i.e. the Holy Spirit is or has His being from the Father and the Son? Are any other interpretation philologically possible?


In regard to your first question the "omitted" verb need not be εἰμί. All manner of things are omitted. Looking at Filioque wikipedia it looks like the verb would be some form of ἐκπορεύεται, for example:

Ὁμολογῶ βεβαίως τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον οὐκ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ
ἐκπορεύεσθαι ἅμα κατὰ τοὺς Ἰταλούς, ἀλλ' ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ὑποστάσεως τοῦ
πατρὸς ἑνικῶς, ὥσπερ ἀμέλει καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ὑποστάσεως
τοῦ πατρὸς ἑνικῶς γεννᾶται, πέμπεσθαι δὲ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ
τὸ πνεῦμα, οἶον αὐτὴ ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ δωρεὰ αὐτοῦ δίδωσιν.

page 149
http://khazarzar.skeptik.net/pgm/PG_Mig ... isseno.pdf
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Victor » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:15 am

Vladimir wrote:If the verb of a Greek phrase is omitted, does it necessarily mean that it is the verb εἰμί? E.g., in some Creeds or in some works by Fathers of the Church sometimes we can see expressions like this: πιστεύομεν εἰς τὸ Πνεύμα τὸ Ἅγιον ὃ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ or something of this kind. So should we necessarily conclude that according to that text, τὸ Πνεύμα ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ ἐστιν i.e. the Holy Spirit is or has His being from the Father and the Son? Are any other interpretation philologically possible?

Are you sure what you've seen is not rather πιστεύομεν εἰς τὸ Πνεύμα τὸ Ἅγιον τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ [ἐκπορευόμενον]?
Can you find us any examples of this sort of thing - i.e. of a relative pronoun (not the article) heading a clause in which no verb is present to complete the sense?
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Vladimir » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:31 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Just a thought... What information does the word ἐστιν carry? Or the English is, for that matter?
The thing is that to be and to have one's being is just the same. So if the Holy Spirit is from or through the Son, He has His personal subsistance from or through the second Person of the Trinity, doesn't He?

What I mean is that the omission of the copula is not necessarily an anomaly
You are quite right, there is the same thing in modern Slavic languages, but it is much more common than in Greek.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Vladimir » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:40 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:In regard to your first question the "omitted" verb need not be εἰμί. All manner of things are omitted. Looking at Filioque wikipedia it looks like the verb would be some form of ἐκπορεύεται

Does it really prove that ἐκπορεύεται can be implied in my example? Maybe it would be better to find some examples of verbs ommission in non-theological texts. But anyway I think there isn't much difference to say "The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" or "is from Them".
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Vladimir » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:50 pm

Victor wrote:Can you find us any examples of this sort of thing - i.e. of a relative pronoun (not the article) heading a clause in which no verb is present to complete the sense?

No, I can't, you may be right. But how would you translae in Greek a sentence like this: Confitemur etiam Spiritum vivum et sanctum, Paracletum vivum, qui ex Patre et Filio?
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Victor » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:56 pm

Vladimir wrote:No, I can't, you may be right. But how would you translae in Greek a sentence like this: Confitemur etiam Spiritum vivum et sanctum, Paracletum vivum, qui ex Patre et Filio?

The Latin you quote is apparently a translation from the Syriac. Possibly Syriac syntax, or merely a desire for abbreviation, has influenced omission of the copula in the Latin.

I've seen a version of this that supplies an est thus:
Confitemur etiam Spiritum vivum et Sanctum, Paracletum vivum, qui ex Patre et Filio, [est] in una Trinitate, in una essentia, in una voluntate, amplectentes fidem trecentorum decem et octo Episcoporum quae definita fuit in urbe Nicaea.

Clearly, if est is to be read, the Latin would make better sense if the comma after Filio were absent.

Ultimately I'm not sure what light you think can be shed on Greek syntax by translating into Greek part of a Latin translation of a Syriac canon.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Markos » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:54 pm

Vladimir wrote: Maybe it would be better to find some examples of verbs ommission in non-theological texts.

