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

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

Post by Andrew Chapman » December 12th, 2014, 10:46 am

Compare:

Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ· ἰδοὺ καινὰ ποιῶ πάντα καὶ λέγει· γράψον, ὅτι οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσιν. [Revelation 21.5]

All the English translations have something along the lines of 'these words are faithful and true', rather than 'these are faithful and true words' (or faithful and true words are these).

This seems pretty close to:

οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

But maybe the word order matters? Perhaps it would be:

οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ ἀληθινοὶ εἰσιν

or somesuch, if οὗτοι were adjectival? Andrew
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 12th, 2014, 12:31 pm

First off, may I recommend Funk's description of DEMONSTRATIVES: Οὗτος, Ἐκεῖνος, on page 417 of the printed book?

I don't think οὗτος is being used as a predicate here, but if it were, it could occur in either predicate position:
729.1 The demonstratives may appear in either predicate position:
(13) ὁ λόγος οὗτος Jn 7:36
this word
(14) οὗτος ὁ λαός Mk 7:6
this people
According to Funk 549.3, οὗτος can only modify a nominal head if an article is present.

Another example:
Matthew 4:3 wrote:Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται.
As you point out, ὅτι οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσιν (Rev 21.5) is very similar in structure to οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (Rev 19:9).

We could simplify the question a little by removing ἀληθινοὶ from the sentence: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν = "these are the words of God", but if we read οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι as a phrase, could it also be read as "these words are of God"? The first is the way I naturally read it the first time, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a good reason that it can't also be read the second way.

Can someone help here?
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by cwconrad » December 12th, 2014, 12:40 pm

Andrew Chapman wrote:Compare:

Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ· ἰδοὺ καινὰ ποιῶ πάντα καὶ λέγει· γράψον, ὅτι οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσιν. [Revelation 21.5]

All the English translations have something along the lines of 'these words are faithful and true', rather than 'these are faithful and true words' (or faithful and true words are these).

This seems pretty close to:

οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

But maybe the word order matters? Perhaps it would be:

οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ ἀληθινοὶ εἰσιν

or somesuch, if οὗτοι were adjectival? Andrew
Yes, I think the word-order does make a difference:
In οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ ἀληθινοὶ εἰσιν, οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ is the subject, ἀληθινοί εἰσιν is the predicate.
In οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν, οὗτοι is evidently the subject, while οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν is evidently the predicate -- although, once again, the verb εἰσιν is equative, so that it's harder to say which is the subject and which is the predicate nominative.
To muddy the waters a bit further, it seems to me that with yet another word-order,
τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοί,
the subject would be οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοί and the predicate would be τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν, but I can't recall if I've ever seen such a "predicate genitive" in NT Koine (cf. Smyth, §§1303-04).
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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 Andrew Chapman » December 12th, 2014, 2:31 pm

Thanks, Carl. I am still a bit puzzled about one thing:
In οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν, οὗτοι is evidently the subject, while οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν is evidently the predicate -- although, once again, the verb εἰσιν is equative, so that it's harder to say which is the subject and which is the predicate nominative.
What I don't yet understand is why ἀληθινοὶ is in a predicate position with respect to οἱ λόγοι within its predicate word group: why not

οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

or

οὗτοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

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

Post by cwconrad » December 13th, 2014, 9:09 am

Andrew Chapman wrote:Thanks, Carl. I am still a bit puzzled about one thing:
In οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν, οὗτοι is evidently the subject, while οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν is evidently the predicate -- although, once again, the verb εἰσιν is equative, so that it's harder to say which is the subject and which is the predicate nominative.
What I don't yet understand is why ἀληθινοὶ is in a predicate position with respect to οἱ λόγοι within its predicate word group: why not

οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

or

οὗτοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

Andrew
I feel obliged to respond to this, but I really don't know. I'm not sure that I can supply a satisfactory answer (and those who probably know better aren't offering suggestions), but I'll say what I can -- or what I think: To adapt a phrase from David Hume, it is the "custom and habit of confident expectation" that the elements in phrases such as this are arranged as they are.

I think that both your phrasings (οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν and οὗτοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν do indeed put ἀληθινοὶ in attributive position. My own sense -- which I don't trust very much any more -- is that both these formulations are a bit awkward. Why? I think it's because the reader/listener does a double-take on the sequence οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι, which is ordinarily understood as a demonstrative phrase, "these words." If we do a second take (since we're readers, not listeners, we can do that and probably will do that), then we'll separate out the initial οὗτοι as the subject and take the rest of these sentences as the predicate.

