Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:30 pm

Hi Jeidseth,
jeidsath wrote:Isaac, I think you're being too hard on yourself with that last post. You weren't really being a deceiver in my opinion, and I reject you calling yourself one. That is far too harsh to say about anyone here, even yourself. We're all just learners here, and I (and others) agree with a fair amount of what you have to say, if not the presentation or the choice of forum. I personally agree with you that there is a case to be made that Christian writings between 50 A.D. - 100 A.D. show little if any consciousness of a high pneumatology. The Paraclete too is a great big and interesting discussion. But for another forum.
Keep in mind always that the bible is a dangerous fire. If we handle it inappropriately, we shall be burnt
ναί. πῦρ γὰρ ἦλθε βαλεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὁ χριστός . (Luke 12:49)
It is rather unwise to declare / dictate that a thread about whether or not the personality of holy spirit can be shown through ad sensum construction has nothing to do with Greek grammar.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:39 pm

I object to you or anyone calling you unwise, Isaac! Frankly I don't know where these posts of yours come from.

Meanwhile, let's get this discussion back to the grammar. Can you comment on Plato's Laches 180e? The part about τὰ μειράκια πρὸς ἀλλήλους διαλεγόμενοι?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:43 am

jeidsath wrote:I object to you or anyone calling you unwise, Isaac! Frankly I don't know where these posts of yours come from.

Meanwhile, let's get this discussion back to the grammar. Can you comment on Plato's Laches 180e? The part about τὰ μειράκια πρὸς ἀλλήλους διαλεγόμενοι?
This is a good example of constructio ad sensum τὰ μειράκια πρὸς ἀλλήλους διαλεγόμενοι (the lads discussing with one another ) and relevant to this thread. Notice τὰ μειράκια is neuter plural but the participle is masculine plural διαλεγόμενοι, because persons are in view. Also ἀλλήλους instead of ἄλληλ.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Vladimir » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:16 am

Isaac Newton wrote:I have this book(in English) on my shelf. Could you cite the pg. , section and sub section ? I could check the English.
See the footnote 73 in the chapter on the dative of agent, in my book, it is on the page 189. There Wallace speaks about Gal. 5:16, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε; he says it is not an example of the dative of agent, so the fact htat the Holy Spirit is a person wasn't completely realized in the apostolic period. In the footnote, he claims that all the New Testament cases of using the phrase ὑπὸ πνεύματος, which evidently expresses the personality of the spirit, are al in later books (Mt. 4:1; Lk. 2:26; Ac. 13:4; 16:6; 2Pt. 1:21).

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:16 am

Hi Vladimir,

Vladimir wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:I have this book(in English) on my shelf. Could you cite the pg. , section and sub section ? I could check the English.
See the footnote 73 in the chapter on the dative of agent, in my book, it is on the page 189. There Wallace speaks about Gal. 5:16, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε; he says it is not an example of the dative of agent, so the fact htat the Holy Spirit is a person wasn't completely realized in the apostolic period. In the footnote, he claims that all the New Testament cases of using the phrase ὑπὸ πνεύματος, which evidently expresses the personality of the spirit, are al in later books (Mt. 4:1; Lk. 2:26; Ac. 13:4; 16:6; 2Pt. 1:21).
Thanks for the citations.

These are to be found in pages 165 and 166 in the English version of the book. The point regarding the grammatical basis for holy spirit's supposed personality on account of ὑπὸ + genitive doesn't seem to me to be Wallace's personal conviction, but he seems to be speaking on behalf of those who argue for this perspective when he makes the footnote assertion in 74, hence his use of a caveat like "apparently". -- "It is interesting that all of the NT examples of ὑπὸ + πνεύματος, indicating as they apparently do the personality of the Spirit, occur in later books (cf. Matt. 4:1; Luke 2:26;Acts 13:4;16:6;2 Peter 1:21)."

More importantly he does not repeat this in his "Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit" where he unconditionally concedes that there is no evidence for holy spirit's personality through the route of Greek grammar.