It is probably not relevant to the text in question, but in famous proverbs, particularly with imperatives, all sorts of verbs are routinely left out.

μηδὲν ἄγαν. (πράττε)

ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς. (φέρε...φέρου)

μὴ παιδὶ μάχαιραν. (δίδου)

κ.τ.λ.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:52 pm

Vladimir wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:In regard to your first question the "omitted" verb need not be εἰμί. All manner of things are omitted. Looking at Filioque wikipedia it looks like the verb would be some form of ἐκπορεύεται

Does it really prove that ἐκπορεύεται can be implied in my example? Maybe it would be better to find some examples of verbs ommission in non-theological texts. But anyway I think there isn't much difference to say "The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" or "is from Them".


Vladimir,

To reiterate, anything can be omitted. I is difficult to prove what a missing word is since it is missing. On the other hand the text fragments you asked about are far from random. They belong to a particular historical scenario, the Filioque controversy about which I know very little. Non-theological texts wouldn't help much since the text under consideration is situated within a theological context and activates a very specific scenario. Focusing on that scenario is the path to success in figuring out what the text says.

If you search on "ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς Καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ ἐκπορευόμενον" perhaps you will find some discussion in Russian or Greek.

postscript:


excerpt from: THE NICENE CREED - AGREED AT THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE IN 381

καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ Κύριον καὶ Ζωοποιόν,
τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον,

Et in Spiritum sanctum, Dominum ac vivificatorem
a Patre procedentem,

source: http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/public/nicene_creed.htm

I just did a search on τὸ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον and found 28 passages in the church fathers, Epiphanius, Gregorius Nazianzenus, Athanasius, Basilius, Joannes Chrysostomus, Cyrillus, Joannes Damascenus, Theodoretus … and others.
Last edited by C. S. Bartholomew on Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Victor » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:59 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Victor,
To reiterate, anything can be omitted.

Possibly you intended to address Vladimir, rather than me?
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:[
I just did a search on τὸ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον and found 28 passages in the church fathers, Epiphanius, Gregorius Nazianzenus, Athanasius, Basilius, Joannes Chrysostomus, Cyrillus, Joannes Damascenus, Theodoretus … and others.

Perhaps we should reiterate for Vladimir's benefit that what we're dealing with here is an attributive adjectival phrase headed by the article τὸ rather than a relative clause headed by ὃ, which is what he originally seems to have believed we were dealing with.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:20 pm

Victor wrote:Possibly you intended to address Vladimir, rather than me?


Yes, I fixed it.

I have a quote here from St. John of Damascus
An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Book I)
Chapter 8. Concerning the Holy Trinity

