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[Synoptic-L] HGEMONEUONTOS

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  • John Lupia
    Synoptic-L@bham.ac.uk
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 6, 2001
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      Synoptic-L@...

      << Unfortunately, the word HGEMONEUONTOS is always taken not for a noun,
      but is mistaken as a verb in the present participle in the genitive case.
      HGEMONEUMA is the feminine noun and HGEMONEUS is the masculine, and
      HGEMONEUONTOS is the genitive of the noun, not the verb. >>

      John, I am glad that you finally make this point plainly. It seems that it
      has lain beneath the surface of several previous points. However,
      Liddell-Scott
      gives HGEMONEWS as the genitive of the noun HGEMONEUS. How do you arrive at
      the idea that the correct genitive for this noun is HGEMONEUONTOS?

      I'm very pleased you asked this question since it is rather important. In
      dialoguing with you I realize how awkwardly I put the matter. I obviously
      stated the thing clumsily since, at first glance, no Greek word ending in
      -ONTOS can be a noun. On the surface one might assume that I am arguing
      "When does a noun take the inflectional form of a participle?" I realize it
      sounds like "When is a circle a square?" The answer to both, obviously is,
      never!

      I did not intend to refer to the noun HGEMONEUS but the adjective
      HGEMONEUWN. So, list discussions are rather useful when one needs to
      organize and clarify one's ideas.

      Praefectus or governor is an adjective- noun always in the genitive coupled
      with a person and/or place. Here, the adjective- noun HGEMONEUONTOS
      clearly points to the action of governing of the office of commander or
      governor of the province paired with a proper name. It appears in Lc 2,2
      and Lc 3,1 (exactly the same inflectional form). However, the adjective-
      noun HGEMONEUONTOS could also signify "place" since it also meant the
      territory, district or province of a praefecture. This is a specialized
      word that always takes the genitive adjectival form since it defines the
      title and political rank appropriate to the person named, or designates the
      district proper to the "topos" or "place" named. Therefore, it is always in
      the genitive as too is the name pair partner "of the province", and/or "the
      person named". Cf Lc 2,2 and Lc 3,1. This can be shown by comparing the
      Greek formula used by Luke in both cases to those found in Latin for the
      praefecti. All Latin titles for prefects are in the genitive. The Greek
      translation used by Luke was too. Consequently, it must be an
      adjectival-noun pairing.


      HGEMONEUONTOS takes on the adjective ending in -WN where the gen. sing.
      -ONTOS

      Adjective HGEMONEUWN gen. sing. = HGEMONEUONTOS


      Most analyses of Lc 2, 2 interpret this passage as a genitive absolute.

      For example, Cf. Max Zerwick, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek NT (Rome,
      1996) 176 describes Lc 2,2 as gen. absolute; 181 Lc 3,1 as gen. absolute.

      However, according to MacDonald the genitive absolute is constructed:

      gen. noun + gen. participle + adverb

      The object of the participle is in the accusative.

      cf. William G. MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion (Peabody, 1998) 82, n. 11

      Following MacDonald's explanation Quirinius should be in the accusative
      case, but he is in the genitive. So, is this a true genitive absolute? The
      same is true for Lc 3,1 since it is in the same case.

      James Swetnam, An Introduction to the Study of New Testament Greek. Part
      One: Morphology (Rome, 1998) I: 393-95 explains legitimate and illegitimate
      genitive absolutes, where legitimate ones are syntactically cut off or
      independent and illegitimate ones are not. Yet, even this does not explain
      how the object of the participle is not in the accusative.

      Consequently we are left to find an alternate explanation of what
      "grammatically" is the form that occur in Lc 2,2, and Lc 3,1?


      The only other case commonly confused with the genitive absolute is the
      nominative absolute. Both cases appear to employ the "circumstantial
      participle" but the nominative absolute does not.

      Robert W. Funk, Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek II:
      8471.