FWIW, I agree with you that this is a weak (even foolish) argument. In Greek, ὑπὸ + genitive does not invariably spell "ultimate personal agency" for there is no such magic "rule" ; else we would be in the unenviable position of having to defend the notion that θάνατος in Acts 2:24 is a "person," for instance. These sorts of "arguments" (which amount to an abuse of Greek grammar) are born out of sheer desperation, if anything IMHO.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:33 am

Mark 9:24-25 affords us another good example:

εὐθὺς κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν Πιστεύω· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ.ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος, ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα, ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν.
Notice instead of αὐτό we have αὐτόν.

And in the very next verse, in 9:26 we have ad sensum construction with reference to the evil spirit;
...ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα, ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν. 26 καὶ κράξας καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξας ἐξῆλθεν· καὶ ἐγένετο ὡσεὶ νεκρὸς, ὥστε τοὺς πολλοὺς λέγειν ὅτι ἀπέθανεν.
Notice the masculine form of the participle κράξας instead of the neuter κράξαν is used, and also the masculine σπαράξας instead of the neuter σπαράξαν because the author viewed this evil spirit as a personality.

And finally, we see the masculine νεκρὸς instead of the neuter νεκρὸν because the child is a personality, an individual, a "person.".
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:49 pm

I think that the next step that you'll have to take to make a convincing argument on this Isaac, is to demonstrate how the grammar of Christians changed over the next few hundred years as a higher pneumatology developed. How did people refer to τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον in the 2nd-3rd centuries? Had it changed, or was it the same?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Also, you're getting most of your current information from here, correct?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:48 pm

jeidsath wrote:Also, you're getting most of your current information from here, correct?
Yes.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:04 pm

jeidsath wrote:I think that the next step that you'll have to take to make a convincing argument on this Isaac, is to demonstrate how the grammar of Christians changed over the next few hundred years as a higher pneumatology developed. How did people refer to τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον in the 2nd-3rd centuries? Had it changed, or was it the same?
Good point.

It would be a fine idea to inspect the writings of the so-called "church fathers" (both the "early" and post Nicene ) to see if there was either a conscious or subconscious move by them to refer to τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον with masculine pronouns and modifiers. On the other hand there might have been a conscious effort by them to not do so, in order to keep consistent with the NT which doesn't do so. But these issues must be carefully investigated..

In this regard, I observed yesterday the following peculiarity concerning Mark 9:24-26 and the TR. Here the participles κράξας and σπαράξας have actually been tampered with and given neuter endings. Was this done to veil the fact that holy spirit was not similarly referred to with masculine participles in the NT, or to keep grammatical consistency with the gender of the evil spirit ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:25 am

I think Wallace was wrong to ignore the examples of constructio ad sensum from the book of Revelation in his article ("Greek Grammar and the Personaity of the Holy Spirit.") . Following is a very pertinent one to the present discussion. I found it while reading through chapter 13 of this delightful book of prophesy:
καὶ τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πρώτου θηρίου πᾶσαν ποιεῖ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ποιεῖ τὴν γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ κατοικοῦντας ἵνα προσκυνήσουσιν τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον, οὗ ἐθεραπεύθη ἡ πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ.
Rev. 13:12

Notice τὸ θηρίον (or the Beast) has neuter grammatical gender, yet the relative pronoun οὗ referring to it is masculine because it is a personality, an individual, even if not "human" by any objective criteria.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:59 am

And what would τὸ πρῶτον and οὗ have been if they were neuter?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:20 pm

jeidsath wrote:And what would τὸ πρῶτον and οὗ have been if they were neuter?