source: http://www.dhspriory.org/kenny/Query5-JohnDam.htm

Ὁμοίως πιστεύομεν καὶ εἰς ἓν πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον καὶ ζωοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον καὶ ἐν υἱῷ ἀναπαυόμενον, τὸ τῷ πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον ὡς ὁμοούσιόν τε καὶ συναΐδιον, τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα, τὸ εὐθές, τὸ ἡγεμονικόν, τὴν πηγὴν τῆς ζωῆς καὶ τοῦ ἁγιασμοῦ, θεὸν σὺν πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ ὑπάρχον καὶ προσαγορευόμενον, ἄκτιστον, πλῆρες, δημιουργόν, παντοκρατορικόν, παντουργόν, παντοδύναμον, ἀπειροδύναμον, δεσπόζον πάσης τῆς κτίσεως οὐ δεσποζόμενον, πληροῦν οὐ πληρούμενον, μετεχόμενον οὐ μετέχον, ἁγιάζον οὐχ ἁγιαζόμενον, παράκλητον ὡς τὰς τῶν ὅλων παρακλήσεις δεχόμενον, κατὰ πάντα ὅμοιον τῷ πατρὶ καὶ τῷ υἱῷ, ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον καὶ δι' υἱοῦ μεταδιδόμενον καὶ μεταλαμβανόμενον ὑπὸ πάσης τῆς κτίσεως καὶ δι' ἑαυτοῦ κτίζον καὶ οὐσιοῦν τὰ σύμπαντα καὶ ἁγιάζον καὶ συνέχον, ἐνυπόστατον ἤτοι ἐν ἰδίᾳ ὑποστάσει ὑπάρχον, ἀχώριστον καὶ ἀνεκφοίτητον πατρὸς καὶ υἱοῦ καὶ πάντα ἔχον, ὅσα ἔχει ὁ πατὴρ καὶ ὁ υἱός, πλὴν τῆς ἀγεννησίας καὶ τῆς γεννήσεως. Ὁ μὲν γὰρ πατὴρ ἀναίτιος καὶ ἀγέννητος (οὐ γὰρ ἔκ τινος· οὐδὲ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τὸ εἶναι ἔχει οὐδέ τι τῶν ὅσα ἔχει), αὐτὸς δὲ μᾶλλόν ἐστιν ἀρχὴ καὶ αἰτία τοῦ εἶναι καὶ τοῦ πῶς εἶναι φυσικῶς τοῖς πᾶσιν. Ὁ δὲ υἱὸς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννητῶς· τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον καὶ αὐτὸ μὲν ἐκ τοῦ πατρός, ἀλλ' οὐ γεννητῶς ἀλλ' ἐκπορευτῶς. Καὶ ὅτι μὲν ἔστι διαφορὰ γεννήσεως καὶ ἐκπορεύσεως, μεμαθήκαμεν· τίς δὲ ὁ τρόπος τῆς διαφορᾶς, οὐδαμῶς. Ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἡ υἱοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γέννησις, καὶ ἡ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐκπόρευσις.


Likewise we believe also in one Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life: Who proceeds from the Father and rests in the Son: the object of equal adoration and glorification with the Father and Son, since He is co-essential and co-eternal : the Spirit of God, direct, authoritative, the fountain of wisdom, and life, and holiness: God existing and addressed along with Father and Son: uncreate, full, creative, all-ruling, all-effecting, all-powerful, of infinite power, Lord of all creation and not under any lord : deifying, not deified : filling, not filled: shared in, not sharing in: sanctifying, not sanctified: the intercessor, receiving the supplications of all: in all things like to the Father and Son: proceeding from the Father and communicated through the Son, and participated in by all creation, through Himself creating, and investing with essence and sanctifying, and maintaining the universe: having subsistence, existing in its own proper and peculiar subsistence, inseparable and indivisible from Father and Son, and possessing all the qualities that the Father and Son possess, save that of not being begotten or born. For the Father is without cause and unborn: for He is derived from nothing, but derives from Himself His being, nor does He derive a single quality from another. Rather He is Himself the beginning and cause of the existence of all things in a definite and natural manner. But the Son is derived from the Father after the manner of generation, and the Holy Spirit likewise is derived from the Father, yet not after the manner of generation, but after that of procession. And we have learned that there is a difference between generation and procession, but the nature of that difference we in no wise understand. Further, the generation of the Son from the Father and the procession of the Holy Spirit are simultaneous.
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Re: Omitting verbs in Greek sentences

Postby Vladimir » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:18 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:To reiterate, anything can be omitted. I is difficult to prove what a missing word is since it is missing.

It seems to me that if it is not the verb to be, the context must show us what it is. For example, Cyril of Alexandria writes:

ὡσπερ γάρ πρόεισιν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, αὐτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν ὑπάρχον, καὶ κατὰ τὸν ἴσον τούτῳ τρόπον καὶ δι' αὐτοῦ τοῦ ϒἱοῦ, φυσικῶς ὄν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὁμοούσιον αὐτῷ.

Here it is evident that the missing verb is πρόεισιν because it was used in the same sentence and in the same context. Otherwise it would be impossible to understand many Greek phrases.
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