Another thought: these phrasings that you've suggested (οἱ λόγοι οἱ ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ and οἱ ἀληθινοὶ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ strike me as more likely in Classical Attic than in the later Koine. I've had great difficulty overcoming my sense that ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως is a whole noun phrase, that a prepositional phrase like that can belong to a noun phrase rather than being construed with the verb ζήσεται in Rom 1:17 ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται. So I still don't really cotton to the combination, οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ, constituting a legitimate noun phrase, but I know that in Koine Greek it does. Koine Greek seems to attach attributive elements more readily to an article-noun group without repeating the article.

I'm really hoping that someone who knows better will offer a definitive explanation of what's going on here.
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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 Stephen Carlson » December 13th, 2014, 6:44 pm

Can we also factor in the fact that the author of this text does not appear to be a native speaker of Greek and may not have been using "proper" construction?

For the life of me, I am still struck about the placement of εἰσιν after a very heavy constituent (οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ). I don't want to say that's impossible, for good Greek at least, but it does feel unusual. And it's the placement of τοῦ θεοῦ that messes it up. Swap that with ἀληθινοί and the "problem" with εἰσιν goes away, but the parsing changes.
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Jonathan Robie » December 13th, 2014, 6:56 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:Can we also factor in the fact that the author of this text does not appear to be a native speaker of Greek and may not have been using "proper" construction?

For the life of me, I am still struck about the placement of εἰσιν after a very heavy constituent (οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ). I don't want to say that's impossible, for good Greek at least, but it does feel unusual. And it's the placement of τοῦ θεοῦ that messes it up. Swap that with ἀληθινοί and the "problem" with εἰσιν goes away, but the parsing changes.
So you might prefer ... καὶ λέγει μοι, οὗτοι εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ. It sure looks clearer to me.
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Re: Rev 19:9 οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 13th, 2014, 7:23 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:So you might prefer ... καὶ λέγει μοι, οὗτοι εἰσιν οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ. It sure looks clearer to me.
Well, that would be clearer. (And I'd accent it like this: οὗτοί εἰσιν κτλ. since it is enclitic.)

Oddly, the manuscripts don't go for that solution. For example, some manuscripts have οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι τοῦ θεοῦ ἀληθινοὶ εἰσιν, which I think means: These words of God are true. (Probably not what was intended, though, as it seems to imply that other words of God might not be!)
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Re: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι ἀληθινοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσιν (predicate positi

Post by Andrew Chapman » December 14th, 2014, 11:35 am

cwconrad wrote: Koine Greek seems to attach attributive elements more readily to an article-noun group without repeating the article.
I looked this up in a couple of grammars. Winer (-Moulton) [3rd, p.166] seems to say that 1 John 5.20 has ἡ ζωὴ αἰώνιος in the Received Text (I haven't actually been able to find this in an apparatus), and then apparently says (if I understand him) that no exception could be taken to this reading, 'for the later writers begin to omit the article in such cases'.

I did find τὸ βρῶμα πνευματικόν (1 Corinthians 10.3, Majority Text).

With regard to:

Εἶχεν μὲν οὖν [καὶ] ἡ πρώτη δικαιώματα λατρείας τό τε ἅγιον κοσμικόν. (Hebrews 9.11)

Winer says that κοσμικόν is best taken as predicative, and not as 'the wordly sanctuary' (as many major translations): the ASV seemed to attempt something like this:

Now even a first [covenant] had ordinances of divine service, and its sanctuary, [a sanctuary] of this world.

With regard to 1 Peter 1.18, Robertson (2nd ed, p. 656) suggests that πατροπαραδότου 'may very well be predicative' - I am not sure I understand that, does he mean something like 'from your empty way of life [which was] handed down from your fathers':

εἰδότες ὅτι οὐ φθαρτοῖς, ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ, ἐλυτρώθητε ἐκ τῆς ματαίας ὑμῶν ἀναστροφῆς πατροπαραδότου

Perhaps the clearest example is John 12.9:

Ἔγνω οὖν [ὁ] ὄχλος πολὺς ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστιν...

where Winer and Robertson agree that the words coalesce to form a single idea [but isn't that generally true of an adjective modifying a noun - don't 'green' and 'carpet' coalesce to form the single idea of a green carpet?]

