Greenwood professor of hellenistic greek and indo-european philology in the victoria university of manchester tutor in new testament language and literature

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with the fact that the combination ih continued to be barred

in Attic at a time when rh (from rFa) was no longer objected

to (contrast u[gia?, and koa if Ionic forms had been simply

taken over, ei]dui

Did dialectic But such discussion may be left to the

differences philological journals. What concerns the NT

persist? student is the question of dialectic varieties

within the Koinh<; itself rather than in its

previous history. Are we to expect persistence of Ionic

features in Asia Minor; and will the Greek of Egypt, Syria,

1 But –a?doj is rare both at Pergamum and at Magnesia: Schwyzer 139 f.,

Nachmanson 120.

2 Kiqwcurious that they are practically absent from NT MSS. I can only find in Ti

xeiqw?naj D.' (Mt 1010) and kitw?naj B* (Mk 1463—"ut alibi x," says the editor).


LXX, according to great uncials (Thackeray). Ba

MGr (as Abbott 56) I cannot trace, nor pa

3 The perfect e!wka from i!hmi (NT afeDone by Thumb, ThLZ xxviii. 421 n. Since this was a prehistoric form (cf

Gothic saiso from saia, "sow"), we cannot determine the question certainly.

But note that the imperative a]few

58515—iii/?B.C.). Its survival in Hellenistic is the more easily understood, if it

really existed in two or three dialects of the classical period. [a See p. 244.

Macedonia, and Italy differ to an extent which we can detect

after two thousand years? Speaking generally, we may

reply in the negative. Dialectic differences there must have

been in a language spoken over so large an area. But they

need not theoretically be greater than those between British

and American English, to refer again to the helpful parallel

we examined above (p. 19). We saw there that in the

modern Weltsprache the educated colloquial closely approxi-

mates everywhere when written down, differing locally to

some extent, but in vocabulary and orthography rather than

in grammar. The uneducated vernacular differs more, but

its differences still show least in the grammar. The study

of the papyri and the Koinh< inscriptions of Asia Minor dis-

closes essentially the same phenomena in Hellenistic. There

are few points of grammar in which the NT language differs

from that which we see in other specimens of Common Greek

vernacular, from whatever province derived. We have already

mentioned instances in which what may have been quite

possible Hellenistic is heavily overworked because it happens

to coincide with a Semitic idiom. Apart from these, we

have a few small matters in which the NT differs from the

usage of the papyri. The weakening of ou] mh< is the most

important of these, for certainly the papyri lend no coun-

tenance whatever to any theory that of ou] mh< was a normal

unemphatic negative in Hellenistic. We shall return to this

at a later stage (see pp. 187 ff.); but meanwhile we may note

that in the NT ou] mh< seems nearly always connected with

"translation Greek"—the places where no Semitic original

can be suspected show it only in the very emphatic sense

which is common to classical and Hellenistic use. Among

smaller points are the NT construction of e@noxoj with gen.

of penalty, and the prevailing use of a]pekri


with the classical usage; but that in the latter case the

NT has good Hellenistic warrant, is shown by Phrynichus

(see Rutherford, NP 186 ff.), by the witness of Polybius, and

by the MGr a]pokri
Thumb's Verdict. The whole question of dialectic differ-

ences within the spoken Koinh< is judicially

summed up by our greatest living authority, Dr Albert


Thumb, in chap. v. of his book on Greek in the Hel-

lenistic Age, already often quoted.1 He thinks that such

differences must have existed largely, in Asia Minor especially;

but that writings like the Greek Bible, intended for general

circulation, employed a Darchschnittsprache which avoided local

peculiarities, though intended for single localities. (The letters

of Paul are no exception to this rule, for he could not be

familiar with the peculiarities of Galatian or Achaian, still

less of Roman, Koinh<.) To the question whether our autho-

rities are right in speaking of a special Alexandrian Greek,

Thumb practically returns a negative. For nearly all the

purposes of our own special study, Hellenistic Greek may be

regarded as a unity, hardly varying except with the education

of the writer, his tendency to use or ignore specialities of

literary language, and the degree of his dependence upon

foreign originals which might be either freely or slavishly

rendered into the current Greek.

