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Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

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Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

Postby cfinch » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:37 pm

I am studying Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek.. I just found this greattreasures.com and we are going through the book of Romans at my church. So I figured i would start memorizing Romans and studying the greek.. I have some basic grammer and the alphabet down to were I can make my way through a verse, slowly but surely, and also with the help of the audio lessons on greattreasures it makes much easier with more difficult pronunciations. To my question:

In Romans 1 there is Paulos, duolos, Christeu, and Jesus ( with the eu ending).. So it says Paul servent Christ Jesus..

My question >>in English which is cut and dry; which would say Paul (A) servent (OF) Christ Jesus... What in the Koine greek mind would make them know that what was being said was Paul (A) servent (OF) Christ Jesus? When it literally says: "paul servent christ jesus... " I guess it just seems vague? Or maybe the greek dosn't necessarily use language like we do, which is clearly obvious. I am assuming that the case endings have alot to do with my misunderstandings.. and that these definite articles (which I think they are) are somehow built in to the case ending...

Some clarification would be much appreciated! Thank you!
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Re: Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

Postby GTM » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:38 pm

cfinch

My question >>in English which is cut and dry; which would say Paul (A) servent (OF) Christ Jesus... What in the Koine greek mind would make them know that what was being said was Paul (A) servent (OF) Christ Jesus? When it literally says: "paul servent christ jesus... " I guess it just seems vague? Or maybe the greek dosn't necessarily use language like we do, which is clearly obvious. I am assuming that the case endings have alot to do with my misunderstandings.. and that these definite articles (which I think they are) are somehow built in to the case ending...


In Koine Greek thee are various Noun Declensions.ιησου χριστου is a Genitive form. Normally the use of the term "of" is added to the English translation because the genitive carries the idea of possession in an abstract manner. There is much more to the genitive than what I have expressed here.

Word of God would be genitive
Law of man would be genitive.

If the form were nominative then the use of the term "of" would most likely not be used.

GTM
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Re: Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

Postby jaihare » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:03 am

cfinch wrote:I am studying Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek.. I just found this greattreasures.com and we are going through the book of Romans at my church. So I figured i would start memorizing Romans and studying the greek.. I have some basic grammer and the alphabet down to were I can make my way through a verse, slowly but surely, and also with the help of the audio lessons on greattreasures it makes much easier with more difficult pronunciations. To my question:

In Romans 1 there is Paulos, duolos, Christeu, and Jesus ( with the eu ending).. So it says Paul servent Christ Jesus..

My question >>in English which is cut and dry; which would say Paul (A) servent (OF) Christ Jesus... What in the Koine greek mind would make them know that what was being said was Paul (A) servent (OF) Christ Jesus? When it literally says: "paul servent christ jesus... " I guess it just seems vague? Or maybe the greek dosn't necessarily use language like we do, which is clearly obvious. I am assuming that the case endings have alot to do with my misunderstandings.. and that these definite articles (which I think they are) are somehow built in to the case ending...

Some clarification would be much appreciated! Thank you!


First off, there's no eu ending here. The ending is ou (ου - omicron upsilon). This is the common ending for genitive masculine nouns (in both first and second declensions). While it's always a great advantage to read and memorize passages in Greek, I think you need to cover a bit of the grammar before any memorization will be beneficial for you.

Χριστος Ιησους = Christ Jesus (nominative)
Χριστου Ιησου = of Christ Jesus (genitive)

The genitive bears the meaning of "of" or "from".

Παυλος = Paul (nominative)
δουλος = servant/slave (nominative)
Χριστου = of Christ (genitive)
Ιησου = of Jesus (genitive)

Παῦλος δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ = Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus

If you haven't covered this much grammar (which is taught very early in Mounce - I believe noun declensions are introduced as early as chapter four), you're going to have a very hard time memorizing Greek for meaning. Perhaps a bit more study of the grammar (at least to third-declension nouns in chapter 10) and then start memorizing (though without real verb coverage - but something is better than nothing!).
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τοὺς θεοὺς εὔχομαί σοι διδόναι ὑγίειαν καὶ σωτηρίαν καὶ ἀγαθὰ πολλά.
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Re: Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

Postby cfinch » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:15 pm

Thanks for the responses. Yeah, I kind of jumped the gun on all this and was looking for an easy answer. And I aslo was jumpy with "eu" ending... I already had it memorized that was just the first thing that popped in my head to write while at work and in a hurry... anyways, if I had just read like two more chapters in Mounce's book everything would have been cleared up... When it introduced genitive and dative case endings, which cleared things up very nicely.

Being new to greek study and realizing the depth and work of the task, I have discovered a new respect for the English translations that we have.. And how accurate they are, the word for word translations at least. It is very hard adjusting, as i'm sure would be the case in studying any new language, to adapt from a language that doesn't stress case endings to a language that does.. It is profound to me that there would be no word for "of", but that it would rather be a genitive case ending at the end of the particular word to stress possesion... what are the benefits of a language that does this? Is is more accurate that a language that doesn't?
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Re: Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

Postby Nooj » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:53 pm

cfinch wrote:It is profound to me that there would be no word for "of", but that it would rather be a genitive case ending at the end of the particular word to stress possesion... what are the benefits of a language that does this? Is is more accurate that a language that doesn't?
I wouldn't say that. It's just the way an inflected language like ancient Greek works. Word endings are inflected (that is, changed in form) depending on their grammatical usage. Modern English is quite different and uses a lot of prepositions like 'of' to do the same job.
Dolor poetas creat.
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Re: Romans 1:1/ case endings/ clarification

Postby modus.irrealis » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:55 pm

Just to add, one thing that makes Greek harder is that the form of the genitive case ending is different for different classes of words. It's as if English used "of" for some words, but then used "ip" for others, and "rut" for others, and so on, with it being only partially predictable which one you use. But there are languages out there where the case ending is perfectly regular and there you can see that case endings and prepositions are functionally equivalent.
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