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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Adjectives :— THERE is not much to be said under the

"Duality,” head of Adjectives, except on the important

“Duality” question raised by the phenomena

of comparison. The question touches the use of dual

pronouns of the e!teroj class, as well as the relation between

comparative and superlative. The abolition of a dis-

tinction between duality and plurality is almost inevitable

sooner or later in language history. English affords us

instructive parallels. The simplicity and convenience of our

suffixes -er and -est have helped to preserve in common speech

the old degrees of comparison. But how often does the man

in the street say "the better of the two"? One would not

like to say offhand how far in this matter modern litera-

ture is impeccable on Lindley Murray rules; but in conver-

sation the most correct of us may at times be caught

tripping, and even when the comparative is used we are most

of us conscious of a kind of pedantic accuracy. That "the

best of the two" is the English of the future is a fairly safe

assertion. Whether, adjectivally, is as archaic as po1

when we translate ti tw?n du21) by the

archaism "whether of the twain," we are only advertising

the fact that the original was normal speech and our trans-

lation artificial. We have not yet arrived at "either of the

three," but people say "either A. or B. or C." without a

qualm. Of course the first step was taken ages ago in the

extinction of the dual, the survival of which in Germanic

1 In twelve papyrus collections there is one occurrence of po

indices, and that is nearly illegible and (to me, at least) quite unintelligible

(AP 135, ii/A.D.). It is replaced by ti77


is evidenced, centuries after the NT, by Wulfila's Gothic:

Other modern languages tell the same tale. In the NT the

obsolescence of the superlative, except in the elative sense, is

in Comparison, most marked. It is mere chance that only

one example of the –tatoj superlative has

survived,1 for there are scores of them in the papyri. Of the

genuine superlative sense, however, the examples there are

very rare; practically we may say that in the vernacular

documents the superlative forms are used to express the

sense of our "very." The confusion of comparative and

superlative is well seen in some illiterate papyri, where

phrases like to> me gnhsiw

two typical examples of irregular comparatives may be cited

—the references will be found, with other examples, in

CR xv. 439 and xviii. 154. Specially instructive is the

papyrus of the astronomer Eudoxus, written in ii/B.C. There

we have kaq ] o{n o[ h!lioj feron me>n h[me

ten de> nu

a superlative, and Blass no doubt rightly assumes that the

author (iv/B.C.) wrote braxuta

case the scribe's alteration is very significant. He has in the

same way altered megi

he writes e]n e[kateeach of the

(twelve) signs." In Tb P 33 (ii/B.C.) we have e]n mei

a]ciw2 It is in fact clear that me

practically obsolete in Hellenistic: its appearance in 2 Pet

is as significant as its absence from the rest of the NT.

The Revisers' scrupulous margin in 1 Co 1313 and Mt 181

may be safely dispensed with, on the new evidence. Krei

and xei

have no superlatives:2 kra

(in adv.) occurs once, in 2 Tim 118, but does not appear in any

of Grenfell and Hunt's papyri, except in an official Ptolemaic

document:3 be

claim (ter in ii/B.C.). ]Amei

occasionally. Note especially OP 716 (ii/A.D.) th>n a]mei

1 Ac 26b, in true superlative sense; this speech is much affected by literary


2 See p. 236 below. 3 Tb P 2780 (113 B.C.).


ai!resin didoin OP 292 (i/A.D.), a vernacular document, bit the sole witness

among the papyri named. ]Ela

(a true superl. in 1 Co 159, as in Tb P 24 (ii/B.C.)--an official

document, but in very bad Greek) has not wholly disappeared.


elative in the papyri note however Tb P 105 (ii/B.C.) th>n


I Co 1427. Mt 1120 may show the elative—"those very

numerous mighty works"; but the other rendering is as good.

In Jn 115 prw?toj mou, and 1518 prw?ton u[mw?n, we have the

superlative ousting the comparative. Winer quotes Aelian

(WM 306), and we can add sou? prw?to

(ii/iii A.D.—magic).a There seems no longer adequate reason

to question that pro

great rarity of the comparative form in the papyri reinforces

the natural inference from Jn In the Grenfell-

Hunt volumes it only occurs 9 times, in 7 documents.

