οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate position?)

Andrew Chapman
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οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate position?)

Post by Andrew Chapman » December 10th, 2014, 11:23 am

καὶ λέγει μοι, οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν. [Revelation 19.9]

I am reading Rodney Decker's Koine Greek Reader, and much enjoying it. On page 69, with regard to verse 9, he asks:
Which nominative in the last clause is the subject and which is the predicative nominative? How do you know? (There is both an adjective and a genitive modifying λόγοι.)
I would have said that ἀληθινοὶ is in the predicative position, having no article before it (there is a manuscript variant with οἱ but it's not generally read, and Decker does not have it). So I would have said:

These words of God are true.

But Decker says that there is an adjective modifying λόγοι, and the only one available is ἀληθινοὶ, so it looks like he is reading it as:

These are the true words of God

which is also how almost all the translations have it (except HCSB). But I don't understand why. Could someone enlighten me? Thanks,

Andrew
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by cwconrad » December 10th, 2014, 4:21 pm

Andrew Chapman wrote:καὶ λέγει μοι, οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν. [Revelation 19.9]

I am reading Rodney Decker's Koine Greek Reader, and much enjoying it. On page 69, with regard to verse 9, he asks:
Which nominative in the last clause is the subject and which is the predicative nominative? How do you know? (There is both an adjective and a genitive modifying λόγοι.)
I would have said that ἀληθινοὶ is in the predicative position, having no article before it (there is a manuscript variant with οἱ but it's not generally read, and Decker does not have it). So I would have said:

These words of God are true.

But Decker says that there is an adjective modifying λόγοι, and the only one available is ἀληθινοὶ, so it looks like he is reading it as:

These are the true words of God

which is also how almost all the translations have it (except HCSB). But I don't understand why. Could someone enlighten me?
The demonstratives (οὗτος/ἐκεῖνος/ὄδε) are always predicative. Here οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as a whole constitutes the subject. That is to say, the article οἱ constitutes all the elements λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as a substantive phrase constituting the subject of οὗτοι. οὗτοι is a substantival pronoun here, "these ones" Structurally the clause reads, "The true words of God are these ones" -- but our idiom puts the demonstrative substantive first. If you think of the adverbial force of οὗτοι you could even formulate the sense as "The true/very words of God are the ones here"
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 10th, 2014, 4:52 pm

cwconrad wrote:The demonstratives (οὗτος/ἐκεῖνος/ὄδε) are always predicative. Here οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as a whole constitutes the subject. That is to say, the article οἱ constitutes all the elements λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as a substantive phrase constituting the subject of οὗτοι. οὗτοι is a substantival pronoun here, "these ones" Structurally the clause reads, "The true words of God are these ones" -- but our idiom puts the demonstrative substantive first. If you think of the adverbial force of οὗτοι you could even formulate the sense as "The true/very words of God are the ones here"
Is it wrong to treat Οὗτοι as the subject and οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as the predicate? That's what the GBI trees currently do.
rev19-9.png
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by cwconrad » December 11th, 2014, 7:30 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
cwconrad wrote:The demonstratives (οὗτος/ἐκεῖνος/ὄδε) are always predicative. Here οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as a whole constitutes the subject. That is to say, the article οἱ constitutes all the elements λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as a substantive phrase constituting the subject of οὗτοι. οὗτοι is a substantival pronoun here, "these ones" Structurally the clause reads, "The true words of God are these ones" -- but our idiom puts the demonstrative substantive first. If you think of the adverbial force of οὗτοι you could even formulate the sense as "The true/very words of God are the ones here"
Is it wrong to treat Οὗτοι as the subject and οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ as the predicate? That's what the GBI trees currently do....
This will allow me a good opportunity to display my abysmal grammatical ignorance.
In one sense, since this is a matter of an equative verb, either item might be the subject and the other the predicate nominative. I've always thought, however, that pronoun "subjects" of this sort -- demonstratives and interrogatives -- were really the predicate nominatives:

Who is faster? = The faster one is who/which one?
These are the very words of God = The very words of God are these ones (these words).

And I have always assumed that these pronominal words were positioned at the head of the clause/sentence because they are emphatic -- but being emphatic doesn't make them subjects.

Now I am prepared to be instructed to a better understanding.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 11th, 2014, 11:10 am

Hey, I was expecting you to be the one who provided the understanding here ....

I assume the role of οὗτοι in the sentence is independent of position, i.e. it plays the same role in all of these clauses:
  • οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν
  • οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ οὗτοι εἰσιν
  • εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ οὗτοι
  • εἰσιν οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ
  • οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν οὗτοι
  • οὗτοι εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ
In English, in "these are the true words of God", is "these" the subject or the predicate? I would have thought "these" was the subject, and that the same would be true in Greek. But I'm not the linguist here ... surely some real linguist will come help us out?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by cwconrad » December 11th, 2014, 11:54 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:Hey, I was expecting you to be the one who provided the understanding here ....

I assume the role of οὗτοι in the sentence is independent of position, i.e. it plays the same role in all of these clauses:
  • οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν
  • οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ οὗτοι εἰσιν
  • εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ οὗτοι
  • εἰσιν οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ
  • οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν οὗτοι
  • οὗτοι εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ
In English, in "these are the true words of God", is "these" the subject or the predicate? I would have thought "these" was the subject, and that the same would be true in Greek. But I'm not the linguist here ... surely some real linguist will come help us out?
I confess that I am "neither a linguist nor the son of a linguist" (I don't speak that language, as I've made abundantly clear many times). You may very well be right here, except that I think only the first and the last formulations in your list are good Greek; I think that the demonstrative is regularly first in its clause.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Andrew Chapman » December 11th, 2014, 12:18 pm

I was under the impression that the demonstrative pronouns assume a predicate position even when they are being used adjectivally. See for example, BAGD
οὗτος, 2. as an adj. a. coming before a substantive .. with the article
- and then a list of instances. Or Funk BIGHG, 684.3, where he gives as an example:

Ταῦτα τὰ ῥήματα ἐλάλησεν ἐν τῷ γαζοφυλακίῳ διδάσκων ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ· [John 8.20a]

where clearly it has to be 'he spoke these words..'.