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

Post by David Lim » December 16th, 2014, 2:44 am

Andrew Chapman wrote:
cwconrad wrote:Koine Greek seems to attach attributive elements more readily to an article-noun group without repeating the article.
I looked this up in a couple of grammars. Winer (-Moulton) [3rd, p.166] seems to say that 1 John 5.20 has ἡ ζωὴ αἰώνιος in the Received Text (I haven't actually been able to find this in an apparatus), and then apparently says (if I understand him) that no exception could be taken to this reading, 'for the later writers begin to omit the article in such cases'.
I don't think (in my personal opinion) that there is good enough evidence for a pattern of the form "article-noun-adjective" in the Greek of the NT. Note that for 1 John 5:20 the Majority text and all the manuscripts at http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/An ... +start.anv read either "η ζωη η αιωνιος" or "ζωη αιωνιος", so I'd go with those rather than with the TR.
Andrew Chapman wrote:I did find τὸ βρῶμα πνευματικόν (1 Corinthians 10.3, Majority Text).
This isn't the phrase there. It is "το αυτο βρωμα πνευματικον", so the omission of the article before the adjective may have a completely different reason, which is that the basic sentence is "και παντες βρωμα πνευματικον εφαγον" and "το αυτο" is added to specify that the "spiritual food" is the same.
Andrew Chapman wrote:With regard to: Εἶχεν μὲν οὖν [καὶ] ἡ πρώτη δικαιώματα λατρείας τό τε ἅγιον κοσμικόν. (Hebrews 9.11)
Winer says that κοσμικόν is best taken as predicative, and not as 'the wordly sanctuary' (as many major translations): the ASV seemed to attempt something like this:
Now even a first [covenant] had ordinances of divine service, and its sanctuary, [a sanctuary] of this world.
You mean Heb 9:1, and indeed based on my view "κοσμικον" has to be predicative. This is also indicated by the use of "τε". Not just the ASV but Darby's translation also read it this way. I would render as "and also the holy [place] [was] of the world.". This doesn't contradict the major translations, because the more idiomatic way to express it in English is indeed to join the separate statements into one since "the holy place" is referring to "the holy place under the first covenant".
Andrew Chapman wrote:With regard to 1 Peter 1.18, Robertson (2nd ed, p. 656) suggests that πατροπαραδότου 'may very well be predicative' - I am not sure I understand that, does he mean something like 'from your empty way of life [which was] handed down from your fathers':
εἰδότες ὅτι οὐ φθαρτοῖς, ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ, ἐλυτρώθητε ἐκ τῆς ματαίας ὑμῶν ἀναστροφῆς πατροπαραδότου
I don't get what Robertson means by "predicative". In my view, as in 1 Cor 10:3, the core noun in 1 Pet 1:18 is "αναστροφης πατροπαραδοτου", which is then modified by "υμων" and then "ματαιας", resulting in "your vain { manner of life handed down from forefathers }", which answers the question "who has that manner of life handed down from forefathers, and of what kind is it?" If it had been "εκ της ματαιας υμων αναστροφης της πατροπαραδοτου", it would have meant "out of { your vain manner of life } ( that is handed down from [your] forefathers )", which answers the question "from where did you get your vain manner of life?".
Andrew Chapman wrote:Perhaps the clearest example is John 12.9:

Ἔγνω οὖν [ὁ] ὄχλος πολὺς ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστιν...

where Winer and Robertson agree that the words coalesce to form a single idea [but isn't that generally true of an adjective modifying a noun - don't 'green' and 'carpet' coalesce to form the single idea of a green carpet?]
I'm not sure what you mean here. The NU manuscripts are divided, and SBLGNT goes with having no article. If the article is not actually there, then there is no problem since adjectives typically don't take an article when modifying an indefinite noun. I'd prefer to have examples with clear textual support before any generalizations.

Back to the original question, based on my viewpoint I think "ουτοι οι λογοι αληθινοι του θεου εισιν" in Rev 19:9 means "{ ουτοι οι λογοι } { αληθινοι του θεου } εισιν" = "these words are true [words] of God", in parallel with Rev 21:5 and Rev 22:6. But as Stephen Carlson pointed out it's hard to guess when we don't know whether this author is following ordinary Greek grammar here!
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