The mere use of prw?toj in Ac 11, it must be allowed, proves

very little as to the author's intention to write a third

treatise. Ramsay himself (Paul, p. 28) admits that the

absence of pro

certainty for the hypothesis. See further p. 236. [a See p. 245.

and in The case is not quite so strong for the

Pronouns. pronouns. There are plenty of places where

e!teroj, e[ka

than two, and a@lloj of two only; but also places where the

pronouns are used carefully according to classical precedent.

It seems a fair assumption that these words held much the

same relative position as was described just slow for our own

comparative and superlative in phrases like "the better (best)

of two." Educated men would know the distinction and

observe it, unless off their guard. In these cases we must let

the context decide, paying due attention to the degree of

grammatical precision usually attained by each several author.

It is remarkable that in this respect we find Luke by no

means particular. In Lk 86-8 he actually substitutes e!teroj

for the correct a@lloj which appears in his presumed source,

Mk 45-8 (cf Mt 135-8); and in Lk 629 he does not alter th>n

a@llhn (siago39, but is corrected


in Clem. Horn. 158. This will clearly need remembering

when we examine other "dual” words in Luke.1 See pp. 245f.


Ac 1916. The probability that a]mfo

was used for pa

examples of it in NP 67 and 60 (iv/A.D.),2 with the undeniable

Byzantine use, form a strong temptation where the relief would

be so great.3 I cannot but think that Ramsay is quite right

in saying (Paul, p. 272), "The seven sons in v.14 change in an

unintelligible way to two in v.1-6 (except in the Bezan text)."

Luke must have been a very slovenly writer if he really

meant this, and the Bezan reading of v.14 does not help us to

understand how the more difficult "neutral text" arose if it

really was secondary. On the other hand, Luke is one of

the last NT writers whom we should expect to fall into a

colloquialism of which early examples are so rare: that he

shares the loose use of e!teroj, etc., current in his time, does

nothing to mitigate this improbability. If we are to defend

these verses from Ramsay's criticisms—and in a purely

grammatical discussion we cannot deal with them except on

this side--must we not assume that the original text of v.14

is lost?a If this contained a fuller statement, the abruptness

of to> pneu?ma to> ponhro14, and of our a]mfote

might be removed without compromising the characteristic

e[pta<: we might also have a clearer term to describe Sceva's

office. The alternative is to suppose the verses an interpo-

lation from a less educated source, which has been imperfectly

adapted to Luke's style.4

We pass on to the Article, on which there is not very

much to say, since in all essentials its use is in agreement

1 Note in the Messenian Syll. 65391 (91 B.C.) to>n me>n e!na . . . to>n d ] a@llon,

of two. The aberrant e!teron . . . a@llon Lk 719f. B is most simply explained

by supposing that the scribe has found place for two variants. If we press

the reading, the messengers are represented as softening the message, no longer

"another kind of Messiah," but "another of the same kind": cf Gal 16f.

The meaning "different" naturally developed out of "the other class (of two),"

and it survived when the normal use of e!teroj had faded out. See also p. 246.

2 BU 1057 (13 B. C.) must, I think, be otherwise explained.

3 See notes in Expos. VI. viii. 426 and CR xv. 440.

4 The Sahidic and some later versions took a]mfote

better supported, we should find another ex. in Ac 238. Dr Nestle thinks me

unduly timid as to adopting this interpretation. [a See p. 246.