It is however to be noted that the minute dialectic

differences which can be detected in NT Greek are some-

times significant to the literary critic. In an article in

ThLZ, 1903, p. 421, Thumb calls attention to the promin-

ence of e]mo2 He tells us

that e]mo

Greek, while the gen. of the personal pronoun has replaced it

in other parts of the Greek-speaking area. This circumstance

contributes something to the evidence that the Fourth

Gospel came from Asia Minor. We might add that on the

same showing Luke should come from Macedonia, or some

other country outside Asia Minor, for he hardly uses e]mo

while Rev, in which out of the four possessive pronouns e]mo

alone occurs, and that but once, seems to be from the pen of

a recent immigrant. Valeat quantum! In the same paper

Thumb shows that the infinitive still survives in Pontic,

1 Cf. Blass 4 n.; and Thumb's paper in Neue Jahrb. for 1906.

2 ]Emo

the rest of the NT. It must be admitted that the other possessives do not tell

the same story: the three together appear 12 times in Jn (Ev and Epp), 12 in

Lk, and 21 in the rest of NT. Blass (p. 168) notes how u[mw?n in Paul (in the

position of the attribute) ousts the emphatic u[me

h[ sou? ou]si

while in Greece proper it yields entirely to the periphrasis.

The syntactical conditions under which the infinitive is found

in Poetic answer very well to those which appear in the NT: in

such uses Western Greek tended to enlarge the sphere of i!na.

This test, applied to Jn, rather neutralises that from e]mo

see below, p. 205, 211. Probably the careful study of local

MGr patois will reveal more of these minutia. Another field

for research is presented by the orthographical peculiarities of

the NT uncials, which, in comparison with the papyri and

inscriptions, will help to fix the provenance of the MSS, and

thus supply criteria for that localising of textual types which

is an indispensable step towards the ultimate goal of criticism.1

1 One or two hints in this direction are given by Thumb, Hellenismus 179.

Cf Prof. Lake's Leiden inaugural (Oxford, 1904). See also p. 244.

ADDITIONAL NOTE. —A few new points may be added on the subjects of this

chapter. First conies the important fact—noted by Thumb in his Hellenismus,

p. 9, and again in reviewing Mayser (Archiv iv. 487)—that the pre-Byzantine

history of the Koinh< divides about the date A.D. The NT falls accordingly in the

early years of a new period, which does not, however, differ from its predecessor

in anything that ordinary observers would notice. The fact needs bearing in

mind, nevertheless, when we are comparing the Greek of the LXX and the NT.

There are difficulties as to the relations of h, ^, and ei, which have some

importance in view of the matters noted on p. 35. In Attic ^ and ei were fused

at an early date; whereas h remained distinct, being the open e, while in the

diphthong it had become close. Ionic inscriptions show the same fusion. In

papyri ^, like & and %, sheds its i just as h (w and a) can add it, regardless of

grammar; so that h and ^ are equivalent, and they remain distinct from ei

(=i) till a late period. It is difficult to correlate these facts; but it must be

remembered that the papyri only represent Egypt, which was not necessarily

at one with all other Greek-speaking countries as to the quality of h. There is

also the probability that the ^ which alternates with h is often hysterogenous-

boulei? was replaced by a newly formed boul^? because of the h that runs through

the rest of the singular flexion. (I owe many suggestions here to a letter from

Prof. Thumb, March 1908.) See further Mayser 126 ff.

On the question of the contributions of the old dialects to the Koinh<, research

seems progressively emphasising the preponderance of Attic. There are pheno-

mena which are plausibly treated as Doric in origin ; but Thumb reasonably

points to Mayser's evidence, showing that these did not emerge till the later

period of the Koinh<, as a serious difficulty in such an account of their history.

On the other hand, he rightly criticises Mayser's tendency to minimise the Ionic

influence: he believes that dialectic elements, and especially Ionisms, found

their way into the spoken Attic of the lower classes, which spread itself largely

through the operation of trade. "The first people to speak a Koinh< were Ionians,

who used the speech of their Athenian lords. . . . Outside the Athenian empire,

the Macedonians were the first to take up the new language, and joined their

subject Greeks, especially Ionians, in spreading it through the world." The

old dialects worked still in producing local differentiations in the Koinh< itself.