We know he's intending the genitive relative pronoun as masculine even though οὗ can be either (masculine or neuter) because of what comes two verses down the road within the same context:
καὶ πλανᾷ τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς διὰ τὰ σημεῖα ἃ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θηρίου, λέγων τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ποιῆσαι εἰκόνα τῷ θηρίῳ, ὃς ἔχει τὴν πληγὴν τῆς μαχαίρης καὶ ἔζησεν.
Rev. 13:14

τῷ θηρίῳ is neuter, yet the nominative relative pronoun ὃς is masculine. We expect ὅ here.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:57 pm

And "τὸ θηρίον ὃ εἶδον" a few verses up?
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:57 pm

jeidsath wrote:And "τὸ θηρίον ὃ εἶδον" a few verses up?
Which verse exactly. And what about it ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:56 pm

Look carefully, Ike! I have every confidence in you.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:41 pm

jeidsath wrote:Look carefully, Ike! I have every confidence in you.
Could you -
(a) List the verse which is apparently only "a few verses up" , (b) explain exactly what you're trying to argue with it ?

I hate to say this, but you seem to be trolling
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jeidsath » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:00 pm

Ah, but in Greek, the Trolls were:
οἱ μὲν δαίμονες ἁγνοὶ ἐπιχθόνιοι τελέθουσιν,
ἐσθλοί, ἀλεξίκακοι, φύλακες μερόπων ἀνθρώπων;
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:33 pm

I saw another instance of ad sensum construction at Rev. 13:14. Does anyone else perceive it ?
καὶ πλανᾷ τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς διὰ τὰ σημεῖα ἃ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θηρίου, λέγων τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ποιῆσαι εἰκόνα τῷ θηρίῳ, ὃς ἔχει τὴν πληγὴν τῆς μαχαίρης καὶ ἔζησεν.
Notice the masculine form of the participle (λέγων) associated with the second beast (ἄλλο θηρίον ). We expect λέγον here don't we ? Now notice Acts 20:23 where the same is not done with reference to the holy spirit:

πλὴν ὅτι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον κατὰ πόλιν διαμαρτύρεταί μοι λέγον ὅτι δεσμὰ καὶ θλίψεις με μένουσιν·
Acts 20:23
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:46 pm

I was reading through the holy scriptures just now, and I found instances of constructio ad sensum associated with a spirit [evil] (spirits actually) which Wallace had overlooked in his "Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit":
ἔλεγεν γὰρ αὐτῷ Ἔξελθε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἀκάθαρτον ἐκ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.καὶ ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν Τί ὄνομά σοι; καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι, ὅτι πολλοί ἐσμεν.καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν πολλὰ ἵνα μὴ αὐτὰ ἀποστείλῃ ἔξω τῆς χώρας.ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πρὸς τῷ ὄρει ἀγέλη χοίρων μεγάλη βοσκομένη·καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Πέμψον ἡμᾶς εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, ἵνα εἰς αὐτοὺς εἰσέλθωμεν.
Mark 5:8 -12

We expect πολλά and λέγοντα respectively don't we ? Incidentally at Luke 4:41 we do have λέγοντα instead of λέγοντες:
ἐξήρχετο δὲ καὶ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ πολλῶν, κραυγάζοντα καὶ λέγοντα ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ. καὶ ἐπιτιμῶν οὐκ εἴα αὐτὰ λαλεῖν, ὅτι ᾔδεισαν τὸν Χριστὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι.

--

So we see that in the GNT evil spirits are sometimes referred to with masculine participles, adjectives and pronouns, because these are spirit beings. Yet this is never done with reference to holy spirit .IMHO this serves as insurmountable evidence that the NT did not consider holy spirit to be a "person" but rather the "force" or "power" of a living Being instead, namely that of the Father. We get a powerful inkling of this in the following Hebraic parallelism :
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
Luke 1:35
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Vladimir » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:28 am

Isaac Newton wrote:We get a powerful inkling of this in the following Hebraic parallelism :
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
Luke 1:35
I don't think this verse could be an argument against the personality of the Holy Spirit, for Christ himself is called θεοῦ δύναμις καὶ θεοῦ σοφία in 1Cor. 1:24.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:48 am

