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Are these Hebraisms?

Posted: November 7th, 2013, 12:29 pm
by Andrew Chapman
καὶ εἰσελεύσεται ὁ βασιλεὺς τῆς δόξης Psalm 24:7b (23:7) Is there any reason for the article with δόξης, apart from the fact that the article is with kavod in the Hebrew:

וְ֝·יָב֗וֹא מֶ֣לֶךְ הַ·כָּבֽוֹד׃

καὶ εὐλογήσουσιν ὄνομα δόξης σου Nehemiah 9:5 stretches my preference for a very literal translation almost beyond breaking point, since 'the name of your glory' is a lot more difficult than 'your glorious name', and looks to me like it might be translation Greek from:

וִ·יבָֽרְכוּ֙ שֵׁ֣ם כְּבוֹדֶ֔·ךָ which has the pronominal suffix ךָ 'your' after kavod, but would I think be the normal way of saying 'your glorious name' in Hebrew. Assuming that 'your glorious name' is the intended meaning of ὄνομα δόξης σου, is this what might be called a Hebraism if it were imported into the New Testament?


Re: Are these Hebraisms?

Posted: November 7th, 2013, 11:35 pm
by timothy_p_mcmahon
The first example conforms to Apollonius’ Canon, which states that with two nouns in regimen, either both must be anarthrous or both must take the article. Like most any grammatical rule, it's not written in stone, but normally Greek syntax conforms to it.

Re: Are these Hebraisms?

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 6:44 am
by Andrew Chapman
Thanks, Timothy, much appreciated. I have found the rule now in Wallace.


Re: Are these Hebraisms?

Posted: November 9th, 2013, 3:27 am
by Evan Blackmore
The second example would indeed be usually considered a Semiticism--in fact doubly so: (1) The use of a genitive of quality (δόξης) instead of an adjective is Semitic, as noted by BDF §165 ("Classical Greek exhibits very sparse parallels, in poetry only"); and (2) "this Semitic manner of speaking becomes even more alien to Greek idiom, if the possessive pronoun or a demonstrative which applies to the whole compound, and so to the qualified substantive, is put with the genitive that qualifies it," as σου is here put with δόξης (Zerwick §41). There's a close NT parallel in Matt. 19:28: "the throne of his glory" = "his glorious throne.".

Re: Are these Hebraisms?

Posted: November 10th, 2013, 10:39 am
by Andrew Chapman
Thanks for this, Evan, and for your earlier reply with the references to Zerwick and Turner, the second of which I hadn't seen, so thank you.

Here's another one, almost identical:

καὶ εὐλογητὸν τὸ ὄνομα τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ Psalm 72:19 (71:19 LXX) from

וּ·בָר֤וּךְ ׀ שֵׁ֥ם כְּבוֹד֗·וֹ

Which I think is a normal way of saying 'And blessed be his glorious name' in Hebrew.

What do you think is going on here? Were the translators incompetent? Is this how the Jews spoke Greek, with Hebrew word order for some expressions? Were they trying to preserve something that they sensed in the original?

With regard to your point 1, I think there is a significant difference in English between 'King of glory' in Psalm 24:7 and 'glorious King'. As Keil and Dielitsch say of 'King of glory': 'whose whole being and acts is glory'. The NET bible has 'majestic king', and the Message has King-Glory, which isn't bad, but virtually all the rest have 'King of glory'. But maybe we are preserving something that isn't really there - the 'Complete Jewish Bible' has 'glorious king'..

My interest stems from a comment from a preacher that κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ in Colossians 1:11 should be rendered 'according to His mighty glory' and not 'His glorious might'. F. F. Bruce and James Dunn said it was a Semitism or Hebraism, and that it carried the latter meaning. With regard to this form of construction, Zerwick pointed to the nature of the construct noun relationship in Hebrew, with the two nouns tied closely together so that a pronoun would normally be suffixed to the second noun - and this is the structure we can see in these LXX examples. If you have time, I would be interested in your comments on that thread ... f=6&t=2089.

How about Romans 7:24, which is cited by both Zerwick and Turner:

24 ταλαίπωρος ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπος· τίς με ῥύσεται ἐκ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ θανάτου τούτου;

I am quite open to the possibility that this 'equals' 'this body of death', or even 'this mortal body', as they sugest, and certainly 'the body of this death' is not easy to understand immediately in English, but yet:

a) common sense, and what little I have read on the subject, suggest that Paul would be able, and in fact did, write in normal Greek.
b) an older generation of commentators read it as 'the body of this death', even though they say that 'this body of death' is possible grammatically. Thus, Sanday and Headlam:
it is far better to take it in the more natural connection with θανάτου; 'the body of this death' which already has me in its clutches.