The Uncials and BEFORE we begin to examine the conditions

the Papyri. of Hellenistic syntax, we must devote a

short chapter to the accidence. To treat

the forms in any detail would be obviously out of place in

these Prolegomena. The humble but necessary work of

gathering into small compass the accidence of the NT writers

I have done in my little Introduction (see above, p. 1 n.); and

it will have to be done again more minutely in the second

part of this Grammar. In the present chapter we shall try

to prepare ourselves for answering a preliminary question of

great importance, viz., what was the position occupied by the

NT writers between the literary and illiterate Greek of their

time. For this purpose the forms give us a more easily

applied test than the syntax. But before we can use them

we must make sure that we have them substantially as they

stood in the autographs. May not such MSS as x and B-

and D still more—have conformed their orthography to the

popular style, just as those of the "Syrian" revision con-

formed it in some respects to the literary standards? We

cannot give a universal answer to this question, for we have

seen already that an artificial orthography left the door open

for not a few uncertainties. But there are some suggestive

signs that the great uncials, in this respect as in others,

are not far away from the autographs. A very instruc-

tive phenomenon is the curious substitution of e]a

after o!j, o!pou, etc., which WH have faithfully reproduced

in numberless places from the MSS. This was so little recog-

nised as a genuine feature of vernacular Greek, that the

editors of the volumes of papyri began by gravely subscribing

"1. a@n" wherever the abnormal e]a42


were soon compelled to save themselves the trouble. Deiss-

mann, BS 204, gave a considerable list from the papyri,

which abundantly proved the genuineness of this e]a

four years later (1901) the material had grown so much

that it was possible to determine the time-limits of the

peculiarity with fair certainty. If my count is right,1 the

proportion of e]a

proportion was soon reversed, the figures being 25 : 7 for

i/A.D., 76 : 9 for ii/, 9 : 3 for iii./, 4 : 8 for iv/. This e]a

occurs last in a vi/ papyrus. It will be seen that the above

construction was specially common in i/ and ii/, when e]a

greatly predominated, and that the fashion had almost died

away before the great uncials were written. It seems

that in this small point the uncials faithfully reproduce

originals written under conditions long obsolete.2 This

particular example affords us a very fair test; but we

may reinforce it with a variety of cases where the MSS

accurately reproduce the spelling of i/A.D. We will follow

the order of the material in WH App2 148 ff. ("Notes on

Orthography"): it is unnecessary to give detailed references

for the papyrus evidence, which will be found fully stated

in the papers from CR, already cited. We must bear

in mind throughout Hort's caution (p. 148) that "all our

MSS have to a greater or less extent suffered from the

1 CR xv. 32, xv. 434: for the exx. B.C. I have added figures from papyri

read up to 1905. See further on p. 231; and compare Mr Thackeray's inde-

pendent statistics in JTS ix. 95, which give the same result.

2 The case of a@n, if, is separate. In the NT this is confined apparently to Jn,

where it occurs six times. In the papyri it is decidedly a symptom of illiteracy.

With this agrees what Meisterhans3 255 f. says: "Only six times is a@n found

from v/ to iii./B.C. The form a@n is entirely foreign to the Attic inscrip-

tions, though it is often found in the Ionicising literary prose of v/

(Thucydides: cf the Tragedians)." Since a@n is the modern form, we may

perhaps regard it as a dialectic variant which ultimately ousted the Attic e]a

It is not clear to what dialect it is to be assigned. Against Meisterhans'

suggestion of Ionic stands the opinion of H. W. Smyth (Ionic Dialect, p. 609)

that its occasional appearances in Ionic are due to Atticising! Certainly h@n is

the normal Ionic form, but a@n may have been Ionic as well, though rarer. (So

Dr P. Giles.) Nachmanson (p. 68) gives e]a

Some peculiar local distribution is needed to explain why a@n (if) is absent

from the incorrectly written Rev, and reserved for the correct Jn. Both

a@n and e]a



effacement of unclassical forms of words." Note also his

statement that the "Western" MSS show the reverse

tendency. "The orthography of common life, which to a

certain extent was used by all the writers of the NT, though

in unequal degrees, would naturally be introduced more

freely in texts affected by an instinct of popular adaptation."

He would be a bold man who should claim that even Hort

has said the last word on the problem of the d-text; and

with our new knowledge of the essentially popular character

of NT Greek as a whole, we shall naturally pay special

attention to documents which desert the classical spelling

for that which we find prevailing in those papyri that were

written by men of education approximately parallel with that

of the apostolic writers.

Orthography. We begin with the " unusual aspirated

forms " (p. 150), e]f ] e[lpi

a@fide etc., and ou]x o[lia For all these there is a large

body of evidence from papyri and inscriptions. There are a

good many other words affected thus, the commonest of

which, e@toj, shows no trace of the aspiration in NT uncials.

Sins of commission as well as omission seem to be inevitable

when initial h has become as weak as in later Greek or in

modern English. Hence in a period when de-aspiration

was the prevailing tendency, analogy produced some cases of

reaction,-- kaq ] e!toj due to kaq ] h[me

etc.;1 and the two types struggled for survival. MGr e]fe

shows that the aspirated form did not always yield. The

uncertainty of the MS spelling thus naturally follows from

the history of the aspirate. It is here impossible to determine

the spelling of the autographs, but the wisdom of following the

great uncials becomes clearer as we go on. The reverse

phenomenon, psilosis, exx. of which figure on p. 151, is

part of the general tendency which started from the Ionic

and Aeolic of Asia Minor and became universal, as MGr

shows. The mention of tamei?on (p. 152—add pei?n from

1 The curious coincidence that many, but by no means all, of these words

once began with F, led to the fancy (repeated by Hort) that the lost con-

sonant had to do with the aspiration. I need not stay to explain why this

cannot be accepted. The explanation by analogy within the Koinh< is that

favoured by Thumb. (See additional note, p. 234.) [a See p. 244.


