Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

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Bernd Strauss
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Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by Bernd Strauss »

Matthew 13:39, 40: “ὁ δὲ ἐχθρὸς ὁ σπείρας αὐτά ἐστιν ὁ διάβολος, ὁ δὲ θερισμὸς συντέλεια αἰῶνός ἐστιν, οἱ δὲ θερισταὶ ἄγγελοί εἰσιν. ὥσπερ οὖν συλλέγεται τὰ ζιζάνια καὶ πυρὶ κατακαίεται, οὕτως ἔσται ἐν τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος·”

Why is the phrase used without the definite articles in verse 39 but with the definite articles in verse 40? Are there no strict rules regarding the use of the articles, so that they do not necessarily have to be used always?

I also see that the definite articles are not used in the phrase καιροὶ ἐθνῶν at Luke 21:24: "Καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα, καὶ Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν, ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν."

mwh
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by mwh »

The non-use of the article with συντελεια in Matthew's ὁ δὲ θερισμὸς συντέλεια αἰῶνός ἐστιν is in accordance with standard Greek usage, whereby the predicate goes without the article.
The phrase καιροὶ ἐθνῶν in Luke's αχρι οὑ πληρωθωσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν, on the other hand, is eccentric by ordinary koine standards. Doubtless it's to be brought into relation with Paul’s αχρις οὑ το πληρωμα των εθνων εισελθῃ in Romans, where the use of the article is normalized.

Bernd Strauss
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by Bernd Strauss »

mwh wrote: Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:44 pm The non-use of the article with συντελεια in Matthew's ὁ δὲ θερισμὸς συντέλεια αἰῶνός ἐστιν is in accordance with standard Greek usage, whereby the predicate goes without the article.
The phrase καιροὶ ἐθνῶν in Luke's αχρι οὑ πληρωθωσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν, on the other hand, is eccentric by ordinary koine standards. Doubtless it's to be brought into relation with Paul’s αχρις οὑ το πληρωμα των εθνων εισελθῃ in Romans, where the use of the article is normalized.
Thank you. Is it a grammatical mistake to put definite articles before the words συντέλεια and αἰῶνός in the phrase ὁ δὲ θερισμὸς συντέλεια αἰῶνός ἐστιν?

mwh
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by mwh »

Better to speak of abnormalities than mistakes.

Bernd Strauss
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by Bernd Strauss »

mwh wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:41 pm Better to speak of abnormalities than mistakes.
I can see now that there are no strict rules in some instances in the ancient Greek language.

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Bernd Strauss wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:39 am
mwh wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:41 pm Better to speak of abnormalities than mistakes.
I can see now that there are no strict rules in some instances in the ancient Greek language.
Actually, it's better to remember that the "rules" are descriptive rather than prescriptive, and exceptions can occur for various reasons. MWH has given you the right answer in his post above. To answer the second part of your question, ἐν τῇ συντελείᾳ τοῦ αἰῶνος is articular because it is the second time used in the context, and so the article is most likely simply anaphoric here (more regular Greek usage).

Usage, however, can vary even from author to author, and can vary diachronically as well. In the NT ὁ θεός regularly refers to the one true God. But I noticed when reading through Ignatius that he often drops the article even when θεός is the subject, but means the same thing as the articular use in the NT. It's spending lots of time in the language with various authors that sensitizes the reader to such differences.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Cuncta mortalia incerta...

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jeidsath
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by jeidsath »

Luke 21:24 is clearly directly inspired by the Septuagint version of Daniel 9:26 and 27. That is, not the Hebrew version, and not the (better) Theodotion version.

In Daniel, after the end of the anointed one, and the ruin of Jerusalem by the king of the gentiles, and the οργη of the Lord, (all paralleled in Luke) we get:

9:27 καὶ δυναστεύσει ἡ διαθήκη εἰς πολλούς· καὶ πάλιν ἐπιστρέψει, καὶ ἀνοικοδομηθήσεται εἰς πλάτος καὶ μῆκος καὶ κατὰ συντέλειαν καιρῶν, καὶ μετὰ ἑπτὰ καὶ ἑβδομήκοντα καιροὺς καὶ ξβ᾽ ἐτῶν ἕως καιροῦ συντελείας πολέμου, καὶ ἀφαιρεθήσεται ἡ ἐρήμωσις ἐν τῷ κατισχῦσαι τὴν διαθήκην ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἑβδομάδας· καὶ ἐν τῷ τέλει τῆς ἑβδομάδος ἀρθήσεται ἡ θυσία καὶ ἡ σπονδή, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ ἱερὸν βδέλυγμα τῶν ἐρημώσεων ἔσται ἕως συντελείας, καὶ συντέλεια δοθήσεται ἐπὶ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν.

I've italicized the part not in Theodotion (or the Masoretic text, I assume). I think that Luke's reference to these 77 καιροι (and 62 years) as "a set of gentile times" without an article is best understood as appropriate for this sort of reference. These are not "the gentile times [which God has decreed and everybody knows about]" these are "a set of gentile times [referred to in certain holy books, ie. Daniel]."

While Luke and Daniel seem clearly to be drinking from the same well, I'm not sure that Paul's statements/eschatology in Romans 11 can be fitted in, other than maybe shared vocabulary from an age of spiritual ferment.

***

You'll also notice the "βδέλυγμα τῶν ἐρημώσεων" in the LXX Daniel verse, quoted by Matthew and Mark, but not Luke.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Bernd Strauss
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Re: Definite Articles in Matthew 13:39, 40

Post by Bernd Strauss »

Yes, words like Theos and Kyrious are used with and without the definite article but have the same meaning in different contexts. The same is apparently true of other words in the Greek language, since the use of the definite article is not essential to expressing the main meaning of a sentence. It seems that the meanings of Da 9:26, 27; Mt 13:39, 40; and Lu 21:24 are not dependent on the use of the definite article.

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