Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Barry Hofstetter
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Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 30th, 2016, 8:46 pm

On another forum, there is poster whose use of ancient Greek is, shall we say, creative (that's a a euphemism). Two of us on that forum, both also members of B-Greek, have attempted to engage the individual, but he insists that his idiosyncratic renderings are the best and that of all the participants on the forum, he has best internalized the Greek. He recently gave us this as his rendering of the English "While my friend was eating, it began to rain:

ὁ φίλος μοῦ ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν αὐτὸν, ἤρξατο βρεξαι

That's after a couple of corrections that he did accept. I then suggested that the articular infinitive phrase at the beginning was better rendered:

ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν τὸν φιλὸν... and he insisted that I didn't understand how articular infinitives worked in Greek. Now,you can follow this somewhat unfortunate exchange here:

http://forums.carm.org/vb5/forum/theolo ... anslations

He did, however, say that he would accept the judgment of our own Stephen Carlson. Of course, anyone else feel free to chime in. And the verdict is? :shock:
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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S Walch
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by S Walch » August 31st, 2016, 2:34 am

Haha, oh dear.

I've engaged Mr. Milton on Carm several times, and honestly, giving up was the only option.

As you say, he's convinced himself that he, and only he, understands Greek sufficiently to translate the NT.

There's more than a few examples of how to construct this sentence in the GNT - Matt 13:4, 27:12; Luke 2:27, 3:21, 5:1, 9:18, 29, 51 etc., etc.

Suffice to say, Barry, I'm with you on this one.

The ἐν + the articular infinitive construction doesn't require an accusative pronoun if the subject has yet to be expressed. In the examples where we have ἐν + the articular infinitive construction + accusative pronoun, they occur when the person(s) in question is/are already known.

As this is a new sentence, the person in question needs to be expressed, and is done so as you have it: Ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν τὸν φιλόν μου.

Luke 3:21 has this for us, as an example for JM: Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν
As does 2:27: καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς

Pretty sure we could find a few more examples for him to read.
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timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » August 31st, 2016, 2:40 am

Wow, Barry. I appreciate your patience in dealing with this guy. He's really an idiot.

Not that I'm terribly concerned about the translation of a goofy made-up sentence into Greek, but I'm wondering whether the articular infinitive construction or a genitive absolute would be more idiomatic for 'while my friend was eating'.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 31st, 2016, 5:58 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote: He recently gave us this as his rendering of the English "While my friend was eating, it began to rain:

ὁ φίλος μοῦ ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν αὐτὸν, ἤρξατο βρεξαι
I think that means this: My friend, while he was eating, began to rain.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

cwconrad
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by cwconrad » August 31st, 2016, 6:32 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote: He recently gave us this as his rendering of the English "While my friend was eating, it began to rain:

ὁ φίλος μοῦ ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν αὐτὸν, ἤρξατο βρεξαι
I think that means this: My friend, while he was eating, began to rain.
What is most appalling here is the self-assurance of the author.
I'd understand the sentence above thus: "My friend began to rain while he was eating him."
I suppose that αὐτὸν is intended to be the subject of φαγεῖν, but if the subject of the articular-infinitive phrase is the same as the subject of the main clause, I would expect a participial construction.
If this sentence is the beginning of a shower, I wonder what the rainstorm will bring.
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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)

S Walch
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by S Walch » August 31st, 2016, 7:42 am

Also, in order to say "it began to rain", surely we should have βρέχειν ; present infinitive not aorist infinitive (though I am confused as to whether JM is trying to do modern or koine Greek, as he seems to mix the two together whenever he feels like it), as a completed action is not in view?
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » August 31st, 2016, 7:49 am

English: "The crows beholding the miracles of Jesus were unbelieving."

Koine: οἱ ὄχλοι θεασαμενοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ ἦσαν ἄπιστα
In too many of his sentences the word order is 1:1 with the English sentence. Sometimes it works, usually not. This would sound more idiomatic with different order, e.g. "οἱ ὄχλοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν". I don't claim to be better at composition than he is, but I have some sense of idiomatic language when I read, whether it be Finnish, English or Koine.

P.S. According the original English it would be "οἱ κόρακες τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν", but spelling mistakes don't count in this kind of discussion.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 31st, 2016, 8:03 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
English: "The crows beholding the miracles of Jesus were unbelieving."

Koine: οἱ ὄχλοι θεασαμενοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ ἦσαν ἄπιστα
In too many of his sentences the word order is 1:1 with the English sentence. Sometimes it works, usually not. This would sound more idiomatic with different order, e.g. "οἱ ὄχλοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν". I don't claim to be better at composition than he is, but I have some sense of idiomatic language when I read, whether it be Finnish, English or Koine.

P.S. According the original English it would be "οἱ κόρακες τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν", but spelling mistakes don't count in this kind of discussion.
Yes, I already had some fun with his English spelling error, and of course, ἄπιστα says that the miracles were unbelieving, we need ἄπιστοι...
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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S Walch
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by S Walch » August 31st, 2016, 8:15 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
English: "The crows beholding the miracles of Jesus were unbelieving."

Koine: οἱ ὄχλοι θεασαμενοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ ἦσαν ἄπιστα
In too many of his sentences the word order is 1:1 with the English sentence. Sometimes it works, usually not. This would sound more idiomatic with different order, e.g. "οἱ ὄχλοι τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν". I don't claim to be better at composition than he is, but I have some sense of idiomatic language when I read, whether it be Finnish, English or Koine.

P.S. According the original English it would be "οἱ κόρακες τὰ τέρατα Ἰησοῦ θεασαμενοι ἄπιστα ἦσαν", but spelling mistakes don't count in this kind of discussion.
But, but, Eeli, "remember in Greek the word order is more flexible!" - So his words, which appears to be an excuse to say "I can write out these in Greek whilst following the English word order".

Usually the hallmarks of one who clearly isn't too familiar with the target language.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Proper Articular infinitive: Attn Stephen Carlson

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 31st, 2016, 8:18 am

cwconrad wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote: He recently gave us this as his rendering of the English "While my friend was eating, it began to rain:

ὁ φίλος μοῦ ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν αὐτὸν, ἤρξατο βρεξαι
I think that means this: My friend, while he was eating, began to rain.
I'd understand the sentence above thus: "My friend began to rain while he was eating him."
I suppose that αὐτὸν is intended to be the subject of φαγεῖν, but if the subject of the articular-infinitive phrase is the same as the subject of the main clause, I would expect a participial construction.
I agree.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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