Funk also gives an example (684.4) with οὗτος in the other predicate position, and then adjectives in the predicate position:

Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος ἦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ ᾧ ὄνομα Συμεὼν καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβὴς προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, .. [Luke 2.25]

Funk cites just:

ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβὴς

and gives the English as:

This man [was] just and righteous

Now I see that BAGD actually gives Revelation 19.9 in the above section 2.a, which I think means that they are reading οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι as 'these words', does it not?

Andrew
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 11th, 2014, 3:55 pm

cwconrad wrote:I confess that I am "neither a linguist nor the son of a linguist" (I don't speak that language, as I've made abundantly clear many times). You may very well be right here, except that I think only the first and the last formulations in your list are good Greek; I think that the demonstrative is regularly first in its clause.
I trust your sense for Greek here, but aren't there places where the demonstrative is not first in its clause? Are these good Greek?
  • Luke 18:14 κατέβη οὗτος δεδικαιωμένος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ παρ’ ἐκεῖνον·
  • John 1:41 εὑρίσκει οὗτος πρῶτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα
  • Acts 9:15 σκεῦος ἐκλογῆς ἐστίν μοι οὗτος τοῦ βαστάσαι τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐνώπιον ἐθνῶν τε καὶ βασιλέων υἱῶν τε Ἰσραήλ,
This also occurs for questions:
  • Matthew 8:27 Ποταπός ἐστιν οὗτος ὅτι καὶ οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ ἡ θάλασσα αὐτῷ
    ὑπακούουσιν;
  • Matthew 21:10 Τίς ἐστιν οὗτος;
  • Luke 4:22 οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος;
  • Luke 23:22 Τί γὰρ κακὸν ἐποίησεν οὗτος;
  • John 6:52 Πῶς δύναται οὗτος ἡμῖν δοῦναι τὴν σάρκα αὐτοῦ φαγεῖν;
  • John 7:15 Πῶς οὗτος γράμματα οἶδεν μὴ μεμαθηκώς;
And statements about what was said:
  • Matthew 27:47 τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων ἀκούσαντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ οὗτος
  • Matthew 27:54 λέγοντες· Ἀληθῶς θεοῦ υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος.
  • Acts 18:13 λέγοντες ὅτι παρὰ τὸν νόμον ἀναπείθει οὗτος τοὺς ἀνθρώπους σέβεσθαι τὸν θεόν.
And εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος:
  • John 9:33 εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ, οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν
  • John 18:30 εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος κακὸν ποιῶν, οὐκ ἄν σοι παρεδώκαμεν αὐτόν
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by cwconrad » December 11th, 2014, 5:09 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
cwconrad wrote:I confess that I am "neither a linguist nor the son of a linguist" (I don't speak that language, as I've made abundantly clear many times). You may very well be right here, except that I think only the first and the last formulations in your list are good Greek; I think that the demonstrative is regularly first in its clause.
I trust your sense for Greek here, but aren't there places where the demonstrative is not first in its clause? Are these good Greek?
  • Luke 18:14 κατέβη οὗτος δεδικαιωμένος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ παρ’ ἐκεῖνον·
  • John 1:41 εὑρίσκει οὗτος πρῶτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα
  • Acts 9:15 σκεῦος ἐκλογῆς ἐστίν μοι οὗτος τοῦ βαστάσαι τὸ ὄνομά μου ἐνώπιον ἐθνῶν τε καὶ βασιλέων υἱῶν τε Ἰσραήλ,
This also occurs for questions:
  • Matthew 8:27 Ποταπός ἐστιν οὗτος ὅτι καὶ οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ ἡ θάλασσα αὐτῷ
    ὑπακούουσιν;
  • Matthew 21:10 Τίς ἐστιν οὗτος;
  • Luke 4:22 οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος;
  • Luke 23:22 Τί γὰρ κακὸν ἐποίησεν οὗτος;
  • John 6:52 Πῶς δύναται οὗτος ἡμῖν δοῦναι τὴν σάρκα αὐτοῦ φαγεῖν;
  • John 7:15 Πῶς οὗτος γράμματα οἶδεν μὴ μεμαθηκώς;
And statements about what was said:
  • Matthew 27:47 τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων ἀκούσαντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ οὗτος
  • Matthew 27:54 λέγοντες· Ἀληθῶς θεοῦ υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος.
  • Acts 18:13 λέγοντες ὅτι παρὰ τὸν νόμον ἀναπείθει οὗτος τοὺς ἀνθρώπους σέβεσθαι τὸν θεόν.
And εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος:
  • John 9:33 εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ, οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν
  • John 18:30 εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος κακὸν ποιῶν, οὐκ ἄν σοι παρεδώκαμεν αὐτόν
Jonathan Robie wrote:I trust your sense for Greek here ...
Obviously you are deluded in doing so ...
Jonathan Robie wrote: ... but aren't there places where the demonstrative is not first in its clause? Are these good Greek?
Yes, and yes. Might be you are a linguist. Clearly you are a more careful observer.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by jtauber » December 12th, 2014, 7:37 am

I thought in question here was not just what's the subject versus predicate but also whether οὗτοι stands alone or is part of the same phrase as οἱ λόγοι (i.e. these words)

In other words, the original poster was not so much asking about "these are the true words of God" vs "the true words of God are these" but whether something like "these true words are of God" or "these words of God are true" and so on can be read.
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