p. 177) brings up a Hellenistic sound-law, universal after A.D.,

viz. the coalescence of two successive i sounds; the inf. diasei?n

for --seig—i/B.C.) will serve as a good example—cf

a]nasi? in Lk 235 x.1 Tamei?on, pei?n and u[gei

ingly attested by the papyri of the Roman age, where we

seldom find the reversion seen in Mt 2022. In a[leei?j (Mk 117 al)

we have dissimilation instead of contraction. Under the head

of Elision (p. 153), it may be worth while to mention that

the neglect of this even in a verse citation, as in the MSS

at 1 Co 1533, is in accord with an exceedingly common

practice in inscriptions. The presence or absence of mov-

able n (pp. 153 f.) cannot be reduced to any visible rule:

the evanescence of the nasal in pronunciation makes this

natural. Cf p. 49 below. Among the spellings recorded on

pp. 155 f. we note sfuri

-xu2 as well attested in the papyri; while the wavering of

usage between rr and rs is traceable down through Hellen-

istic to MGr.3 The case of the spelling a]rabw

Western") is instructive. Deissmann (BS 183) gives but

one ex. of the rr form, and nine of the single consonant,

from three documents. His natural questioning of Hort's

orthography is curiously discounted by the papyri published

up to 1905, which make the totals 11 for the "Western"

and 15 for rr.4 The word will serve as a reminder that

only the unanimity of the papyri can make us really sure

of our autographs' spelling: cf Deissmann, BS 181. The

wavering of inscriptional testimony as to Zmuib. 185)

makes it impossible to be decisive; but the coincidence of

Smyraean coins makes it seem difficult to reject the witness

of x, on suspicion of "Western" taint. In words with ss the

papyri show the Attic tt in about the same small proportion

as the NT uncials, and with much the same absence of

intelligible principle. @Ornic (Lk 1334 xD, also banned as

"Western") has some papyrus warrant, and survives in the

MGr (Cappadocian) o]rniHellen. 90. It started

in Doric Greek. Coming to the note on te

1 Buresch RhM xlvi. 213 n. Correct Ti in loc. So a]poklei?n, OP 265 (i/A.D.).

2 So MGr (Cyprus), says Thumb in ThLZ xxviii. 423.

3 Thumb 1.c. 422. On this and the ss, tt, see now Wackernagel’s Hellen-

istica (1907). 4 CR xv. 33, since supplemented.


rauncials and papyri. The e forms are in the latter relatively

few, and distinctly illiterate, in the first centuries A.D. Indeed

the evidence for tenil before

the Byzantine age,1 and there does not seem to be the

smallest probability that the Apostles wrote anything but

the Attic form. For tessera

but it is hopelessly outnumbered by the -ar- form in docu-

ments antedating the NT uncials; the modern sera

by side with sara

doubt before iv/A.D. te

establish themselves in the place they hold to-day. ]Erauna

is certain from i/A.D. onward;2 and Mayser (pp. 42, 56)

gives a ii/B.C. papyrus parallel for a]na

semel). Spellings like kri

plication in Koinh< documents of -ma nouns with shortened

penultimate. Cf Moeris (p. 28), a]na

[Ellhnikw?j, and note a]feubis in Par P 62 (ii/B.C.).

Even su10, which shows

how late and mechanical this process was. The convenient

differentiation of meaning between a]na3

preserved the former intact, though xADX are quotable for

the levelling in its one NT occurrence. The complete estab-

lishment of ei# mh

of the best uncials. Despite Hort (p. 158), we must make

the difference between a ei# mh

ical" after all, if the alternative is to suppose any connexion

with ei], if. Numerous early citations make this last assump-

tion impossible.4 On ei and i (p. 153) the papyri are

1 Te
2 But e@reuna in the Ptolemaic PP iii. 65 bis, Par P 602, and Tb P 38, al.

So also MGr. @Erauna was limited in range. See Buresch, RhM xlvi. 213 f.;

but note also Thumb, Hellen. 176 f., who disposes of the notion that it was an

Alexandrinism. Kretschmer, DLZ, 1901, p. 1049, brings parallels from Thera

(au]- in compounds of eri). See papyrus citations in CR xv. 34, xviii. 107.

3 Deissmann has shown that a]na

Greek" (ZNTW ii. 342).

4 The syntax is decisive in the Messenian "Mysteries" inscription (91 B.C.,

Syll. 653, Michel 694): o]rkizon gunaikonon e!cein e]pime(The same inscription has ei#ten for ei#ta, as in Mk 428: this is also Ionic.) Add

Syll. 578 (iii/B.c.), and note. PP iii. 56 (before 260 Ex.) has h#, but I have

11 papyrus exx. of ei# from ii/B.C. to i/A.D.


entirely indecisive: ei even for i is an everyday occurrence.