Hi Vladimir,
Vladimir wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:We get a powerful inkling of this in the following Hebraic parallelism :
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ.
Luke 1:35
I don't think this verse could be an argument against the personality of the Holy Spirit, for Christ himself is called θεοῦ δύναμις καὶ θεοῦ σοφία in 1Cor. 1:24.
I beg to differ because in 1 Cor. 1:24 we have the "is" of essential predication. In other words Χριστὸν is not appositional to θεοῦ δύναμις . Whereas when we're dealing with the Hebraic parallel, we're using the "is" of identity so that the two terms are synonyms in which the same sentiment is repeated in different but equivalent words, for example Ps. 15:5, Num. 23:7-10, Isa. 60: 1-3, etc., and Luke 1:35.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Vladimir » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:18 pm

Isaac Newton wrote: I beg to differ because in 1 Cor. 1:24 we have the "is" of essential predication. In other words Χριστὸν is not appositional to θεοῦ δύναμις .
I don't understand why. Of course here there is no parallelism like in the verse you have quoted from the Gospel according to Luke, but it really looks like an apposition rather than an enumeration.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:32 pm

Hi Vladimir,
Vladimir wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote: I beg to differ because in 1 Cor. 1:24 we have the "is" of essential predication. In other words Χριστὸν is not appositional to θεοῦ δύναμις .
I don't understand why. Of course here there is no parallelism like in the verse you have quoted from the Gospel according to Luke, but it really looks like an apposition rather than an enumeration.
What leads you to say this ? I'm not dogmatic on this score, btw.
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:39 pm

I was filtering through chapter 12 of Revelation yesterday and chanced upon the following instance of constructio ad sensum :
καὶ ἔτεκεν υἱόν, ἄρσεν, ὃς μέλλει ποιμαίνειν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐν ῥάβδῳ σιδηρᾷ· καὶ ἡρπάσθη τὸ τέκνον αὐτῆς πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν καὶ πρὸς τὸν θρόνον αὐτοῦ.
verse 4

The noun ἄρσεν is neuter but the relative pronoun referring to it is masculine. We expect ὅ here, don't we ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:31 pm

In his "Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit" Wallace brings up Luke 9:39-40 in P45 (see P45 here http://www.csntm.org/manuscript/zoomify ... e=4#viewer).


καὶ ἰδοὺ πνεῦμα λαμβάνει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐξέφνης κράζει, καὶ σπαράσσει αὐτὸν μετὰ ἀφροῦ καὶ μόλις ἀποχωρεῖ ἀπ' αὐτοῦ συντρῖβον αὐτόν·καὶ ἐδεήθην τῶν μαθητῶν σου ἵνα ἐκβάλωσιν αὐτόν, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν.


Here the evil πνεῦμα is referred to with a masculine pronoun αὐτόν, instead of the neuter αὐτό found in our later manuscripts.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:04 am

Romans 2:14 is another good example --
ὅταν γὰρ ἔθνη τὰ μὴ νόμον ἔχοντα φύσει τὰ τοῦ νόμου ποιῶσιν, οὗτοι νόμον μὴ ἔχοντες ἑαυτοῖς εἰσιν νόμος·

The antecedent of οὗτοι is the neuter noun ἔθνη, so we really expect ταῦτα here don't we ? But since personalities are in view, grammatical gender is jettisoned for natural gender.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:22 am

A very similar example to the last one I furnished is found in Matthew 28:19,
πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος,
We expect αὐτά but we have αὐτοὺς because people are in view.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by mwh » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:21 pm

Who expects αυτα? I don’t, and I’m surprised that you do.

John’s equation of the paraclete with the holy spirit shows how the agion pneuma could be conceived of in quasi-personal terms, similar to the various other pneumata, to which also masculines are applied.

But my own million dollar question, to put alongside your various ones, would be Why presume consistency of conceptualization among the various NT writers? Isn’t it clear that they don’t all think of it in quite the same way? Hardly surprising, given its history and its numinous nature. Isn’t John unique?

Forget trinitarianism for a moment, and think. The underlying premise is bizarre.

But if you do insist on attacking trinitarianism, there are better ways of doing so, given the theological contortions that had to be performed in order to establish the doctrine. If you’ll examine the historical record you’ll find plenty of ammunition.