      8471. "Nominative absolute. Not to be confused with circumstantial
      participle, particularly the genitive absolute, is the nominative absolute
      or hanging nominative with a participle. The real but not the grammatical
      subject of the sentence is introduced in the nominative case, but the
      referent of the participle appears in another case in the main clause:

      However, Wallace and Mounce, Greek Grammar, available online:

      http://www.bcbsr.com/greek/gcase.html

      "A nominative absolute does not occur in a sentence, but only in titles,
      salutations, and other introductory phrases."

      Now Wallace and Mounce hit on an important point regarding a title since all
      of the fuss is about the very word I claim is a title: HGEMONEUONTOS.

      Other alternatives are offered by James Kiefer.

      James Kiefer, The Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke


      http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/CHRISTIA/library/infancy1.html


      Turning to the word PROTOS, translated "first," we note that it means
      "earliest," but is also sometimes used to mean "earlier, prior, previous."
      John the Baptist says (John 1:15,30), "he was first of me", meaning, "he was
      earlier than I." Greek regularly uses "of" (the genitive case) rather than
      "than" to express comparison. So that Luke's words can be translated: "This
      enrollment occurred earlier than Quirinius governing Syria," meaning, "This
      was the census just before the big one (the one that everyone knows about,
      because it started a rebellion) under Quirinius." There are in fact three
      plausible ways of parsing the phrase: (1) We can read it as "the first
      census, Quirinius being governor of Syria." This treats "Quirinius governing
      Syria" as a genitive absolute, similar to the Latin ablative absolute or the
      English nominative absolute as in "Jones took notes, the regular secretary
      being absent," or the more frequent, "The picnic will be on Tuesday, weather
      permitting". This is the construction assumed by most English translators.
      (2) We can read it as "the census earlier than Quirinius governing Syria."
      This treats "Quirinius governing Syria" as a genitive of comparison. (3) We
      can read it as "the census earlier (than the census) of Quirinius governing
      Syria." This assumes that Luke omits the second occurrence of the word
      "census", as if I were to say, "My dog is smarter than his," expecting
      people to understand that he meant, "My dog is smarter than his dog." Such
      omissions of repeated words are standard in many languages. In John 5:36, we
      have, "The testimony I have is greater than (the testimony) of John." In 1
      Corinthians 1:25, we have "The foolishness of God is wiser than (the wisdom)
      of men, and the weakness of God is stronger than (the power) of men." If
      this is the construction Luke intended, then "Quirinius" is an ordinary
      genitive of possession, modifying "census" understood. On either the second
      or the third interpretation, all difficulties vanish. George Ogg, who thinks
      that Luke is wrong about Quirinius, objects that there are no undisputed
      passages in which PROTOS followed by a participial phrase in the genitive
      case clearly means "before." I think this is unreasonable. He does not deny
      that PROTOS often means "before," or that participial phrases can occur in
      the genitive of comparison. I think his objection is little like questioning
      the authenticity of the Gettysburg Address on the grounds that Lincoln
      nowhere else uses "fourscore" to mean "eighty." Even granted that he is
      right, this would eliminate the second construction listed above, but leave
      the third (which he does not consider) as a perfectly good possibility.


      Peace in Christ,
      John
      <><

      John N. Lupia
      501 North Avenue B-1
      Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
      JLupia2@...
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      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches . .
      . unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until
      they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16






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    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/6/2001 10:55:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time, jlupia2@excite.com writes:
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 7, 2001
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        In a message dated 6/6/2001 10:55:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        jlupia2@... writes:

        << Synoptic-L@...

        << Unfortunately, the word HGEMONEUONTOS is always taken not for a noun,
        but is mistaken as a verb in the present participle in the genitive case.
        HGEMONEUMA is the feminine noun and HGEMONEUS is the masculine, and
        HGEMONEUONTOS is the genitive of the noun, not the verb. >>

        [I had written]
        John, I am glad that you finally make this point plainly. It seems that it
        has lain beneath the surface of several previous points. However,
        Liddell-Scott gives HGEMONEWS as the genitive of the noun HGEMONEUS. How do
        you arrive at the idea that the correct genitive for this noun is
        HGEMONEUONTOS?