At any rate they give no encouragement to our introducing


from mere impressions, gi


and i is adduced by Thumb (reviewing Blass2, ThLZ, 1903,

421) as a specimen of philological facts which are not always

present to the minds of theological text-critics: he cites

Brooke and M’Lean (JTS, 1902, 601 ff.), who seriously treat

i@den, i@don, as various readings deserving a place in the LXX

text. Ti did the same in Rev, where even WH (see App2 169)

marked i@don, etc., as alternative. In this matter no reader

of the papyri would care to set much store by some of the

minutiae which WH so conscientiously gather from the great

uncials. It would probably be safer in general to spell

according to tradition; for even WH admit that their para-

mount witness, B, "has little authority on behalf of a as

against i." Finally might be mentioned a notable matter

of pronunciation to which Hort does not refer. The less

educated papyrus writers very frequently use a for au, before

consonants, from ii/B.C. onwards.1 Its frequent appearance in

Attic inscriptions after 74 B.C. is noted by Meisterhans3

154. In Lk 21 ( ]Agou

according to xC*D; but we do not seem to find a]to

etc., in the MSS, as we should have expected.2 An excellent

suggestion is made by Dr J. B. Mayor (Expos. IV. x. 289)—

following up one of Hort's that a]katapa

214 AB may be thus explained: he compares a]xmhr&? 119 A.

In arguing his case, he fails to see that the dropping of a u

(or rather F) between vowels is altogether another thing; but

his remaining exx. (to which add those cited from papyri in

CR xv. 33, 434, xviii. 107) are enough to prove his point.

Laurent remarks (BCH 1903, p. 356) that this phenomenon

was common in the latter half of i/B.C. We need not assume

its existence in the NT autographs.

1 The same tendency appeared in late vulgar Latin, and perpetuated itself

in Romance: see Lindsay, Latin Language 41 f. See early exx. in Mayser 114.

2 In MGr (see Thumb, Handbuch,, p. 59) we find au]toaftos)

side by side with a]to

etc. There was therefore a grammatical difference in the Koinh< itself.


Inflexion :-- We pass on to the noun flexion (p. 163).

Nouns. Nouns in -ra and participles in –ui?a in the

papyri regularly form genitive and dative in

-hj -^, except that –ui

period. Here again the oldest uncials alone (in NT, but very

rarely in LXX) generally support the unmistakable verdict of

the contemporary documents of the Koinh<. We saw reason

(above, p. 38) to regard this as the analogical assimilation of

-ra nouns (and—somewhat later and less markedly— -ui?a

participles) to the other -a flexions of the first declension,

rather than as an Ionic survival. We may add that as ma

produced maxai

reverse analogy process, the gen. Nu

produced what may be read as Nu

acc.: the best reading of Col 415 (au]th?j B) may thus stand,

without postulating a Doric Nu

which decides Lightfoot for the alternative.1 The heteroclite

proper names, which fluctuate between 1st and 3rd decl., are

paralleled by Egyptian place-names in papyri. Critics, like

Clemen, whose keen scent has differentiated documents by the

evidence of Lu6.8 (see Knowling,

EGT in loc.),2 might be invited to track down the "redactor"

who presumably perpetrated either Kerkesou

souPaul 129) shows that


perhaps feel encouraged thus to believe that Mt 21 and

Mt 23, despite the heteroclisis, are from the same hand.a The

variations between 1st and 2nd decl. in words like e[kato

xoj (-hj) are found passim, in papyri: for conscientious labour

wasted thereon see Schmiedel's amusing note in his Preface

to WS. In contracted nouns and adjectives we have

abundant parallels for forms like o]ste

xrusa?n (formed by analogy of a]rgura?n). The good attesta-

tion of the type noo

be observed in passing. The fact that we do not find

short forms of nouns in -ioj -ion (e.g. kub is a
1 See the writer's paper in Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc. Oct. 1898, p. 12, where

the archaic vocative in -ă is suggested as the connecting link. Cf Dou?la as a

proper name (Dieterich, Unters. 172), and Ei]rh?na in a Christian inscr. (Ramsay,

C. & B. ii. 497 n.). 2 Cf Harnack, Apostelg). 86 n. [ab See p. 244.


noteworthy test of the educational standard of the writers,

for the papyri show them even as early as and always

in company with other indications of comparative illiteracy.

