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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Note (10.) to "DEFinite John 1:1c - DEF"

10.  Appositives are another probable source of ambiguous article usage in NT Greek. We not only see its probable effect here (Luke 18:19, Nestle text), but even more clearly when we examine all the nominative case uses of "the Devil." "The Devil" is used 15 times in the W&H text of the NT to identify that one-of-a-kind most evil person, Satan. In only 3 cases is this nominative case "the Devil" without the definite article. And all 3 are appositives (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:9; 20:2).

In John's Gospel he uses the nominative case "Christ" 16 times to identify the one-of-a-kind person, Jesus. All but 2 of them use the definite article. The only 2 which do not use the article are appositives! (Jn 1:41; 4:25). (Compare all nominative "Christ" uses in the Gospel of Luke.)
Even Colwell and Harner note some exceptions in their JBL articles:

"Practically all such expressions as [ho theos agape estin: 'the god love is'] have been excluded from this study [abstract predicate nouns]; their inclusion would greatly increase the total for predicate nouns without the article before the verb. Proper names, also, have been excluded because they regularly lack the article whether they appear before or after the verb." - Collwell in his JBL article.

"Proper Names regularly omit the article in the predicate when after the verb; they are not included here." - Colwell.



"We may begin by referring to the two general principles concerning predicate nouns that are usually accepted as axiomatic in NT study. The first is that a predicate noun in Greek is anarthrous when it indicates the category or class of which the subject is a particular example. Thus when Mark, for instance, writes, [he de gune en Hellenis: 'the but woman was Greek'] (7:26), he means that this particular woman was a Greek although other women would also belong to this category." - Harner in his JBL article.

Notes - 6. [Exceptions] "Thus in 6:44 and 10:8 the predicate noun is modified by a numeral. In 12:27 the predicate is theos, which, like kyrios, often comes close to being a personal name and as such may omit the article; [It omits the article simply because theos is in a PREPOSITIONAL construction. - RDB] cf. Blass-Debrunner-Funk, A Greek Grammar, 254, 260; Moulton-Turner, Syntax, pp. 165-66, 174. Note also the v. 1, ho before theos in [Aleph]CL al. In 15:16, 22 the predicate noun occurs in a relative clause explaining the meaning of an arthrous noun [which is also the equivalent of an appositive], and Mark evidently thought it unnecessary to repeat the article." - from Harner's JBL article. [Exceptions: numeral modified - personal name - relative clause explaining a definite noun - appositives]

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