In a message dated 2/15/2002 12:18:28 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< An interesting aspect of Luke's prologue is the choice of the singular,
>account" (dihghsin). In such a distributive expression, the plural form is
>normally the proper stylistic choice in Greek [see Blass et al. 1961, §
>140]. It is thus possible, as Farmer argues [1976: 221-23], that there was
>only one account of the "events which have fulfilled among us" [v1], an apt
>description of Matthew because one of its prominent motifs is the
>of prophecy . As a result, Farmer's interpretation directly undercuts
>Linnemann's point, because Luke did mean only one account. His view is not
>necessarily correct, however, because Luke uses the distributive singular
>elsewhere (e.g. Luke 1:66 2:31 Acts 2:23 3:18 21 7:45 15:23 21:24 [Blass et
>al. 1961, loc. cit.]), so the interpretation of "many accounts" is
>consistent with Luke's proven style. >>
First of all, thanks, Stephen, for your informative post. I am slightly
embarrassed at not having ever noticed, or retained, the argument based on
DIHGHSIN in Farmer's original (1964) defence of the Griesbach hypothesis.
Your unpublished footnote is also interesting. However, the many examples you
cite of Luke's use of a distributive singular form -- which could be
multiplied as well (see e.g., Lk 1:70, 71, 74) -- do not, I think, have quite
the probative force you suggest. The singulars in question are mostly in
idiomatic expressions, equivalent almost to prepositions; or alternatively,
the nouns in question have (sing.) abstract-nominal force. EK XEIROS EXQRWN,
for example, could mean something like "from the power of [our] enemies"; DIA
STOMATOS TWN hAGIWN... could mean "through the testimony of the holy ones".
Acts 21:24 is admittedly a closer parallel to our text, but is still not
quite the same in that the plurality intended by the singular arthrous noun
is evident and necessary, which can not be said for the case of Lk 1:1. I
would therefore provisionally suggest that Lk 1:1 remains somewhat unique
(taken to refer to a plurality of narratives) unless a closer parallel than
those cited can be found in the Lukan writings.
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