These forms, the origin of which seems to me as perplexed as

ever, despite the various efforts of such scholars as Thumb,

Hatzidakis, and Brugmann to unravel it, ultimately won a

monopoly, as MGr shows everywhere. We must not omit

mention of the "Mixed Declension," which arose from

analogies in the –a- and -o- nouns, and spread rapidly because

of its convenience, especially for foreign names. The stem

ends in a long vowel or diphthong, which receives -j for nom.

and -n for acc., remaining unchanged in voc., gen. and dat.

sing. ]Ihsou?j is the most conspicuous of many NT exx. It

plays a large part in MGr.1 Passing lightly over the exact

correspondence between uncials and papyri in the accusatives

of klei

Jn 2025 xAB. The great frequency of this formation in

uneducated papyri, which adequately foreshadows its victory

in MGr,2 naturally produced sporadic examples in our MSS,

but it is not at all likely that the autographs showed it (unless

possibly in Rev). Gregory (in Ti, vol. iii. 118 f.) registers

forms like a]sssfalh?n and podh

parallels, but could be explained more easily from the analogy

of 1st decl. nouns. Mei36 ABEGMD) is a good

example of the irrational addition of n, which seems to have

been added after long vowels almost as freely as the equally

unpronounced i.3 One further noun calls for comment, viz.,

]Elaiw?noj in Ac 112 (p. 165). The noun e]laiwolivetum

occurs at least thirty times in papyri between i/ and iii/A.D.,

which prompts surprise at Blass's continued scepticism.

[Elikwsalicetum) is an ancient example of the turning of

a similar word into a proper name.4

1 See CR xviii. 109, Kuhner-Blass § 136.

2 It seems most probable that the modern levelling of 1st and 3rd decl.

started with this accusative. See Thumb, Handbuch 28, 35; also p. 18 for

the pronunciation. of -n final. The formation occurs often in LXX.

3 Thus a!lwi is acc. sing., while h#n (=^#) is sometimes subjunctive. For

exx. see CR xviii. 108. So o!sa e]a>n h#n in Gen 617 E. See p. 168.

4 See Deissmann, BS 208 if., and the addenda in Expos. vii. 111, viii.

429; also below, pp. 69 and 235. See also p. 244, on suggeneu?si (App.2 165).

Indeclinable Two curious incleclinables meet us period-

Adjectives. ically among the adjectives. Plh

be read in Mk 428 (C*, Hort) and Ac 65

(xAC*DEHP al.), and is probably to be recognised in Jn 114

(-rh D). Cf 2 Jn 8 (L), Mk 819 (AFGM al.), Ac 63 (AEHP al.)

1928 (AEL 13). Thus in almost every NT occurrence of an

oblique case of this word we meet with the indeclinable form

in good uncials. The papyrus citations for this begin with

LPc (ii/B.C.), which suits its appearance in the LXX. We

cannot well credit educated writers, such as Luke, with this

vulgar form; but I readily concede to Deissmann (Licht v.

Osten 85 f.) that it is possible in Jn. (Here B. Weiss and

others would make the adj. depend in sense upon au]tou?, but


sentence: it is the "glory" or "self-revelation" of the Word

that is "full of grace and truth.") One might fairly

doubt whether expositors would have thought of making

kai> e]qeasa

for the supposed necessity of construing plh

tive. We restore the popular form also in Mk.1 The other

indeclinables in question are plei

from the old comparative base in -yos. Cronert (in Philologus

lxi. 161 ff.) has shown how frequently in papyri and even

in literature these forms are used, like plh

without modification for case. In Mt 2653 we have a

good example preserved in xBD, the later MSS duly mend-

ing the grammar with plei

false reading in Jn 1029 started from an original mei

this kind?

Many more noun forms might be cited in which the

MSS prove to have retained the genuine Hellenistic, as evi-

denced by the papyri; but these typical examples will serve.

1 See the full evidence in Cronert Mem. 179: add CR xv. 35, 435, xviii. 109

also C. H. Turner in JTS i. 120 ff. and 561 f. ; Radermacher in RhM lvii. 151;

Reinhold 53. Deissmann, New Light 44 f., deals briefly with Jn 1.c. Winer,

p. 705, compares the "grammatically independent" plh

nom. seen in Phil 319, Mk 1249. W. F. Moulton makes no remark there, but

in the note on Jn 114 (Milligan-Moulton in loc.) he accepts the construction

found in the RV, or permits his colleague to do so. At that date the ease

for the indeclinable plh24

xBAC); See Blass 81 n.: Mr R. R. Ottley adds a probable ex. in Is 632 B.