with Attic. It might indeed be asserted that the NT is in

this respect remarkably "correct" when compared with the

papyri. It shows no trace of the use of the

The Article:— article as a relative, which is found in classical

"Correctness" Greek outside Attic, in papyri from the first,1

of NT Greek. and to some extent in MGr. The papyri

likewise exhibit some examples of the article as demonstra-

tive, apart from connexion with me1 whereas the NT

has no ex. beyond the poetical quotation in Ac 1728. Further,

we have nothing answering to the vernacular idiom by which

the article may be omitted between preposition and infini-

tive. In family or business accounts among the papyri we

find with significant frequency an item of so much ei]j pei?n,

with the dative of the persons for whom this thoughtful

provision is made. There are three passages in Herodotus

where a]nti< behaves thus: see vi. 32 a]nti> ei#nai, with

Strachan's note, and Goodwin, MT § 803 (see further below,

p. 216). In these three points we may possibly recognise

Ionic influence showing itself in a limited part of the

vernacular; it is at least noteworthy that Herodotus will

supply parallels for them all. The Ionic elements in the

Koinh< were briefly alluded to above (pp. 37 f.), where other

evidence was noted for the sporadic character of these

infusions, and their tendency to enlarge their borders in the

later development of the Common Greek.

Hebraisms We are not much troubled with Hebra-

ism under the article.2 Blass (p. 151)

regards as "thoroughly Hebraic" such phrases as pro>


kat ] oi#koin au]tw?n "is a regular phrase and perhaps not

a Hebraism." Where Semitic originals lie behind out

Greek, the dictum is unobjectionable; but the mere admis-

sion that kat ] oi#kon au]tw?n is Greek shows how slightly

these phrases diverge from the spirit of the translator's

language. Phrases like tou>j e]n oi@k&, dia> xeiro>j e]c oi@kou,

etc., are recurrent in the papyri, and the extension, such as

it is, lies in the addition of a dependent genitive.3 The

principle of "correlation" (on which see the note in WM,
1 See Volker 5 f.; also CR, xviii. 155. 2 See p. 236. 3 See pp. 99 f.


p. 175) here supports the strong tendency to drop the

article after a preposition. This is seen working in the

papyri: of Volker, Der Artikel pp. 1 5-1 7. Without laying

Anarthrous down a law that the noun is naturally

Prepositional anarthrous when attached to a preposition,

Phrases we may certainly say that the usage is so pre-

dominant that no refinements of interpreta-

tion are justifiable. Obviously e]n oi@k& (Mk 21) is not "in a

house," nor e]n a]gor% (Lk 732) "in a market-place," nor

e]n a]gui%?, in the current papyrus formula, "in a street." We

say "down town," "on 'Change," "in bed," "from start to

finish."1 If we substitute "in my bed," "from the beginning

to the end," we are, it seems, more pictorial; we point, as it

were, to the objects in question. There is nothing indefinite

about the anarthrous noun there; but for some reason the

qualitative aspect of a noun, rather than the deictic, is

appropriate to a prepositional phrase, unless we have special

reason to point to it the finger of emphatic particularisation.

To this Dr Findlay adds the consideration that the phrases

in question are familiar ones, in which triteness has reduced

their distinctiveness, and promoted a tendency to abbreviate.

It would seem that English here is on the same lines as Greek,

which, however, makes the anarthrous use with prepositions

much more predominant than it is with us. Pursuing further

Anarthrous the classes of words in which we insert the

"Headings. in translation, we have the anarthrous use

"in sentences having the nature of headings"

(Hort, 1 Peter, p. 15b). Hort assigns to this cause the

dropped articles before qeou?, pneu

1 Pet 12; Winer cites the opening words of Mt, Mk, and

Rev. The lists of words which specially affect the dropped

Qualitative article will, of course, need careful examina-

Force in tion for the individual cases. Thus, when

Anarthrous Winer includes path
Nouns. Jn 114 and Heb 127, we must feel that

in both passages the qualitative force is very apparent-

1 According to Ramsay (Paul, p. 195), para> potamo13, shows famili-

arity with the locality. To accept this involves giving up e]nomi

ei#nai, a step not to be lightly taken. (See further, p. 236.)


“what son is there whom his father, as a father, does not

chasten?" (On the former passage see RV margin, and

the note in WM 151.) For exegesis, there are few of the

finer points of Greek which need more constant attention

than this omission of the article when the writer would lay

stress on the quality or character of the object. Even the

RV misses this badly sometimes, as in Jn 668.1

Proper Names Scholarship has not yet solved completely

the problem of the article with proper names.