But it’s absurd to imagine that anyone today can establish or disestablish any theological issue on the basis of Greek grammar. All that was done many centuries ago, by people who really knew Greek.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:37 am

Hi mwh,
mwh wrote:Who expects αυτα? I don’t, and I’m surprised that you do.

.
You may not, but generally speaking Koine pronouns match the grammatical gender of the nouns which they refer to. Are you not aware of this ?

John’s equation of the paraclete with the holy spirit shows how the agion pneuma could be conceived of in quasi-personal terms,


How exactly ?

similar to the various other pneumata, to which also masculines are applied.
What "masculines" exactly are you referring to ?
But my own million dollar question, to put alongside your various ones, would be Why presume consistency of conceptualization among the various NT writers? Isn’t it clear that they don’t all think of it in quite the same way? Hardly surprising, given its history and its numinous nature. Isn’t John unique?
What exactly do you mean by that ?
Forget trinitarianism for a moment, and think. The underlying premise is bizarre.
What exactly is that which is bizarre ?
But if you do insist on attacking trinitarianism, there are better ways of doing so, given the theological contortions that had to be performed in order to establish the doctrine. If you’ll examine the historical record you’ll find plenty of ammunition.
What ?
But it’s absurd to imagine that anyone today can establish or disestablish any theological issue on the basis of Greek grammar. All that was done many centuries ago, by people who really knew Greek
What exactly do you mean ?.... So many words, yet so little substance.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jaihare » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:09 pm

jeidsath wrote:And what would τὸ πρῶτον and οὗ have been if they were neuter?
If I might... "nice." ;)

Why did this not get an answer? Does "Isaac Newton" (= "John Milton") not realize that οὗ is ambiguous in its gender and is in the genitive because of analogy and not because of a gender distinction?

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:21 pm

Morning Jaihare,
jaihare wrote:
jeidsath wrote:And what would τὸ πρῶτον and οὗ have been if they were neuter?
If I might... "nice." ;)

Why did this not get an answer? Does "Isaac Newton" (= "John Milton") not realize that οὗ is ambiguous in its gender and is in the genitive because of analogy and not because of a gender distinction?
Here's Rev. 13:12-14,
12καὶ τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πρώτου θηρίου πᾶσαν ποιεῖ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ποιεῖ τὴν γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ κατοικοῦντας ἵνα προσκυνήσουσιν τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον, οὗ ἐθεραπεύθη ἡ πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ. 13καὶ ποιεῖ σημεῖα μεγάλα, ἵνα καὶ πῦρ ποιῇ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβαίνειν εἰς τὴν γῆν ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων. 14καὶ πλανᾷ τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς διὰ τὰ σημεῖα ἃ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θηρίου, λέγων τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ποιῆσαι εἰκόνα τῷ θηρίῳ, ὃς ἔχει τὴν πληγὴν τῆς μαχαίρης καὶ ἔζησεν.
Although οὗ can be masculine or neuter (i.e. "ambiguous in gender" as you put it) in this context we know the author saw it as masculine because of ὃς in verse 14, both of these pronouns are referring to τὸ θηρίον and to τῷ θηρίῳ respectively, the first beast ( πρῶτος θηρίον). There is constructio ad sensum in verse 14 (τῷ θηρίῳ ...ὃς) and it must carry over to οὗ in verse 12 as well, although it is veiled to those who just look at this verse.That's why you must read more than one verse at a time when inspecting the Greek grammar of the bible.