Verbs naturally supply yet more abundant material, but we

need not cite it fully here. Pursuing the order of WH App2

Verbs :— we pause a moment on the dropped augments,

etc., in pp. 168 f., which are well illustrated

in papyri. This phenomenon goes back to Herodotus, and

Augments. well be a contribution of Ionic to the

Common Greek. Diphthongs are naturally the

first to show the tendency: it is not likely, for example, that

Drs Grenfell and Hunt would now, as in the editio princeps

of the Oxyrhynchus Logia (1897, p. 7), call oi]kodomhme

"more serious error" than ai for e or ei for i. The double

augment of a]pekatesta

a suggestive trifle under this head of augments before we pass

Person on. Very satisfactory confirmation of our

endings. uncial tradition is supplied by the person-

endings. The functionally useless difference

of ending between the strong and the weak aorist began to

disappear in our period. The strong aorist act. or mid. is

only found in some thirty -w verbs (and their compounds) in

the NT; and while the great frequency of their occurrence

protected the root-form, the overwhelming predominance of

the sigmatic aorist tended to drive off the field its rival's

person-endings. The limits of this usage in the NT text are

entirely in accord with the better-written papyri. Thus we

find little encouragement for gena1 for which any number

of papyrus citations may be made. But when we notice gena

[. . .] in BU 1033 (ii/A.D.) corrected to geno . . . by a second

hand,2 we see that education still rebelled against this develop-

ment, which had begun with the Attic ei#paj centuries before.

The tendency, in fairly cultured speech, mainly concerned the

act., and the indic. middle. For the details see the careful

note in WS p. 111. Whether the same intrusion should

1 So Lk 2244 x, Lk 2422 B, and Mk 626 and 1542 D: there is no further uncial

support, if Ti is reliable, throughout Mt, Mk, and Lk, in a total of 40 occur

rences. The ptc. does not occur in Jn. I have not looked further.

2 Eu[ra12 (all uncials except D2 is perhaps due to the frequency

of 1st aor. in -ra. The ptc. itself appears in an inscr. of the Roman age,

IMA iii. 1119. P. Buttmaim cites genaWilamowitz-Mollendorf in his extracts from the Psammiles (Lesebuch 243 ff.)

edits geno

little MGr shows that gena


be allowed in the imperf., eg. ei#xan Mk 87, is doubtful,

view of the scanty warrant from the papyri. It is for the

same reason more than doubtful whether we can accept

parela6 xAD*: I have only 4 imperf. and

2 aor. exx. from Ptolemaic times, and the forms e]lamba<-

nesan and a]fi

91 n.5) show that the innovation had not attained great

fixity before i/A.D. The ocular confusion suggested by Hort

in 2 Th l.c. would be furthered by the later currency of this

convenient ending. What we find it hard to allow in a

writer of Paul's culture is a little easier in Jn (1522. 24

xBL etc.); and e]doliou?san Rom 313 (LXX) might have been

written by Paul himself, apart from quotation—we can

hardly cite any other 3 pl. imperf. from –o

early as ii/B.C. we find h]ciou?san in Magn. 47: see Nach-

manson's parallels, pp. 148 f. The –ej of 2 sg. perf., read

by WH in Rev 23.5 1117, and in 1st aor. Rev 24, may

perhaps be allowed in Rev as a mark of imperfect Greek:

it has no warrant from educated writing outside.1 The

3 pl. perf. in -an is well attested in Ac 1636 and Ro 167

xAB, Lk 936 BLX, Col 21 x*ABCD*P , as well as in Jn, Jas

and Rev, where it raises less difficulty. It certainly makes

a fair show in the papyri, from 164 B.C. down (see Mayser

323), but not in documents which would encourage us to

receive it for Luke or even Paul. As the only difference

between perf. and 1 aor.-endings, the -asi was foredoomed to

yield to the assimilating tendency; but possible occurrences

of –an are relatively few, and the witness of the papyri inde-

cisive, and it is safer, except in Rev, to suppose it a vulgarism

due to the occasional lapse of an early scribe.2 If it were

really Alexandrian, as Sextus Empiricus says, we could

understand its comparative frequency in the papyri; but

Thumb decisively rejects this (Hellenismus 170), on the

ground of its frequent appearance elsewhere.3 The termina-

1 Even B shows it, in Ac 2122. Note also a]peka25 D.

2 Ge
RhM, 1891, pp. 193 ff., which should not be missed by the student of Hellenistic,

though it needs some modification in the light of newer knowledge. Thus he

accepts the Alexandrian provenance of this and the -osan type.

3 At Delphi, for example, with imperf. and aor. -osan (see p. 37).


tion -asi invades what is formally, though not in meaning, a

present, in the case of h!kasi, which is a genuine vernacular

form (cf. h!kamen in Pal P 48 (ii/B.C.). WH (App2 176) reject

it as "Western" in Mk 83, regarding it as a paraphrase

of ei]si

Syriac is now to be added to xADN, with the Latin and

other versions, which support it. It is after all a form

which we might expect in Mk, and equally expect to find

removed by revisers, whether Alexandrian or Syrian. By

way of completing the person-endings, we may observe that

the pluperf. act. has exclusively the later -ein form, with

-ei- even in 3 pl.;1 and that the 3 pl. imper. in -twsan and

-sqwsan are unchallenged.