An illuminating little paper by Gildersleeve may be referred

to (AJP xi. 483-7), in which he summarises some elaborate

researches by K. Schmidt, and adds notes of his own. He

shows that this use, which was equivalent to pointing at a

man, was originally popular, and practically affects only prose

style. The usage of different writers varies greatly; and the

familiar law that the article is used of a person already

named (anaphoric use), or well known already, is not uni-

formly observed. Deissmann has attempted to define the

papyrus usage in the Berlin Philol. Wochenschrift, 1902,

p. 1467. He shows how the writers still follow the classical

use in the repetition with article of a proper name which on

its first introduction was anarthrous. When a man's father's

or mother's name is appended in the genitive, it normally has

the article. There are very many cases where irregularities

occur for which we have no explanation. See also Volker

p. 9, who notes the curious fact that the names of slaves and

animals receive the article when mentioned the first time,

where personalities that counted are named without the article.

The innumerable papyrus parallels to Sau?loj o[ kai> Pau?loj

(Ac 139) may just be alluded to before we pass from this

subject: see Deissmann BS 313 ff., and Ramsay, CR xix. 429.

Position of The position of the article is naturally

Article. much affected by the colloquial character of

NT language. In written style the ambi-

guous position of ei]j to>n qa4, would have been

cleared up by prefixing tou?, if the meaning was (as seems

1 The marginal reading stood in the text in the First Revision. It is one

among very many places where a conservative minority damaged the work by

the operation of the two-thirds


probable) "by this baptism in o his death." In most cases,

there is no doubt as to whether the prepositional phrase

belongs to the neighbouring noun. A very curious misplace-

ment of the article occurs in the o[ o@xloj polu1 of Jn 129.

As Sir R. C. Jebb notes on Sophocles, OT 1199 f., the noun

and adjective may be fused into a composite idea; but Jebb's

exx. (like 1 Pet 118 and the cases cited in W. F. Moulton's

note, WM 166) illustrate only the addition of a second

adjective after the group article-adjective-noun (cf OP 99

--i/A.D.—th?j u[parxou2

We cannot discuss here the problem of Tit 213, for we must,

as grammarians, leave the matter open: see WM 162, 156 n.

But we might cite, for what they are worth, the papyri

BU 366, 367, 368, 371, 395 (all vii/A.D.), which attest the

translation "our great God and Saviour" as current among

Greek-speaking Christians. The formula runs e]n o]no

kuri despo swth?roj

h[mw?n, kai> th?j despoi

curious echo is found in the Ptolemaic formula applied to the

deified kings: thus GH 15 (ii/B.C.), tou? mega

ge swth?roj [e]pifanou?j] eu]xari

is, of course, applied to one person. One is not surprised to

find that P. Wendland, at the end of his suggestive paper

on SwthZNTW v. 335 ff., treats the rival rendering

in Tit l.c. summarily as " an exegetical mistake," like the

severance of tou? qeou? h[mw?n, and swth?roj 'I. X. in 2 Pet 11.

Familiarity with the everlasting apotheosis that flaunts itself

in the papyri and inscriptions of Ptolemaic and Imperial times,

lends strong support to Wendland's contention that Christians,

from the latter part of i/A.D. onward, deliberately annexed for

their Divine Master the phraseology that was impiously

arrogated to themselves by some of the worst of men.

Personal From the Article we turn to the Per-

Pronouns :— sonal Pronouns. A very short excursion

"Semitic here brings us up against another evidence

Redundance." of "the dependence of [NT] language on
1 If it is merely careless Greek, one may compare Par P 602 (ii/B.C.?) a]po> tw?n


2 See note in CR xviii. 154a.


Semitic speech," in the "extraordinary frequency of the

oblique cases of the personal pronouns used without emphasis"