        [John Lupia]

        << [...] I did not intend to refer to the noun HGEMONEUS but the adjective
        HGEMONEUWN. So, list discussions are rather useful when one needs to
        organize and clarify one's ideas.

        Praefectus or governor is an adjective- noun always in the genitive coupled
        with a person and/or place. Here, the adjective- noun HGEMONEUONTOS
        clearly points to the action of governing of the office of commander or
        governor of the province paired with a proper name. It appears in Lc 2,2
        and Lc 3,1 (exactly the same inflectional form). However, the adjective-
        noun HGEMONEUONTOS could also signify "place" since it also meant the
        territory, district or province of a praefecture. This is a specialized
        word that always takes the genitive adjectival form since it defines the
        title and political rank appropriate to the person named, or designates the
        district proper to the "topos" or "place" named. Therefore, it is always in
        the genitive as too is the name pair partner "of the province", and/or "the
        person named". Cf Lc 2,2 and Lc 3,1. This can be shown by comparing the
        Greek formula used by Luke in both cases to those found in Latin for the
        praefecti. All Latin titles for prefects are in the genitive. The Greek
        translation used by Luke was too. Consequently, it must be an
        adjectival-noun pairing.>>

        I don't understand this yet. Perhaps you could supply one or two actual Latin
        phrases, in their original context, that would illustrate what you are
        talking about here (that all Latin titles for prefects are in the genitive)?

        << Most analyses of Lc 2, 2 interpret this passage as a genitive absolute. >>
        For example, Cf. Max Zerwick, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek NT (Rome,
        1996) 176 describes Lc 2,2 as gen. absolute; 181 Lc 3,1 as gen. absolute.>>

        I don't see yet why this doesn't work well here (but see below).

        << However, according to MacDonald the genitive absolute is constructed:

        gen. noun + gen. participle + adverb

        The object of the participle is in the accusative.>>

        I wonder where he gets this rule, and is it ironclad?

        << Following MacDonald's explanation Quirinius should be in the accusative
        case, but he is in the genitive.>>

        Why on earth should Quirinius be in the accusative? He is the subject, not
        the object of the verb hHGEMONEUO, in the hypothesis that the phrase is a
        gen. absolute. And the genitive case for the subject of the verbal adjective
        is exactly what one would expect in a gen. absolute. Oh, hold on. You must
        have meant that TES SURIAS should be in the accusative [THN SURIAN]? OK, this
        I could see: since this word seems to be the object of the verb hHGEMONEUO,
        in the hypothesis of a genitive absolute here, it should be in the
        accusative, but is not. And the fact that it is genitive instead could make
        the nuance of HGEMONEUONTOS more that of a (verbal) noun (governing another
        noun in gen. case) than that of verb. Is this what you are talking about? Now
        maybe we're getting somewhere. But I still think the phrase as a whole has to
        be understood as genitive absolute, in this case with the participle of the
        verb "to be" (ONTOS) understood. There does seem to be quite sophisticated
        syntactical subtlety here, in any case, and my last suggestion seems very
        grating to me, now that I think of it (what I mean is that ONTOS
        HGEMONEUONTOS THS SURIAS KURHNIOU just sounds pretty barbaric to me).

        I don't mean to ignore the rest of your post, which I haven't had time to
        fully analyze yet, and which perhaps throws further light on the question,
        but let me just cite here from the syntactical analysis of Gianfranco Nolli
        on the genitive TES SURIAS, and perhaps you could comment on his comment. He
        writes:

        SURIAS: nome sostantivo proprio di luoghi; genitivo sing femminile, voluto
        dal verbo di commando... I take it you don't agree with the last part of this
        analysis? Are there in fact verbs of command in Greek that normally take a
        genitive? I'm not sure.

        Leonard Maluf



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