Taking up the contract verbs, we note how the confusions

between –a

external evidence, and by MGr. Our first serious revolt from

WH concerns the infinitive in –oi?n (and by analogy -%?n). The

evidence for it is "small, but of good quality" (p. 173—cf

Introd. § 410): it is in fact confined to B*D in Mt 1332, B*

in Mk 432, x* in 1 Pet 215, BD* in Heb 75 (where see Ti),

and a lectionary in Lk 931. This evidence may pass if our

object is merely to reproduce the spelling of the age of B;

but absolutely no corroboration seems discoverable, earlier

than the date of B itself, except an inscription cited in

Hatzidakis (p. 193),2 and two papyri, BM iii. p. 136 bis

(18 A.D.), and PFi 24 (ii/A.D.). Blass (p. 48) does not regard

the form as established for the NT. We can quote against

it from i—iv/A.D. plentiful exx. of –ou?n in papyri. (That –ou?n

and –a?n (not %?n) are the correct Attic forms, may be seen from

Meisterhans3 175 f., which Hort's hesitation as to –a?n

prompts me to quote: for the reason of the apparent

irregularity see Brugmann, Gr. Gramm.3 61, or WS 42.)

Next may be named, for –a

-a?sai (kauxa?sai, o]duna?sai), which has been formed afresh

in the Koinh< with the help of the -sai that answers to 3rd

1 There are isolated exceptions in the papyri.

2 So WS 116 n. Two other inscriptions are cited by Hatzidakis, but

without dates. Vitelli (on PFi. l.c.) refers to Cronert 220 n., who corrects

Schmieders philology: the form is of course a simple product of analogy--



sing. -tai in the perfect.1 It is well paralleled by the early

fut. xariei?sai in GH 14 c (iii/B.C.), for which xari

in OP 292 (i/A.D.). Fa

together, give us the only exx. outside –a

the quotations in G. Meyer Gr. Gram.3 549 suggest that

the innovation was mainly confined. The later extensions

may be noted in Hatzidakis 188. Note the converse change

in du

subj. of –o

the like (p. 167). Blass (Kuhner3 i. 2. 587, and Gr. 48)

accepts Hort's view that the subj. of these verbs became

identical with the indic., just as it always was in the –a

verbs. (See W. F. Moulton's note, WM 363. Ex 116 o!tan

maiou?sqe . . . kai> w#si, there cited, is a very good example.)

But Blass rightly, I think, rejects the supposition that

eu]odw?tai (1 Co 162) can be anything but a pres. subj. To

read eu]o

do not seem by their printing to have favoured that

alternative. That it is a perf. subj. is extremely unlikely.

The parallels on which Hort (p. 179) relies—set forth with

important additions in Blass's Kuhner i. 2. 100 f.--do

nothing to make it likely that the Koinh< had any perf. subj.

apart from the ordinary periphrastic form.2 It is hard,

moreover, to see why the pres. subj. is not satisfactory here:

see Dr Findlay's note in loc. (EGT vol. ii.). Finally we

note the disappearance of the –h

with the exception of zh3 (as we ought to call

them); also the sporadic appearance of the uncontracted

e]de38 (B and a few others –ei?to, which looks like a

correction). It is supported by Esth 143A, BU 926 (ii/A.D.)

and the Mithras Liturgy (p. 12): it is probably, as Blass

suggests, a mere analogy-product from de

1 To suppose this (or fasurvival of the pre-Greek -esai, is characteristic of the antediluvian philology

which still frequently does duty for science in this country. Krumbacher, KZ

xxvii. 497, scoffs at E. Curtius for talking of an "uralte" –sai.

2 To argue this would demand a very technical discussion. It is enough

to say that the Attic kektw?mai and memnw?mai are not derivative verbs, and that

the three derivative verbs which can be quoted, from Doric, Cretan and

Ionic respectively, supply slender justification for the supposed Koinh< parallel.

3 Xra?sqai was the Hellenistic infin., but there is no example of it in NT.


like lu1 and owes nothing to Ionic. It affords no

warrant for suspecting uncontracted forms elsewhere: kate

Mk 143 is an aor., as in Attic.

The verbs in -mi, continued in Hellenistic to suffer from

the process of gradual extinction which began even in

Homeric Greek, and in MGr has eliminated every form

outside the verb "be." The papyri agree with the NT

Verbs in -mi. uncials in showing forms like du


flexions after contract verb types. New verbs like i[sta2

are formed, and new tenses like –e!staka (transitive). The

most important novelty apart from these is the aor. subj.

doi? and gnoi?,3 as to which W. F. Moulton's view (WM 360 n.)

is finally established by good attestation from papyri. The

pres. subj. didoi?, after the –o

work. That in much later documents such forms may be

opt. need not trouble us. The form d&

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