Hope this clarifies matters for you,
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jaihare » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:16 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:Morning Jaihare,
jaihare wrote:
jeidsath wrote:And what would τὸ πρῶτον and οὗ have been if they were neuter?
If I might... "nice." ;)

Why did this not get an answer? Does "Isaac Newton" (= "John Milton") not realize that οὗ is ambiguous in its gender and is in the genitive because of analogy and not because of a gender distinction?
Here's Rev. 13:12-14,
12καὶ τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πρώτου θηρίου πᾶσαν ποιεῖ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ποιεῖ τὴν γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ κατοικοῦντας ἵνα προσκυνήσουσιν τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον, οὗ ἐθεραπεύθη ἡ πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ. 13καὶ ποιεῖ σημεῖα μεγάλα, ἵνα καὶ πῦρ ποιῇ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβαίνειν εἰς τὴν γῆν ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων. 14καὶ πλανᾷ τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς διὰ τὰ σημεῖα ἃ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θηρίου, λέγων τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ποιῆσαι εἰκόνα τῷ θηρίῳ, ὃς ἔχει τὴν πληγὴν τῆς μαχαίρης καὶ ἔζησεν.
Although οὗ can be masculine or neuter (i.e. "ambiguous in gender" as you put it) in this context we know the author saw it as masculine because of ὃς in verse 14, both of these pronouns are referring to τὸ θηρίον and to τῷ θηρίῳ respectively, the first beast ( πρῶτος θηρίον). There is constructio ad sensum in verse 14 (τῷ θηρίῳ ...ὃς) and it must carry over to οὗ in verse 12 as well, although it is veiled to those who just look at this verse.That's why you must read more than one verse at a time when inspecting the Greek grammar of the bible.

Hope this clarifies matters for you,
(1) When you referred to it, you referred to θηρίον and οὗ, not to ὅς (which is gender-specific). If you were talking about ὅς, then I'd agree that this is constructio ad sensum.

(2) As for your "πρῶτος θηρίον," such a construction surely doesn't exist! The text says τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον ("the first beast"). You could possibly have written τὸ πρῶτον θηρίον, but certainly πρῶτος θηρίον is nonsense.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:27 pm

jaihare wrote:
(1) When you referred to it, you referred to θηρίον and οὗ, not to ὅς (which is gender-specific). If you were talking about ὅς, then I'd agree that this is constructio ad sensum.
You really don't discern that the writer sees οὗ in Rev. 13:12 as masculine even though grammatically it is "ambiguous" ? Maybe, stop just breaking Erasmian codes,and actually read the Greek .

(2) As for your "πρῶτος θηρίον," such a construction surely doesn't exist! The text says τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον ("the first beast"). You could possibly have written τὸ πρῶτον θηρίον, but certainly πρῶτος θηρίον is nonsense.
I agree. I meant to say πρῶτον θηρίον, as in τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον .
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jaihare » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:46 pm

Isaac Newton wrote:
jaihare wrote:
(1) When you referred to it, you referred to θηρίον and οὗ, not to ὅς (which is gender-specific). If you were talking about ὅς, then I'd agree that this is constructio ad sensum.
You really don't discern that the writer sees οὗ in Rev. 13:12 as masculine even though grammatically it is "ambiguous" ? Maybe, stop just breaking Erasmian codes,and actually read the Greek .

(2) As for your "πρῶτος θηρίον," such a construction surely doesn't exist! The text says τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον ("the first beast"). You could possibly have written τὸ πρῶτον θηρίον, but certainly πρῶτος θηρίον is nonsense.
I agree. I meant to say πρῶτον θηρίον, as in τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον .
And you would have grace for your mistakes? I didn't make a mistake, yet you say "stop breaking Erasmian codes and actually read the Greek." You make blatant grammatical mistakes when you attempt to construct the simplest of phrases in Greek, yet you expect me to just say, "Oh, that's OK. I realized it was just a slip." You're laughable. You know zilch about Greek - nothing - yet you think you have the right to correct everyone else. Good luck.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:51 pm

jaihare wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:
jaihare wrote:


And you would have grace for your mistakes? I didn't make a mistake, yet you say "stop breaking Erasmian codes and actually read the Greek." You make blatant grammatical mistakes when you attempt to construct the simplest of phrases in Greek, yet you expect me to just say, "Oh, that's OK. I realized it was just a slip." You're laughable. You know zilch about Greek - nothing - yet you think you have the right to correct everyone else. Good luck.
Those who know only how to break Erasmian codes NEVER make mistakes with their set pieces,.. that's precisely the problem Jameson. You don't seem to know how to think in koine on the go, but rather access the various paradigms which you have memorized , and then by the sheer brute force of your will you dismantle a biblical passage in Erasmian in order to make sense of it ("translate") in English.