(Blass 164). Dependence on Semitic would surely need

to be very strongly evidenced in other ways before we

could readily accept such an account of elements affecting

the whole fabric of everyday speech. Now a redundance

of personal pronouns is just what we should expect in

the colloquial style, to judge from what we hear in our own

vernacular. (Cf Thumb, Hellen. 108 f.). A reader of the peti-

tions and private letters in a collection of papyri would not

notice any particular difference in this respect from the Greek

of the NT. For example, in Par P 51 GI, (ii/B.C.) we see an

eminently redundant pronoun in a]nuj


Laj h: the

syntax is exactly that of Rev 27, etc. Kalkei (Quaest. 274)

quotes dio> kai> pa tau?ta from Polybius,

with other redundances of the kind. Such line as this

from a Klepht ballad (Abbott 42),

kai> stri mousta ta> malli

("and he twirls his moustache and dresses his hair") illus-

trates the survival of the old vernacular usage in MGr. In

words like kefalh<, where the context generally makes the

ownership obvious, NT Greek often follows classical Greek and

is content with the article. But such a passage as Mt 617,

a@leiyai< sou th>n kefalh

would suffice (cf p. 236), shows that the language already

is learning to prefer the fuller form. The strength of this

tendency enhances the probability that in Jn 838 tou? patro

"the Father" and not "your father": see Milligan-Moulton.

Emphasis in It is perhaps rather too readily taken for

Nominative. granted that the personal pronouns must

always be emphatic when they appear in

the nominative case. H. L. Ebeling (Gildersleeve Studies,

p. 240) points out that there is no necessary emphasis in

the Platonic h#n d ] e]gw<, e@fhn e]gw<, w[j su> f^

Gildersleeve himself observes (Synt. § 6 9): "The emphasis of

the 1st and 2nd persons is not to be insisted on too much

in poetry or in familiar prose. Notice the frequency of

e]g&#da, e]g&#mai." Are we obliged then to see a special


stress in the pronoun whenever it denotes the Master, like

the Pythagorean au]to>j e@fa? We may perhaps better

describe it as fairly represented to the eye by the capital in

"He," to the ear by the slower pronunciation which reverence

likes to give when the pronoun refers to Christ. Generally

the pronoun is unmistakable emphatic in nom., from Mt 121

onwards; but occasionally the force of the emphasis is not

obvious--cf Lk 192. The question suggests itself whether

we are compelled to explain the difficult su> ei#paj and the

like (Mt 2664 2711, Mk 152, Lk 2270 233, Jn 1837) by putting

a stress on the pronoun. Can we drop this and translate,

"You have said it," i.e. "That is right"? It is pointed out

however by Thayer (JBL xiii. 40-49) that the plh

Mt 2664 is not satisfied by making the phrase a mere

equivalent of "Yes"—to mention only one of the passages

where difficulties arise. We seem thrown back on Thayer's

rendering "You say it," "the word is here yours.

[Hmei?j for ]Egw

of the use of h[mei?j for e]gw<. The gram-

marian's part in this problem is happily a small one, and

need detain us only briefly. K. Dick, in his elaborate study

of the question,1 gives a few apposite examples from late

Greek literature and from papyrus letters, which prove

beyond all possible doubt that I and we chased each other

throughout these documents without rhyme or reason. We

may supplement his exx. with a few more references taken at

random. See for example Tb P 58 (ii/B.C.), and AP 130 (i/A.D.

—a most illiterate document): add Tb P 26 (ii/B.C.) o@nti moi e]n

PtolemaiJHS xix. 92 (ii/A.D.) xai?re<

moi, mh?ter glukuta fronti

BU 449 (ii/iii A.D.) a]kou

the grammar of the last ex. cf Par P 43 (ii/B.C.,= Witk.

p. 54 f.) e@rrwmai de> kau]toi<, EP 13 (222 B.C.) ti< a}n poiou?ntej

xarizoial. Dick succeeds in showing—so Deissmann

thinks—that every theory suggested for regularising Paul's

use of these pronouns breaks down entirely. It would seem

that the question must be passed on from the grammarian to
1 Der schriftstellerische Plural bei Paulus (1900), pp. 18 if. See also

Deissmann's summary of this book, Theol. Rundschau v. 65.

the exegete; for our grammatical material gives us not the

slightest evidence of any distinction between the two

numbers in ordinary writing. It is futile to argue from

Latin to Greek, or we might expect help from Prof. Conway's

careful study of nos in Cicero's Letters;1 but the tone of

superiority, in various forms, which the nos carries, has no

parallel in Greek.

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