Why do children pick up a language almost instinctively ? Because they don't (don't know how to) break language codes, nor are they afraid of speaking what words come out of their minds, even those words which haven't been consciously filtered for grammatical errors.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jaihare » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:12 am

Isaac Newton wrote:Those who know only how to break Erasmian codes NEVER make mistakes with their set pieces,.. that's precisely the problem Jameson. You don't seem to know how to think in koine on the go, but rather access the various paradigms which you have memorized , and then by the sheer brute force of your will you dismantle a biblical passage in Erasmian in order to make sense of it ("translate") in English.

Why do children pick up a language almost instinctively ? Because they don't (don't know how to) break language codes, nor are they afraid of speaking what words come out of their minds, even those words which haven't been consciously filtered for grammatical errors.
How do you know what goes on in my mind? I'll remind you that of the two of us, I'm the only one who has ever learned another language to fluency. In fact, I've learned three non-native languages to fluency. I'm far more equipped to say what goes on in the mind of a language learner than you, and I'm certainly more aware of what goes on in my own mind with regard to language processing. And it is false to assume that because someone uses a specific set of sounds, then he cannot process the language in the natural way. If οι is [ɔɪ], I process Greek better than you; and if οι is [ʏ] (like German ü), then I still process Greek better than you. Do you know why? Because I've actually put in the work to internalize the forms, whereas you simply haven't. You wouldn't know a third-declension noun if it bit you in the tuchus.
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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:17 am

jaihare wrote:
Isaac Newton wrote:Those who know only how to break Erasmian codes NEVER make mistakes with their set pieces,.. that's precisely the problem Jameson. You don't seem to know how to think in koine on the go, but rather access the various paradigms which you have memorized , and then by the sheer brute force of your will you dismantle a biblical passage in Erasmian in order to make sense of it ("translate") in English.

Why do children pick up a language almost instinctively ? Because they don't (don't know how to) break language codes, nor are they afraid of speaking what words come out of their minds, even those words which haven't been consciously filtered for grammatical errors.
How do you know what goes on in my mind? I'll remind you that of the two of us, I'm the only one who has ever learned another language to fluency.
I certainly have.

In fact, I've learned three non-native languages to fluency. I'm far more equipped to say what goes on in the mind of a language learner than you, and I'm certainly more aware of what goes on in my own mind with regard to language processing.
Please don't say koine is one of them, because I know that's false.


If οι is [ɔɪ], I process Greek better than you; and if οι is [ʏ] (like German ü), then I still process Greek better than you. Do you know why? Because I've actually put in the work to internalize the forms, whereas you simply haven't. You wouldn't know a third-declension noun if it bit you in the tuchus.
Does this make you feel better ?
Last edited by Isaac Newton on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by jaihare » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:21 am

Isaac Newton wrote:Please don't say koine is one of them, because I know that's false.
(1) Which language(s) have you learned to fluency? "Please, don't say Koiné, because I know that's false."

(2) I first learned American Sign Language (not coded English) and received State certification as a translator. I did a B.A. in Spanish language and literature, spent time in Costa Rica and learned to speak Spanish fluently. I also speak Hebrew fluently, which I learned as an adult.

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Re: Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Post by Isaac Newton » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:42 am

I was reading chapter 11 of Revelation and spotted another instance of constructio ad sensum at verse 4:
Οὗτοί εἰσιν αἱ δύο ἐλαῖαι καὶ αἱ δύο λυχνίαι αἱ ἐνώπιον τοῦ Κυρίου τῆς γῆς ἑστῶτες.
The author jettisons grammatical gender αὗταί (feminine) for Οὗτοί (masculine) because persons are in view. Note also the masculine participle ἑστῶτες .
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

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